Q1: Give us some background on yourself? How did you first get involved with Real Estate?
A1: I moved to the US from Mexico in 2010 to attend Business School at Harvard. Real estate has always been a passion of mine, and since I was in school I started taking some classes and focusing on learning the industry. After graduation we moved to Miami, and shortly after I found myself doing deals. In the beginning they were small and it was mainly friends and family that had trust in me. Fortunately, those initial ones were successful, and was able to be the base to transition into institutional-quality deals, always retaining our entrepreneurial mindset.
Q2: When and why did you start Galium Capital?
A2: Galium Capital was founded in 2018 by Iser Rabinovitz and myself. Being from Mexico and seeing so much instability throughout global markets, we noticed that there was an opportunity to help international investors make smart commercial real estate investments in U.S. markets. Commercial real estate assets in the U.S. provide cash flow and appreciation while matched with capital preservation for foreigners. We started with a small service center in Orlando, and Parq 170 at City Center, a 290-unit multifamily apartment building in the D.C. area.
Q3: What is Galium Capital’s Investment Strategy?
A3: We want to allow private investors to have access to the institutional real estate investment market, with all the efficiencies and formalities that it entails, including: low financing costs, professional management, optimal risk-return profile, institutional reporting, etc. At Galium Capital we approach each deal differently. Because we are not a “fund” it allows us to be flexible within our investment strategy to maximize the value of potential opportunities we present to our investors. We invest in commercial real estate assets in the sectors of multi-family, office and retail. We also pursue deals that have a value-add potential, whether from vacancies, below market rents or renovation. We have value-add deals, and core, stabilized deals for the yield-seeking investor.
Q4: Galium Capital has been active retail buyers at a time when retail has been changing due to consumers shopping online, amongst other factors. What is the strategy to your success investing in retail?
A4: We have a very robust criteria when it comes to investing in retail which has helped us be successful in our investments. We pursue un-anchored, e-commerce proof retail assets in sound markets that we feel strongly about. Typically these assets are service-oriented neighborhood retail centers in high-traffic locations. While consumers may be turning to e-commerce for their shopping needs, there is a demand for a retail presence for service-oriented businesses such as accountants, insurance, real estate brokers, spas, gyms, restaurants, barbers, bars and lounges, etc. By avoiding retail centers with large anchor stores, we alleviate the risk of a single tenant bearing a large portion of the properties rentable square footage or revenue which could be detrimental upon vacating their space.
Q5: What types of properties and investments has Galium seen the most success in?
A5: As we operate deal by deal and invest our own money into each deal, we take it upon ourselves to be ultra-selective on the deals that we pursue. Due to this we have seen success in multiple commercial real estate sectors including retail, office and multi-family. Each deal has a different investment opportunity, some via rental income and CAP rate compression over the hold period for an additional appreciation gain at sale; others are high yield cashflow investments.
Q6: Galium has acquired property on a national scale, what markets do you see the most strength in right now? Is there anywhere you guys are looking to expand to or are avoiding?
A6: We focus on markets with high growth in population, employment, and wages. We also take market-level pricing into consideration, in comparison to historic levels, and comparable markets. We are pursing assets in states such as Florida, Washington, Virginia, Texas and the Carolinas
Q7: What is Galium Capital’s focus for 2020? What does the future hold?
A7: We are in the end stage of an expansionary economic cycle, so we want to be extra selective in new acquisitions. We are probably going to execute on a few deals only, focusing on sustainable growth.
A. We will continue to focus on increasing the yield produced by our current investments and optimizing their operations. We have some exciting new potential acquisitions in the pipeline and are looking to close on our newest property in early February 2020. We look forward to making smart real estate investments for successful results throughout 2020 for our investors.