LUR 135 | Due Diligence


The market has become more challenging compared to the last six months. Rising interest rates and valuation becoming somewhat unrealistic are forcing investors to do deals with less volatility and risk than securities or equities in the stock market. In this episode, Mark Shuler, the Principal of Shuler Architecture, shares his strategy in investing in multifamily in this current economic state to avoid the risk of losing money. Making money in this industry requires a savvy business sensibility in making a deal. So tune in now and don’t rob yourself of this opportunity to hear Mark’s insights on how you can do your due diligence to avoid losing your money in the market!

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Mark Shuler On How To Do Due Diligence On Multifamily Opportunities In This Economic State

In this episode, I have on the Mark Shuler. He is a licensed architect in the state of Washington and Texas with many years of professional experience as an architect, engineer, business owner, and real estate investor. He’s the Principal of Shuler Architecture and has amassed a portfolio of over 500 projects in more than 15 states.

He’s also the President of SGRE Investments. He pursues value add opportunities that leverage his professional background and capitalize on his skillsets as an architect and real estate advisor. Since 2015, Mark and his partners have amassed a portfolio of 2,000 units in Puget Sound and Texas with an acquisition basis of $300 million. They’ve created significant returns and tens of millions of wealth for more than 400 investors and continue to acquire several assets a year. Thank you for coming to the show, Mark. I appreciate it.

It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

I’m so glad in your bio that you mentioned that since 2015, you have been doing this. You didn’t roll out of bed yesterday and get started. Coming out of the gate hot and heavy, we are now at a very tumultuous point in our economy. We have rising interest rates going on. We have inflation. Many investors are skittish about continuing to invest in multifamily investments. To kick things off right out the gate, from your perspective as an active operator in the space, can you talk about whether you’re still investing and what that looks like for you now?

We are at an inflection point. We’re maybe going to roll into a recession or not, but the Fed has to do its job and get inflation under control. They can only do that. One of the main tools that they have to do is to raise interest rates, which has a direct impact on my bottom line. It also has a direct impact on valuations. We were finding prior to 2022 that valuations were already getting fairly unrealistic. Owners were wanting skyball prices for their assets. We’re still able to make the economics work on deals, but it was getting more and more challenging. We were underwriting legitimately twice as many deals as we did the prior three years to find the one we would pursue.

We’re now underwriting 4 or 5 times as many, and none of the economics is working between rising interest rates and owners not wanting to come down. Sellers don’t realize that their assets are worth 15% less than what they were a few months ago. That’s the reality of rising interest rates. I have to bring a lot more cash to the table. I’ve got a lower leverage point now. The economics are much different than they were a few months ago.

We’re not finding that deals work for us now. Like it or not, we’re sitting on the sidelines. With that said, if we find a deal that works, we have stress-tested it and know it will pay returns. If we put it out, investors should jump on it because you’re not going to get any returns on the stock market anytime soon. That’s for sure. I personally feel we have less volatility and risk than securities or equities in the stock market or anything like that. It’s not Bitcoin.

It’s not disappearing tomorrow.

It’s the way we financially engineer the upside on our deals that provides real security and a lowered risk profile for our investors, and then you’ll see another asset class. If you can find a deal and it’s still well worth pursuing, it’s challenging to find a deal now.

Can you talk a little bit about the stress testing? By and large, there are a lot of deals that people are raising capital for in the multifamily space. I am an investor myself, and I’m constantly looking at these multifamily deals and trying to determine, “Is it a good deal for me to be investing in the capital?” I’m sure that many investors have that same question now. When you talk about stress testing, I’m curious about either stress testing or your perspective as an operator advice you would give to people who are passively investing in deals.

That is the question right there. The first thing I usually counsel is to look at the operator who’s putting the sponsor of this deal. Are they an operator? Are they hiring third-party companies to do everything? We’re vertically integrated for a reason. We’re trying to control all of our labor. Before we got on this, we were talking about the challenges with labor. It is rampant in what I do for a living. We have hired all of the labor and brought them in-house. We formed an asset management company and did all our own contracting. We own so many assets around Houston, in particular, that stuff craps up all the time.

