Adrian Rubin: Valuable Work Lessons from Real Estate Agents

Adrian Rubin: Three Lessons Real Estate Agents Can Teach Developers


Adrian Rubin is a real estate developer whose work takes him all over the continental United States. He has built homes and apartment complexes, as well as a portfolio of commercial buildings in his local Philadelphia. Today he shares some nuggets of wisdom on the work of real estate agents.

When it comes to real estate development, many people mistakenly believe that having capital almost entirely ensures a developer’s success. On one end, capital is certainly needed to make development projects happen, but there are other equally important factors which need to be looked at as well. Technically, anyone can become a real estate developer but this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should be. This is why if you want to become one, becoming a real estate agent is a good first step. Here are three compelling reasons why a stint at being a real estate agent is a worthwhile investment to becoming a real estate developer:

#1: You’ll get to know the market firsthand – As your work takes you on the ground, you’ll get to see, hear, and experience the pulse of the market. There are many professional organizations and noted experts in the industry who regularly publish reports on real estate trends but these numbers and figures are best understood when you get to know the market personally. Talking to buyers and investors, for example, may lead to valuable insights which can help you do a better job at finding the perfect tenant for your client.

#2: You’ll unwittingly stretch your patience – Due to the nature of the work, real estate agents never know for sure when their next paycheck is going to come, and from where. In effect, these real estate agents end up acquiring a certain level of patience and persistence in their day to day functions. This positive attitude may only bode well for them should they ever have the opportunity to pursue the work of a real estate developer. Having been exposed to the market, to the ups and downs or the volatility of the industry, these agents will not be shy to be aggressive or conservative when the situation calls for it.

#3: You’ll learn how to take care of relationships – Reputation is the lifeblood of real estate agents. Some think it’s sales or the ability to negotiate, but if you think about it, a good moral character is a basic requirement of any business transaction. When you work as a real estate agent, you’ll learn how to value all of the contacts you meet and the relationships you build. Polishing your people skills will greatly help you in your work as a real estate developer because you’ll be working with numerous other professionals for your project like architects, engineers, and designers.

In the end, real estate agents play an important role in the industry, acting as a catalyst for activity between developers, investors, and tenants, and everyone in between.

For anything related to real estate, keep tabs on this blog by real estate professional Adrian Rubin.



Adrian Rubin: Which Cities Are Best To Invest In This 2017

Adrian Rubin Best Cities for Real Estate Right Now

Adrian Rubin is a real estate developer who is passionate about building safe and comfortable homes that people of all backgrounds would want to go home to. To learn about the latest real estate trends, read the blog post below:

As the economy begins to show signs of life, more real estate investors are looking to scoop up several real estate bargains across the country. If you’ve been at the real estate game for years now, you would know that timing plays a big role in maximizing potential yields. With that said, here are some of the best cities to invest for real estate right now. Whether you’re looking to flip or buy and lease out a home, these cities offer a remarkable return on your investment without incurring too much risk.

#1: Orlando, Florida – Florida has been experiencing steady growth across the board over the last three years, and Orlando is just one of the booming cities riding this upward trend. While investors have the luxury of choosing from Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Orlando seems to be the best city for real estate investments due to the presence of numerous tourist attractions such as Universal Studios. Real estate always benefits from tourism, and in Orlando’s case, the economic activity has translated to a drop in unemployment rates and an increase in new housing construction. The cherry on the sundae, Orlando’s home prices still have room to grow despite climbing an impressive 38% since 2014. In fact, home prices in the state are still undervalued, so if you want to ride the bullish trend, you better act quickly.

#2: Nashville, Tennessee – Taking the No. 2 spot is Nashville after it saw an outstanding 29% growth rate over the last three years. Like Orlando, the Nashville housing market shows plenty of promise because it is still undervalued by as much as 7%. As for employment growth, it’s been modest at best but many analysts remain optimistic that Tennessee’s local economy is only going to get better moving forward. One of the main selling points of Nashville is the affordability of homes. This makes the city an ideal place for couples to start a family or for retirees to spend their senior years.

#3: Seattle, Washington – At No. 3 is the Seattle market which is currently undergoing strong job growth. As more people move into the city for work, this should push the demand for rent and new housing even higher. If you invested in the Seattle market in 2014, you’re likely to be all smiles this moment as the city continues to breakout to the upside—this is besides the incredible 21% return on your investment already. Compared to Florida’s urban cities however, Seattle has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. But this doesn’t seem to be a concern for millennials, as this age group is reportedly the top source of rental demand in the city.

