Real Estate Investing for Cash Flow – Kevin Bupp Podcast with Ira Singer


Expanding a Successful Construction Company from the Culture Up – with Ira Singer

Speaker 1: You’ve been searching for the best way to generate passive income in your life, and heard that real estate is a great way to do it. But you’re tired of all the so-called gurus, who are all talk and no substance. Get ready to celebrate because Kevin Bupp has spent 14 years successfully making it happen.

This is the Real Estate Investing for Cash Flow podcast. Now, here’s Kevin Bupp.

Kevin Bupp: Hey, guys. Kevin Bupp here. I want to welcome you to another episode of the Real Estate Investing for Cash Flow podcast. Our mission is to help you build and maintain massive amounts of cash flow through income-producing real estate investments. Now, our guest for this week’s show is real estate investment and construction expert, Ira Singer. Ira has been a principal of Mosaic Construction since 2005 and currently leads new business development, estimating, construction production, project management, and the management of trade partner and vendor relationships for Mosaic Construction.

Kevin Bupp: Guys, now, without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest for today’s show, Ira Singer. Ira, how are you doing today my friend?

Ira Singer: Kevin, doing great. Thank you. Appreciate time on the phone and the introduction, so I’m looking forward to the conversation.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah. Looking forward to having you here. You bring a breath of knowledge and experience on the construction trade to this call, which is … Your expertise is one that we haven’t necessarily had on the show before. It’s interesting because we’re going to take it from a little bit of a different angle today. We interview many different investors that specialize in different types of asset types. We’ve had, I don’t know, probably 100 multifamily guys on the show over the years. We’ve had retail guys, office guys, student housing guys, senior housing guys on the show, and gals. I shouldn’t just say guys. Guys and gals that are in the investment side of the space.

Kevin Bupp: Well, those folks are basically your clients. They hire your team, your construction firm, which is on a national scale, to help them with their projects. Whether it be rent large scale renovation projects, new builds and probably everything in between. Real excited to take it from this perspective and dive into your business and what it is you guys do over there at Mosaic. But before we do, Ira, maybe if you could take a few minutes. I gave you a very brief introduction. Your background’s much more extensive than that. Take a few minutes and tell our listeners a little bit more about yourself and really how you got started in this business.

Ira Singer: I’d be happy to. All of those different asset class owners are potential clients for Mosaic Construction. We’ve had a breadth of experience that didn’t start that way.

Ira Singer: I was in the window business, straight out of school in 1990. In 1993, I started my first window, siding, roofing company that was catering to homeowners. Was successful at that, had a partner in that. Learned trade by residential work. Going in and picking up clients one at a time. That led to some business introductions of real estate owners. A couple of years into business we were working on multifamily construction doing window replacements on a large scale basis, 300, 500, 600 windows, either vinyl or aluminum.

Ira Singer: That, of course, continued into interior renovation work because while we’re there, a trusted contractor, which is an important component of an investment in real estate, to have a trusted GC. They ask the question. They’re happy with our window work, so we got started on doing all kinds of different makeovers, and all kinds of different multifamily projects. Whether it was senior housing, and it was in units, or whether it was market rate apartments in with amenity spaces, or common area spaces. The senior housing market is all about safety and accessibility. There’s all kinds of different value adds and different projects that we’ve been involved in.

Ira Singer: When you say, “Yes,” to the universe in terms of, “Sure, we can do that. Sure we can help you with that.” My partner, Andy, he’s a design specialist. He’s an architect by degree. As we became partners 15 years after I started my first company, we decided that design build is really the best way to work through the construction process. If we have that kind of relationship with the client, so we can bring design and construction pre-budgeting through the project, understand the scope of work, and really be a construction partner to the effort.

Ira Singer: It’s one thing to do design, bid, build where the owner/investor hires an architect, and there is a project design, and there is a budget that they’re hoping to land on. Then it goes through the bid process to the three to five GCs, and the numbers are all over the board because there are things that my trades will see onsite at the walkthrough of an existing project that the architect may not have figured, that we provide in our RFI on. All of a sudden, my intellectual property and knowledge goes out to the general masses to go out to say, “Here are some other things that we figured out.” The numbers blow the budget.

