Dylan Marma and Mike Taravella interview Bruce Wuollet, the founder and the current owner of Bakerson. Growing up in the bakery business in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Bruce wanted to pay homage to his now late father; hence the name “Bakerson”. After trying his hands in a few different ventures in Minnesota, Chicago and Phoenix, he finally found his passion in real estate. He has a proven track record of success throughout Bakerson’s 16 years in business with thousands of individual units bought, repositioned and sold. Bruce has overseen all aspects of the business including operations, acquisition, project leadership, equity fund management, property specific syndications, legal, finance and more. His focus is finding good deals while his passion is serving the residents by providing them with one of their basic human needs – shelter. Prior to launching Bakerson in 2002, he served on the acquisition team at a Phoenix-based real estate investment company.
Nov 5, 2019
Bruce goes over his evolution from successful house flipper doing over 300 house per year, closing various escrows on his flips and how he transitioned from using hard money to raising money using multifamily syndication to grow his business. Now he wants to expand out of AZ and into new markets.
for investment opportunities visit https://www.bakerson.com
Sep 27, 2019
Bruce began working in real estate in 2001 with tax lien foreclosures. It was during this time he learned how to research public records, to understand how title works and the legal side of real estate. He soon realized the huge opportunity in pursuing vacant homes that were not in tax lien foreclosure. By the summer of the 2002 he had picked up 3 investment homes, a duplex & a triplex. In the first year and a half he was introduced to private financing, deal partnering, cash flow and forced equity.
In October of 2002 Bruce partnered with Jack Martin to form Bakerson, LLC. Bruce’s knowledge for title work coupled with his ability and experience in research as well as his passion for the legal side of real estate makes each transaction that much more secure.
Efficient systems within the organization are key to profitability and expansion. Bruce has a unique ability to build new systems as well as streamline existing ones.
Prior to real estate Bruce was an executive recruiter for four years; two years in Minneapolis and two years in Chicago. During these four years he was the top recruiter for the company. He quickly learned what it meant to keep a full pipeline of activity. The training and experience he learned in human relations as a recruiter is invaluable.
Bruce grew up in family bakery business in Minnesota. He started working with his father part-time in 1980. Over the next 16 years he was able to work in all areas of the business from baking to cake decorating to sales to deliveries. Each one of these departments gave Bruce a unique perspective to life and business: efficiency is key and life is all about the relationships we build.
In 1987 Bruce moved to Finland for a year to attend a college prep school. Living in a foreign land where little English was spoken was quite the experience. He soon came to realize that the way things are done in the States is not the only way. The lesson learned was to compare and contrast and keep an open mind.
Give Bruce a follow on these platforms:
These are properties that the majority of investors would avoid like the plague. However, for Bruce, doing this heavy lifting, as he calls it, is not only financially rewarding but also hugely impactful to the community. Many of these buildings are in disrepair and hotspots for crime, but through hard work and effort, the space changes significantly. At the core of Bruce’s work is the desire to create safe, functional communities, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. These foundational values, along with his great track record is what he attributes to continual investment, despite the high risk. When buying a property that requires a lot of work, it is important that you have a strong vision for what it can be and keep focused on that throughout the project. To learn more, join us today!
Key Points From This Episode:
- The asset class that Bakerson is currently focused on and why they have chosen it.
- How Bakerson added value to the 74-unit asset that they currently own.
- Why Bruce chooses properties that require such a large amount of work.
- The financial motivation behind buying a C class property.
- Some things to keep in mind when buying a property that requires a great deal of work.
- How Bruce plans and underwrites for this kind of property.
- What the plans for this building moving forward are.
- How to pitch a unit that is high risk, such as this one, to investors.
- What the initial financing of the property looked like.
- The most valuable thing that Bruce has recently done for his business.
- Why continual communication with investors is so important.
- The two things which have most greatly contributed to Bruce’s success.
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Everyone wants a place to call home, even if they buy or own it. They still have the same desires, wants, and needs of a homeowner— community, safety, and someone who cares.
Today, I’m talking to Bruce Wuollet of Bakerson’s about how to create community, assets that improve areas, and make money. Bakerson’s focus is on Class C workforce housing (a.k.a. permanent renters).
Topics on Today’s Episode:
- Create community by quickly responding to and handling problems; treat tenants with dignity and respect; and be disciplined to take pride in property
- Raise Capital: Switching from friends and family to tapping into LinkedIn
- Find New Leads: Getting more deals and capital require wide network of friends/family and steady supply of new leads
- Teach and Share What You Know: Podcast platform promotes Bakerson’s story
- Where is wealth? How do you create wealth? Create passive income
- What’s the difference between holding a property for 3 or 10 years? No one knows, so play the long game to create legacy wealth
- Job Well Done: Do what you said you would do when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it
- Communication is Critical: If investors are happy and their equity is growing, you’re growing along with them; good or bad news, they just want news
Links and Resources Mentioned:
- Bruce Wuollet’s Email
- Bakerson LLC
- Bruce Wuollet on LinkedIn
- Money Radio
- Fort Lowell Realty Property Management
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
- Kahuna Investments
- Michael Blank
- Multifamily Legacy Podcast on YouTube
- Multifamily Legacy Podcast on Facebook
Quotes by Bruce Wuollet:
“Our focus is the permanent renter. The one who may never own a home and would like to live in one.”
“There’s people that don’t pay their bills…they got to go. (They) don’t fit our community. You’re not taking care of what you’re supposed to take care of.”
“You want a clean community. Just doing the right things right is really powerful.”
“You’re not going to grow without learning.”