Sept. 30, 2022

Tenants in Tow with Raphael Collazo


Raphael Collazo is a licensed commercial real estate agent specializing in retail and multi-family properties. Transitioning from a career in software, Raphael brings a strong technical background and a love for dissecting complex problems to his client interactions. These characteristics enable him to provide innovative and effective real estate solutions to help his clients get the most out of each transaction. As a real estate investor himself, Raphael is acutely aware of what investors look for when evaluating commercial property. As a result, he’s able to offer a unique perspective and help his clients make the best possible decision based on their financial goals.

Prior to joining the Grisanti Group, Raphael worked as a software implementation consultant for FAST Enterprises, a software company that provides C.O.T.S software products to government agencies. Having lived and worked in various locations around the United States and abroad including Pordenone, Italy, Phoenix, Arizona, Washington D.C, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Louisville Kentucky, Raphael has gained a unique understanding of cultural intricacies and has leveraged those experiences to expand his professional network to better serve his clients.

Along with being a full-time commercial agent, Raphael is also the author of the Millennial Playbook series, a book series that focuses on personal and professional development topics for young professionals. He wrote his latest book, "Before You Buy That Building" to help business owners with the often difficult process of purchasing commercial real estate. As a performance coach and speaker, he's also had the opportunity to speak to thousands of students and professionals on a wide range of subjects. 

Raphael graduated from Arizona State University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a minor in economics.

https://www.raphaelcollazo.com

Transcript

Josh Wilson
 Welcome to the Deal Scout. This is such a fun show because all day long we talk about deals with deal makers, deals gone wild, deals that fall apart. The purpose and mission of the show is to put deals and dealmakers together. I'm a Scout, so I hunt for deals. With that, I wanted to have a conversation about the retail side of commercial real estate. I went to my network and I said, hey, who could talk about this? And we found a guy. Raphael and you're going to have to say your last name because I can't do it. But raphael welcome to the show, man. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Hey, man, how's it going? Yeah, my last name is Koyaso, so in Spanish, the double L is a yas sound. So that's how you say it. Koyaso kuyaso. 


 Josh Wilson
 Awesome. That's a cool name, man. Rafael Koyaso. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah. No, I appreciate it. It's the only one I have, so I got to kind of work with it. 


 Josh Wilson
 You're stuck with it. Let's make the best of it, right? Awesome. So where are you guys located? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, so we are currently located in Louisville, Kentucky. It's on the fringe for those you guys who know geographically along the Ohio River. Indiana, southern Indiana is on the other side, so, yeah, it's a great little city. I've been here for about five years now, so it's been a great ride so far. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super cool. What do you do, like, on a daily basis? What's your focus in business? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, so that's a great question. I've been in the brokerage space since mid 2019. I joined a boutique brokerage, so we do work on of everything. That's what I essentially started out doing. I did office deals, I did multifamily deals, I've done industrial deals, I've done retail, all types of retail deals. Over time, I started kind of gravitating more towards the retail end. Our brokers does quite do quite a bit of retail. Our broker in particular, that's kind of where his background is from. He owned restaurants in the past, and so he's very familiar with what to look out for these types of opportunities. I find myself naturally gravitating towards that. I still work on a variety of other deals as well, but I would say my focal point, let's say 60 to maybe 70% of what I do has been kind of gravitating more towards the retail side. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, copy that. How'd you get into commercial real estate and becoming a deal maker on this side of the world? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, that's a great question. I'm actually an engineer by trade, so I studied industrial engineering and minor economics at Arizona State University. I got into the software consulting space. I was a software developer and consultant for a company that implemented software systems for government agencies around the country and abroad. So I lived in Washington, DC. I lived in Puerto Rico for a couple of years on a big tax software project. When Hurricane Maria hit, the project got put temporarily on hold, and I was moved to Louisville, Kentucky to help with the project to replace the financial software system for the city. What was a temporary relocation became more permanent when my project manager wanted to keep me around. Right around mid 2019, I transitioned away from what I was doing before and jumped into the brokerage side. Obviously, I get to ask a lot why I did that, especially coming from a pretty lucrative career of software. 


 Raphael Collazo
 A big reason for it is the transitory nature of what I was doing before. I was moving every other year, and I just wasn't sustainable if you wanted to build something of significance. I've always kind of been somewhat entrepreneurial. I had a catering company in college, and a year out of college I got accepted into an incubator in Phoenix where I tried to grow a restaurant. Essentially, that's what I thought I wanted to do, learn relatively quickly. That was not what I wanted to do long term. Ultimately I got the opportunity to engineer. Again, the reason I got a brokerage is my mom's residential agent in Arizona very well, and she originally encouraged me to go the residential route, but I just couldn't deal with the emotions involved in the home purchase process. I felt like my personality and my skill set was best suited for a commercial role where you're dealing a lot more on the business side of things. 