Ira Singer: So we prefer the design/build methodology. It helps the client. It helps the management team. It helps everybody streamline the construction process, which is how it all comes together for Mosaic Construction. That’s really what we’re after, the pieces of the puzzle. We’ll call them the beautiful stones of a Mosaic landscape, where individually, the plumbing, the heating, the flooring, all that stuff looks great. But when you bring this together and you deliver a project that is the vision of the investor, the vision of the owner or management company, you really have made a real improvement in the project, the value of the project, the homeowner or resident’s experience. That’s what we’re about.

Kevin Bupp: Okay. Thank you for that. I appreciate you giving that background. I guess the one question that pops up, that I’d like to get out there real quick is that, when would it make more sense? Or what would encourage an investor to go with a architectural firm separately from a design/build firm like you guys offer? Right? I mean to go with an architect, and then bring it, put it out for bid to the marketplace, which it can become a very messy process. I mean when would somebody maybe see the advantage of doing it that way versus just coming to you guys and getting the one stop shop?

Ira Singer: We have clients working with us both ways. Design/build, where they are talking to us and we’re bringing the design, and they see that as a requirement of a large scale improvement project. It’s going to impact their property. They’re not going to clear out their property. The residents are going to be living there. And whether it’s window replacement, and we’re in and out of a unit in a day, or it’s units and we’re in there for longer, the design and the selection of finishes is why an owner goes to an architect first. To say, “Okay.”

Ira Singer: Forget an even new construction where clearly there has to be an architect and engineering in the position to design it out of the ground. I’m talking about existing structures where there’s got to be a refresh. There’s a code compliance issue. There’s a life safety issue. There’s upgrades that have to happen. The ceiling with owner/investors is that it’s going to need a permit. I’ve got to get an architect involved. That is, I think, just the natural progression of where … We’re in the bidding wars. We bid competitively as well as getting jobs that are custom for us, where we have repeat clients that use us without bidding, but it’s a competitive landscape.

Ira Singer: I think that it is, frankly, the investors’ due diligence to get multiple bids, even though I don’t want to bid against a lot of other GCs. Hopefully the relationship I have with the client is what tilts it in my favor assuming I’ve got [inaudible 00:07:40] covered, pricing covered, management covered, et cetera. The design piece, the key piece, it’s one thing to go in and say, “We’re gonna replace all the windows.” We don’t need an architect involved in that. We might have an engineer that’s going to spec out the product, and the installation methodology, because there’s an ongoing leak at the window openings, and 10% of the openings. So they know that they have to extract the old, and an engineer might be involved.

Ira Singer: But when you’re talking about unit makeovers or lobby makeovers or fitness center adds, or accessibility changes, you need an architect. There’s going to be a permit. There’s going to be inspections from the municipality. We’re going to handle that. That’s part of our oversight. If we come in early enough, we can help drive the budget for reality based on what their vision is of the project.

Ira Singer: So we’ve done enough units to know that an affordable housing might put $15,000.00, $18,000.00 into a unit to make it tax credit worthy, passing for the monies that they’re borrowing. Where are market rate units could be $35,000.00-$40,000.00 because they’re putting in really nice finishes, and they have to get the rent bump, so they’ve got to spend that kind of money.

Kevin Bupp: Got it. Got it. Okay. Appreciate that. I’d love to talk about your expansion from when you joined the organization. It doesn’t sound like it was a national firm at that time, but correct me if I’m wrong there. What I’m gathering from this is it was a … Folks would reach out. “Hey, can you guys do this? We’re in this location.” “Yeah, we can do that. We can do that.” Saying yes to a lot of different projects really forced you guys to expand your reach. Not just in only different asset types, but also different markets. I mean, pretty quickly.

Ira Singer: That’s right.

Kevin Bupp: So you guys have grown into a national firm very, very quickly. I would love to maybe learn about some of the challenges that were associated with going from a more localized or regional base to a national level.