We have the in-house horsepower to be able to point, shoot, and say, “We’re going to pull you off this job. At 8:00 tomorrow morning. I want you on this job. I want you to fix this toilet.” If they’re going third-party, other operators might have a week to two-week delay there if they’re lucky getting somebody to show up at a unit to fix a leaky toilet.

The other reason why we have all of the labor in-house is we’re able to control our cost structure, the expense side of the ledger on our deals. We are legitimately turning and managing these assets for half of what anybody else can. It’s all because we have all the labor in-house. We pay a living wage, but we’re not paying third-party wages, all the profit that these third-party operators have.

One of the big ones that a lot of sponsors cheat on is the exit cap rate. Click To Tweet

When you hire a third-party asset management company, they’re going to make a profit. When you hire a contractor, there’s generally a 20% to 30% profit line in there. By bringing all that expense in-house, not only have we eliminated that profit line, but we’re able to control the cost of the labor very effectively. Plus, we’re able to get quality labor. As time goes on, we’re building the contracting end of things, a solid core group of people who work for us. They’re rock-solid turn guys, for instance.

I don’t have any questions. I can say, “Go to this one-bedroom unit on this property and put package A, B, or C in it.” It makes it a lot easier as an operator and a deal sponsor. What I’m trying to do is shove all of that to the bottom line but also have a very predictable business model that I can turn to my investors and say, “I got this all in control. I’ve mitigated as much risk out of this as I can think of, then we stress-test the deal to make sure that the economics of the deal work out.”

In our underwriting, we figure that we have an economic vacancy of 30% to 35% in the first two years of any deal because as I renovate units, I’m going to have vacancies. Somebody can’t live there while I’m renovating it. I’ve seen so many operators pretend that they’re going to have a 7% or 8% vacancy rate as they’re renovating the asset. It’s like, “How the heck do you do that? That’s impossible. You can’t do it.” They don’t understand that because they’re not experienced operators. The point I’m trying to make is if you’re looking at deals, you should be looking at the experience of the sponsor.

Are they experienced, savvy sponsors? Do they have an operations component to their business model? Are they doing third-party on everything? If they third party on everything, I already know they’re 15% less profitable than me, probably more. The only way you make money in this business is through operations. You make it two ways. You make it on the buy, and you make it through operations. If you buy right, you can still screw up a deal by massively mismanaging it.

We buy right and make sure we manage it very effectively. That is who you should be looking for as an operator and deal sponsor. There are some other things metrics in the underwriting that I generally point to. People ask me this question a lot. The vacancy rate in the first couple of years, if it’s a big value add deal, another one has checked their debt assumptions and leverage.

We do the classic bridge to perm models. We’re getting a little higher leverage on the bridge product. Even then, I don’t want to take it way out there. I’ve never done a 90% levered deal. That’s insane to me. For the bridge product, you can average between 75% to 80% and be okay because you’re going to get enough pop on the back after you’ve done your value add. You’ll have plenty of cash there to be able to pull out and off to your investors.

If you over-leverage it, you’re not going to have any cash. You’re robbing yourself of a marketing opportunity with your investors. You’re not going to have the money to give them at that value add or refi event. Believe me. They want it. You may not think that, but they do. It’s a savvy business sensibility of how you go about and go through a deal.

One of the big ones that a lot of sponsors cheat on is the exit cap rate. I have never underwritten a deal where I assumed I was going to have a lower cap rate. When I went in, it was automatic. It’s at least 0.5 higher on my exit than when I go in. I do that specifically for times like this that we’re in. You don’t know what the economy is going to do. We’ve got a hot war in Ukraine. Who knew a few years ago we were going to have a hot war in Europe? What has that done to the world economy? The supply chain is all screwed up. That’s where a lot of inflation is occurring. Don’t kid yourself. Stuff happens. I’ve been through 4 or 5 recessions now. No one ever banks on a recession. It’s the smart people plan for.

