Ep 150: Leasing, Development, and Acquisitions with Aaron Zucker
In today’s episode, we get together with Aaron Zucker to talk about his career in leasing, family office, and acquisitions and development. Aaron is the founder and principal of Zucker Investment Group (ZIG), where he has put together a competent team that complements his skillset. He shares how he first became interested in leasing after buying a bar with his friends after college and he credits the Wiener family for introducing him to leasing and allowing him to gain valuable experience. Aaron expands on how he went from having a steady income and a secure job to striking out on his own by founding ZIG. His approach involved adjusting his lifestyle, enabling him to live off his nest egg for three years while he was building his business and establishing a pipeline. We dive into ZIG’s business model and how it differs from bigger companies and Aaron explains why they invest in unanchored properties rather than anchored ones and how it has proven a sustainable business model. We also discuss the COVID pandemic, how it has affected his business, and why it’s been so difficult to find deals, and Aaron explains that retail is not dead and why it’s such an interesting space to be working in right now. To gain valuable insight into the current state of leasing and acquisitions, make sure you tune in today!
Key Points From This Episode:
Meet today’s guest, Aaron Zucker.
Aaron recounts the story of how his friends bought a bar together after college.
Find out how he first got introduced to the concept of leasing as a career opportunity.
How the Wiener family allowed Aaron to gain valuable experience in the leasing industry.
How he went from leasing to family office and how his approach changed.
Why every family office is different.
How ZIG’s business model differs from PEB’s business model.
How Aaron saved up capital to start his own business.
Going from a steady income to starting his own business without a secured pipeline.
How Aaron approaches unanchored versus anchored property at ZIG.
Why investing in unanchored property is a very sustainable business model.
Aaron shares how challenging it has been to find deals in the current climate.
The importance of maintaining good relationships with leasing brokers who have brought you opportunities.
Aaron’s approach to marketing; podcasting and an established social media presence.
How the COVID pandemic has affected Aaron’s business.
Why it’s important to understand that, when you first enter a market, you probably won’t be getting your best deal.
Why investing in retail is still viable, despite the pandemic.
How Aaron has found a team of people that complement one another.
“Nothing is really liquid in our business. It takes time to sell stuff, but there might be an opportunity to take advantage of a 1031.” — @AaronAZucker [0:09:41]
“ZIG is in the same business as PEB is, we're just missing a zero. If they're doing a $30 million deal, we're doing a $3 million deal. We're actively looking for deals where the NOI can be increased.” — @AaronAZucker [0:10:13]
“I'd saved up enough money to not make a dollar for the first three years, that was critical. [My] lifestyle was going to need to change, going from a great paying job with a lot of stability to making the reckless decision of going out on my own. That nest egg was critical.” — @AaronAZucker [0:12:34]
“It's about having outstanding relationships with brokers. We take a unique approach in the sense that we don't have a limitless amount of capital. We can't buy $100 million property, but what we can do is move extraordinarily fast, do what we say we're going to do, and give brokers the opportunity to invest in deals and other properties with us. ” — @AaronAZucker [0:14:43]
“You have to offer a Nordstrom type service and therefore can charge Nordstrom pricing. Or you've got to offer up competitive pricing like Walmart.” — @AaronAZucker [0:30:32]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
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