Taylor Lembi: How OZs Can Address the Housing Crisis

Taylor Lembi

Can Opportunity Zones help address the nation’s housing crisis?

Taylor Lembi is founder and CEO at San Francisco-based real estate developer M31 Capital. Their Morpheus 1 Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, launched earlier this year, invests in multi-family housing redevelopments in the Bay Area.

Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with Taylor.

Episode Highlights

  • Key metrics on the housing crisis in San Francisco’s Bay Area and the challenges of doing redevelopment in the area.
  • The need for regulatory process streamlining at the state and municipal levels.
  • The potential for the Opportunity Zones program to improve the housing situation in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the country.
  • The challenges that existing owners often face with atrophied housing stock, and how M31 Capital can help.
  • Strategies for redeveloping old housing stock.
  • The social impact that housing redevelopment has on a community.
  • The opportunity for real estate investors in San Francisco.

Featured on This Episode

Industry Spotlight: M31 Capital

M31 Capital

M31 Capital is a modern real estate investment firm headquartered in San Francisco. Their recently launched the Morpheus 1 Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund aims to resurrect decrepit properties in Opportunity Zones in the San Francisco Bay Area to create livable, stable housing.

Learn more about M31 Capital

About the Opportunity Zones Podcast

Hosted by OpportunityDb.com founder Jimmy Atkinson, the Opportunity Zones Podcast features guest interviews from fund managers, advisors, policymakers, tax professionals, and other foremost experts in opportunity zones.

Show Transcript

Jimmy: Welcome to the Opportunity Zones Podcast. I’m your host Jimmy Atkinson. It’s no secret that the San Francisco Bay area is currently suffering from a housing crisis. Job growth in the region has accelerated at a much higher rate than new housing starts. From 2012 to 2016, the San Francisco metropolitan area added 373,000 new jobs but permitted only 58,000 new housing units. Basically, this amounts to more than six new jobs being created for every new housing unit over this period of time. And today, the median price for a one bedroom rental in San Francisco is around $3,700 per month making the city the most expensive place to rent in the entire United States.

Here to speak with me today on this topic and more is Taylor Lembi, Founder and CEO of M31 Capital and General Partner of the Morpheus 1 Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund. Taylor has 20 years of experience in the real estate industry and has acquired, managed, financed, and advised on over $3 billion of real estate related transactions over the course of his career. He joins us today from his office in San Francisco. Taylor, thanks for joining me and welcome to the podcast.

Taylor: Hi Jimmy. Thanks for having me.

Jimmy: Absolutely. So Taylor, I wanna talk a little bit about your fund, but first I want you to do your best to characterize that housing crisis in San Francisco for us. How did the Bay Area get to this point and what’s going on there exactly?

Taylor: Sure. Yeah. I think you did a great job with an intro characterizing it. You’re exactly right. That’s that of six jobs to every one housing unit being added. It really shines a light on what’s going on in the Bay Area. One of the main issues is that, you know, the city of San Francisco or the city of Oakland or other cities in the Bay Area are relatively small compared to other larger cities as far as land mass like New York or Los Angeles. And so the ability to develop is very difficult just from a property standpoint. But then you add in the complexity of how long it takes to get developments approved. Currently on average, it takes about three to four years just to get entitlements. And probably other developers and other cities throughout the country would laugh at that. But that’s average for the Bay Area.

And so the combination of that just really, really restricts supply. Most of these cities are rent control. And so the existing housing stock is restricted. And then, you know, getting a project obviously the cost of land is very expensive. Getting a project entitled, it takes three to four years. So there’s carry costs to that. And then building the construction costs in the Bay Area has almost doubled as far as the price per square foot. So ground-up development is difficult to say the least in the San Francisco Bay Area. There is a lot of debate and conversation about how to one, streamline the process, two, allow for additional you know, housing stock as far as density bonuses. But it seems at this point that most of it is kind of politically-charged and so some really good programs are kind of getting pushed off and therefore, you know, the supply isn’t gonna open up anytime soon.

Jimmy: Yeah. So in your view, what needs to be done to address this housing shortage? Is this something that needs action by the state government or is this something that needs action at the municipal level and what is being done so far in this regard?