If it doesn’t happen, you exit, and you’re three-quarters of a point lower than your exit assumption in your underwriting, you’re a hero. You look like a hero and a rockstar. I see too many underwriters who assumed they’re going to have 1/4 or a 1/2 lower on the exit than going in. Everybody thinks we’re going to be going down into the right on these cap rates. I’m going to assure you. It’s not like that. Cap rates are assigned way. What goes down has to go up.

A lot of these sellers who are unwilling to sell at today’s prices, a good percentage of them make that mistake. They can’t sell in the new reality, so they’re hanging out and sweating bullets, or I don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re waiting for somebody to come along and overpay for the asset. We’re not going to do it. I can wait longer than they can.

There are a couple of things in your question here. There’s one thing before I go to the value add and the refi. You play in Texas, and I know this, so I should probably ask you the question, so people know as well. What market do you focus on playing in?

I only do business in red states. You may ask why. I live in the bluest of the blue, where we have soft rent control year round now. We still have eviction moratoriums here. They tried to continue the eviction moratoriums out of the pandemic until Seattle City Council almost got voted out of office and snapped out of it. Believe it or not, it’s the only place in the country where we have a winter month eviction moratorium from October until the end of February. It’s automatic. You can’t evict it.

If you don’t think my tenants are gaming the system on that one, I got swamp land in Florida that I can sell. We also have a school year eviction moratorium that goes from September to June. It’s nine months of the year. Granted, that one only applies to renters with children, which I have a few. I’d be much more inclined to work something out with that renter than evict them. I have a very heavy-handed government here. They passed 38 pieces of renter protection legislation in the last couple of years.

LUR 135 | Due Diligence

Due Diligence: Sellers don’t realize that their assets are worth 15% less than what they were just six months ago. That’s the reality of rising interest rates.


I and a lot of operators and developers here have had enough. What is going on in this market is you’re finding that housing here is being corporatized. Everything that Seattle City Council is ostensibly trying to prevent from happening is going to happen. Housing is a free market phenomenon. It’s very sensitive to free market forces. There are always unintended consequences to meddling with the free market. It’s one thing to sit in an office on the 23rd floor of the city administration building thinking big thoughts about how you’re going to save humanity from itself. It’s not a thing to be out in the market taking risks, trying to make this happen. I’ve decided I can’t do business here or anywhere on the West Coast, for that matter.

I look for markets where the playing field is a little more level and is not as adversarial. I believe that there are some protections that need to be put in place. There’s a function for government in that marketplace. I believe that. I’m a practicing architect. I deal with the government all day long. Building and life safety codes are a thing. They’re there for a reason. If they weren’t there, people would die in these buildings. I’ve had three fires in my buildings. Fires are a big deal in multifamily. I’m not flaming libertarian or by any stretch of the imagination. The pendulum swings left and right, so I wanted to stand pat in the middle so I could do business. I have to look for opportunities in environments where that’s going to be the case.

I know that you play a lot in the Houston area. As we think about underwriting, there are 3 things that 2 of which you brought up, which is value add and refi, and then the third is taxes. Could you touch on a bit about taxes? In underwriting specifically for the market of Houston and the Texas markets in general, investors need to think about how the operator deals with projecting taxes in the underwriting.

The government is populated with personalities. Human nature is human nature. I accept that. What’s going to happen in the assessor’s office and in every jurisdiction in the country is that the government has to pay its bills. Much of the income that governments generate across this country is based on real estate taxation. It is only a government’s best interest to continue raising the valuation of assets so that they can continue to pay for all the things that they have to pay for.

The problem is we went through a once-in-a-century economic event. We had all these eviction moratoriums, and landlords were losing cash and financing tenants to live in their units for free forever. Income off of a lot of every asset nationwide was way down. Governments didn’t recognize that. They continue to raise taxes as if the valuation of these assets continues to go North.

