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RIAs and other financial advisors remain an elusive, relatively untapped source of equity for Opportunity Zone deals.
Barrett Linburg, founder of Savoy Equity Partners, joins the show to discuss the opportunity for OZ developers and fund sponsors to tap into the RIA market, as well as the opportunity for RIAs to bolster their clients’ portfolios with Qualified Opportunity Fund holdings.
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- How RIAs and other financial advisors they think about OZs for their clients’ portfolios.
- Background on Savoy Equity Partners and how they have been able to successfully tap into the RIA market.
- How the Community Reinvestment Act can incentivize banks to act as another source of capital for Opportunity Zone deals.
- Examples of some Opportunity Zone deals that Savoy Equity Partners is working on.
- Barrett’s popular Twitter thread on successful Opportunity Zone projects that would not have been possible without the OZ legislation.
Featured On This Episode
Guest: Barrett Linburg, Savoy Equity Partners
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.
Jimmy: Welcome to the “Opportunity Zones Podcast.” I’m Jimmy Atkinson. How can RIAs and other types of financial advisors use Opportunity Zones in their clients’ portfolios? There’s quite an opportunity there, I like to think. And my guest today thinks that as well. Here to discuss that topic and more with me today is Barrett Linburg. He is co-founder and partner at Savoy Equity Partners. And Barrett’s joining us today from Dallas, Texas. Barrett, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining today.
Barrett: Thanks, Jimmy. It’s great to be here on your first recorded podcast of the year. I’m excited to join you and to talk with a fellow expert in Opportunity Zone. It’s rare to talk to another nerd about this stuff, but I like it.
Jimmy: I am a self-proclaimed OZ nerd. Thanks for taking notice of that. Well, Barrett, I wanted to talk with you today about a couple of different under-tapped sources of Opportunity Zone equity that may be poised to experience some growth over the next few years. One of those is banks. And we’ll turn our attention to banks in a few minutes here, but I wanted to focus the bulk of the episode, or at least the first portion of the episode, on the wealth management channel, or the financial advisory community, or RIAs, essentially, registered investment advisors, and discuss the opportunity and the challenge there.
RIAs as a group command a heck of a lot of privately-held capital across this country. But they’ve been a tough group to tap into to get in front of them in terms of having them reposition some of their clients’ portfolios to deploy into Qualified Opportunity Funds. There’s a little bit of a learning curve there with RIAs, as with everybody. They’re also pressed for time. It’s also a big ask to get them to step into a new type of investment vehicle that comes with some headline risk, sad to say, which are Opportunity Zones. But enough of me blabbering away. I wanna hear from you, Barrett. What do you see as being the big opportunity and the challenge with that group, RIAs and other types of financial advisors, in terms of getting them to buy into Opportunity Zones as a good portfolio construction tool for their clients?
Barrett: Well, thank you for such a great summary. I think the opportunity is, for guys like me, is there’s a whole bunch of dollars out there that have not come into the Opportunity Zone space. For the RIA folks out there, I think that this is an enormously tax-advantaged way to invest in real estate, that’s being ignored, and shouldn’t be, right? At least as I understand it, the mandate for a lot of RIAS is to give their clients all the tools available for investment, and then help their clients choose the right way forward. And in order to do so, they need to understand OZ.
Now, I think in 2018, 2019, and early 2020, likely the right decision for many RIAs was to avoid Opportunity Zone. Before all of the legislation was very clear, before the IRS provided specific guidance, RIAs were probably right to say, “Wait. We don’t have all the guidance yet. I’m gonna keep my job, and I’m gonna keep recommending IBM for these guys, right? That’s the blue chip, and let’s stay on that path.”
But now that we have very clear guidance, we have very clear investment choices for folks within the Opportunity Zone system, I think that it’s wise for RIAs to understand this tool that’s available. Now, does that mean that they need to push their clients all in on Opportunity Zone, or that every client is a fit for this? Absolutely not. But does it mean that there’s a level of education that RIAs, or wealth managers, or anyone should have about Opportunity Zone? Certainly, you know, I’m very biased, but I believe yes. People need to understand this stuff and how it fits in certain people’s portfolios.
