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Ep 69: Building, Educating, and Nurturing Your Team with Swapnil Agarwal


Today’s guest is Swapnil Agarwal, a Houston-based entrepreneur, and investor in the field of real estate. Originally from India, he moved to Texas with his family when he was young. After returning from a work stint in finance in Hong Kong, Swapnil launched Nitya Capital and Karya Property Management. Swapnil was awarded EY U.S. Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, and his company has turned $300,000 into $2 billion in just six years. His first property was a neglected multi-family complex with poor management that he planned to turn into a place people wanted to live (without changing the rent), and this inspired him to do affordable housing well, which can be challenging in such a competitive business! In this episode, Swapnil explains the difficulty in hiring property managers and skilled labor like plumbers, and why he finds sourcing deals and raising capital is easier than operations. We discuss the importance of having the right team, educating on-site employees, and being involved and accessible as a CEO, as well as the value of understanding what’s going on in the personal lives of your employees. We talk about private equity, institutional capital, and recourse loans, and Swapnil shares his views on the state of the market going forward after COVID-19, and why he hasn’t adjusted his business plan to accommodate the pandemic. Tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Swapnil introduces himself and his companies, Nitya Capital, Karya Property Management.

  • Why Swapnil invested in a Class D- property when he was starting out in real estate.

  • Why doing affordable housing well is challenging in such a competitive business.

  • Swapnil’s difficulty with hiring property managers and skilled labor like plumbers.

  • Swapnil explains why finding deals and raising capital is easier than operations.

  • How Swapnil has been successful in hiring the right people for his company.

  • Swapnil’d three-prong approach to educating, managing, and nurturing on-site employees.

  • The importance of recognizing your strengths, and being involved and accessible as a CEO.

  • Why Swapnil believes corporate workers need to understand the jobs that on-site workers do.

  • The value of a culture coach, understanding what is happening in the employee’s personal lives.

  • Swapnil’s transition to the investor side of private equity and institutional capital.

  • How Swapnil was able to scale so effectively through word-of-mouth and hard work.

  • Swapnil talks about taking out a recourse loan at the beginning.

  • Why Swapnil doesn’t change his business plan when he works with high net wealth investors versus institutional lenders.

  • Swapnil’s pros and cons of working with institutions and what he has learned.

  • How Swapnil and his company view the state of the market going forward after COVID-19.

  • How Swapnil’s company might adjust their strategies as COVID-19 continues.

Tweetables:

“To any of your listeners starting or in the process of starting, don’t underestimate that… raising capital and finding deals is probably the easiest part of their jobs, compared with the operations when it comes later” — Swapnil Agarwal [0:14:10]


“People take that seriously when you tell them that we’re going to work with high integrity and make this a successful event for you” — Swapnil Agarwal [0:27:55]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Swapnil Agarwal on LinkedIn

Nitya Capital Website

Nitya Capital on Twitter

Karya Property Management Website

Karya Property Management on Twitter


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