Since the inception of Bolt Storage in 2011, our company’s general growth and success have been on a fairly standard trajectory for a fresh startup — until recently. See, things are changing quickly around the company, our investments, and our organizational structure, all for the better. In this episode of the Nick Huber Show, I want to help you understand three things: how my real estate private equity company is organized, how our teams are structured, and how those LLCs interact with each other. To feel more comfortable investing in real estate, it’ll help to see how we do things around here.
People regularly ask how my company is structured and how we keep beating our projections on a regular basis. The simple answer to both questions is the people — hard-working, dedicated experts, who invest, manage, and support the company’s growth because they care about the numbers. On a deeper level, it’s the in-place structure that allows the management teams to effectively control, plan, communicate, and lead the business to success.
Let’s dive into the branches of my company:
- Customer service. Like most organizations, customer service makes up the bulk of our labor. This is a team of about 20 hard-working people.
- Collections. This is a team of 2 people, which should be growing into 5 people over the next few months. This team is essential for executing auctions on properties as well as contacting people who haven’t paid on their contracts.
- Maintenance. A team of 4 people, these folks maintain the cleanliness and operation of all the facilities. Additionally, they manage 6-7 vendors each (e.g., snow removal, lawn care, electricians, etc.).
- Acquisition. Four people who make the calls and connections to find new business opportunities for the company. If we’re going to buy real estate, we need an acquisition team to find it first.
- Finance. This is our real estate private equity company. The essential function of this team is to manage the performance of all our assets. Specifically, these folks usually underwrite deals and send new deals to investors directly. Oh, and this is where myself and three other bad-asses work. My partner Dan and I work on huge investments and capital raising projects. So, is real estate a good investment? Yes — but you need to know how real estate private equity works.
- Expansion Division (upcoming). This is a work-in-progress for us. Ideally, our expansion division will work to oversee the work of contractors and build out new storage at some of our locations. If possible, it would also be great for this crew to help manage property development and construction moving forward.
- Management. This is Bolt Storage, which runs as its own business — so we’re basically running two businesses at the moment. This is a team of roughly 35 people who manage our customers, leases, and general property management.
Along with contractors and vendors outside of the core operations, I’d say we have well over 50 people working to support our growth — and that effort shows. These branches, investors, and third-party vendors all work together to support the growth of our business.
Now, let’s talk a bit about that growth.
In October of 2019, we had one property with 625 units and a $2.9 million cost-basis. Having a basic understanding of real estate terminology is essential by this point.
This December (2021), we have 32 properties with just over 640,000 sq ft of storage and a $48 million cost-basis. Check out Episode 11 of the Nick Huber Show, where we talk about how capital flow and your partners can make or break your business.
You won’t believe this next part. This next February (2022), we will have 49 properties, 1.3 million sq ft, and almost 10,000 units. Most of this growth will actually happen in just the next five weeks. As you could imagine, the cost-basis will also grow with us (but embracing and managing risk is something we already know quite a bit about).
Like with any startup or entrepreneurial mission, there’s a fear of failure. And when those numbers keep growing, it can become challenging to stay focused on your vision. But that’s why I made the Nick Huber Show and Sweaty Startup Podcast — because I love talking about real estate investing for beginners and experts alike.
If you want to get started on your business and real estate investing journey, I’ve created a handful of courses geared towards helping with your long term success.
Three Key Takeaways:
- How you structure your organization translates into revenue, growth, and long-term success. If you adapt your structure while the company grows, you’re much more likely to succeed — versus a failing company whose structure is as fixed as its mindset.
- Growth is intimidating. You’re going to make mistakes — but you’ll also make successful investments that will put significantly more on your plate than in previous years. Embrace it! If you can trust the hard-working people on your team, you’ll be OK.
- Take on risks in proportion to your company’s size. Start small and get bigger to make sure a shortcoming or failure doesn’t cripple your business.
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