Born in California, but today calls Nashville, Tennessee home, real estate developer Meg Epstein has over a decade of experience creating
efficient, modern lifestyles for people where it matters most: their homes and neighborhoods. Developing and establishing spaces that support whole living and simplify home and work life for individuals is a personal passion of hers.
Nashville has experienced meteoric growth for the last several years with national firms developing $100m to $1B hotel, office, and residential projects. What in your opinion is causing this rapid growth?
The perfect combination of music, culture, friendliness, a pro-business oriented government and favorable taxes. House prices are still low compared to the coasts and the quality of life and traffic are much better. The real question is why aren’t MORE people moving here faster, and after this pandemic, I think they will.
What are the investment benefits of investing in real estate secondary markets vs. established first-tier markets?
Secondary markets are less efficient. Therefore there are more opportunities. There is less capital chasing deals. Therefore there are more good deals. At the institutional deal level size, Nashville has gotten more competitive. But there are still opportunities for sophisticated mid-sized developers like us who aren’t scared to venture into up-and-coming neighborhoods.
What would you tell real estate investors who may wonder if they have missed the window of opportunity since returns in Nashville have been so strong?
If you’re investing in single family homes, you’ve missed the window. I would recommend going to secondary cities around the major metropolitan area in Nashville. Places like Mt. Juliet and Hendersonville are areas where we’re making investments now where we believe there are still opportunities for small investors. Or, you can invest in our fund. We have a $150k minimum and have access to great deals.
Please tell us more about your Réaliste Fund I. What types of assets is the fund allocating capital to?
We are doing a combination of asset types. We call it “opportunistic” investing — not to be confused with Opportunity Zone investing — as we do that also, but not in this Fund.
This Fund invests in residential condos, industrial and office buildings. It’s meant to give investors a nice cross-section of exposure to the Nashville market. Target yields for these projects are all in the 18 to 20%+ range.
What is the long term goal and vision of your firm CA South?
We’re already one of the top-performing developers in Nashville and one of the fastest real estate development firms in the Southeast and probably the Country. We’ve grown from $20M in projects to over $300M in about 3 years, that’s a 15X expansion. We’re going to grow to at least a billion in assets under management in the next 2 years.