To stay updated about the country’s real estate market, keep tabs on this blog by real estate professional Adrian Rubin.



Real Estate Developers Exposed to Several Risks



Real Estate Development Risks

According to the Federal Reserve, real estate is the biggest asset class in the United States, worth around $40 trillion. This figure gives one a good idea of the billions and billions of dollars that change hands every day, from tenants to landlords, developers to contractors, lenders to home buyers, and so on. As the real estate industry is so vast and so deeply tied to the economy, it absolutely cannot operate without affecting other industries with their own variables of volatility to account for. This is one of the reasons why real estate developments are fraught with risks.

At every turn, developers are literally and figuratively exposing themselves to risk. In the first phase of appraising land and buying it—developers incur risk when they pay upfront all of their capital or round up investors who would want to see a return on their investments. Developers must know their way around numbers, lest the project stalls due to funding issues. Finding property to develop isn’t as easy as it sounds as well, as the neighborhood and surrounding area should ideally be well-developed in terms of infrastructure and transportation.

Next, the construction phase or the undertaking of improvements on the property often requires superior management and negotiation skills. This is why some developers have architect backgrounds or were once general contractors. These types of developers are able to significantly cut down costs, putting their experience to valuable use. On the other hand, players who have to hire professionals to do the construction or improvements should be aware of their financial liabilities. Developers must pay them for their services as any lawsuit can potentially throw a monkey wrench into their plans for the property.

Finally, when the project is completed, developers must always prepare for the worst in case they are unable to lease or sell space. As mentioned, even when developers have planned everything down to the last detail, their real estate is still subject to market forces which can impact their profits for better or for worse.



Tips on Choosing Your Forever Home

How to Decide the Right Home for Your Family

For first-time buyers, the decision to make an offer on a home is both exciting and a little scary. If your offer is accepted, the place you’ve chosen will be your home for the next several years or for life. Not only should you feel emotionally satisfied by your choice, but you should also feel financially comfortable that you’re buying a home that you can afford and that you feel confident will hold onto its value or hopefully increase in value over the years. Buying a home shouldn’t be based on housing values alone, it’s important to choose a home that meets your needs and priorities.

The first and only way to begin the decision-making process is to grab your calculator. A dream home becomes a nightmare the minute you can’t afford it. It’s because a house with a vaulted ceiling costs more to heat than one with a low ceiling. And a house with a pool means paying to maintain it. All these extra factors can add up. For some homebuyers, living in a particular neighborhood takes precedence over all other priorities, but for others, the home itself matters more.

Another less-tangible way to decide if a home is right for you is to trust your intuition. If you’re viewing a house and find yourself imagining your sofa near the window and your green chair near the fireplace, pay attention. Chances are, the house is a nice match for you. You should make a list of what features you want in a home, such as the number of bedrooms, a fenced yard, granite counters in the kitchen, and then rank them in terms of priorities. Think about whether the house or the community matter more to you, and whether it’s worth it to you to make a longer commute in order to live in a home with a larger lot.

Once you’ve determined whether the location or the house itself matters most, you may have to compromise on some of your priorities. If the location is the most important factor for your home choice but you find that homes are priced above your budget, you can compromise. Like looking for a different home type within the community, such as a smaller single family home, a town home, or condominium. Decide if you can live with one less bedroom or other features on your list.

You can also decide based on how you live, not where you’ll live. A house that offers dramatic mountain views and enormous windows onto a pond sounds dreamy. But if you’re rarely home during the day, the views aren’t going to be visible most of the time. Focus on features that will please you indoors. This advice is particularly applicable to kitchens. A sleek, minimalist European stainless steel breakfast bar may be your dream kitchen, but if you’ve got busy toddlers, a practical kitchen with lots of room and sturdy smudge-resistant cabinetry may be a better match.



Real Estate Development

Adrian Rubin: Real Estate Developer

The real estate business is still one of the best ways to make money, bar none. If you look at the history of the wealthiest individuals and families in the world, you will see that real estate investments dwarf the fortunes produced by other businesses and asset classes. The richest man in history, John D. Rockefeller, is said to owe his massive fortune to real estate. His net worth is estimated to have reached $192 billion and no other person has come close to this figure; Commodore Vanderbilt had $143 billion while John Astor had $116 billion. Today’s richest man in the world, Bill Gates, only has $82 billion. This should put context to the power of real estate.