Jimmy: Yeah. And just to clarify one point you made, “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” is kind of the saying, the old mantra that you were responding to there. And I think that that’s true in a lot of cases with RIAs. RIAs are very pressed for time. They spend a lot of their time talking with clients, constructing portfolios, reacting to the markets. They don’t always have time to re-educate themselves on a brand new type of investment vehicle, a brand new tax policy that is Opportunity Zones.
I also like to kind of compare Opportunity Zones with 1031 exchanges sometimes. I think the fact of the matter is, 1031s are also a great destination for many qualified investors that would be eligible for Opportunity Zone investing. 1031s have been around for 100 years. So, if you’re an RIA that’s less than 100 years old, you’ve probably been doing 1031s just about your whole life, and you’re very familiar with them. Your customers, your clients are very familiar with them. You start looking at Opportunity Zones, maybe you’ve heard of Opportunity Zones, but it’s just a big learning curve that really hasn’t been cleared by a lot of folks in that financial advisor industry, and, you know, part of it is just the newness of the program poses a challenge.
And I think it just is gonna take some time, and it’s gonna take a push by folks like us, Barrett, with you being a partner at Savoy Equity Partners, and other types of sponsors, and project developers, me as a podcast host, and owner of the OpportunityDb platform, to kind of push that message out there. But for those who have gotten the message, and those who are valuing Opportunity Zones for what they can do for their clients, how should they think about Opportunity Zones for their clients’ portfolios, do you think?
Barrett: Well, I think step back just another minute to understand how the RIAs work a little bit, right? So, I think a client of an RIA is only gonna get the message about Opportunity Zone in one of two ways. So, they’re either going to read about it in “The New York Times,” or “Wall Street Journal,” or somewhere else, and say, “This is a good idea for me.” And then they’re gonna ask their wealth manager, who’s gonna internally ask, you know, for more education on it, and get hooked up with someone who does it. Or, someone like you or I is going to educate the alternative investment manager at an RIA, who then has to educate the private wealth manager within that RIA firm, who then has to educate the guy who just had a liquidity event, that this is one of the tools available to him.
So, I think that there’s two ways that this gospel gets spread. And both of them are, you know, fairly low likelihood, and have a lot of friction involved. And so, I think that the only way to, like, expedite the process is to really broadly talk about it, and hope that, number one, more individuals just start hearing about it and start asking their wealth managers at the RIA about what is this thing? And that will get more folks to start asking people like us, “Hey, what is this thing? How do we do it? How do we get educated?”
So, I think that’s the only way. And then people start to understand, is this for me or not? Assuming the right educational resources are out there, which, guys like you do a great job to push the education. So, go ahead. I’m sorry. I took us off track.
Jimmy: No, it’s okay. My question is how should they think about OZs for their clients’ portfolios? You’re an RIA, and you’re finally buying into Opportunity Zones. What’s the next step there? How should they think about OZs for their clients’ portfolios? Do they tag the client that they know have frequent liquidity events, and get their clients to buy in? What portion of their portfolios should be allocated to OZs, potentially? Maybe we’re getting too granular here, but just at a high level, I guess, how should they think about it?
Barrett: Yeah, I think it’s a great question. So, I think, number one, is somebody having an enormous liquidity event, right? Are they selling a company for, and having a generational…you know, selling it for $10 million or $50 million or $100 million? Well, okay, I think maybe part of that strategy, depending on the person’s age, or was it in a trust or how did it happen, but maybe OZ should be part of the strategy, right? And talk that through. That should be at least part of the conversation and part of the modeling.
Or, is this a person who regularly has capital gains? Are they a really active stock trader? Do they get paid in restricted stock units? Are they a hedge fund or private equity guy, and most of their comp every year comes in capital gains? You know, so, all these things need to play into the conversation. But if someone doesn’t understand it, then it’s never part of the conversation in the first place. But I think those are kind of the ideal people who need to be thinking about it as part of their overall wealth planning.
Jimmy: And you at Savoy Equity Partners, you have been able to somewhat successfully tap into the RIA market. What’s been your MO to date, in terms of getting in front of RIAs and the clients that they serve?
