K. David Meit, CPM®, is the President and CEO of Oculus Realty. With approximately 25 years of experience managing all classes of multifamily properties, David is an expert in everything real estate, from financing, marketing and leasing, to real estate investment, operations and renovations. David is also a past president of the Property Management Association (PMA). His interview below provides invaluable advice to property managers and owners.
What sparked your interest in real estate?
My father was a developer in New York City and Naples, FL. I grew-up with it. Although I have a liberal arts degree, I took real estate classes in school. After college I worked for Meit & Maxwell Properties where I ran the daily management of apartment communities in the Harlem neighborhood of NYC. Yes, I have stories. I have always been attracted to the multifaceted aspect of real estate – finance, customer service, operations, and administration. Founding Oculus three years ago was a natural transition in my career.
What are your top two pieces of advice to a property owner or investor?
Don’t fall in love with the deal. If the numbers do not work, walk away no matter how sexy the real estate may be.
Hire a well-trained, accredited and licensed property manager with deep experience with specific property types and submarkets.
How is the Washington, DC metropolitan area unique from the rest of the United States?
The Federal government, of course. A third of the local economy relies on government spending. Over time this has created a very stable marketplace – sequestration not withstanding. Over the past decade DC has also become young and hip with an amazing food scene. Of course we have always had world-class museums (most are free!), performing arts and some of the best school systems in the country. The DC metro area is a hot destination for millennials and Gen-Y apartment dwellers who more often than not end up raising a family here, too.
What are the biggest challenges facing owners and investors in 2013?
Increased interest rates will slow deal flow and make borrowing more expensive. However, it will also increase cap rates, causing competition for deals to decrease. It will become more of a buyer’s market, which is good for incoming investors like many of my clients.
How do you see the market changing in 2014? Where will it be in 2020?
The batteries in my crystal ball ran out years ago. Increased interest rates will make home buying more expensive, continuing the trend towards multifamily rentals.
In addition to real estate, what are your other interests?
My wife and I have two young children (11 & 15) that we love to travel with, especially in Europe where my wife is from. Museums and great food are our family past-times. I am also an avid cigar-smoker and can often be found enjoying a smoke with business associates, friends and family at some of DC’s best cigar clubs.