What happens when Ben Schulman of Small Change and Dr. Adam Gower of the Gower Crowd get together for a real estate crowdfunding chat? You can watch the first of three parts of their conversation here, or read the transcript below.
Ben: Adam Gower, introduce yourself to the Small Change audience in case they don’t know who you are.
Adam: Oh my gosh, so sorry, it’s recording – having a panic attack
Ben: Beads of sweat….
Adam: Instantly, right! Well, so I am Adam Gower. The way that I introduce myself to my students is, I say I have a PhD so you can call me Dr. Gower, Professor Gower or, if you want to call me like Siri does, you can call me Your Majesty. I taught Siri to call me Your Majesty.
Ben: It’s a little daily affirmation from Siri.
Adam: Yeah, exactly! (laughs). That’s right, ‘cause you know I’m married with kids so I need some compensation from the usual harassment that I get when I go home yeah. Anyway, I’ve been involved in Real Estate for far longer than I like to remember since actually the early 1980s when I first came to California, and in recent years, or in recent months, actually, have been focused on crowdfunding real estate and the new industry that has emerged from that.
Ben: So, we had the pleasure of being together in Los Angeles at the HIVE Conference, the Housing, Innovations, Vision and Economics Conference a couple of weeks ago and I heard you say that you were more excited about the potentials of crowdfunding than anything else that you’ve seen come along in the real estate industry. That’s a pretty bold statement. Why? Why are you so excited about crowdfunding?
Adam: Yeah, that’s a really good question, actually. I really do think that. I think that crowdfunding is a (what do you call it?) a pivotal moment in the financing of real estate. But there is another thought that I’ve been having and I’ve been thinking about this more and more. So, this is an evolutionary process, for sure, for me. But I think it is for most people in crowdfunding real estate or who are discovering it. It’s evolutionary for investors who have discovered, now, a new way of investing. You’ve got to figure it out. It’s evolutionary for developers – it’s a new way for them to finance. And for finance people and for just about everybody that’s involved, it affords an opportunity for growth , for personal growth and for career growth. And one of the components that I find particularly interesting, as I focus in the first quarter of 2018, is the opportunity that it affords the investor to evolve in the way that they invest. And what’s occurred to me, as a lifelong developer, is that you don’t have to develop real estate any more in order to build wealth and earn passive income from real estate. Yesterday, pre-JOBS Act, that was really the only way you could make money. You had to go out, find a piece of land, buy it, go through the whole brain-damage of entitling it and permitting it and dealing with subs and monitoring it and banks and everything. You had to deal with all that yourself in order to become successful in real estate and the JOBS Act has changed that around completely. Now, you can find the best of class developers and you can invest with them on an equal par – let them do all the work, you don’t have to do it any more. It’s (an) extraordinary shift in the industry.