Barrett: Sure. And I would say, well, 90% of our investment has just been from high-net-worth folks. Some of those people have been connected with us through their wealth manager, or, you know, someone like that, who’s giving them financial advice, and then we’ve created a relationship with them, and then they’ve ended up in a deal. And so, you know, the connection with them, a lot of times, is we’re not necessarily educating the financial professional. We’re educating the individual. And so, we’re skipping that step of having to educate the wealth manager or the guy doing the allocation into private investments or alternative investments, who then educates the wealth manager, who then educates the investor themselves.
Jimmy: And so, you oftentimes… So if somebody is represented by an RIA, do you go through the RIA, and have the RIA get…to use your funds on their platform, or do you just get tied in directly with the end investor client there?
Barrett: Yeah, one of our big investors is an OZ fund, like, a institutional OZ fund. And most of their investment comes from RIAs. A large majority comes from RIAs. And so, they have developed relationships over the last four years with these RIAs. And the way that they’ve done that is build relationships with the guy who is in charge of alternative investments. And that’s usually one guy. Even in a firm that controls $100 billion, there’s one guy who’s in charge of alternative investments.
Jimmy: Got it.
Barrett: So, build the relationship with him. Teach him everything about Opportunity Zone. You know, educate him, give him all the tools. And then that one guy is responsible for teaching, just like we talked about earlier, who is the right person for OZ investment? Big liquidity event, paid in capital gains, whatever it may be. And so, now, he’s teaching his individual wealth managers who’s the right person, and here’s what OZ is, and how it works, and why it’s a good tool. So there’s those multiple layers of education that have to happen before the investment actually comes back into their OZ fund and then they allocate it to someone like me. And so it’s much more time-consuming than maybe the normal investment cycle of, you know, “Hey, Jimmy, you’ve got an OZ fund personally,” or, “Hey, you’ve got capital gains burning a hole in your pocket, you know, and we’ve got another deal coming up.”
Jimmy: Right. Right. And I think, you know, one of the other challenges with getting RIAs to invest in OZs is they’re oftentimes not accessible to the RIA. And by that, I mean, RIAs oftentimes are looking at a particular platform that they’re able to invest their clients’ money into. Only certain investment products are on that platform. Certainly, you know, all of the traditional tradable securities, like equities and bonds. Maybe some private real estate funds pop on there. But if you have kind of this newer program with OZ funds that aren’t necessarily listed on those platforms, now the RIA has to kind of make an introduction between you, let’s say, or another OZ project sponsor, or fund sponsor, and their high-net-worth client.
And that kind of is detrimental to the RIA himself, because the RIA is typically charging a percent of AUM, maybe a half point or one point of assets under management. The RIA is now sending some of those assets outside of his office, so to speak. And admittedly, he’s doing a good fiduciary service to his client, hooking him up with somebody directly. Do you see that at all? Is that what I’m hearing there, or is that part of the problem as well?
Barrett: You nailed it. And so, this group that, you know, has invested with us, what they’ve done over the last couple years is they’ve gotten onboarded with these RIAs, so they’re now one of their approved investments. So, the investment that the RIA makes with them is still part of the RIA’s book. So they’re still charging a fee for assets under management. The RIA is still tracking that investment, still, you know, making sure that the quarterly reports come in, and the evaluations come in, and, you know, watching that investment, and charging a fee to do so, rightfully. But then, you know, so, that group is… The management fee and the assets are still on the system with the RIA. So, you’re right. A group like mine probably will not raise money at scale from RIAs because of those hurdles. Unless we grow significantly, which, hey, that’d be a lot of fun.
Jimmy: Sure. Sure. So, a lot to think about there with challenges for the RIA, tapping into the RIA marketplace, for a fund sponsor or project sponsor, such as yourself, that’s not institutional-size, you say with $100 billion
Barrett: Well, I think the reason this stuff’s fun to talk about, right, is because as the OZ marketplace grows, the pie gets bigger and we all benefit, right? If we’re doing more deals, as people have more awareness of the stuff, it gets better for everybody. Right? You have more people that are watching your podcast and getting excited about Opportunity Zone in general. I’m more excited because there’s more opportunity just for transactions, for, you know, all kinds of things in my world. And every person I call on the phone, I don’t have to have the same talk to explain what OZ is, and where to find the map and things like that. So, I think more dollars and more attention on this space is good for all the participants.