Ira Singer: It’s an interesting story. There’s a client that hired us for three specific projects in the Chicago land market, and was taking down a property four hours away, almost in Missouri. We said, “Yes,” because we were his trusted contractor. We went to almost Missouri to do the project hiring mostly local trades from the southwest Illinois corridor. We used a technology, a software search platform, that invests trades for us. We have the Mosaic way, if you will. Our trade partners are extremely important to us. The relationships we have. We source them locally. Some of our trades from the Chicago market traveled to the project. But that taught us that we could go out and manage our process with trades that had a clear understanding of their scope. We had an onsite manager to run the project. We were down there a couple of times a week, seeing it happen.

Ira Singer: It wasn’t trial and error. It was try, succeed, and then the client went to another state and bought something. And then the client went to another state and bought something. As a result, we started going to Pennsylvania and Maryland. We were always adjacent to Illinois over the last 15 years doing either multifamily or custom residential or some boutique commercial in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and as far west as Iowa, which are the adjacent states to Illinois.

Ira Singer: Beyond that, you can’t use your guys. You’ve got to source local trades. It’s been exciting. Because the municipalities we’re working in, were bringing business into their area. We get licensed. We manage construction. That’s what we do. We’re driven by Mosaic actions. Whether it’s a small window project in a single family home, or a commercial project. We want to anticipate needs, and we build relationships to start. We have a way. The Mosaic way is open communication, transparency, close the loop on open items at the end with punch lists. When you’re doing that in construction, and you have clients that understand the value of that so they don’t have to babysit the GC and babysit the project, they can focus on their investments. They can focus on their next deal. There’s a tremendous amount of value in us being able to travel and expand our boundaries beyond the state.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah. Okay. Great. Great. I’d like you to discuss a little bit about finding the right clients. Now, we’ve been talking about it from the angle of your clients, seeking your services and hiring you as a construction firm. But there’s a flip side of that as well. Just like how owning an apartment complex, like we’re seeking to find the right residents that fit there. That fit in well.

Ira Singer: Right.

Kevin Bupp: Right? That are going to pay the rent on time. They’re going to be good, law abiding, and rule following residents.

Kevin Bupp: Well let’s talk about from growing into a large national firm, being selective with finding the right clients that ultimately fit your mold. That understand your core philosophy and how you run your company. That are a good fit for a working relationship. Do you guys have a particular approach that you take in finding those right clients to work with?

Ira Singer: We’re a relationship-based company. We do a lot of charity work, which has us serving on boards. Really, the character of the people, we’re doing quite a bit. I mean you found Mosaic Construction through press release. We’re expanding our reach, and we’re certainly having new relationships develop, which is exciting because we’ve got a good story. We have a proven concept that allows us to be a trusted construction partner for somebody seeking. But we’re going to vet the way you would in terms of your screening for your residents, who you’re bringing in to your deal from an investment point of view. You have certain metrics that you’re measuring.

Ira Singer: One of three partners, our expansion into multi-state is … When we tell people in the Chicago market that we’re working in Maryland and they thought we were a local company, the generosity of people is to say, “Oh, I have a brother that’s in real estate in Maryland. I didn’t know that you expanded.” So communicating our story and setting up success partners and attending conferences and stuff, … So we go to multifamily conferences. We’re members of the local Chicago Apartment Association. We’re visible in the community. We built a good name. I think that good people are interested in working with trusted partners. Someone they like. They get to know us, and they bring us along. I don’t know that there’s a secret sauce recipe there, except that Andy, Mike and I are really good at building relationships and working in the community, and having an impeccable reputation. That really helps.

Kevin Bupp: You just shared that secret sauce. It’s there. It’s the ability to build great relationships and your role within the community. So you did share that secret sauce. That is real. That’s there. That’s part of your system of process.

Kevin Bupp: Let’s talk about some of the different asset types and niches that you guys are in today. I mean where do you say you’re spending your most time? Is it in the multifamily space? I mean being that, you can go into any market across the country right now, and maybe that applies also to student housing and senior housing. Because you could probably go to pretty much any major or secondary market and find a if not one, multiple projects going up in any one of these different asset types. But is there a place where you’re spending a majority of your time today?