For all the wealth real estate can produce however, there are risks and challenges that every investor should mentally and emotionally prepare for. Real estate development in particular is a very demanding and capital-intensive business, which can push an investor to the brink of bankruptcy if he or she does not play his or her cards right. And even when he or she does play them right, there are still far too many variables that are out of his or her control such as the state of the economy and the real estate market.

The truth is, many small players who get into real estate development do not have the funds to proceed with their real estate projects. To get their project off the ground, they bring in investors and when things do not go as planned, this is when everything falls apart. There is this saying that risk can happen slowly at first, then suddenly all at once. This aptly describes the nature of real estate development, its risks and rewards.

It’s not always about the money. Needless to say, an investor would have to have a solid team of professionals around him or her—engineers, architects, lawyers, real estate agents—if he or she wants to succeed in this business.



So You Want to be a Real Estate Developer?

Playing the Real Estate Game

If real estate were easy, everyone would be doing it. This statement couldn’t be more true as many new players seem to think that real estate development is as simple as buying land, erecting a building, and placing it in the market. While these are all true, they are merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg; they do not represent the entire process of the business. This could be the reason why many players strike out early in the game and have nothing to show for it.

What is common among seasoned and the best developers however, is the hard work and persistence they have put in building their companies. Even those that come from wealthy families and have no problems with funding started at the bottom or were slowly eased into the business before they were given the reins. At the end of his or her training, a real estate developer would have already worn many hats, with the skills to fill in a variety of roles when the need arises.

Whether it’s the job of the architect, the engineer, the contractor, or the lawyer, a real estate developer must have working knowledge on all of these things, not only to ensure the completion of the project but to maximize its potential for profitability. Logically speaking, the time required in order to have a grasp of these things is what hinders new players from playing the game.

The other side of the coin is money. If one does not have time to know every single thing about the project, he or she is always at liberty to hire professionals. And this is yet another roadblock that limits the pool of real estate to players who already have the education, training, work background, and contacts of professionals.

It may sound unfair but it actually isn’t when you realize the kind of wealth real estate can produce.



Adrian Rubin

Adrian Rubin: Houses and History in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a long and interesting history. It is a city that was vitally important to a young United States! Fortunately, some remnants of this history survive, in houses and buildings that have survived for hundreds of years.


The Wynnestay (Wynnstay) House

This house is the oldest in Philadelphia – it was built when the British still owned the colonies, back in 1689. If this house could talk, it would tell about surviving the Revolution, the Civil War and beyond, and still standing today.

It was built for Dr. Thomas Wynne, the first speaker of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly and personal physician to William Penn (the founder of Pennsylvania).


The Wyck House

The next oldest house is the Wyck House, built just after the Wynnestay House in 1690. The house is notable because it was the location for the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, the first school of its kind. Today, it is known for its gardens, which have 30 varieties of roses.


The Belmont Mansion

This mansion is not only known as an exquisite example of Palladian architecture, it also has its place in history. Many important men of the Revolution stayed there during the war, including James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and John Adams. It now houses the Underground Railroad Museum.


The Head House

The Head House in New Market is the oldest fire station in the country. Besides this distinction, the house’s location has significance – New Market was the location of an open market area in the mid-1700s, and it is still a farmer’s market today!

Head House was restored in the early 1960s and today it is a community center.


Whether you are a visitor to Philadelphia or you’ve lived here all your life, you’ll want to visit these historic homes!

Philadelphia’s Most Haunted Real Estate

Adrian Rubin PhiladelphiaAccording to local legends and purported paranormal experiences, the following locations in Philadelphia are known for being haunted. And even for those of us who don’t believe in ghosts and spirits, most of these places are undeniably creepy. So if you are looking for a haunted tour of the city, or just want to learn a bit more about the history of  these local locales, then take note of the following stops.

The Divine Lorraine Hotel

For the past 16 years or so, this 123 year-old gem of a hotel has remained abandoned… a fact that only adds to its eeriness. Many locals will recognize the building as part of the downtown Philly skyline and likely know the stories and history associated with this once grand hotel. Although this currently empty hotel is in somewhat of a state of slow decay, the bones of beautiful Victorian Architecture continue to protrude from the city’s skyline. At the moment the hotel is undergoing an extensive renovation, with plans to turn the building into a completely new apartment complex. But what is it exactly that makes the Lorraine so unique?

