Jimmy Moore


Episode 29.

Jimmy Moore, Co-Founder at Camellia House

00:00:00 – 00:02:59

Birmingham, Alabama real estate is white hot. I cannot go to a conference now without running into a slew of Alabama based investors, and there are a million great reasons for the bullish market down there. I met with Jimmy Moore, partner at Camellia House, a few weeks back at a conference in Nashville. Want to hear about a hundred and twenty thousand dollars sewer issue? Take a listen to this week’s episode. Thanks for joining. You’re listening to the real estate of things podcast. Welcome to the real estate of things podcast. I’m your host, Dalton Elliott, joined today by Jimmy Moore. Jimmy as a partner at Camelia and Jimmy, thank you so much for joining now. You and I met was a couple weeks ago now in Nashville. Yea, and yeah, thanks for carving out some time to chat with me, of course. Man, thanks for having me on. I really enjoyed connecting with you guys at Nash Fool and Man y’All. Y’All were just very generous to hang out with US and look forward to this podcast. Man, yeah, it was a fun time. I was actually my first time in Nashville. I’ve been all over the contrary, been all over the world, admittedly, and somehow I haven’t been to Nashville, which is five hours away from me. But that was a fun time. It’s the beauty of Broadway right like you’re in one spot and you just have to go next door and you know it’s going to be another good spot. So whenever you’re ready to switch out the VIBE, just go from door to door to door, I know on town. Yeah, and then you you say close by next time. Where there? In case you to just drag me back to the Omni. But tell me, tell me about camelia partners. Your background is a builder and you know builds rent is the focus and I want to get into that. But just take me through kind of pre build to rent. Jimmy, what were you doing? And then how did you get into the building rent space? Yeah, so I took kind of a long journey back into real estate. So got my undergraduate Degree University Alabama and finance. Thought I wanted to be a stock guy getting out of school, but I really kind of always been entrepreneurial, just since a kid. I was one of those kids, you know, buying candy for ten cents and selling it for twenty five at school. You know, yeah, but I just couldn’t avoid starting a business. So really right out of school I started my first company in two thousand and two and spent right at fifteen years in that industry and sold and two thousand and seventeen it was really looking for something to do next. You know, what do I want to do when I grow up? Actually started buying rental properties in college. So real estate was kind of my first passion. And so Camellia House is weird developer and a home builder in the build a rent space and primarily right now just in central Alabama, with kind of a growth objective of regionally in the southeast. And two thousand and eighteen, my now business partner, which is a buddy of mine for twenty five years. He’s actually the contractor between the two of us. He approached me with this…

00:03:00 – 00:06:00

…idea and we launched it in two thousand and nineteen and here we are, still hitting the gas and have fun. That’s beautiful, beautiful. So right now, you know, we’re still really tail end of covid still out there. We really kind of moved past in a lot of ways, but the supply chain issues, labor issues, those are ones that are more pronounced today than they have been over the last few years. And do you see an end insight? Do you see a normalization, or is this? What’s your take? So we just adjusted and we’re calling it the new normal. Obviously they’ll be an end at some point time, but we’re just we’re really our mindset is is that we’re going to adjust to what’s thrown at us and we’re just going to build our process as around it. So it’s no longer hey, when, when can we get windows and two weeks instead of sixteen weeks. We’ve just built our entire process out around sixteen weeks and if it goes to twenty weeks, well, it will pivot to that. If it goes down to six weeks, will pivot to that, you know. So we our mindset is is we’re not going to let anything get in our way and we’re just going to adjust our mentality around what’s happening and obviously at some point time it will adjust. We haven’t really been experiencing and I don’t know if it’s just, you know, kind of a regional thing, but we haven’t been experiencing the labor shortage. What we have found is that, if you so, we not to get into it, but the way we pay all of our subcontractors weekly, but we’ve day one. So if you perform services for US last week, it actually gets approved today, Tuesday, by five talklee pay you. It’ll be in your check and account this Friday morning. And what we’ve really seen is that the the the workforce that wants to work and if you can, you know, have a payment process like that, we’ve got guys kind of lined up. So we haven’t really experienced the labor shoot. But yes, definitely supply changing. Yeah, on the Labor side, that’s interesting. So the norm, correct me if I’m wrong. It’s a biweekly right, every two weeks. That’s probably. Yeah, the the industry norm for it, and you it. I don’t want to gloss over that point because it seems like you made a pretty not impactful to your business change. Yeah, that has. You’ve been able to read benefits of Attracting Labor and cruising past the labor issue that so many other folks have had. Yeah, so that was just from the very first week that we paid anyone, you know, almost three years ago. We just committed to paying weekly and you know it’s not easy, but we’ve been able to make it happen and I think that we’ve been able to get good labor because of it, for sure. And you know, so we’re still navigating. You know, windows were still navigating building material price increases, I mean almost every other week, but we’re just adjusted and pushing through it. Yeah, so whenever you look at developing a new build to rink community, what goes into that? What goes into having the confidence punts that, hey, you’re going to have?…