Taylor: Sure. I mean, I think all of the above. I think Governor Newsom came out and said that he’s really gonna push for a large number of additional housing units throughout the state. And he’s done a good job holding up his word on that. There’s a lot of work to be done. The mayors in individual cities that we work in are for the most part, pro development and Mayor Breed in San Francisco is really, really pushing for additional units in the city. One of the main components is streamlining the process. You know, I mean, housing could become more affordable if the time from submitting for approval to actually getting entitlements was reduced, you know, but if a developer’s underwriting three to four years just to get entitlements and then probably two to three years to get the property built, I mean that’s a market cycle right there. And so there’s a whole lot of unknowns when it comes to ground-up development. So I think if both at the, you know, municipal level and then at the state level, if they could really work on streamlining the process that would help substantially and then obviously, you know, allowing developers to build more and more units is extremely helpful for the housing shortage.

Jimmy: Easier said than done though, of course. Before we, start talking Opportunity Zones, I wanna get your background, Taylor. Where’d you come from exactly? Give us a sense of how you got to where you are today.

Taylor: Sure. So I grew up in a real estate family. My grandfather fought in World War II and then came back from the war and opened up a brokerage primarily, but he started investing in buildings. You know, at the time the properties were..probably cost $20,000 to $50,000, which is a much different time now. And then my dad played baseball in college but came out of college and worked with his dad and that was in the late ’70s. And then you know, from the time that I was basically born, but I can remember about four, being in their office and, you know, kind of seeing real estate in action.

I went away to college in the late ’90s and spent summers back in San Francisco working as a leasing agent for the family company with my college roommate. And that was during the first dot-com boom. And we would just drive around town leasing apartments to people that were coming into the city or, you know, coming into the city for work or working in the city. It was great. It was a lot of fun. We would kind of…what we did is save every penny that we made and after college my friends and I bought our first building, which was out in the Sunset District of San Francisco. And we kind of, you know, put our own money into it, kind of, begged friends and family to loan us some money to purchase the building.

We started out doing the work ourselves as far as the renovating of the units but quickly realized we weren’t very skilled at that and so we hired a general contractor and that managed the process. And then from there we, for lack of a better way to put it, syndicated deals mostly from friends and family, built up a decent sized portfolio, bought and sold buildings over the years. We created a management company and created a construction company. And about five years ago, I created M31 Capital with a primary focus of putting together real estate investment funds rather than just one off syndicated purchases.

So we launched our first fund a couple of years ago. It was a $10 million fund primarily for property in San Francisco where we could add units to the garage level of a property. And that fund’s doing fantastic. We’ll probably close out that fund over the next 18 months and then do another fund that’s just a regular non Opportunity Zone investment. We could probably get into Opportunity Zones at some point.

Jimmy: Okay. Yeah, I wanted to ask you about Opportunity Zones. Let’s shift our focus there now. First of all, I wanna ask, when did you first learn about the Opportunity Zones program and what was your initial reaction to it?

Taylor: Yeah, so I actually learned about it from an investor that’s in our regular real estate investment fund called Black Rail and he kind of brought it to my attention. I heard some information about it here and there, but he brought it to my attention saying, ”Hey, this is probably something that you should look at.” At the time, there’s so many unknowns that, you know, I dug into it and researched it, but it just seemed like it needed, you know, more time to come together. It was a very, very interesting program, obviously.

And that was, I think in mid 2017, something like that. And then over the next six months to a year, I continued researching it, thought about how it could fit into our investment strategy. And so we decided to put together a fund called the Morpheus Fund which is $25 million, which is relatively small compared to the other kind of gigantic funds out there. But that was by design. We just wanted to be a lot more targeted with our approach and very specific about what we’re investing in and made sure that the properties that we were buying we would buy even outside of the Opportunity Zone tax benefits.

And so we launched the fund a couple of months ago. It’s been going great. A whole lot of interest in it. We have about 70% of the fund raised. We are looking at a group of deals to consider for the fund. We haven’t deployed any capital yet. We’re just being very patient with our investment strategy. But, you know, we’ll take all deals into consideration, underwrite them and decide what fits best.