The basic valuation formula is net operating income divided by the cap rate in the marketplace. If the NOI has gone down, the valuation has to go down, but the government is pretending that it continues to go up. You’re getting squeezed by these eviction moratoriums on the one end and increased taxation on the other. You’re getting hammered on your income and the expense side of the ledger. That’s why deals don’t work now. I know we do. We have an attorney on permanent retainer and test every deal every year. We go to the assessor’s office and test the valuation. It’s like you are, “I’m sorry. I can prove it. Here are the numbers.”

We try to keep the tax side of the ledger. We work hard to keep that in check to make sure that we are not overpaying. If you go through the assessor roles on any one of our deals, you’ll see it’s contested every year. As you underwrite a deal, you need to go in and figure out what the mill rate is for that jurisdiction. Don’t be too overly optimistic about that in terms of, “They’re only going to charge me this much.” No. They’re going to charge you this and that much. I have empirical proof from the last couple of months where that’s what happens.

With the contesting, are you guys able to win a lot of that or at least bring it down?

Yes, but it was expensive. You got to spend money to make money. Your legal fees go way up. This is what I’m talking about. When you meddle with the free market, there are unintended consequences. Ultimately, you have to budget correctly as you’re underwriting the deal for taxation, legal fees, or both. That comes through experience.

The next item that you brought up was refinancing. Do you typically put in your underwriting that you are going to be refinancing? What about if the refinance doesn’t happen, especially in a situation like now where rates are continuing to increase? People are probably not going to refi because now you’re going to have a higher payment than what you currently have.

We are in that scenario in one of our deals. What happened in the refi market with the bridge lenders is the bridge lenders miraculously all lost their backbone at the entry door. They all chickened out and pulled out of the market or whatever. I’ve been doing this long enough that I know I’ll wait for months, and there’ll be new players entering the market because the profit incentive was there. They sense an opportunity.

I waited, and that’s exactly what happened. We’re talking to lots of other lenders, and we’re going to get it done. It wasn’t as good as it was years ago when we refi our deals, but it’s still much better than what we’re doing now. We’ve already done the rehab on this one deal. The cashflow is way up. The good news is the longer it takes us to refi, the more my NOI grows. I’m getting a higher and higher valuation on this thing.

Houston rebounded in no time. All that increased competition for assets, and Houston has driven down cap rates. The exact opposite of what happened at the beginning of the pandemic is happening on the backend. My NOI is going up, the cap rates are now drilling down again, and you’re seeing these higher and higher valuations.

There are always unintended consequences to meddling with the free market. Click To Tweet

You see a lender that comes into the marketplace after the big boys left. All the Wall Street hedge funds got out of it. They’re looking at their chops. We’re sitting on a ton of equity in this deal, and they’re bleeping over the debt to refi. You now got to quibble over the loan rates and everything else they want. That’s just negotiation. There are plenty of lenders out there we’re still talking to.

What we’re doing now is instead of going through some of the bigger players, and then we typically utilize a broker to go to those players, we’re going direct to some of the bigger banks like Wells Fargo and US Bank. They’re getting in the game and are not charging any fees. They just want to make cashflow. We’re not paying a refi fee or a brokerage fee. That’s two points on a $70 million deal. That’s over $1 million I get to put into the kitty and I get to distribute to my investors. It all works out. Some aspects of capitalism are a beautiful thing.

What’s key to note is that as an investor investing in these deals and seeing refis in the underwriting, in the performance, either you’re going to redo the underwriting yourself or have these questions with the sponsor that you trust. If they were unable to do a refi, they still would be able to cashflow.

We’re cashflowing fine on this deal. The problem is when you go in on a bridge product, there’s a short-term loan or a timeframe on that note. The worst-case scenario is that the bridge lender has, “That’s where this gets fun.” They stare me in the eyeballs and are like, “What do you want me to do?” See who’s going to blink first.