Eastern State Penitentiary

Not to belabor the point, but Eastern State Penitentiary is terrifying. To learn more about the history of this notorious prison, see the article that I wrote here. And to learn more about the Halloween antics that take place there at night during this time of year, just watch this video.

Baleroy Mansion

Baleroy Mansion is an estate in Chestnut Hill and consists of a main home and a carriage house. The buildings were originally erected in 1911 and in the century since, Baleroy has been the scene of a purported murder (the first owner supposedly killed his wife in the main house) and a number of supernatural sightings and events. Most know of Baleroy as the most haunted house in the country. Baleroy Mansion used to be open for tours considering the extensive collection of antiques, but is now closed to the public as the house has new owners.

So if you are looking for a way to scare up some fun on Halloween, feel free to take a look at some of these “haunts” in Philadelphia.


Must Read : The Insider’s Guide to Real Estate

Adrian RubinIf you’re anything like me, my “to-read” list is an impossibly long compilation of business and management books, articles, essays, poems, how to guides, historical nonfiction and dense texts related to art history and semiotics. It seems as though there will never be enough time to read everything that I want to, which is why I think it’s important to take stock of my reading list every now and then, and evaluate which titles may just have to be thrown by the wayside. When I pared down my list most recently, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the books that I have found to be most helpful in the world of real estate. Below are my top five picks for the real estate professional who is just starting out. Although not all of these are specifically geared toward real estate, they do have valuable lessons in considering how you work towards your goals and in shifting your outlook on your work life.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is an established entrepreneur, investor and author. This classic book, originally published in the late 1990s discusses the importance of financial independence, and the means of attaining it through investing, owning businesses and upping one’s financial intelligence. Kiyosaki focuses on the concept of setting up your money so that it earns money while taking very little of your time or energy going towards wealth creation.

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This is a recent classic that explores the work models that exist outside of the traditional 9 to 5 work week. Instead of viewing life as a period of working, saving, retiring and dying, Ferriss reveals ways that we can all live more and work less.

 The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing by Spencer Strauss

This is a great book for those just entering the field of real estate. This book covers a vast amount of valuable information ranging from planning, to property purchase, to renovating to selling. This book serves as a great overview for those interested in the real estate investment property field.

There are a number of other books that I would recommend for the person looking to get involved in the real estate market, perhaps the best place to start is your local library, or perusing the New York Times Best seller list or even Amazon.

Living the Luxurious Life in Philadelphia

adrianrubinphillyWhen most people think of Philadelphia, they imagine steel mills and a local economy that relies almost entirely on this industry. However, over the past few decades, the city has undergone a shift in identity. From an evolving  cultural center, to the hometown of one of the country’s top law and business school’s, Philly is quickly becoming a go-to destination.

In addition to this newly earned status of as a cultural hub, the surrounding areas have also been developing a unique identity of their own. The suburbs that immediately surround Philadelphia are starting to be known for a common thread. That is to say, they all share a heightened look (and pricetag) of luxury.

Again, Philly and the surrounding areas may not immediately signal opulence or  the same sense of a continental metropolis like New York, London or Paris, but for those keeping up with the changes, Philadelphia is not too far behind on that list.

The real estate market that surrounds Philadelphia is becoming more and more high end by the day. One of the most noticeable markers of this trend is the number of condominiums being built and purchased in this area. Additionally, the style of the single family home has changed dramatically over the past few years and is certainly comparable to any brownstone or condo that you might find in some of the most sought after neighborhoods in Manhattan.

One of the most well-known buildings that has taken Philadelphia’s real estate market to new heights is Two Liberty Place. This is a 58 story building, currently the third largest in the city. And you can just imagine the soaring views that one can witness from these units.

In 2007, the floors designated for residential living space were launched, however the top floors were left incomplete under the direction of the developer. Soon after, the well known real estate investment firm, iStar took over the project and helped accelerate not only the top portion of the building , but contributed to the popularity of the condo market in this area. IStar took advantage of this growing demand and supplied the goods in style.

This building coupled with those in the nearby neighborhood are subtly changing the look of the area, and there are no signs that this trend will be slowing down any time soon.