Jimmy: That’s great, Taylor. So how do you see the Opportunity Zones program being able to potentially improve the housing situation in the Bay Area? How is it gonna improve the situation there?

Taylor: Sure. Yeah. I mean our focus is on existing properties, existing properties that have vacancies within them that the units haven’t been brought back to market because the units are habitable at the time or at this point. And primarily because probably the current property owner just doesn’t have the capital resources to improve the units so that they are habitable. It might sound kind of crazy that there’s this housing shortage, but there’s a bunch of vacant units offline. But it does happen, and there’s even properties that go vacant for periods of time, the entire property.

And so, you know, one of the main components of the Opportunity Zone structure is that you have to spend a certain amount of capital on the individual asset in order to qualify. We typically do that anyways on our regular real estate investments. And so we’re looking at these properties, you know, they’re existing properties, so we don’t have to go through the lengthy entitlement process. We could probably get, or we can get permits on renovating them within a few months rather than years. The renovation of the units and the properties typically takes anywhere from 6 months up to, you know, 14 months. And so we’re just getting to bringing those units back online in a much shorter period of time, which is fantastic for helping the housing shortage.

Jimmy: So how is that possible that there’s this huge housing shortage in the Bay Area, but that there are so many units that are uninhabited? What are these units like that, that no one’s living in them?

Taylor: Yeah. I mean, they’ve just become vacant over time. You know, sometimes, or oftentimes the property owner, it might cost, you know, 40,000 to 120,000 to renovate a unit. You know, it’s a lot of money to reinvest into the property. Sometimes they are smaller studios or smaller one bedrooms, and so the owner you know, might not see the return on rerenting them. Maybe they’ve owned the properties for a really long period of time and they’re just extremely passive or absentee type property owners. Sometimes the actual physical structure of the property needs work. And so the properties sit vacant. And oftentimes, you know, the city is posting notice of violations on the building, but they just can’t get a hold of the current owner. And so there’s just no response and no work going on at the property. And then, you know, they look at it from a standpoint of they could sell the property, you know, do what they want with the return on their investment. Maybe, you know, exchange into a triple net, something that’s, you know, less management intensive. And then somebody that has a whole lot of experience renovating these types of projects could come in and actually do the work to them and get them back online.

Jimmy: And that’s potentially where you come in, right? Is that a strategy of your fund to find these uninhabited properties and come in and do the renovation work and then get them back online?

Taylor: Correct. Yeah. So I mean, given the amount of years that I’ve been in the business, specifically in the Bay Area, we have really good broker relationships. And so oftentimes it’s just, you know, maybe a property is passed down to future generations and they just don’t know what to do with the building. And so sometimes it’s not the entire property that’s vacant, but it’s, you know, many units within a property that’s vacant and it needs a lot of work. And so they’ll bring it to us and say, ”Hey, you know, is this something that you guys would take on?” It’s a pretty heavy construction project. And so it’s not for everybody, but they know that, you know, we have a lot of expertise with that and we have the resources to handle the project. And so they bring it to us and we purchase the property and do the work to the building.

Jimmy: Right. And then who do you end up renting out these units too? What type of housing is this? Is this affordable housing or workforce housing or what is it exactly?

Taylor: I would say it’s workforce housing. It kind of depends on the building, right? But typically, you know, if it’s kind of smaller studios or smaller one bedrooms or what we’ve also done is gone in and if it’s a larger one bedroom you know, added an additional bedroom where we can, because a lot of times the vintage of the housing stock is, you know, typically from the 1920s or sometimes from the ’60s and ’70s, but the 1920s vintage, they’d have these like massive size closets and people just have less and less, you know, clothes and like hard possessions now. And so you could take those oversized closets and kind of some unused space.

