This article is nearly one year in the making.
Whether I’m editing or writing, one of the most popular topics is how to raise money. Investments, flips, startups, you name it—everyone wants to know how to raise money.
Up until recently, the very best real estate deals were limited to so-called “accredited investors” (i.e., people who either make $200K a year or have a net worth of $1MM), effectively limiting the best opportunities to 3 percent of the population.
The floodgates have opened in recent years, however, with the JOBS Act. It effectively allows everyday investors to get in on iconic real estate—like the World Trade Center, for instance.
How Pooling Resources Has Changed the Investing Game
For investors, opening up the pool of participants elevates the stakes. Larger volumes of cash are now flowing into the industry, making it the best possible time to be a developer, asset manager, or both.
Even my company and I have seriously toyed with the idea of doing a blind pool Regulation A fund (jargon for SEC-regulated real estate fund). In fact, we probably will at some point in the future (and I’ll probably write about it).
Someone who’s actually done it already is Jay Morrison, an Atlanta-based entrepreneur. Alongside his wife Ernestine, they launched what was the first African-American Regulation A, Tier 2 crowdfund, raising an insane $10 million in a week.
Since then, they’ve picked up a 30,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art half production studio, half co-working incubator they’re calling the TREF Legacy Center.
In addition to projects managed on their own, Tulsa Real Estate Fund (TREF) co-invests with others.
Related: Real Estate Crowdfunding: An Introduction
On one end, their story underscores the beauty of the American dream. At the same time, their trajectory—as well as their work—mirrors the folklore of billionaire legends—a man and woman with a vision, a dream to build.
I happened to be in Atlanta last year finishing my book when I heard about this. After realizing this oddly serendipitous coincidence, I immediately reached out.
Here we are in their downtown Atlanta offices, which house TREF and a number of other businesses owned by the Morrisons:
Q & A With Entrepreneur Jay Morrison
We sat down in their offices and discussed everything from his beginnings to the vision of the fund to deals they’re looking for.
I never published that interview—until now. Here’s what he said.
How did the Tulsa Real…