There is an art form to being present at work but then switching gears when you are home. Strive every day to make both worlds full and meaningful.
Entrepreneur and Principal of NEME Capital, Steven Taylor is a highly accomplished landlord and real estate investor in Los Angeles. His vast experience in the Southern California real estate market is demonstrated by his successful completion of over $500 million in transactions as the result of both acquisitions and dispositions.
Mr. Taylor was recognized as one of South California’s top “30 under 30,” real estate professionals and was selected to “SYP’s 2007 Honored Professionals” for demonstrating excellence in his field.
Steven is active in several philanthropic endeavors. He was a Board Member of the Museum of Holocaust, part of the Young Leadership Development Program at the Jewish Federation and is currently a Benefactor for the Friends of Israeli Defense Forces and on the Leadership Advisory Board at Vista Del Mar.
In 2013 Steven created Taylor Equities, a family run business which acquires value-add multi-family properties. Currently, Steven manages Taylor Equites portfolio and is responsible for all major investment and operational activity.
Where did the idea for NEME Capital come from?
The name of the company is an acronym for the people in my family, Natalie, Ella, Maya, and Ethan. My family, especially my children, are the driving force behind my business decisions. I place a strong value on creating generational wealth.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I appreciate having a routine and structure. I like to plan out my weeks with purpose and weekly goals. Based on the priorities of the week I will make sure my daily schedule helps me accomplish those tasks. In general, my days are divided into 3 consistent categories; my needs, my business requirements, and my family requirements. The mornings start with family needs. I wake up my children. The process typically involves some sort of tickle or wrestle war. We often eat breakfast together where I typically request our Alexa to play John Mayer, Jack Johnson, or Coldplay. It’s important for me to exercise; it helps me maintain mental clarity and energy to tackle the day. Then, I can shift to my workday. My company work environment is very autonomous. I do not like to micromanage my team. I feel this allows them to be efficient and productive. I have weekly touch base meetings with the employees but beyond that everyone manages their workload and schedule accordingly.
After a long day of work, comes the drive home, where I spend finishing work calls and usually touch base with my mom. The entry into the house is one of the highlights of my day…. 3 kids and 1 dog come charging at me. I get an exciting greeting, we transition into dinner and bedtime. At the end of the day, I feel most productive when I feel I’ve succeeded in being mentally, emotionally and physically present in the various activities of the day. It’s actually quite challenging to maintain this discipline. I’ve worked hard to make this a goal for myself. I strive to create balance in my life, and I notice the positive impact it has on my productivity and the quality of my social and professional interactions.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Putting plans in motion often involves a lot of brainstorming with family and friends. I like to take pen to paper and create charts and to-do lists. I am old school in that sense. I think listening to different opinions helps me critically analyze an idea. After I’ve determined the direction I want to proceed with, I am normally quick to put things in action. I don’t like to lose time deliberating on thoughts. I am very action-driven so I start to delegate tasks to the appropriate people and write down goals for myself that I stay on top of.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One thing that excites me is that the City of Los Angeles has established new Metro Line stops for the public transportation system. The newly created stops are designed to eliminate traffic and congestion within the metro area, while providing additional essential housing in the city. The Metro line will change the city immensely.
I can also get on board with the trend to develop apartment buildings that are within walking distance of the new Metro Line stops. This is commensurate with my preference to develop mixed-use and amenities rich buildings. This is an additional amenity to improve the tenant’s experience. I would like to take advantage of the newly established public transportation line for quintessential housing development.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am highly competitive and driven. I don’t need outside motivation or inspiration; I am fully self-motivated. I am always mindful of creating generational wealth.
What advice would you give your younger self?
There is a delicate balance between having a successful career vs. a successful life. Unfortunately, they often compete with each other. The demands of both worlds are endless and tiresome. In reality, you are juggling two versions of yourself 24-7. There is an art form to being present at work but then switching gears when you are home. Strive every day to make both worlds full and meaningful. You need them equally.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
One thing that people have to acknowledge is that “street retail” in Los Angeles and elsewhere is becoming a thing of the past. I predicted this long ago. E-commerce is so convenient and so powerful. Amazon has destroyed the retail market. Anyone can see the retail dissolution across the country. Personally, Amazon delivers to my doorstep every day. The writing is on the wall.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend keeping a vigilant watch on your portfolio. I am constantly re-evaluating my position on the portfolio. Being current with the market but with a long-term outlook is key in real estate.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Skillful negotiation is one strategy that has grown my business. The money is made on the buy, not the sale. With polished negotiation skills, I am able to spend less than necessary. When buying a property, I am setting myself up for future profits which is the key strategy to success.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I purchased a single tenant industrial building. The purchase was made a few months before the great recession. Unfortunately, the tenant went bankrupt. It took nearly a year for me to regain possession of the building. During that timeframe, the rental market had dropped by nearly fifty percent. I overcame it by becoming creative with the property. I turned the single-tenant property into a multi-tenant creative office and flex space. Creating the multi-tenant space enabled me to recover the revenue loss from the decline in the rental market. The additional rental units restored the income to the level I had before the recession.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A great idea for a business is to create a PH (potential hydrogen) detector for milk cartons to help us know exactly when the milk has expired. I don’t trust their arbitrary expiration dates. I don’t have a good sense of smell, I am always at the mercy of someone else to confirm if my milk has gone sour or not. I believe such a device would be beneficial to many and profitable in the market.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best hundred dollars I have spent recently was on my Bose wireless speaker. My family and I have taken it with us around the world and have created many fun memories singing and walking together to a fun new song. We take it with us on hikes, bike rides, and picnics. Music is a big part of our family life.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use TitlePro. It is a software that provides an aerial view of the city. The software allows you to click on a property parcel and it will give you a property profile of that parcel. It is a great way to pick up critical information, such as zoning, square footage of the improvement, and square footage of the lot. It can view the neighbors as well as the city overall.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I typically read books for entertainment. I am a history buff. The books I enjoy most are on World War II. I recently read Unbroken. They turned the book into a movie. It is a great but troubling story. It focuses on a pilot who was captured and survived the atrocities of being a prisoner of war. He was an Olympic sprinter. It characterizes the determination, ability, and fortitude he had to persevere through it all. The book reminds you that if you stay focused and you are resilient you can work through good and bad times.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn
• In purchasing a property, the money is made on the buy, not the sale.
• When buying property, you are setting yourself up for future profits which is the key strategy to success.
• There is an art form to being present at work but then switching gears when you are home.
• Strive every day to make both worlds full and meaningful.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.