RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

DEC 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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136 December 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE A t first glance, Bob Eidson's path in the real estate business may look a little circuitous. But upon closer inspection, it was exactly the route needed to bring him to where he stands today, ahead of the curve on one of the industry's most up-and-coming opportunities: the investment property/Airbnb model. Here, Eidson shares how his frontline experience in the mortgage space readied him for real estate success back in his hometown of Lexington, Ky. Maria Patterson: Your background in real estate is extremely varied. How did you get started? Bob Eidson: I bought my first two properties when I was 19. After school and military service, I started as a young analyst with a West Coast hedge fund that specialized in complex real estate debt assets. I then joined a group out of business school where the em - phasis was placed on avoiding foreclosure and keeping people in their homes. We partnered with the Califor - nia Association & REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and Prospect Mortgage, and started training REALTORS® in short sales. And on nights and weekends, I volunteered with Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services to help counsel those facing imminent foreclosure. Those two experiences opened the door for me to then jump into the largest opportunity to make a significant impact on millions of homeowners: joining Bank of America and growing their short sale business 100 times. MP: That's when HAMP/HAFA was on the rise, right? BE: Correct. Bank of America wanted to massively increase their short sale business, so I joined a Corpo - rate Strategy group tasked with increasing short sales. Bank of America went from last place to first place in the HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) program. Last I checked, they are still first place. MP: So what led you back to Kentucky? BE: Bank of America right-sized its portfolio, so I moved back to Kentucky, where I had ownership in a bar and the Bourbon Review (a publication covering the world of bourbon and American whiskey). I im - mediately started two real estate funds for urban infill redevelopment in tier-two and tier-three markets in the Southeast, Emerge Property and Emerge Development. We focused more on downtown core redevelopment op - portunities. All of our developments offered affordable housing, as well as market-rate housing. I was look - ing for opportunities where we thought predominantly millennial and service-based employees wanted to live, in and near the core of a downtown. These are places with high walkability scores. Further, we looked for locations that were close to or adjacent to a greenway transit corridor. MP: Why walkable communities? BE: I happen to believe that people want a lot more development around transit routes. While working for Bank of America, I moved to Uptown Dallas, and the Katy Trail opened the month I moved there. I watched this trail become a vein of energy for all walks of life and all socioeconomic backgrounds. So when I moved back to Kentucky, I wanted to develop our real estate based on similar opportunities. We believe that the future is brighter if we get people out of gated commu - nities and living amongst each other in or near walk- able areas. MP: You've also innovated with shipping containers… BE: Yes, we have completed six construction projects using old shipping containers. We just finished a multi- family concept for Emerge Development. This marks our third year of doing a project with shipping contain - ers, and the knowledge curve has been steep. Our most recent project features four bedrooms in each of four shipping containers. We realized penetrations were costly, so this project features some floor-to-ceiling Reading the Market Trends... and Responding By Maria Patterson Shipping containers are recycled as multifamily housing units.

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