00:06:00 – 00:09:00

You know right now you’re gonna have some elongated construction time and then the rate environment is up into the right so you have you know, you’re not just playing on. If you’re a rental investor, you have the right side of it. You don’t really worry about materials, supplies, clip side. As if you’re rehabber or a builder, you’re generally focus on, you know, shorter duration notes. But you have picked the one spot in this industry that you just have all the trouble, all the worries, all that. So how do you how do you operate with confidence? How do you project out? Here’s where the next project is here’s how we know we’re going to be able to execute on it. That’s a great question. I wish I had, you know, kind of a thoughtout answer, but I’ll just tell you kind of I’m kind of a sales guy at the end of the day. You know, I’m a numbers guy. Let me say that I’m a numbers guy that understands kind of probability. And so from my standpoint, I know that we’ve got to have enough projects in our pipeline and let’s say that sixty percent of our projects stick, then I’ve got enough at my pipeline, you know, for the business to continue to grow in scale. So I really kind of look at it from that standpoint. Like at any given point time I need to be looking at ten projects to make sure that we have for that are going to get across the finish line, and then I look at my four projects and I and then I’d stagger them out, you know, based off of production and what we have the ability to do, the bandwidth to do. I mean, in particular, we’ve got ucky and Central Alabama where we’ve actually found what I call abandoned developments, which are still some some developments that have full infrastructure and roads and utilities from the two thousand and eight, two thousand and nine crash that people have just been sitting on, and we’ve been able to kick up three or four those that we’ve really been able to close on and pull building permits. So from kind of a revenue standpoint, that’s really allowed us to, you know, put some cash in our veins. And then while we’re doing that, I’m going out and looking at full sight development. So twenty, twenty to forty Acre tracks that you know now. We’ve closed on too since January and we are currently in the horizontal construction phase, probably late third quarter going vertical on both of those. So I guess, you know, to kind of summarize that answer is really trying to have some short term projects that kind of feed the business while the same time going out looking at long term projects, knowing that you got to look at ten to have three to four that are going to get across the finish line and then you can dove tell into those and then I can start running. Always really want to be about eighteen months out in front of myself, so when we go to bed at night we know that, you know, we’ve got a year and a half’s worth of production in front of us. Got It. That makes sense on the kind of bifurcated pathway of you know, finding raw land and saying this is going to be a development versus something that’s, you know, infrastructure already in place, fully platted from you…