Have you ever had any situations where that has happened?


Has this happened multiple times? What ended up happening?

It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s going to happen more and more. You’re going to see a lot of that going forward. You’re going to see a ton of it because these operators are upside down on their cashflow. With the bridge lender, if they can’t refi out of the deal, the last thing a bridge lender wants to do is take an asset back. They have zero interest in doing that, so they may have to turn that into a permanent product.

They’ll have to negotiate terms for a perm, sell it off in the secondary market, and get off from underneath it that way. Once you understand how capital markets work, there are workouts that are done all the time. It’s not what you want to bank on going in. You don’t want to bank on that worst-case scenario. Everybody wants to bank on a refi after 24 or 38 months, cash out, and hand money to investors. That’s the perfect scenario. That isn’t going to happen here in the next couple of months. That’s not what you’re going to see.

Connected to the refi is the whole value add. I know personally that the investing value add model is powerful. The way in which you execute it is, many times, you will deal primarily in class C, the asset class of multifamily assets. There are real realities of playing in that space when it comes to value add. From my perspective, the returns are higher, but the risks are also higher as well. Can you talk a little bit about that from an investor’s point of view to get comfortable that, “You have the potential to get more return here, but you are also going into a more aggressive play?”

Your readers and I understand that there are classes of assets out there. Let’s start with the basics. There are A, B, and C-class. I’ve done legitimate D and F-class buildings. What you have to do is size up the opportunity. Your question is exactly right. With greater reward comes greater risk. You have to evaluate your risk tolerance as an investor and have an honest conversation with yourself like, “I want to make all this money. I want to make 23% IRR and have an 8% to 10% profit every year.”

It’s like, “Okay, but are you willing to invest in a riskier proposition?” In a C-class deal, you’re dealing with a demographic that is more management intensive. That’s the reality. Most folks who can afford to invest in these deals are solidly middle-class or upper-middle-class. That is a world that’s removed from their reality.

LUR 135 | Due Diligence

Due Diligence: With greater reward comes greater risk. So you have to evaluate your risk tolerance as an investor and have a really honest conversation with yourself.


First of all, don’t judge. That is the world we live in. I was born a lower-middle-class kid in Detroit, and we rented houses forever. No one ever labeled me an athlete, and I don’t have a movie star good look. I played the hand I was dealt. I was one of the smarter guys in the room. I’ve parlayed that into a solid middle-class lifestyle for myself. The reality when you go into the value add game is you’re dealing with a lot of immigrant population, for instance.

I have one deal here in Seattle in a community where the community’s high school is year after year voted the most diverse high school in the country. It speaks 57 unique languages. It’s down near our international airport. A lot of these folks are coming out of refugee camps from North Africa. I’ve had tenants go in there. They can’t figure out how to use a stove and want to start a fire in the middle of the living room. It’s like, “That’s not how we do it here in this country.” Little things like their diet are primarily based on boiling water. They boil a lot of water.

Water and buildings don’t mix, so you’re now developing mold problems around all these units. You have to be very attentive. That’s the management problem. You’ve got to make sure you’re on the mold. You got to make sure all of your bath fans work. You may want to make sure that your dryer vents are not clogged up. You’ve got to be able to connect the dots between your demographic and what you’re going to have to do as an operator. That comes with experience. I want to say it again. Don’t judge it. It’s just that’s the business. I enjoy it. I like meeting people. I like new ideas. I will talk to any of my tenants because I find it fascinating. That can be a chatterbox.

One of the things I’ll also connect to that is the importance of having that vertically integrated property management. Property management is the frontline of dealing with these things and knowing what to do to preemptively avoid things going the wrong way before it’s too late.

When you get a rock star property manager, you hang on to them for a lot of reasons. That’s one of the hardest jobs in the whole organization. Some of them are as gracious as you can imagine. They got to be tough as nails, but the good ones have a way of comporting themselves with a real grace that I’m always in awe of.