And as long as they have windows in the rooms and have a space for a closet, you could create an additional bedroom within a large sized original one bedroom. And so therefore, you know, maybe it’s roommates or it’s a couple or you know, a couple with a baby, they’re coming in. And so say the total rent on that original one bedroom is, you know, 3,200 maybe we’re charging 3,800 to 4,000 for a two bedroom, but two roommates living together, that’s cheaper than getting a single studio. And so if they’re paying $1,700, $1,800 for a two bedroom, meaning each person, that’s basically an income of $45,000 to $50,000, which in the Bay Area is very affordable. And so, you know, the unit types kind of range, but we’re always looking at ways to you know reduce the overall cost to the renter and improve the actual unit make-up.

Jimmy: Who are your renters typically? Workforce housing renter, who falls into that category?

Taylor: Yeah, I mean, some of the buildings are smaller studios and so typically that’s people that are coming in the city for the first time and you know, maybe they’re being relocated for a new job and so they’ll move into these units as they get to know the city and could find more permanent housing later on. And then, you know, other, tenants might be people that have lived in these cities for a while and are just looking to move, you know, to a new location or maybe they work close by in the area. There’s no like one exact tenant fit I guess. But for the most part it’s people that are already living in these cities and you know, maybe they’re like trading out to a recently renovated apartment, but it’s an existing property, so it’s not, you know, double their current rent. It’s more in line with what they’re currently paying, but we’re competing with the same vintage building next door, but just a better product.

Jimmy: Right, right. I hear you. And when we talk about workforce housing, maybe there’s not one specific fit as to who that is, but what’s the income range of that person typically?

Taylor: Yeah, so it’s typically probably 40,000 to 60,000 annually. Some people make more than that, but in order to qualify it’s typically 40,000 to 60,000.

Jimmy: Right. Times two, right, because there’s two renters there under your model, is that right?

Taylor: It could be it. So again, I mean if we’re talking about specific units then I could give you exact information, but if it’s a two bedroom, then it’s typically like two roommates living together and they’re sharing the rent and the expenses. If it’s a smaller sized studio that might rent for 1700. That means that they would have to make roughly 45,000 to 50,000 to qualify.

Jimmy: Good. So these are not people working at Google and Facebook as coders or technical engineers. These are probably your firefighters, your policemen, your teachers, people like that.

Taylor: Yeah. Typically, you know, I mean, we do have people that are working in tech firms that are just looking to save a little bit of money because they’re at work anyways all day long. But given the price point, it is. It’s local professionals that are, you know, looking for you know, a good product type to move into it.

Jimmy: Now who are your investors in your Opportunity Zone fund? Are they high net worth individuals, are these corporate investors or family offices? What’s your capital base look like?

Taylor: Sure. Yeah. So the most part, they’re accredited investors that have for the most part invested with us in the past. The neat thing about Opportunity Zone investing is it doesn’t just have to be, you know, capital gains from real estate, right? I mean it’s, we hear all the time when people that are in the tech industry or other industries, hey, you know, I own this block of stock in whatever company. I wanna invest into your projects, but I gotta sell this stock and I get a huge tax bill at the end of the year. They still invest with us anyways, but this new program allows them to, you know, maybe sell off some of that stock, invest with us, defer some of the original capital gains, and then when the fund does well not pay any tax on that profit. So that’s really appealing to them. But for the most part, it’s investors that have invested with us in the past.

The sponsor meaning myself, I’m putting a fair amount into the fund. I’m in a couple of sale of properties that typically I would exchange out of, but because of the Opportunity Zones structured around deploying bad capital gains into Morpheus. And then we’ve actually heard from a lot of new investors that are looking to invest into Morpheus. But for the most part it’s individual accredited investors.

Jimmy: Good. And how much are you seeking to raise for your Morpheus 1 Fund?

Taylor: Sure. So the total raise is 25 million. We can expand it to 30 million. And the minimum investment is 100,000. Our average investment, it’s about 300,000 from investors. We have about 70% of it raised to date. We just launched the fund a little over two months ago. And so it’s going really well as far as the raise and now we’re kind of focusing our efforts. We have been looking at potential deals over the last six months to a year, but we’re just really focusing on where we’re gonna deploy this capital into what projects.

Jimmy: Good. Yeah, 70% raised in just a couple of months. Capital raising is going quite well, it sounds like. The challenge for you, it sounds like hasn’t been raising capital. Is there a challenge in getting the capital deployed in a timely fashion with..while staying and being able to stay in compliance with the deployment timelines?