00:09:01 – 00:12:03

…know eight just a hangover from that. Is there a preference? Is there? Are there any kind of like surprises that you run into whenever you go into something that’s, you know, partially developed, or is it really like already? Is it too good to be true and that Hey, the twenty percent of the works done and we’re going to come in and cruise on through to the finish line? Yeah, so there’s definitely surprises and every single one of them to just very in particular, very particular that we bought one we closed on and we learned that the sewer stopped at the top of the hill. So there was actually the sewer ran to the bottom of the hill and there was a pump station, but the pump station sat for twelve years and was no longer any good. So we you know, another about a hundred and twenty thousand dollar cost that, you know, we had planned a day one, but the good news is, you know, we were able to absorb that in our lot, so we were okay. Another one I was going to purchase and in it the Plat was actually never signed off on, so we had to go back through the PLAT process. But that’s okay to every one of these kind of surprises has I told my business partner it’s been interesting because as we’re growing as developers and full site developers, I’ve really learned from these surprises and these partially developed projects. So it’s actually been a great learning experience. But you know, it’s not a million dollar surprise, it’s a hundred twenty thou surprise, which I liked those a lot better. Yeah, about you know, roughly nine times better. It seems like eight or nine times better. We’ve got a little bit of a kind of a formula and we’re we’re located in Birmingham. Obviously, Central Alabama, three counties, is where we’re building right now. But we we’ve kind of drawn a circle. A business partner’s kind of map this out with his prior experience. We’ve got a circle around Birmingham, which is really where we’re targeting raw land and and we’re partially developed communities that we can go in and maybe buy some scattered lights or maybe some leftover lights that a retail builder wants to sell off. And these are communities where, you know, mom can kind of work and one submarket dad can work in another submarket. So when we go in and target this this circle around town, the circles pretty wide and it’s a pretty broad in diameter. But we want to target good school systems to where also to where mom and dad can work into submarkets if needed, and there’s job growth in those markets. So we do have a little bit of a method to our madness on where we’re going out and attracting our land and not just kind of, you know, a free for all. We want to make sure there’s there’s stable or job growth, good school systems and good accessibility to other submarkets. Got It to Alabama. I feel like the last couple of years has blown up from a real estate perspective. I mean so much of the country has, but I hear, you know, I’ve been in the space for seven years and the frequency of me hearing Alabama, Birmingham from investors has just sky I rocketed. So it seems that the the market is on…

00:12:03 – 00:15:01

…fire right now. But talk to me about just the Birmingham market. Let’s take that as kind of a quick case study on yeah, what are the big drawls? Do you feel like it’s properly valued, overvalued, undervalued? What are you seeing out in the future for it as well? Yeah, so some of Birmingham native. I grew up and a submarket out side of Birmingham called Hoover, but obviously no Birmingham very well, and I’ll say that I had a group in town this last Saturday from California. Just kind of given them a tour and you know, Birmingham, and I mist say about eight to ten years ago, had a couple big wins in the text base. We had a few startups that sold for five five hundred fifty million to about one point five billion and that really kind of put Birmingham on the map for, you know, a city that has the ability to attract a workforce and talent to, you know, start and grow and exit companies those size. Since then, I mean there’s been incubators have been built all across town. We can’t really go two weeks without reading an article that, you know, California Startup Company is relocating to Birmingham, moving six hundred jobs, moving nine hundred jobs, moving two hundred jobs. I don’t really know the details, but I know the state’s very aggressive and attracting these companies. And then you know the states that kind of have an exodus of residents and and business owners, I think are looking at a a city like Birmingham is a place to go. So I think Birmingham’s just having a great renaissance right now. Our downtown areas just vibrant condos going up, but I wouldn’t say that it’s out of control. Still it’s still a city that’s very you know, I’m just going to use the word traffic friendly. We don’t we don’t have crazy traffic. Cost of living is very affordable. Obviously. I’m will say it’s the south, so we’re all pretty friendly done here. You know. Yeah, you know we’ve got some southern hospitality. And then, you know, I think you know it’s man we’re three and a half, four hours to the beach, where two and a half hours to the mountains. We’ve got a great lake system in Alabama. So just kind of from a family standpoint, I think it’s a great place to come. So I think you add all that together, the job growth, the affordability. We still geographically have a lot of land. We have a lot of land to be developed. So you take guys like myself and some other developers that just see this opportunity is a pretty significant runway where you’ve got all the right ingredients and manufacturings growing. You know, just outside of Birmingham, I will say no more than twenty five minutes to the West and east, we have two large manufacturing car plants. So we have Honda that builds the ridgeline in the Odyssey. Got The only Mercedes manufacturing plant the country is about twenty minutes outside the cities. Then you take all those tier one suppliers and it’s just really kind of a perfect storm for, you know, for attracting residents and the building rent space. From our perspective, that’s crazy. As you’re describing burning am, so…