Ira Singer: I would say that between the multifamily category, which really we break down into market, affordable, senior and student. Typically, multiples of the same, so all the corridors become a 20 corridor project that is … They’re not going to do one. They’re going to do the building. The type of work that we’re doing in the student housing community, and the multifamily community at large, as well as commercial projects, office build outs, vanilla box spaces, retail makeovers on facades, so the shopping center. It’s old and tired. It’s going to get a brand new facelift with literally an architect in structure being put on top the roof line and a driveway finish with nice signage, nice monument signage, parking lot stuff in a retail.

Ira Singer: There’s no end to what owners and investors will spend because the trend is, at least I would say even more in the mid- major market, … So I’m in the sub-market of Milwaukee. I live just over the state line in Wisconsin. The I-94 corridor, going from Illinois up to Madison, is on fire. There is development work because of major industry that’s come to the area. There is rehab of existing stock. You could buy something that’s a single family home, fix it up, and hold it for rent, and call yourself a multifamily owner because you have 15 of them in Racine or in Kenosha. You would be successful.

Ira Singer: It doesn’t matter the asset class. The reality is that real estate ownership and longterm hold for a multifamily or a retail space or a commercial office, they’re buying to invest and hold it. They’re typically not holding it, and buying it as is, with doing nothing. There’s a full scale needs assessment done on that investment before they buy it. They do their due diligence. They know the roof is compromised. They know the lighting isn’t up to code. They know the life safety stuff needs to be changes. ADA accessibility items. All of a sudden, they’re buying a multimillion dollar asset, and they immediately have a $500,000.00 spend just to get the building where they can start bringing in renters.

Ira Singer: I could go on and on about specific types of projects where we’ve made it community accessible because it was tax credit financing coming in. One of the initiatives of the money, one of the directives was we have to have 10% so the community fully accessible. That’s work. That’s not just swapping out counters and cabinets and flooring and a paint job. That’s widening doorways. That’s doing different cabinetry. That’s paying attention to all the grab bars, and plumbing and electric codes for light switch locations. You really have to have a smart construction partner to understand that, so it’s done the right way, and expectations are met, inspections are passed.

Kevin Bupp: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. Fantastic. I appreciate that. How did Mosaic fair during 2007-2009? Were you guys a national firm at that point in time?

Ira Singer: We were not. The recent national reach is due to the medical cannabis work, which is what has allowed us to spread our wings over the last four years as Illinois became a licensed state. But that’s not specific to what we’re talking about. It’s just when you look at the national reach, from 2000-2009, so much was going on as we were growing and merging what was my prior window, siding, roofing company doing some multifamily work with my partner, the designer who is the architect, who does custom design/build, and a lot of boutique commercial.

Ira Singer: As we were figuring that out, thankfully we had decent sized contracts that came into the company. Me, I had a multifamily secure project in the Indiana market. My partner, selling a custom residential job that was over a million dollars for a whole house makeover. Jobs like that sustained us as a smaller company during the downturn. We leveraged our relationships. We made sure that we focused on the short term, because there really was no long term play.

Ira Singer: It was a scary time. Many of our company trades in construction that weren’t running successful businesses got caught in a collateralized, exposed state. They disappeared. We didn’t have a Phoenix rising, we just we’ve done some really good things. We’ve always been flexible. We’ve always been relationship-based. We’ve always relied on transparency and integrity, and contractors don’t have the greatest of reputations. So when you find people that care about the asset, that treat it as if I owned it when my trades are onsite, when there’s a schedule to keep, when there are needs that we have to pay attention to because it’s a fully lived in space and we’re guests in the property, all those things translate to long term success. Because we’re relationship guys at the beginning, we want to see everything come together at the end exceeding our expectations of our clients.

Ira Singer: I won’t say it wasn’t hard. I think we had some good luck with some hard work mixed in. Coming out of 2009, we’ve really been on an upward trajectory for our business in expanding our asset classes. We weren’t doing a ton of office at the time in 2009-10. But you start saying yes, doing one, and then they liked what you did, so they hire you on another asset they own. You’re doing a third one, and then a sixth one. All of a sudden, you’ve got a cache of a project portfolio that everyone’s impressed with. It looks really nice.