Taylor: Yeah. You know, I mean there’s been a lot of talk about how Opportunity Zones have been effective, right? I mean, there’s projects going on, but I guess there are articles I’ve been reading, some of them says, you know, this program isn’t working or whatever. I think that’s very shortsighted. And so the point being is that the challenge is for us to find projects that fit our model. We have a very specific business plan. And so we’re being very, very patient with what we’re investing into and that’s by design. But I think that we have complete confidence that we’ll be able to find projects to fulfill our $25 million raise, a $25 million raise is relatively small compared to other funds. And we did that on purpose. You know, we would look at doing a Morpheus 2 at some point. But we just didn’t want to have that urgency to deploy capital because I think that sometimes when people make mistakes, they’re just rushing to get money out the door just to do it. And so we’re just being very patient with the projects we’re looking at, you know, being very patient with our negotiating positions with potential sellers. And we feel really confident about the first group of buildings that we’re going to be purchasing. And so yeah, it’s looking really good.

Jimmy: Yeah. What does your pipeline look like? Are you close on closing a few projects here and, and where are they located?

Taylor: Okay. Yeah, so we actually lost out on a couple of deals. We got way overbid on a couple of them, which was frustrating, but at the same time it proved that maybe our underwriting is true. And it’s okay to say no to a deal every once in a while obviously or on an ongoing basis. It’s frustrating when that happens because you spend a lot of time tracking a deal, underwriting a deal, going after a deal, but it happens all the time. But to answer your question, we have three deals that we will be acquiring over the next 90 to 120 days.

They’re in the East Bay of the Bay Area. Actually two of them are in the East Bay, one’s in San Jose which is the South Bay. They fit kind of the thesis that I gave you where they are existing property that have a few vacancies and then we can add some units to the garage portion of the buildings. And they certainly fit our investment parameters and they would probably take up about a third of our investment or of our fund as far as the deployment at capital.

Jimmy: Good. And what type of cash flow and return projections are you looking at for your investors in this fund?

Taylor: Yeah, so the, fund it has a 5% pref, which we would distribute to investors once the cash flow provides for that. So with these types of properties, there’s a little bit of a ramp up as far as, you know, getting the units back online and then getting approval and actually constructing the new units. And then as far as returns low to mid teens returns, and certainly if anybody’s interested, they can reach out to us directly. We could discuss specifics on investment returns.

Jimmy: Sure. And if you don’t mind, could you share what your fee structure looks like and then what your promote structure looks like?

Taylor: Sure. So we charge an asset management fee of 2%. We charge a property management fee of 4%. It’s pretty much market. Like I said, there’s a 5% pref and then a 70, 30 and then a 60, 40 past 10%. It’s a little bit more aggressive than other larger size funds, but it’s a very, like it keeps saying specific targeted approach and so we’re very confident in the returns to the investors.

Jimmy: Good. Well thank you for sharing that with me. I appreciate the transparency. I know my listeners always like to hear very specific numbers. I think that’s why a lot of them tune in is to get some insight like that with some real numbers there. So thank you for sharing that. I wanna talking about the social impact component of Opportunity Zones, the Opportunity Zones program with you for a minute and get a sense from you what your fund is doing to provide positive social impact in the areas that it’s investing in.

Taylor: Yeah, so I mean, we look at it as far as, you know, bringing the unit….number one, bringing the unites back on line, right. There is a housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area. We totally realize that on existing properties, bringing these units back online is somewhat a drop in the bucket. But they are offline units that need to come back to market. And so that’s priority number one. Number two is that oftentimes in these buildings, if we’re purchasing a mixed use asset, you know, it’s not something with a large retail footprint. And so what we’ve done in our other properties is there’s kind of smaller, you know, retail stores or cafe spaces or something that would serve the local community. And so because the Opportunity Zone structure..you know, we’re not investing directly in the business, but oftentimes for somebody starting a new business or even expanding into their second location, you know, the initial startup costs to building out a space to paying the first few months of rent, security deposit, all that kind of stuff strangles a new business. I mean, I’m an entrepreneur, I know what it takes to start businesses. It’s very, very, very difficult and it’s very, very expensive in the Bay Area. And there’s a whole lot of people out there with great ideas and a lot of passion and a lot of motivation that work their asses off to get their businesses off the ground.