In our operation, we recognize everybody. We have the employee of the month and all things that we do through social media to promote. There’s some self-interest there, but also to recognize our employees. Not only are you dealing with your tenants, but you’re also dealing with your employees. You’ve got to manage all of this. Labor is a real thing. You’ve got to manage it effectively. You don’t want to take anybody for granted. That’s the main walk away with that one.

My last question here is, as investors look at deals, what is more important, assessing the deal or assessing the deal sponsor?

I honestly don’t know. I assess them both very intensely and personally. I have a little bit of money, and I have to place in a deal. I have the same problem as anybody else. It’s like, “Who do I want to invest with?” For me, checking out the economics of the deal is pretty second nature. I live, eat, sleep, breathe, and dream numbers. This is all a math problem. You can vet that out probably in an hour or two. Generally speaking, I can do it in about ten minutes because I look at it at a high level, and it’s like, “That doesn’t work.” There are 4 or 5 things, and if 3 or 4 of them don’t work, the deal doesn’t work, so I move on.

From there, what I’ll do is start translating it to like, “Why did that sponsor blow up that deal?” It’s going to be one of two things, they got something to hide, or they’re just ignorant. They don’t know what they’re doing. I try not to bust anybody’s chops too hard, but I look at people’s experience levels. Too many people read these bright, shiny OMs that come pouring out of everywhere. They want to believe that they can get those returns. For a lot of them, the reality is not as nice as the dream that they’re proposing. You have to be skeptical. Trust to verify.

What about when you’re presented with deals outside of multifamily? Multifamily is your bread and butter. Say someone brings you mobile home parks or self-storage. What’s your approach there? Maybe you don’t have an approach because you’re not interested in those asset classes.

I’ve been a housing guy for many years. I wrote my essay to architecture school about affordable housing many years ago. For me, it’s always been a passion to do what I’m doing to have a big ass detour as an architect for a lot of years. I’ve always wanted to do exactly what I’m doing. Mobile home parks are an interesting model.

One interesting sidebar to that is most zoning codes throughout the country have outlawed them. We can get into a long dissertation about middle-class values and those values populating zoning codes throughout the country. Back in the day, we used to call that red lining. They’ve been regulated out of existence. The ones that are out there that are trading are ancient. A lot of the utilities need serious work.

The water, sewer lines, and a lot of these parks are atrocious. There are breaks everywhere. You pay for the water coming in and going out. The water and sewer bill on these things is huge, so the first thing you’re doing is running around the park and looking for the leaks. I looked at one mobile home park deal several years ago. It was on a septic system that I completely failed, and the effluent was coming. It blew the top off the tank, and I have a public health disaster.

You don't want ancient homes that are falling apart and dragging down the whole profile of your park. Click To Tweet

If you want to look at that at these types of deals, you got to look at the age of the park. A lot of them were built in the 50s and 60s. You want to look at the percentage of park-owned homes. A lot of mom-and-pop operators have the stupid belief that they want to own the homes and rent them like apartments. That is not the model to be used in these deals, in my opinion. You don’t want ancient homes there that are falling apart and dragging down the whole profile of your park. I’ve also found that park operators tend to be mom-and-pop. They’re not a very sophisticated crowd when it comes to transactions.

There are a lot of headaches involved with it. I made an offer on one back in the day. Everything I was telling you came true. The husband inked the deal, and the wife screamed like, “We’re not selling this.” They walked away from the deal. I could have sued him for non-performance, but I was like, “This is a no-win. I’m never going to win on this one.”

I walked away from the deal. I was like, “That’s the last time I’m ever going to look at a mobile home park deal.” The profit margin is pretty high on them, but they’re management intensive. I don’t get to do the development activity. I can’t do the forced appreciation model that I like to do. I like to build. We should talk about what value add really is.