Ira Singer: It’s a good story because we’ve worked hard. We’ve trusted our partnership. We’ve got some very key teammates on our inside staff. People we do employ that work hard, and the project management and production coordination, to make sure that what goes on behind the curtain is some of the chaos of construction, but what’s going on in the front, on the stage, at the production of the renovation project, that our clients are in the loop. That they are informed. That they are being given as much information daily. Daily updates are part of what we do. Daily logs are part of what we do. Forecasting our schedule three weeks out are things that we do. Smart management practices that are, again, part of the Mosaic actions, if you will.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah, you and your two partners, it sounds like you really treat things like they’re your own. Right? I mean these projects that you treated as though your clients’ money is your own money that you’re spending on that project, so you really take that personalized approach to it. How do you go about finding staff that really follows that same core philosophy as you and your two other partners?

Ira Singer: That’s a very transparent conversation during onboarding. I mean when we’re interviewing. We are in a growth mode, and we’ve got new team members coming on currently, next week. We’re double the size we were about a year and a half ago. We have a culture. We work hard with our outside consultants. We have a strategy consultant for our three to five year growth. We have a branding and a sales and marketing consultant that work with us to make sure that we’re having a healthy culture. That our team understands what we’re out there trying to accomplish every day. That’s like all hands in the middle. There’s a tremendous amount of trust.

Ira Singer: We’re like a small family business, but our revenue and our scalability and our size doesn’t … You think about a “mom-and-pop” privately owned business that’s doing $10 million. They’ve got five people in it. At this point, we’re a team of nine. We’re going to be 11 in the next month or so. We have been very fortunate to get the buy-in. We incentivize. It’s a tight job market out there so we want to make sure that we take care of our team. We meet often. We’d like to think that the people are happy working for Mosaic Construction because of the effort that we put into our projects, because of the success we’ve had on our projects, the trust that we have, the reliance that we have. It’s a good story.

Kevin Bupp: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. That’s fantastic. Do you develop for a personal ownership basis in any of these properties? Or is it this is strictly hired services that you guys are offering?

Ira Singer: We are hired services. We are not developers. We don’t compete with any of our owner/investors. We have been approached to put our construction in as part of the deal, and we’ve looked at a couple of those because those are expansion opportunities, but the right deal hasn’t come in front of us. So to date, we are contract for hire construction partners, construction managers.

Ira Singer: One of those things that I think separates us is there’s so much about hidden fees in construction. We are typically working off of a sworn statement, a stipulated sum contract. Our fees are transparent for our overhead, our profit, our management, and general conditions, of course, for cleaning and dumpsters and whatever. But those are line items in the transparent bid to say that the plumbing is this much. The HVAC is this much. The flooring is that much. Those are the trade costs that we’re buying it at. We have no incentive to say, “Okay, it’s gonna be this much money for cost. Let’s throw 32% on it and hope the client buys it.”

Ira Singer: That’s not how we formulate construction. We do it based on our time and our investment to manage that project and steward it. That puts us in the driver’s seat of making sure it happens on our projected timeframe. Because we’re figuring our time, and if it goes on for two months longer, not only is the client unhappy because we blew the deliver date, but we’re managing it for two months longer, and we’re not going back to the client and saying, “Hey, we’ve got two more months on this thing.” Ultimately we are really exact in trying to figure out our fees because, like they buy the plumbing, they buy Mosaic for their professional relationship to manage it and take care of all the miscellaneous stuff. That’s not typical in our business, to be transparent. There’s a lot of hidden costs, if you will, and it just makes it easier to … They know they’re getting the best opportunity to work transparently on a stipulated sum the way we approach contract work.

Kevin Bupp: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. No. Fantastic. I’d like to ask you a question. I’m going to change gears a little bit here and really go back to the time when you were just merging your window company with Mosaic and starting what is now known today as a national construction company with a great, successful track record. Knowing what you know today, going through all the growth of these last … I guess, how many years have it been? 10 years?

Ira Singer: I’m 28 years in business, and 15 with my current partner.

Kevin Bupp: 15. Okay. Going back to 15 years, if you could give yourself some advice back when you were first getting with your current partners and starting what is now known as Mosaic, what advice would you give yourself?