Jimmy: Absolutely. Well, that’s a good recap, I think, of the wealth management channel, I should say, and the RIA marketplace in terms of getting in front of them, convincing them that this is a great program, here’s why, here’s how it could be of benefit to your high-net-worth clients. That is one untapped market that we’re all chipping away at, I guess, over time. And things are getting better and better with each passing day.
Another untapped source of Opportunity Zone equity are banks. So, Barrett, what can you tell us about banks, and particularly, with respect to the Community Reinvestment Act, that incentivizes banks to invest equity into Qualified Opportunity Funds, to gain CRA credit? Is there any news there on that front or any points you wanna make there?
Barrett: Yeah. There is definitely some news, but I’ll bury the lede a little bit. And, you know, any Opportunity Zone loan that’s made, so, when we borrow money for construction loans or permanent loans or whatever, the lender gets CRA credit for making a loan that’s in an Opportunity Zone. So, that’s great. CRA credit is something that’s essential to banks, because they get evaluated every year to make sure that they have it. They get a score that I think is either extraordinary, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory. And that allows them to do business.
So, as long as they have a satisfactory rating, then they can go about their daily work. But a lot of banks, if they wanna do things like open new branches, or make more loans, or expand their lending territory, or mergers, then they really have to have kind of extraordinary CRA credit. And with this ranking every year, that’s a constant push to either do community service, or have a lot of loans in the CRA world, or make equity investments in the CRA areas.
So, banks do that by participating in [inaudible 00:18:12] deals. And what we found over the last couple months is, hey, some banks are making equity investments into OZ deals, to satisfy the CRA component. Specifically, a Houston-based bank called Woodforest, they started a $20 million OZ fund a couple years ago, and then they just launched a $100 million OZ fund. Wow, that’s pretty cool. But I didn’t really understand the significance behind it. I just kind of thought, “Well, okay, they’re doing this and that’s a neat thing.” But then I was on the phone with a senator’s office the other day, a guy who consults with him on banking stuff, and he told me something interesting. He said, “There’s some new CRA rulemaking going on at the White House, and it’s likely gonna happen. And over the next few weeks, you’ll hear about it. And 80% of the banks that currently have a satisfactory rating for CRA credit are gonna have an unsatisfactory rating.”
Whoa. That’s a big deal. Because now, all these banks that are doing business, and not getting hassled by the FDIC and the OCC, they’re gonna have to start making more loans in, you know, these certain areas, low-income areas, and other designated spots. They’re gonna have to make more equity investments. They’re gonna have to do more community service to get back in the good graces of their evaluators, just to go about their daily business, not to mention to do mergers, acquisitions, new lending, all this other stuff. It’s gonna really change the banking system in the short term.
Jimmy: And so, your thought there is that this should provide some extra incentive for banks to pour more equity into Qualified Opportunity Funds. Is that what you’re getting at?
Barrett: Yes. I think that more banks will follow the lead of what Woodforest has done. And by the way, Woodforest has created a subsidiary called Allivate, and they’re actively raising money from other banks into their OZ fund. And…
Jimmy: Sorry to interrupt. I did have Allivate on my podcast a few weeks back. And I’ll make sure I link to that episode in the show notes for today’s episode, if anybody wants to give that a listen. They were tremendous guests over there.
Barrett: Well, I think that they might really exceed their goals of $100 million if this passes in a few weeks, because I think banks are gonna be really, really nervously looking for more ways to gain CRA credit quickly if this rulemaking change happens. A little bit shocking. But yeah, it’s not necessarily bad for the OZ world, but I don’t know if it’s a great rule. But hey, I don’t make the rules.
Jimmy: I don’t know if it’s a great rule either. I don’t know enough about it. And it sounds like it might be bad news for banks, but maybe good news for OZs, as you mentioned, good news for Qualified Opportunity Funds and the investment projects that those QOFs deploy capital into. And, well, speaking of deploying capital into OZ deals, I wanted to hear a little bit more about you, Barrett, and your firm, Savoy Equity Partners, about your OZ deals. I guess a two-part question for you, why did you start working in Opportunity Zones, and could you give me some examples of some of the deals that you’re working on currently?