Value add means you were forcing appreciation. You are trying to increase the value of the asset. Throwing $3,500 a door at your apartments in a 200-unit deal is maintenance. That’s not value add. You have to do significant upgrades to these units in order to command higher rents in the marketplace. That entails an entire operation, supply chain, having drivers, and a warehouse where we store all this stuff because we buy all our goods overseas and have them shipped to Houston.

We haul them from the port of Houston over to our warehouse. As we need them on our projects, we haul them to the projects. It is a much bigger business model, and a lot of people getting into the business realize it. The only way to force appreciation is to do a massive makeover in these units. That’s why I buy C-class deals because they need work.

The key aspect of that makeover is changing out appliances, cabinets, and flooring.

We do the flooring. I hate carpets, so we do luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout all of our units. I have laid hundreds of thousands of square feet of vinyl plank flooring. We do all new base trim, new paint, new light fixtures, new appliances, and plumbing fixtures. We typically leave the existing boxes on the wall, but we’ll swap out the doors. The hardware is all sanded, smoothed and painted. They look great. We do granite countertops in all our deals.

Are you adding washers and dryers too?

It depends on the deal and the location.

I would assume that’s true for the granite too.

Granite is a standard for us. Think about what I described as a work scope to you and visualize a C class deal. By that value add exercise, we’re spending $16,000 to $18,000 a door. Our cost is half of what anybody else can do this for legitimately, maybe 2/3. I’ve gotten third-party bids for that scope of work, and it was $60,000 a door. I was like, “You are smoking crack. I’m not going to pay you that. Get out of here.” For us to do it at $18,000 a door, it’s going to legitimately take somebody else $35,000 to $40,000 a door to do that.

Let me finish this point. What we then have at the end of the exercise is the best-looking product on the market. What we’re commanding for rents is market plus 10%. We’re now getting the premium in the marketplace and setting the benchmark for the rest of the marketplace around. That’s where the value add comes from. The NOI skyballs from there. If you get more than 50% or 60% of the units done, you’re making a lot of money.

The cashflow is huge because you’ve taken care of all the problems. You’ve turned a lot of tenants out. The first thing people think is, “Your tenant is going to move out because their rents are going up.” It’s not the case. Fifty percent of our tenants re-leases from within the asset where the people are so excited to finally be living in a classy unit. I had tenants come up to me like, “When are you going to get to my unit? I can’t wait.” The asset managers will tell me they’re excited that you’re doing all this work. This is why I do what I do.

LUR 135 | Due Diligence

Due Diligence: You are trying to increase the value of the asset and throwing $3,500 a door at your apartments in a 200-unit deal. That’s maintenance, not value add.


You are improving people’s lives.

That’s exactly right. It’s the first time in their life that these folks are living in a nice home. Everybody should have the opportunity to have their hand hit the pillow in a dignified housing situation every night.

This was so good. Thank you so much, Mark, for coming on. I appreciate it. We could talk on and on because you have so much experience doing all this stuff. Your passion for it is what makes you take on projects that you learn so deeply from but are also very challenging. I’m excited to have you on. If my readers want to learn more about you and your offerings, where’s the best place they can go to learn more?

You can go to my website, You can hit me up through email. It’s usually the best. It’s

Thank you, Mark. It was a pleasure having you on.

Thank you.


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About Mark Shuler

LUR 135 | Due DiligenceMark Shuler, R.A. is a licensed Architect in the states of Washington and Texas with more than 35 years of professional experience as an Architect, Engineer, Business Owner and Real Estate Investor. As the Principal of Shuler Architecture, he has amassed a portfolio of over 500 projects in more than 15 states. As President of SGRE Investments,

Mark pursues value-add opportunities that leverage his professional background and capitalize on his skill sets as an Architect and Real Estate Advisor. Since 2015, Mark and his partners have amassed a portfolio of 2000 units in the Puget Sound and Texas with an acquisition basis of $300M. They have created significant returns and tens of millions of wealth for more than 400 investors and continue to acquire several assets a year.


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