00:15:01 – 00:18:00

…much of it crosses over to where I am in Greenville, South Carolina. Like yeah, we’re three hours to the beach where in the mountains we have our big in like some of the bigger companies that moved here a while back. You’ve BMW and Michelin’s, like all of the ex I think all the x threes and x fives are made in like forty five minutes from where I am. Yeah, it’s like similar like growth ture jectory there. So that’s exciting. And then whenever you’re whenever you’re getting into builds rent project, is your strategy to hold? Do you sell it based on cash flow, like what’s what’s your what’s your strategy on these projects? You know? So we really have multiple strategies and and it really just depends on kind of selfishly, you know, what we need at the time, for lack of better I mean, you know, getting started, we built some communities and then also, you know, just scattered lot build a rent products where we just sold off a hundred percent of it. You know where we’ve just gone to you know, some some buyers and said Hey, you know, we can, we can produce these, you know, thirty four units, we can deliver them and nine months you want to buy them all, as our company is growing and we’re evolving. Yes, we’re definitely going to hold a certain percentage of them. Not exactly sure. You know what that’s going to be. Our strategy when we go into a community is if we can do an entire build a rent product. A hundred percent build a rent. If the Municipality Covenant, you know, allow us to do that, we’re going to one hundred percent do a build rent. That is who we are and who we want to be. Now, some municipalities we can’t do that, some some neighborhoods we can’t do that. So I would say as a whole with Camellia House will will produce and sell about a hundred units this year and I’ll say about seventy percent of that will be built to rent. The other thirty percent will obviously be retail plays to homeowners, just depending on, you know, the particulars of that subdivision and or municipality. So we’re about seventy thirty split. We prefer to be a hundred and then, as our company evolves, will always build and sell product off, but then we will also retain a portion of that as well. Got It. Yeah, the always going to have more than one. One quiver there. So that makes complete. You know, we’ve had a couple. We’ve been really fortunate have some good mentors in our life and my business partner and I just over the years, you know, having separate mentors and we have some now and they just tell us, you know, go in with not only your plan a, but your plan B, your plan to see. Something else that we talked about a lot in our company is we have an objective, we have a target, we have goals, we have our identity, but at the same time we’re we have the ability to be fluid, you know, some mentors have told us. You know, if you if you spill a glass of water, you the water is going to go where it’s going to go, and you got to think of that in your business as well. You got to be focused, you got to know who you are, but the same time you got to have the ability and the flexibility to go where that water goes, because if not, you can get in trouble. That’s a really good way of looking at it for sure. So Birmingham, Alabama, market absolutely on…

