Steed Talker

Real Estate Investing Abundance Logo

REIA 341 Joel Friedland: What 42 years in real estate will teach you

Joel Friedland is an industrial real estate syndicator with over 40 years of experience and nearly 100 acquisitions in the Chicagoland area totaling ~3 million sq ft. On his team are more than 200 investors.  Joel brings to us his unique philosophy on debt ratios and preservation of capital.

Listen to the podcast here or on your favorite podcast app:

Watch the Episode here:

Main Points:

  • 2008 recession (How I got into trouble, got out of trouble, and the struggle/journey)
  • Buying assets all-cash, no mortgage (After 2008 I changed my focus to buying assets with no debt for extreme financial safety)
  • Importance of mentorship (I was mentored myself and it was huge advantage. Now I give back by mentoring others)
  • The “User Sale” (selling buildings to users instead of investors for a premium because it’s a tool for their business vs. chasing a cap rate).
  • The niche of B/C industrial in Chicago (Why we buy what we buy)
  • How I make major decisions (I have an advisory board of ~8 people who are business or real estate professionals. I don’t make any big decision without talking to them first and getting their input).
  • Raising capital (I’ve raised over $100 million for my various real estate syndications over the years)

Connect with Joel Friedland: 

Biography of Joel Friedland:

I’m Joel Friedland, an industrial real estate investor working for over 40 years in the Chicago market. I live in a Northern suburb of Chicago (Deerfield) with my wife and have 3 adult children; one is a teacher, another is a therapist and my youngest is in the business with me. My favorite hobby has always been golf, but I’ve replaced that recently with spending time with my 3 beautiful grandchildren.

My entrepreneurial spirit was kindled at a young age. When I was 14 years old, I started a landscaping business and hired dozens of kids in my hometown to mow lawns and do yard work. Right after completing college at the University of Michigan where I graduated with a degree in general studies, I went to work for a family real estate business in Chicago where I was mentored in all things real estate; specifically industrial brokerage. After some time I broke away from that company amicably and I started my own brokerage business which at its height was managing over twenty brokers. 

After several years I sold that brokerage business to a large company who absorbed us and began focusing on growing my own portfolio of owned industrial buildings. In the last 40 years I’ve been directly involved in nearly 100 acquisitions totaling ~3 million square feet and have raised over $100MM in private capital. To date, I’ve also been involved in over 1,600 industrial leases, including 34 in my first year at the age of 22. These days my primary focus is managing our existing industrial portfolio of 15 industrial class B/C buildings and growing our 200+ individual investor base so we can continue to acquire more industrial properties as assets.

After surviving the Great Recession of 2008, I changed my philosophy when it comes to how much debt/leverage we put on new buildings we buy. I’m now very conservative in my investments which are mainly focused on generating cash flow for my investors while protecting their capital with low-risk deals, using all cash for purchasing and re-syndicating with a maximum of 30% debt.