Barrett: Yeah. Well, always love talking about myself. So, here we go. You know, I’ve been in real estate for 15 years, bought my first deal 10 years ago, with my wife, and my mother-in-law was the money behind it, and it was a little eight-unit deal, and fixed it up. And we just kind of organically grew, and started doing bigger deals, 13 units, then 65, and then 115.
And, you know, what we found, though, is in Dallas, as the market got hotter and hotter, in order to make good returns, or for the deals to pencil well on the front end, we had to do kind of some weirder stuff. And so, we learned historic tax credits. We learned something called fractured condo deconversion. We started using all these different tools, so we were comfortable going into the weeds. And we were also comfortable doing really big gut renovations. So, there’s a part of Dallas just northeast of the Bishop Arts District, called kind of the Lake Cliff neighborhood. It’s actually a neighborhood that never had a name, because it was so blighted and vacant. But it’s kind of a three-block by five-block area with a bunch of crime, and they were really problematic.
And we’d always looked at it and said, “That would be a great neighborhood, because it’s so close to so many good things.” It’s right by downtown. It’s right by Lake Cliff Park. It’s right by the new Deck Park by the zoo. We would love to own there, but man, it’s a tough area. If you buy one building, even if you gold-plate it, it’s not gonna go up in value. So you need to buy a bunch. So we found eight buildings, and it was in an Opportunity Zone. We’d never done an Opportunity Zone deal. Well, our CPA had, and our attorney had, and they were willing to teach us how it worked.
Jimmy: And what year was this? When was this?
Barrett: That was 2020, right after the IRS guidance. So, we were also comfortable taking some investor money and going in. Didn’t feel like cowboys doing it. And so, okay, now, we bought eight buildings, and we fixed up a couple, and we really beat our pro forma. You know, so, we didn’t gold-plate one building, we gold-plated eight, and turned around the neighborhood a little bit. And these were substantial renovation deals. And so, we doubled the basis of the building, and it really worked well.
So, then we looked around and we said, “Okay, well, let’s buy a couple more.” So we bought four more buildings. And those worked out really well. And then we looked around and we said, “Man, there’s a lot of vacant land around here that’s been vacant for 40 years, and no developer in town realizes what we’re doing.” We’d never developed anything before. So, we said, “Okay, let’s go find a development partner.” So we brought somebody in, and first, we bought five building sites, then we bought two more building sites. And all right, now we’re developers. So, now we have actually 21 projects in Dallas, that are just northeast of the Bishop Arts District, right by Lake Cliff Park, right by the new Southern Gateway Deck Park, right by downtown, and we’re really excited about revitalizing this entire neighborhood, and it’s going really well.
And it’s also really exciting for us that as we’ve learned more and more about OZ, number one, the benefits are better than we expected. Number two, it really all fits within the spirit and the legislation of…the spirit and the rule of the legislation. Look, we never would have done this deal but for Opportunity Zone. We wouldn’t have taken the first step. Would we be building our 21st building? Yeah, probably. Without it. But we certainly wouldn’t have done the first one.
And I think that’s what’s cool about this deal is it catalyzes the development of areas that would be stuck without it. And it’s really neat to see that. And I’ve seen it in other places too. And it’s so good for cities and towns, and big and small, to have these properties put back on the tax rolls. I mean, think about the property tax value of this area that had been close to zero for 40 years, and now all of a sudden, we’re gonna create 1,000 units. It’s pretty awesome. So, yeah, that’s what we’re up to. We’ve now raised about 65 million bucks, for multiple projects. We’re also doing one in San Antonio now, which is an affordable deal. But it’s been a lot of fun, and we’ve expanded our scope to looking for deals in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, as well as kind of a two-hour circle around Dallas. So, we’re enjoying it, and OZ is about 90% of what we’re focused on.
Jimmy: Very good. And how are you raising capital for these deals? And it’s kind of a loaded question. And by raising capital, I mean, you know, from whom are you raising equity? Do you have any debt in the deal as well? Do you have project-specific Qualified Opportunity Funds that you’ve set up for investors to come into, or is it a multi-asset Qualified Opportunity Fund that deploys to all of the projects you’re working on? Tell me all of the nitty-gritty, gory details of….