00:18:02 – 00:21:02

…fire. Nothing to not love about it, although I work with a bunch of Clemson grads, unfortunately, so they they may have something else to say. All right, we like we liked Bo it was it was insufferable around here after Clemson won the national championship. It was it was a week straight of just high fives and everybody and I went to firm and so I you know, we haven’t high fied about the football team in a long time. Other doubt now I did. I gave a little dig there and I it hurt. But basketball, soccer, they will kill it. So everybody has their strong suit. That’s right. That’s right. Absolutely. But what what are we missing about Camellia House? About Birmingham? Any other tips, tricks, insights you have top of mine? No. No. As for as Birmingham, you know we love it. Obviously we’re partial to it. You know, we feel like it’s on fire. We’ve got a good runway. You know, our goal at Camellia houses. Birmingham will always be our home base, but we’re looking at two other to other markets right now, not submarkets, to enter into hunts full, which is North Alabama. We’ve got some projects on our radar up there that we’re trying to get under control. And then South Alabama, kind of Baldwin Mobile counties, which are coastal counties, and then from there just kind of maybe move regionally into some other states as it makes sense. So that’s kind of who we are and our goals where we’re planning on going over the next eighteen months. We still like to keep keep Birmingham is kind of a kept secret. You know, a lot of folks looking at it and investing here, which is Great. We love meeting other investors and new friends. It’s the way we look at it. So if we can ever do anything for anyone, you know, don’t hesitate. Reach out, you know, and really from there. The only other kind of thought that I had, and you know we talked about this daily, you know, in our company, you know work, we’re still in infant business, even though, you know, we’ve you know, got our legs under us and we’ve got a track record and we’ve been able to move some product, about a hundred and fifty homes in the last year and a half. You know, I would just say, you know, we’ve really been focusing on building our processes. You know, we’ve build a trend some software that we’re using, just kind of investing class software to automate everything from scheduling to our payment system. So just kind of focus on, you know, systems and processes, know your numbers and kind of embrace the grind. You know, we we have we have really bad days around here. I mean there are just root sometimes really bad days, but I’m still having a blast on my worst day and you know, we just we’ve got a mindset here that even on those bad days we’re going to embrace it, because growth happens in those moments, you know, when things happened that that are outside your control and you feel like, you know, you kind of need to take in some oxygen. You know, I would just say sit back, take a deep breath, assess it, figure out what you can control and then move forward and those things just kind of become less and less over time. It’s really just a mindset. Yeah, it’s all how you react to and handle those things right, because, like, you can’t kind of back…

00:21:02 – 00:23:25

…to the water piece. There’s only so much you can control. Yeah, if you try to control everything, that’s going to be a nightmare. So, yeah, that’s I love that we’re wrapping up on that point. That’s a sage advice, especially coming from the sales world myself. Yeah, embrace the grind. That advice was to me. You know, I’ve got at to remind myself every day that just embraced the grind, you know. So anyways, but on our worst day we’re having fun and growing and we’ve got a great team. So we’re really enjoying it. That’s the most important part of it. So, Jimmy, if people want to learn more about what you’re doing, where should they go? What’s the website? How do they get in touch? Yeah, absolutely, so chamiliar Partnerscom is our website and then just reaching out to me directly. So it’s Jimmy, Jammy at Chamillia Partnerscom. I love connecting with other likeminded individuals, especially in the real estate space. So you know, if anyone’s out there and just wants to pay me an email, I’d love to connect and meet new friends and just kind of brainstorm and anything we can do, let us know. Beautiful Jimmy, it was a pleasure meeting you in Nashville. Yeah, thank you enough for joining the PODCAST, my friend. Absolutely thanks so much for having thank you. Thanks everybody for listening. Take care. Are you a real estate investor looking for the right lender that can findance all your deals and help you scale? Leva one capital has the best suite of loan ducks in the industry, barnt, whether that’s fix and flips, fix and holds, building new construction or buying rental properties. They have incredible financing solutions for it all, a reliable common since Linder is one of the most important parts of your investment team, and that’s exactly what you get with Lema one. Let Lima one capital show you how they’ve helped thousands of real estate investor scale and increase their wealth. Check out Lima onecom or call eight hundred two five nine, zero five ninety five to speak with the consultant and preparation for your next project. Thank you for joining us today on the real estate of things podcast. Subscribe and tune in weekly for new content from the industry’s best while we continue to unpack the nuances of this dynamic market. Follow US across social media for additional insights and analysis on the topics covered in each episode, and remember to rate, review and share the show.

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