THE REAL ESTATE INTELLIGENT INTERVIEW SERIES PROFILES EXPERTS IN THE MULTIFAMILY AND DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY.
AN INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA MIACHIKA, FOUNDER AND MANAGING MEMBER OF REAL ESTATE INTELLIGENT MARKETING.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY INTO MULTIFAMILY SALES AND DEVELOPMENT. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
When I moved to Arizona in 2010, I thought it important to learn about the market. As I’m a believer single family residential is the engine of the real estate train, I went first into single family sales and drove the entire Phoenix market looking for houses as investments for investors. It was a foundational fast track to learning about the market, its areas, demographics, etc. but as I preferred working with investors, I transitioned into multifamily where I met some great commercial brokers who said why don’t you come join us. The rest is history.
A LOT HAS CHANGED IN THE INDUSTRY THIS PAST YEAR. HOW DID YOU ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS STRATEGY?
The last year has been a real game changer for a lot of people. REIM is a relatively young company who had just set out on a path for growth when all of the sudden the whole market stalled and we had to rethink how we were going to manage in the new normal. Everyone saw changes, we lost a couple of escrows and both clients and colleagues were worried the market was going to crash. What REIM did was focus on our core business, our strategies, and what we do well. We listen, we look to news sources and intel to keep us informed of trends and opportunities. What surprised everyone was the belief COVID was going to impact Arizona real estate negatively, but it was the opposite. It was also interesting to note what was always a Phoenix negative – a low-density car culture city – became a real positive during COVID. All of a sudden investors were flocking here. Land, which I call the caboose on the real estate investment train, is also now running full throttle and development is core to the REIM team’s expertise
WHAT DO YOU FEEL THE NEXT 5 YEARS WILL LOOK LIKE FOR MULTIFAMILY IN ARIZONA?
I’m positive and optimistic. One of my favorite things to tell my team is to know where you are in time and in place. Yes you’ve got to look to both the past and to the future, but you have to be in the present. This market is fueled with real money and real equity. Investors are much more sophisticated and coming to buy with a longer-term vision. The fundamentals are stronger than ever. The quality of life here, affordability and accessibility are all strong metrics that aren’t going to change in the next 3-5 years and these are driving this market.
YOUR TEAM IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN SEVERAL NEW CONSTRUCTION MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS – WHERE IS THE VALUE FOR INVESTORS IN NEW CONSTRUCTION VS. VALUE-ADD COMMUNITIES?
If you think of this market even 2-3 years ago, value add made sense. You could make the metrics pencil because you couldn’t build or replicate those returns for those prices. What’s happened today is we’ve come to a time and place where we now have to take a look at the cost of some of this older product. Rehab value add to me is just not underlining the same play. It’s just too expensive. Often when we do an assessment for clients, we see more upside in building or buying new – value add will never be A class and ultimately you inherit all the ‘history’ with similar caps to new. For the inherent risks, it is becoming harder to make sense for value add. I’m a believer we have reached a point in the market where there is more opportunity in new construction, and that’s why REIM is focusing more on new developments and land. Not just fringe land but back into the core and to infill growth. People coming to live here want newer product, and they want the technology that comes with it. It’s hard to do that with older assets. The value add where I still see opportunity is opportunistic – ability to improve through some strategic add-ons, operations and property management. The hey day of fix-n-flip is less viable. There’s less of that product and the numbers just aren’t penciling.
WHAT MAKES REIM DIFFERENT FROM A TYPICAL BROKERAGE?
The people. Absolutely the people. We have a solid, hand select team of people who are trying to be the best in what we do. We believe in working together, sharing intel, knowledge, contacts, and how we can better service each other. We approach real estate differently in that we look at what our clients need. It’s not always about the listings. It’s about how we create win-wins. We don’t believe in zero sum. We are specialized and client focused with a team that is really a team. Everyone that comes to the REIM table has a different skillset and knowledge which we leverage off of each other. We are family.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND FOR REIM?
Our main focus is project marketing and looking at the whole project, not just the sale, but working with our clients from start to end. How can we help with the process of ensuring viable investment, from purchase, maintenance to divestment? We want to be a partner to developers and investors from beginning to end. I want REIM to stay niche and client focused with long term relationships. We have some very loyal clients who have stayed with us for a long time and recognize there is a longer term play not just in a brokerage business but in a relationship. REIM is ultimately about relationships.
HOW CAN ONE STAY INTELLIGENT ON THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IN PHOENIX?
I love the word intelligent. The core of the word intelligent is the word intel. And that’s exactly what it means. I make it a priority for the REIM team to stay current on the news, to read articles, and to listen to all sources. Education comes from reading, doing, and listening. It comes from having mentors and having patience. Patience is the most important thing. Patience to have the time to learn and give yourself the investment of time to get the intel. One of the best ways to get this intel would be to register on our REIM subscribe to our weekly market intel email. We have weekly updates sent directly to your inbox with the most current news on what’s going on in the real estate market and updates on all our projects and new listings.