Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 96
Realty Center Management
RCMI acquired the property about 10 years ago and invested in
new siding and large backyards, and added balconies, renovated
the interiors and built resort-style amenities such as a swimming
pool. At other properties, RCMI has covered popcorn ceilings,
installed new cabinets and granite countertops, retrofit light fixtures for LED bulbs, rewired buildings for fiber optics and added
backsplashes in the kitchens. Renovations have been so extensive
in some cases that the entire property must be vacated until the
work is completed.
When renovating, RCMI prefers to work with local subcontractors with which it can build up relationships that carry over to
multiple projects. "In each region, we have a pretty stable base of
vendors we go by," Mercer explains. In areas where it has a higher
concentration of properties, RCMI may even have its own crew to
Large-scale investments such as the Overlook improvements
aren't about cashing out; they're intended to create a desirable
living space that will generate ongoing revenue. "We do manage
our assets for the long term as opposed to trying to come in and
putting lipstick on a pig and flipping it to somebody else," Mercer
says. "Our forte is turning decent acquisitions into big cash cows
for our investors."
RCMI doesn't own the buildings itself; rather, they are owned
by properties and LLCs the company forms on behalf of its investors. RCMI's role is to manage those properties, but in some cases
it also provides consulting, brokerage, financial, development and
acquisition analysis services. "We do it only for properties we have
an interest in," Mercer says of those added services.
Other real estate management firms often struggle to balance
competency in each of those services; however, RCMI strives to
excel in every area. The company's team includes talented real estate professionals with backgrounds in public accounting, banking,
law, brokerage, finance, construction and property management.
"I've been doing it since '94," Mercer says of his and the company's
experience. "It just comes from trial and error and doing it over
and over again."
Experience is crucial not only for identifying properties with
potential, but also navigating the local jurisdictions that must
sign off on a project before improvements can occur. Renovating
an older building can be a challenge at odds with itself once local
government gets involved.
A city might have an energy-savings rebate that helps offset
the cost of switching from single-pane to dual-pane windows or
upgrading to newer air conditioning ducts, but its inspectors can
be overly cautious when it comes to obtaining permits for that
"They've been getting more and more aggressive and difficult
to deal with," Mercer says of local inspections.
RCMI's familiarity with the renovation process and its patience
enables it to move past the difficulties inherent in obtaining local
approvals. Those qualities will continue to play a role in its success
as it looks to expand to new markets. "We basically do what we say,"
Mercer says. "We have a good reputation as an honest buyer." )
/Guardian Construction/ is a licensed certified general contractor
providing rehabilitation and renovation of multifamily and commercial
properties. Guardian Construction has the expertise and experience to
handle any size project in a professional and timely manner, while still
giving attention to the smallest detail.
Founded in 2002 by a fifth-generation construction family, Guardian
has the know-how and skill to control costs while improving your property and maximizing your return on investment.
Guardian's proven mastery of exterior and interior rehabilitation
services including roofing, siding, window, fence replacement, and
full painting means all your renovation projects will be done right and
RCMI invests in properties that it believes will create desirable living spaces and generate ongoing revenue.
www.mhb-magazine.com Fall 2017