Investment Partners Jason Mitchell & James Wexler Turn $250,000 into a Multi-Million Business in 36 Months
Sometimes a bad economy can open up opportunities for innovative individuals and companies. Jason Mitchell and James Wexler began operations of Desert Bridge Capital in late 2009, right in the midst of the biggest recession in Phoenix history.
"Seeing the market at that time and how low pricing got," says Jason, "we decided we had to be close to a bottom market, so we took the plunge."
Desert Bridge was self-funded at that time with a quarter of a million dollars. The first property they acquired was a small 1,500 sq. ft. home in Scottsdale, Arizona. They purchased the home for $180,000, invested about $17,000 into the property, and sold it its first day on the market for $255,000.
The first flip was a little nerve-wracking for the new partners, considering the uncertainty of the marketplace. But top investors are those who take informed risks, and Jason's and James' risks paid off.
From there, they began to hedge themselves against short sales in the marketplace. They only had two employees, who were constantly submitting offers on their behalf. If the seller accepted, then they waited to hear back from the bank. If they got the price they wanted they took the property, if not, they walked and got their earnest money back.
Denise: Jason, tell us about those crazy times in the real estate market.
Jason: It was a market that we may not see again in our lifetime: going into escrow and tying up properties with no risk due to the short sale status. It's like insuring your hand in blackjack for free. That year (2010) really was the start of our good fortune. We turned $250,000 into a multi-million dollar business in a few years. That said, the market over the past three years has truly given everyone a great opportunity. With everything, there is always a little luck involved!
Denise: You are being modest. It takes brilliant strategy, hard work and innovation--more than luck--to accomplish what you have. Are you still buying homes? What are you looking for?
Jason: We are. However, today, we are looking for off-market opportunities. If you're living in a property that needs a full renovation and looking to sell or partner with someone on a fix-up, that's the project we want.
Denise: What's the future for Desert Bridge?
Jason: Patience. Years ago, we learned not to be in a hurry to lose money. So as this market shifts, we are being extremely methodical as to what we purchase.
Denise: What advice do you have for prospective real estate investors or developers?
Jason: I will say to anyone who is considering getting into the fix-and-flip business today: tread lightly! Don't listen to people who are telling you "it's easy," "this is the market to do it in," etc. Believe me, it's not so simple. I am here to tell all the would-be and neophyte investors, do not get into investing on your own. Work with experienced agents who have a beat on the market and investors alike. If not, you will get crushed in this current market.