Expect many of your initial endeavors will be less than ideal. Some will outright fail. Accept that. No matter what you think you’re calling is, be prepared to adapt. Opportunities will be available to seize.

 

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1960, Eduard De Guardiola found himself in a new country when he was just six years old. The lessons he learned as his family adjusted to the culture in Miami, Florida, in the United States of America have lasted through his life. One thing that remains with him is the pride his father had in their new country. His father arrived on the shores of the United States with six children, a wife, and only six hundred dollars in his pocket. By the time Eduard graduated High School his father was a successful agricultural investor.

While he was still young, Eduard De Guardiola and his brothers knew they had to help the family and they worked hard to achieve that goal. They each took jobs delivering papers, working as grocery store baggers and whatever tasks they could be hired for. Through all of that support, they continued to work hard in school as well. Eduard graduated from high school and entered the Universally of Florida in 1971. After two years he transferred to Florida State where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. In 1978 he graduated again, this time from Florida State with a law degree. He practiced law for three years.
When Eduard came to realize practicing law wasn’t his passion, he shifted careers and began venturing into real estate.

Eduard De Guardiola’s initial introduction to real estate was a handful of commercial real estate ventures through Florida and Georgia. The first time his business entered the slower real estate market, he began to research all of the real estate options available to him. This research is how he was introduced to the multifamily unit aspect of the industry. He found his home in the market. In the early 1990s, he partnered with a father and son team to create the Focus Group. Together they built a successful portfolio of multifamily units that led to increased successful sales of the more than 3,000 units late in the decade. This opened the way for Eduard to venture out on his own. August of 2000 saw the formation of the Vista Realty Partners, where Eduard De Guardiola continues to serve as CEO and Chairman.

His continued success with Vista Realty Partners led to the creation of the Guardiola Family Office. This new business venture is rooted in the concept of paying it forward. The family office has facilitated a channel for supporting new entrepreneurs entering the real estate marketplace. He is able to offer help through counseling and mentoring, a portfolio to back their funding request, and, at times, he is able to sponsor a solid business plan.

Away from Vista Realty Partners and the Guardiola Family Office, Eduard Guardiola enjoys time with his wife and children. They like to travel, go skiing, deep sea fishing, and golfing. Both he and his wife are active with their church and prolific philanthropists. They take great joy in sharing their knowledge, experience, and resources to the benefit of those in need.

Where did the idea for Vista Realty Partners come from?

Vista Realty Partners was born from the harsh experiences I learned from when I entered the real estate industry. Real estate is a capital-intensive business. Real estate development is even more intensive. To get the capital, you either need to have an investor or a portfolio of successful business ventures for a loan. After that, you need to be able to adapt quickly to whatever the market may do.

It’s been my goal to create a streamlined real estate development company that is both adaptable and efficient. Vista Realty Partners is the realization of that goal.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I wake up every morning and start my day with a workout. After a good breakfast with my wife, I go into the office. By 9:30 I am focused on reading and proofreading legal documents and working on other things that require an astute mind. As my concentration and focus begin to wane after lunch, I begin to work through emails, answering and returning phone calls, and participate in conferences and conversations about our projects.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Every decision is put through a process. We review the proposal as a group. Once we believe we’ve got a grasp of the venture, we discuss any issues we can see and recreate the final project as a model. It helps to give us a clear perspective of the final vision. Once we have analyzed the fiscal aspects we convene an internal review board. As a group with my senior managers we vote on the project and if we approve it, we move forward quickly.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Every new technology begins integration in high end private homes. Years ago, that meant only a few could regulate their homes by phone with the smart home technologies. This is changing. Many new multifamily units are including this in the integration of the apartments. So, if you forgot to lock a door, set an alarm, or want to preheat the oven you can control it from your phone, even if you’re not the owner of a smart home. It is really exciting to see and be a part of this implementation.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I make it a point to be respectful of time, both the person I’m interacting with and my own. I’m not likely to spend hours kicking around ideas on projects that I don’t believe we will move forward on. For example, I will not work with office or commercial properties. Instead of entertaining the idea for a moment, I am quick to explain this. It means the parting seeking help can continue on their way to find someone who will work in these markets with them.

It’s important to work with the areas you’re most confident in. For Vista Realty Partners that means we are focused on the multifamily communities. Doing this allows me to make quick decisions that will result in a successful outcome. I see no need to cast a wide net when I only need a specific fish.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Expect many of your initial endeavors will be less than ideal. Some will outright fail. Accept that. No matter what you think you’re calling is, be prepared to adapt. Opportunities will be available to seize.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

I believe that it is universally true that people tend to purchase high and sell low. This is a result of the influence people outside of ourselves can extend over us. When the media, our friend, or family get excited about something it can create the same within us and we make quick choices that are not always the best. When things happen that make us fearful, many will sell. So, using real estate as the example. If your best friend is seeing success in a unit they purchased in a specific area, you might get excited and jump into the same local area. Not being first or early means the best deals have been missed. Being late means buying high. When an initial bump in the road surfaces it can trigger fear, which leads to selling. A market downtime is the worst time to sell. While not many will admit it, this is a consistent occurrence.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I believe it is crucial to maintain strong relationships with outside partners. This applies primarily with those you have experienced or shared a success with. Every project you work on you’ll need outside partners. Having people in your life that you know you can depend on always has the best results for everyone involved.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

During some of the economic downturns that I have encountered, there have been some very good opportunities to invest. I made the choice to purchase properties during those difficult periods and every time I did, it paid off. Going back to what I was saying about purchasing high, in this case, I was purchasing low. I got into a market when others were leaving it. It took a lot to push out the negative thoughts, focus on what was coming from each investment, and move forward with the projects.

Over the last three decades in the industry, every downturn there was a risk worth taking. I bought low and later was able to sell high.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I found some challenges in selecting the candidate for key roles in my company. By empowering two longtime senior executives in the hiring process and relying on an external company for the background and vetting aspects, we have been able to make solid decisions and overcome previous shortcomings.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Learn to develop a platform for contracting improvements in the kitchen, bathroom, and closets. These are key locations for any real estate investor. This translates to a need for experts in these areas.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently purchased a health monitor which tracks everything from my physical activity to my sleep quality. It has been a good guide for my health.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

The lifeline for Vista Realty Partners is the Excel spreadsheet. We use it to track and analyze all of the information related to potential investments. The spreadsheet is tying together everything from market research numbers to possible fiscal investment. It makes the choices much easier by having all of that information in one location.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything by Victor Strecher.

This book has left an incredible impact on my life and helped me to see the most positive way to create personal priorities.

What is your favorite quote?

“Be greedy when others are fearful and be fearful when others are greedy.”
Warren Buffett

This relates back to a lot of what I’ve been talking about. Buying when others are afraid to invest allows you to get a good price to build from. Selling when others think you’re in the right place means you’ll get a good price and their greed will show them their bad timing.

Key Learnings:

  • You must have humility
  • Be quick to make a firm choice in business, but give time to the choices affecting others
  • You must persevere in whatever changes occur around you
  • Remain loyal to those who have done well for you
  • History is the best guide to the markets, learn from it

Connect:

http://eduarddeguardiola.com
http://www.vistarp.com/team.php
http://www.degfo.com/
Eduard De Guardiola on CrunchBase: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/eduard-de-guardiola-dae2
Eduard De Guardiola on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EduardDeGuardio
Eduard De Guardiola on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/eduard-de-guardiola

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