Ira Singer: Well, I think the thing that has really improved in our company is the processes and the forms and the agreements that things are done this way, so we can search the server and find what we want. When we were bringing two different companies together with two different styles of filing and culture, I think that was probably the biggest thing.

Ira Singer: Andy and I had known each other since college, 20 years prior to that before we became partners. We knew each other. We were not the same. We’ve taken a good look at how we started, and we’re far away from that business model when we first got together trying to figure things out. Certainly an inside organizational process for how a job gets sold, and how a job gets handed off from sales to production, and one of the steps in pre-construction and how do we manage a project.

Ira Singer: Our project managers and production coordinators are understanding of this, which allows for us to all speak the same vocabulary and be able to, “I’m gonna go on vacation next week.” Someone’s going to step into the projects that are under Mosaic Construction, and because there are processes in place, that is going to be a fairly seamless handoff to another project manager at Mosaic versus 15 years ago when we were figuring that stuff out. We really didn’t understand what we needed to do to create a value proposition in the world of construction, and we’ve figured that out.

Kevin Bupp: Got it. Got it. Okay. Okay. You shared a lot of great golden nuggets with us here today, Ira. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you here. But if you had … I hope you’ve got one left up your sleeve that you could share with us. If you do have one in the sleeve or in your pocket that you’re hiding, golden nugget of advice or wisdom that you could leave with our listeners that may inspire, or motivate them as they progress in their real estate investing career, what might that one last gold nugget be?

Ira Singer: Well, the gold nugget is if you’re an investor and you’re looking for to make the asset worth what you’re buying. Whether you’re buying it under market or you’re buying it before it’s on the market, you still have a plan for your strategy. Whether it’s a flip, whether it’s a long term hold, so the construction partner in the deal is really … I won’t say it’s underrated because we know the value that we bring to a project. But I think that owner/investors think that they can hire just any contractor and as select as they are on their due diligence of going through their sifting of all the properties they look at and finally deciding to pull the trigger and go hard on one, and take it down and make it through their vision. A construction partner is key.

Ira Singer: I don’t think there is a tremendous amount of decision making, bringing that person on early in the process, where we pre-walk the final two or three assets that are being considered so we can help with the due diligence process and create real numbers for various components of construction. I think that, that is something that a good construction partner will do. The reality of triage in construction is something that we … We’ve heard all the war stories. You’ve owned real estate. You’ve got war stories. We want to be in the driver’s seat when the project leaves the gate because we feel that we have a really good opportunity to even out some of the highs and lows that go along with construction, especially over a long term project where you’re at the asset, remodeling it for four months, six months, eight months. It can really go on.

Ira Singer: Being able to close the loop and anticipate the needs of the project when it’s that large scale, those are key things. I mean I should ask you Kevin. As the owner/investor, when you hire contractors, is it your preference to babysit them and watch the project get done? Or are you better off doing the things that you do that create balance and create value in your business life? If you could wave your magic wand and find a good contractor, would that help you?

Kevin Bupp: Oh, my God. You surely know the answer to this question that you’re asking me. Yeah. It’s surely the biggest pain point that we, even today, that we experience in our own company. We’re in many different markets, many different states. It’s really hard to go to a new market and reestablish new relationship and get that off the ground, and find someone that we truly can just wave that magic wand, and know that, the project’s going to get done correctly, and we don’t have to babysit it.

Kevin Bupp: I can’t tell you that we’ve mastered that to date. So yes.

Ira Singer: That’s hard.

Kevin Bupp: That’s very hard.

Ira Singer: Yeah. I mean we’ve got 750 units that we’ve remodeled in a lot of … In a residential and commercial square footage, and roofs. Over 20,000 windows that we’ve put in. There’s a certain peace of mind that comes with … You hire. You buy a multifamily, you think you have to find a multifamily contractor. You buy a commercial office building, you think you have to find a commercial office remodeling specialist. We are fortunate that we have existed in all of these different asset classes.

Ira Singer: So for us, it’s about construction management. It’s about process. It’s about having the right trade teams in place and understand the scope and a good set of plans to build off of, so we can do the quarterbacking, the producing and the directing, if you will, of the production, while the trades and the designers, who are providing the pretty stuff and the necessary stuff, they’re like the stars of the show.