Barrett: All of those?
Jimmy: Yeah, exactly.
Barrett: Everything you just said, we’ve done. So, from day one, I mentioned our attorney was kind of an early adopter, and actually, like, really brilliantly set up our very first deal. So, our very first deal was eight buildings. Each building was in a single asset LLC that was disregarded, and owned by a QOZB holding company. The QOZB is where the pref and promote live. And even on that very first deal, the QOZB is owned by seven Opportunity Zone funds. So, we have individuals, high-net-worth individuals, that have their own funds. They’re investors in the QOZB. We set up a project-specific Opportunity Zone Fund that individual investors came into for that deal. And that’s really been the model for all of our deals going forward, is that the project has a QOZB, we take investment from individual OZ funds, and we will set up an OZ fund to take money from individuals.
Jimmy: Got it. Now, do you also have one large all-encompassing QOF that deploys capital into all of the different QOZBs, or have you not gone that route, with a multi-asset fund?
Barrett: We have not gone that route. We’ve set up several OZ funds that are invested in multiple deals. So, we did five development deals at the same time. And we funded all those with one QOF, right?
Barrett: But we have yet to raise money for anything where the deal was unknown at that point in time.
Jimmy: Got it. Okay. Well, I think you’ve answered all my questions there on where your investments are coming from. Very interesting. I love asking that question because I get a slightly different answer from just about everybody. But they’re more or less the same, even though they’re all kind of slightly different.
Well, one thing you mentioned in one of your previous answers, Barrett, was adhering to both the spirit and the rule of the legislation. And I became aware a few weeks ago of a big Twitter thread that you started near the beginning of December, that highlights a lot of successful Opportunity Zone projects that would not have been possible without that Opportunity Zone legislation, that new tax policy, that was, of course, signed into law at the end of 2017.
That Twitter thread got picked up and highlighted on a big EIG and Novogradac webinar that they did, highlighting the 2022 year-end recap, about a month back. That’s how I found out about it, by the way. By the way, I’ll make sure to link to this Twitter thread that we’re discussing in the show notes for today’s episode. But, Barrett, why did you start that Twitter thread, why is it important, and what kind of response have you gotten from it on Twitter?
Barrett: Sure. I had been approached by a few people, including, spoken with EIG at that point, and spoken with a few other people about the legislation that was pending last year, didn’t pass. Now it’s gonna be reintroduced. But just talking about, hey, how can we change hearts and minds about Opportunity Zone? How can we introduce it to more people? And didn’t really get a great response. Not that I got a negative response. Just didn’t get any good ideas. And I’m really active on Twitter, have been active on Twitter now for a little over a year, and have come to understand what kind of gets attention and what doesn’t, how do you get other people’s attention? But I’ve also become pretty good friends with 20-plus other Opportunity Zone developers, a whole lot of investors.
And so I said, “Okay, well, what can I do here that works?” And so, behind the scenes, I did quite a bit of work to make that thread get as much attention as it did. And I reached out to a whole bunch of my development buddies and said, “Hey, I’m gonna post something, and I want you to reply with your development, and a reason why it’s important for OZ, or a reason why it revitalized a neighborhood, or whatever.” And so, I posted mine, and in the photo of mine, I tagged Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Scott. You know, all the senators that were on Senate Finance Committee, as well as the mayor of Dallas, my city councilman, a whole bunch of other people. And then, all of a sudden, and it looked totally organic, to you, but, you know, these developers from Florida and Ohio and North Carolina and Utah and California and Oregon, they all started posting their deals. So now, over the next 12 hours, we had 25… And then people I didn’t know started joining as well, which was amazing.
Jimmy: Then it did start turning into an organic [crosstalk 00:31:56]
Barrett: Yeah, then it get a little organic.
Jimmy: Started snowballing, right?
Barrett: Yeah. But the other amazing thing… So, the bottom line is it got hundreds of thousands of impressions, a whole bunch of likes, which was fantastic. Got mentioned by EIG. It got the attention of Senator Scott, which was amazing. I didn’t dream that anything I did on Twitter would get a senator’s attention. It actually impressed my wife, which is rare, of anything I do on Twitter.