And so what we’d like to do is just help them with that process. If we believe in the business, you know, taking on some of the capital required to build out the space, give them some rent incentive to get them up and running. Having a vacant retail space does nothing for property or for a landlord. Vacancy, it’s just another thing that, you know, reduces returns to our investors. And so we wanna get somebody in there that’s gonna be there for a long time. We wanna help them get up and off the ground and get their business thriving, whether it’s at a very, you know, typically it’s at kind of a smaller level, but to them that’s their entire world.

And then, so one of my favorite things is just when we go out to visit the properties, seeing the, you know, local business owner actually working at the business and knowing that customers that come through the door. We’re kind of losing that in this day and age and it just really kind of makes my day when I see that, you know, a new business that started in our building is thriving. So that’s where we…where we see we fit into the social impact I guess, meter. And so that’s something that we’ll be looking at doing once we have the properties purchased.

Jimmy: Well, that’s great. And this Opportunity Zone Fund is not your first attempt too to improve the housing situation in the Bay Area. So I want you to share with our listeners your previous experience, I think you did already with your Black Rail Fund you mentioned a few minutes ago. But can you tell us a little bit more about some of your past investments and the results of those investments?

Taylor: Yeah, sure. I mean, you know, this strategy is not unique and it’s not limited to Opportunity Zones. I mean, we’ve been renovating existing real estate in San Francisco for a long time, over 20 years now. And so that’s why, you know, when you asked about if a building is kind of in disrepair, how does that happen in the San Francisco Bay Area? It does happen all the time and it’s just sometimes it’s too big of a construction project for somebody to take on. You know, when we look at it, it’s a little less scary because we’ve been through it so many times. Recently did a project in Hayward where it was a completely vacant building in horrible condition. And we brought 32 units back online, re-tenanted or you know, some of the retail space was vacant. We’ve got some local businesses in that space and now it’s the best building on the block.

And there’s other projects in San Francisco where, like I said, we added units to the garage area of a building. Some of your listeners might say, well that’s kind of crummy living spaces. It’s really not. I mean it’s fantastic. If you walked into it you would think it’s always been there. And it makes the building look a lot better than having garage doors on the ground floor. And the tenants that live there love it. You know, because the price point is typically a little bit lower than obviously the units that are on the higher floors just because of sometimes it’s noisier obviously on the ground floor. And so the entry price is a little bit lower and the tenants love it because they can live in the city. They’re out and about in the city anyways for the most part of the day. They’re either at work or at restaurants or you know, hanging out with their friends or doing whatever, and they really just need a place to come home, relax and go to bed and wake up and do it again the next day. We’ve done all types of projects, you know, and structural upgrade type things, commercial buildings, mixed use properties but really our main bread and butter is multifamily or mixed use assets.

Jimmy: What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve faced so far in regards to the Opportunity Zone investing?

Taylor: Yeah, I mean, I guess I could call it a challenge is educating the investor. It’s just different and new. You know, if it’s a real estate investor or somebody that primarily invests in real estate, they’re used to the 1031 type structure. And there’s certainly some benefits to investing into an Opportunity Zone that are better than a 1031 exchange. If it’s somebody that, like I mentioned before, if they’re selling off some stock, you know, their kind of eyes widen, light up when you say that they can roll their games into this type of structure especially before the recent revised regulations, there was a lot of unknowns or..with investors and their questions and it was kinda like, well, what about this item? And the answer back then was, we don’t know yet, but we think this is what’s gonna happen. And so the recent regulation regulations have really helped. That’s why we kind of delayed in bringing our fund out because we wanted to get closer to when those revisions were gonna come. And so that’s been the main challenge, but that’s kind of becoming less of an issue now because people are more familiar with what the revised regulations say.

Jimmy: And before we go, I’ll give you just one more chance here to speak to any potential investors. What differentiates the Morpheus 1 fund from other Opportunity Zone funds? What is it doing that may be unique or a little bit different?

