Serial entrepreneur and real estate development company owner Shawn Bullard is known not only for his business ventures but for also starring in the inaugural season of WE TV’s Match Made In Heaven.
Shawn was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the inner-city streets of Philly. “I’ve seen it all and still lucky to have made it out of my 20’s. a lot of my friends did not, stated Shawn.
Shawn credits overcoming the streets and bad influences for being blessed to be raised in a two-parent household, raised in the church and sports which helped mold him. He was a three-sport athlete in High School, football basketball and track, and he was an All American in track and field. Shawn went to Johnson C Smith his freshman year, left for a semester then transferred to Temple University. He walked onto the football team and became a full scholarship athlete.
After graduating with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management from Temple University, he went on to spend three years playing for the National Football League.
After a bad injury, breaking his femur in a game, he realized he needed to count on something he could control and he realized he needed something that would make great income and provide the lifestyle he was seeking. Overhearing a teammates conversation about buying homes to rent out to college students, a light bulb went off in his head.” Real Estate resonated with me and stuck, stated Bullard.
Shawn answered our editors Q and A to learn more about his career
Q: What are the first steps if our readers want to begin investing in real estate?
A: Read books on the mentality of money and real estate investing, some examples of books I read were: “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “From Good to Great” and more. Follow and listen to real estate investing podcasts and become obsessed with the real estate game.
- Find one or two great contractors that have integrity and does great work to add to your team.
- Also make sure to build or have good credit. You must understand it is not how much the real estate costs, it is a balance of how much it can rent for or what number you can sell it for a profit.
Q: Is it better to do flips or hold on to properties and get rental income in 2021?
A: I’ve always been a build and hold type of guy, because that’s the fastest way to build wealth. Don’t forget about the many tax benefits. If you refinance the property, you get to cash out and still keep the assets, it is the best of both worlds.
That is how I’ve grown my portfolio. But I do flip some homes and condos too as part of my portfolio. I also flip investment properties after I stabilize them or rent them out.
Q: Can you share your story about your first commercial investment?
A: It was a twin Victorian with a hole the size of a crater from the roof down to the basement. I bought it and began renovating. I hired a contractor to fix the building, but I was not seeing the results to justify my payments. One day I walked in and saw three guys painting one window. One painting it, one holding a three-foot ladder and another one watching them. I fired them the next day and started to manage the construction myself. After I had it almost completed, I rented the building to a frat house.
My portfolio is mostly made up of mix used real estate. That’s when a building has commercial space on the first floor and apartments upstairs. I always loved the commercial component because it can help shape a community and you have more influence on how the community will grow. Even with covid-19, I believe mix -use properties are the way to go. Just underwrite the commercial as extra income and not as income needed to make your value.
Q: On a more personal level, who is your favorite designer for clothes?
A: Whatever clothes are affordable and good quality and fits me right. I’ve never been a guy that believed in spending on designer clothes just for the name. That’s money that could go into my business. I use to have to tell my girlfriend a Chanel Bag is the value of a new kitchen in one of my properties, and that new kitchen will bring in a return on investment! But, if I had to choose a designer, I do like Louis Vuitton.
For my personal style, I prefer my clothes and suits fitted and tailored. So lululemon Men’s, Father Sons, and “My Suits” for suits.
Q: What is your favorite car brand?
A: Aston Martin
Q: Since you are a native of Philadelphia and one of our readers wants to visit the city, what restaurants in the city do you like to dine at?
A: Philly is one of the top 5 cities for restaurants in America. My personal favorites are Café La Maude, Ms Tootsies, Pizza Beddia and Frabrika
Q: What you are your favorite vacation spots before Covid-19?
A: I don’t really take vacations. I’ve been a workaholic my whole life, I’ve never even been to the UK but look forward to visiting one day. Also, when I do travel, I try to make it a business trip too. So, I’ll look at some potential real estate deals where ever I go. But I feel like Miami is my second home because I travel there often for business. It has everything you need, restaurants, shopping, beaches and so much more to offer then just south beach. Also, there are cultures from around the world in Miami, which makes it fun to experience.
Q: What Are Your Goals for 2021?
A: I added 40 units to my portfolio in 2019 so I hope to at least duplicate that or double it, and to launch my ZADDY Men’s Skincare line. More importantly be happy and healthy!
Thanks to Shawn for taking the time to share his personal and business story.