Jimmy: That might be the most important.
Barrett: Yeah, exciting, right? But I think the really cool thing that it highlighted was, like, look, this OZ stuff actually is doing important, neighborhood-changing, neighborhood-catalyzing development. And that never gets talked about in “The Wall Street Journal.” It never gets talked about in “The New York Times.” But we were able to highlight it in a way that did get people’s attention, and that was a really cool thing to do. The other thing is there were hundreds of comments. And I’ve looked again. I haven’t found a negative one yet. How often do you see 20, 30 developers post pictures of their projects and not see a negative comment? That blew me away. So, it was a really fun thing to do. Got great feedback, obviously. And yeah, I don’t know, it came together organically. But not.
Jimmy: Yeah, and that was a remarkable Twitter thread. And as I mentioned, I’ll be sure to link to it in the show notes for today’s episode. And I do think it’s really important that we continue to highlight that Twitter thread and other stories of successful Opportunity Zones projects. As you mentioned, the OZ Reform Legislation that was introduced last April did not end up getting passed toward the end of last year. The Congress ended up passing an omnibus bill that did not include any tax extenders in it, unfortunately.
And we’re hopeful that the legislation gets reintroduced in this new session of Congress that just began about a week ago. We finally have a Speaker of the House as of last week. And we’re hoping that the OZ Reform Legislation gets reintroduced, and passed, eventually, in this session of Congress. Hopefully, this year, if not next year. These things tend to take a little while to get extended, though. But that just goes to show that it’s still very important the work that you’re doing, Barrett, in terms of advocating for Opportunity Zones with mayors, with senators, with other congressmen and other policymakers, and other policy influencers. It’s important that we keep our foot on the accelerator pedal, and hopefully, we get OZ Reform Legislation passed sooner rather than later. I feel like I’ve been saying that for the last eight months, but it’s true, because we do need this thing to get extended. Otherwise, it’s a perishable incentive that’s gonna run out after the end of 2026. Anything else to add there, Barrett?
Barrett: No, I think that’s right. What I said about the no negative comments, I think, as a developer, and I think most other developers I know are pretty shy about sharing much about what they’re doing, right? I mean, look, we’re not popular folks, in general. But I think in this case, be a little less shy, because what you share can have a positive impact on neighborhoods. But certainly, at the government level, reach out to your Senator, reach out to your congressman, reach out to your city councilman, and share with them, if you’re not willing to share on Twitter. You know, but don’t be shy about telling someone what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, because I think it could end up having an enormous impact for all OZ participants.
Jimmy: I agree. I would say, just to add on to that, I think it’s okay to brag about your OZ project, because it should…especially if it’s successful, and has community impact. Those aren’t the types of stories that get picked up by “The Wall Street Journal” and “The New York Times.” They like to pick up on the more, I don’t know, outrageous types of OZ projects. But those are actually the rare case, the exception rather than the norm. The norm, I think, there are the types of projects that you linked to in your Twitter thread.
Well, Barrett, thank you for joining me on the podcast today. We’ve run out of time, but before we go, if anybody’s interested in connecting with you or learning more about Savoy Equity Partners, how can they do that? Where can our listeners and viewers go to learn more about you and Savoy Equity Partners?
Barrett: Sure. Well, I hope they’ve learned now that I’m active on Twitter. Also, Savoy Equity Partners has a LinkedIn page, and just a regular website, savoyequitypartners.com. So, yeah, anyone who wants to connect, I would love to hear from you.
Jimmy: Terrific. And, of course, for our listeners and viewers out there today, I will as always have show notes available, as I’ve mentioned. Those show notes for this episode will be available at opportunitydb.com/podcast. And I’ll have links to all of the resources that Barrett and I discussed on today’s show. I’ll make sure to link to that Twitter thread, as well as Savoy Equity Partners’ LinkedIn page and web page. And please be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube or your favorite podcast listening platform, to always get the latest episodes. Barrett, thanks again for joining me today. Really appreciate it.
Barrett: Thanks, Jimmy.