Taylor: Sure. Yeah. So a few things, but one I guess main word of caution is to know who you’re investing with. I think out in the market, there’s some groups that have just put funds together and they really don’t have any real estate experience if they’re investing in real estate. And so I would really, you know, research who the sponsor is, do they have expertise in exactly what they’re planning on investing in. So for us, we’re not doing ground-up development, and we’re primarily focused on existing properties in a market that we’ve been in for over 20 years and doing the type of work we’ve been doing for over 20 years. And so if you kind of look at the whole 10,000 hour thing, I don’t know the exact count, but I mean my hour count on expertise, I guess at this point is probably like, you know, 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 hours, I don’t know.

And so I think, you know, we have a lot of insight and expertise in the market that we’re in. San Francisco and the Bay Area is a very difficult market. It’s a very high barrier to entry, but it’s a fantastic investment market and it’s a fantastic job market and it’s an exceptional place to live. It’s just, we need more housing supply, you know. So that would be, you know, my main, you know, directive to investors is just know who you’re investing with. We are looking for additional investors. Like I said, we’ve raised about 70% of the funds, but they could go to morpheus1fund.com to get more information and to schedule time with me or one of my associates. And we can take them through the specifics on what our investments strategy is or even if they just have questions about Opportunity Zones. You know, like I mentioned before, there’s a whole lot of unknowns that have been clarified so if they just wanna reach out and ask questions about that. And we are looking at, you know, potentially partnering with groups that are in the Bay Area. If they’re looking at projects and they just don’t have the capital resources or the expertise to run the project, reach out to us, you know, it might be a good fit for us. We’re pretty fast as far as underwriting deals and giving them a thumbs up or down or you know, if we say no to a project, maybe we can introduce them to somebody that might be able to help.

Jimmy: Good. Well, that’s a topic that comes up on a lot of these podcast episodes that I’ve done is make sure you know who the investment team is. Make sure you know of their expertise and their experience. Have they done real estate before, before you write that check to a qualified Opportunity Zone fund make sure that…just make sure you’re aware of their experience level. So that’s always a good reminder. And you preempted my next question. I was gonna ask you where our listeners can go to learn more about you and the Morpheus 1 Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund. So it sounds like morpheus1fund.com. Is there anywhere else? Is there anything else that our listeners should check out?

Taylor: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a great, great resource. There’s some helpful articles on there as far as information specifically about Opportunity Zones. There’s a video on there, which I think is great. They could watch the video and it gives them some main bullet points about Opportunity Zones. If they wanna connect with me, I’m on LinkedIn. They could just go to my LinkedIn profile and shoot me a message on there. But definitely I would love to hear from your listeners and you know, I really appreciate what you’re doing. There’s information that’s needed out in the market for Opportunity Zones. And so I know that podcasts are no small endeavor. I have some friends that have their own podcasts for other types of things and it’s a lot of work. So thanks for putting this together.

Jimmy: Absolutely. Yeah, I know it is a lot of work, but I’m enjoying doing it. It’s been a fun ride so far. So for our listeners out there, I’ll have show notes on the Opportunity Zones Database website for this episode. You can find those show notes at opportunitydb.com/podcast and on that show notes page here with Taylor, you’ll find links to all of the resources that he and I discussed on today’s show. I’ll have links to morpheus1fund.com and Taylor’s LinkedIn profile as well. Taylor, thanks for joining me today. I really appreciate your time and had a good conversation with you, so thank you.

Taylor: Yeah, thanks, Jimmy. I appreciate it.

Jimmy: All right. Thank you.

Jimmy Atkinson

Jimmy Atkinson

Hi, I'm Jimmy Atkinson... I founded OpportunityDb in August 2018. I'm a veteran Internet entrepreneur with a background in economics and Web marketing. I previously founded ETFdb.com. These days, I am passionate about impact investing and tax-advantaged investment opportunities. At the crossroads of these two ideals is the opportunity zones program, a place-based tax policy intended to economically transform some of the poorest areas of the United States with new real estate and business development.

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