We recently sat down with Founder and CEO of Commercial Realty Apartment Advisors, Brett Swarts to get a look at his journey in commercial real estate. Brett was generous enough to answer our questions about how he started out in CRE and some of the lessons hes learned about the industry along the way.
We’ll start our 2 part interview with Brett this week with a few questions about how Brett began his journey.
Question: Who are you and where are you from originally?
Answer: Hi, I’m Brett Swarts
Founder and CEO of Commercial Realty Apartment Advisors
Together with my team at Commercial Realty Apartment Advisors, I help commercial real estate owners win with their investment real estate, increase cash flow, and sell with confidence. I like to think I treat my clients as if they are my own Family. With over $70,000,000 in closed transactions, 11+ years in the brokerage industry and formerly an associate at the Largest Commercial Real Estate Brokerage firm in the country, I’ve had hands-on training from some of the best in the business. But my favorite wins are at home—a 8+year marriage and four daughters. Besides Commercial Realty Apartment Advisors, I am also am the Founder and CEO of Capital Gains Tax Solutions. Too often I have heard the story of capital gains taxes stopping deals or constraining the goals of my clients. I’ve heard it said the best companies are started by solving a problem. Capital Gains Tax Solutions was started to give more options and flexibility in and out of commercial real estate transactions. We feel when clients have more options and flexibility they have a competitive advantage. We help create this competitive advantage by partnering with top national law firms, tax attorney’s, 1031 exchange companies, CPA’s and financial advisors who are versed in the deferred sales trust. Our goal is to build a team of the best of specialists to help our clients win with their real estate investments and capital gains tax.
Question: What originally drew you to commercial real estate?
Answer: Coming for an Collegiate Basketball background and playing team sports all my life, I love working together with my clients in a competitive, challenging and dynamic environment. Learning and hearing the stories of those who by hard work, perseverance, and taking some risk were able to create more passive cash flow and achieve their financial goals.
Question: What has been your biggest mistake in CRE? And what did you learn from it?
Answer: Early in my career my biggest mistake was not listening enough to what a few clients/prospects were really asking for and not realizing the correct role I was playing. They were the hero and not me. I instead was to be more of guide in the process of their achievement. Instead of asking more questions and digging deeper to the uncover their internal and philosophical motivations, I was too focused on just their external motivations. I’ve learned we all tend to make decisions not just on one layer of information and sometimes it takes time and a guide who has empathy and competency to help us to uncover and organize our thoughts and goals. I learned once this work has been done and the reason behind our motivations is now clear, we can move forward with a plan to help us to go where we want to end up. I learned that although I am working for each client, I shifted my posture to more of learning from them and working with them as a team to help them achieve their goals. I learned that they were indeed the driving force their own success and not what I may know or skill set I had. I learned the best approach was to use my strength of encouragement and servant leadership to help the team win.
Stay tuned for the second part of Brett’s My Broker Story next week, where we’ll dive in deeper into the choices and lessons Brett has endured along his career.