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  • Writer's pictureJohn Casmon

Partner with Your Competition with Chris Pomerleau and Collin Schwartz

Unlike single-family investing, multifamily is a team sport, and developing successful partnerships is a proven way to scale a portfolio. There are so many skills involved from finding deals, analyzing deals, making offers, managing renovations, and property management. It’s critical to build a great team and that starts with an ideal partner. But how do you find a great partner? There are various ways to find the perfect alliance, but an interesting approach is to partner with your competition. This is exactly what Chris Pomerleau and Collin Schwartz did.

After Chris and Collin found themselves competing on the same properties, they decided to sit down and see if joining the same team would create a winning partnership. Together, they launched Park Ave Capital which invests in multifamily properties in the heartland of America. Their focus markets include Omaha, Tulsa, Sioux Falls, and Kansas City.

Chris has a background in law and served in the military. Collin created his own property management company after getting his start in retail. Together, they bring a complementary set of skills to find, renovate, and manage properties. They have a portfolio with over 700 units under management and continue to grow.

In this episode, we discuss best practices for forming and running a partnership, insights on the Omaha market and what makes it unique, the challenges of building a winning culture as a property management firm, and comparing the pros and cons of running an in-house PM company to utilizing a third party property manager.

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Key Insights on Partnering with Your Competition

  • Both live in Omaha Nebraska, Chris was in the military and practicing law; Collin started a PM firm

  • They invest in Sioux Falls, Tulsa, and Omaha with 700 units under management

  • Competed on deals and then decided to partner

  • Found themselves replicating tasks early in the partnership

  • Splitting roles and profits in a partnership

  • One key solution for partnerships: constant deal flow

It’s important to just figure out who is doing what
  • Omaha falls in line with opportunities in the Midwest - less appreciation, less volatility

  • Less competition from larger institutions and syndications, ability to find mom and pop owners where there is a value-add opportunity

  • Omaha was ranked as one of the top 5 markets during COVID by YARDI for rental increase

  • First National Bank, Union-Pacific Railroad, and Mutual of Omaha are stable employers

  • Property management is difficult until you set up systems and get a good team

Take care of your residents, employees, and contractors
  • Collin only focuses on managing their own assets in Omaha

  • Third-Party Property Management vs. In-House Property Management

Bullseye Tips:

Apparent Failure:

Using the agent’s pro forma to analyze a property and not including enough reserves

Digital Resource:

Syndication Pro

Most Recommended Book:

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Daily Habit:

Waking up early, journaling, writing down goals

Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out:

Don’t do everything yourself and think bigger

Best Place to Grab a Bite:

Block 16


Contact Chris and Collin:

LinkedIn for Chris and Collin


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