Broker Adam Gilbert’s Contemporary Approach to Real Estate Closes $100+M in 2022, Fuels Launch of The Firm Capital Group
The Firm Companies President Adam Gilbert leads a California-based team of agents in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, advising clients in real estate sales, leasing, government relations, land acquisition and development, including a specialization in entitlement. In 2022, this sector of the business achieved one hundred million in sales volume throughout the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire. Meeting this benchmark has electrified a new segment of growth for 2023 creating a real estate fund through The Firm Capital Group, realizing Gilbert’s vision to create direct investment opportunities for profit-producing real estate assets. More specifically, his goal is to accomplish 1 million sq. ft. of owned assets and $500M in assets under management.
Gilbert recognizes the benefit of investing in a variety of property types. “We buy vacant properties at great values, make them pretty, and lease them out,” he explains. “Our disposition strategy will be to refinance them after stabilization or sell for a profit. We also buy raw land and either rezone it, or entitle it, or both.”
In 2018, Gilbert sold his vacation rental management company after building out 35 full-time rentals with $1,500,000+ in annual revenue. “In 2011, when I stayed in my first Airbnb, I thought, ‘this is the future,’ and at that time in the Palm Springs area, I was like, ‘no one is on the platform.’ I started with two condos on the platform and I was able to build it up to 35 high-end rentals. Turnkey Vacation Rentals, Inc. out of Austin, Texas were acquiring businesses like mine at the time and I was able to sell it to them so I could concentrate on building the brokerage and my own investments.” His history of strong partnerships, he says, will lend itself to the success of The Firm’s real estate fund.
Other past projects and acquisitions include the 2019 purchase of the Bump and Grind Plaza, a 16,000 sq. ft. retail center in Palm Desert. This property had been vacant for seven years leading up to the acquisition; since then, it’s been brought back to life and leased to 100% occupancy. In 2020, it was appraised at more than double the initial purchase price after undergoing façade enhancements.
“With Bump and Grind, I would look out of my office window and I would see it [the building] everyday,” Gilbert recalls. “It was empty for years. I cold-called the owner and made a deal with him to buy it from him. We signed two leases while I was in escrow, so I knew I could lease it out. I could take this building that had little to no interest and turn it into a center where people wanted to be. The fact that I was doing this right before the COVID shutdown that happened in early 2020—and we not only survived but thrived—shows a bit about our perseverance and ingenuity as well.”
Technology, especially social media, has helped to increase sales and return on investment for many organizations, Gilbert notes, and it’s helped The Firm reach its audience as well.
“I grew up on social media. It’s an excellent source for getting my story and properties out there. It was top of mind. We are always posting, especially commercial real estate, not a lot of people were doing this five to six years ago. So, I was able to carve a niche using these platforms,” Gilbert says, noting that increasing exposure via social media ads leads to greater reach and, ultimately, revenue, than traditional advertising alone.
“In the last three months alone, we’ve acquired over $250,000 worth of leases due to our social media outreach and content creation,” he says.
The Firm’s accomplishments are also driven by the team’s desire to connect the Coachella Valley and Inland Empire business communities.
“People trust me to work with them,” Gilbert says. “You are going to trust people who are top producers in the market. Now, clients work with me in this capacity because I know the market and create value.”
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