Ira Singer: One thing that I’m proud of, we have a CAPs designation in our office. A Certified Aging in Place specialist. When you’re a CAPs specialist, that means you’ve gone through a course load that allows you to understand the aging in place market both in the multifamily and in the single family space. There are specific needs for certain maladies. If you have macular degeneration, if you have bad joints, if you are living in a wheelchair, there are doorways that need to be wide. There are sinks that need to be safe. There are grab bars that need to be in place. We understand through the CAPs course and our experience of construction, what that means. And yes, an architect should understand the ADA code. Even the universal design code, which is even a deeper dive into ADA. It’s a way to make the building feel like it belongs to everybody, even though you’ve made special accommodations for a certain population.

Ira Singer: So knowing that and being able to bring that knowledge to what they’re doing in a senior housing community, I’m sure that the owners should know this, but knowing that the construction guy can ask the question, “Have you thought about this?” It’s just there’s a value to the experience of not being in one lane of, we’re in the multifamily space only, senior housing, that’s all we do. Well, no. We’re in all kinds of different asset renovations and so the general knowledge seems to help with some cross-pollination when you’re looking at the various types of projects that we’ve been involved in.

Kevin Bupp: Well, it sounds like I need to get you guys involved in the manufactured housing community space so we can have the trusted partner that we can rely on across the country in all the communities that we purchase.

Ira Singer: Yeah.

Kevin Bupp: Although-

Ira Singer: I would love to talk to you about that.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah. Yeah. Well, Ira, this has been an absolute pleasure. I really appreciate you coming to the show. This has been a lot of fun. Lots of great information. Lots of insights. Just kudos to you for all the success that you guys have had over the years, and growing from a small, localized company to a national firm, and really becoming experts in all these different niches.

Kevin Bupp: One thing that you just touched on briefly, which we’re not going to have time to chat about here today, is you guys are now stepping into the cannabis trade. Building cannabis specific properties. That’s a topic in and of itself. But you guys are becoming the … You basically are gaining the expertise and becoming the masters in each one of these individual niches. Not really creating that silo affect, which a lot of construction companies do. Right? They become the experts at one thing, because they feel like they don’t want to divert their focus and lose focus by going and becoming the multifamily guy, the office guy. But you guys have seemingly mastered that process of becoming great at a little bit of everything. So that’s wonderful, that’s really hard to do. That’s quite impressive.

Ira Singer: Thank you. Appreciate that.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah.

Ira Singer: Thank you. We’ve been intentional, so it’s not by accident. By saying yes to people who come to us and they have different types of assets, and there’s trust there, and they have a need and we can fill it. That’s true. That’s how the cannabis space started. He was a retail, an office client of ours, and was awarded licenses in Illinois. Ultimately has built his enterprise, I think we’re between design work, which is nine builds. On the front end of construction, or in pre-production or in production or completed, I think we’re on our 26th or 27th cannabis project from dispensary to cultivation to processing in an exciting ride. That’s a conversation for another show. But I would love to have my partner, Andy, speak with you about the last four years of a rocket ship trajectory in the medical cannabis world.

Kevin Bupp: Yeah. I would love that. I would love that. I think we’re being connected by someone there at your company, so looking forward to having that conversation with your associate about the cannabis industry.

Kevin Bupp: We’re just about out of time now, Ira. But again, really appreciate you coming to the show. Folks, if you want to learn more about Ira and his company, you can go visit them at I’ll be sure to put that into the show notes as well.

Kevin Bupp: Ira, that’s all we have my friend. Again, really appreciate you coming to the show. It’s been a lot of fun. I learned a lot, and I think we added a lot of value to the listeners as well, so thank you very much for your time.

Ira Singer: Kevin, thank you so much. Really, really enjoyed the experience. Yes, great questions. Your resume speaks for itself. I’m all about the relationship. So being able to talk about it is great, but for me it doesn’t end with that. I want to continue to build on the opportunities. So I look forward to our paths crossing, and enjoyed this very much. Thank you.

Kevin Bupp: Thank you, Ira.