 Josh Wilson
 I found the same thing. I started out in construction, but then I got into I got my real estate license, and they're like, all right, listings, listings. I went after all these listings and I was like, oh, man, I really don't work well with homeowners and the general public. I work really well with investors. That's when I started moving over to only working with investors on the commercial side. I think it's so important for us as deal makers to know who we are, to have that emotional intelligence, to know who we are, to find the best fit in this kind of deals. How did you discover that about you to land you into this role? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, I know that's a great question. I've done deals in all different property types, so I've done office deals, I've done multifamily deals, I've done retail industrial deals. Having gone through the experience of doing these, I realized a few things about myself. One, being on the multifamily end, it is a lot like a residential property, especially if you're talking about small mom and pop operators. Typically, if someone owns an APlex that is selling it because they want to retire, that's like their investment from when they were for their entire career. Their emotional attachment sometimes can get involved. It can be somewhat of a challenging process to kind of get them over the hump when it comes to getting the deal squared away. Along with that, the due diligence process of multifamily, you're going to people's homes and coordinating all that can be kind of a pain. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Tenants asking questions, you have to be discreet about everything. Having done several of these over the last couple of years, I realized that although if an opportunity presents itself, ian Hill execute on the deal. I've executed well on those deals, it's not a deal that I love or enjoy. On the retail side, I love learning about businesses. I've dealt with people who own, like, rug cleaning businesses. I've dealt with people who own restaurants. I've dealt with people who own liquor stores, convenience stores. You get to learn the nuances of these different types of businesses and know how each operate and how the space can help or detract from their success. That's one of the reasons I was most attracted to the retail side, is because you can literally work with hundreds of different types of businesses and you get to learn about the nuances of each. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I don't know if that answers your question, but that's kind of my thing. 


 Josh Wilson
 Absolutely. Man now, you mentioned something that also is true with me, and I've interviewed maybe a thousand entrepreneurs over the years of doing this. Something that stands out to me is being an engineer in the software world, you were transient by nature. My daughter's 90. She's lived in like, eight different homes, right? It wasn't until I looked at the things that I'm building for my family and I said, if I want to build something like you said, something of significance, I have to dig in and build. Right? And that was the same for me. It might not be for everybody, but what was the turning point that made you think that way? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah. I'll give you of background on myself as well. I was actually born in northeast Italy, so my dad, he was in the Air Force. He met my mom. He was stationed at Yano Air Base, so he had myself and my twin brother. I'm a fraternal twin, and so I lived in Italy. I was five, and we moved to Germany, and I was there for several years, and then I moved to Belgium and I was there for five years, and then I moved to Arizona. I've only ever been in one place no more than five years. It's been hopping around over and over and over again. There are some pros and cons to each. Obviously, the pros are that you become very adaptable. Like, you can put me in any location around the world or even around the United States, and I can adapt. I could find a way to build the network. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I can find a way to be able to make something of whatever situation I'm in, but to that point, it becomes a lot harder to build a deep network. You could build an expansive network, but the deep network comes from consistent repetition where you see people on a regular basis and get engaged with them all consistently over time. That's what was lacking when I was traveling so much and moving every other year. Right. Because when you do move away from a location as much as you say, you want to keep in contact and whatever else, life just happens, and it's very hard to be able to maintain those connections at a distance, whereas when you are physically somewhere, it's a lot easier to be able to say, hey, let's go grab lunch. Hey, let's go grab coffee. Key, let's meet to go over this deal. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Granted, it's become a lot more prevalent now with Zoom and everything, to be able to connect with people just all across the nation, but I don't think you can place that physical interaction when it comes to building those strong, lasting relationships. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, I am so aligned with you. I feel that true. I walk my kids to school, I see the same people, the same crossing guards, I go to the same coffee shops. We start to know each other's name. I think that's important to build a deep network. A deep network. I love how you kind of compare and contrast expansive. Right. Like, people in Italy and people in all these other places that you live versus a deep network of let's go deep together versus expansive. Now, how has that impacted your business and building something of significance, that choice. 


 Raphael Collazo
 The choice, yeah. It's the difference between not having a business and having a business, in my opinion, especially when you talk about commercial real estate, because you deal with the same people in residential real estate. There may be 10,000 agents in the market where in the commercial realm, it's like at least in our market. And obviously we're unique because we're Louisville. It may be different in Phoenix, it may be different than San Francisco, it may be different in New York City, but even then I would say that the ratios hold true. You may be having an art market, maybe 200 to 300 people who are commercial agents and the ones who are really transacting are probably in the 80 to 100 range. You run into the same people over and over and over again. Being able to engross yourself in that environment, in my opinion, has been game changing for me. 


 Raphael Collazo
 So that's just one example. As far as the other parts are concerned, in Louisville, where it's somewhat of a unique city, in that it's very not necessarily clicky, but it's very hard to break the shell. One of the first things that people often say that are transplants that move here, when they ask you where you went to school, it's not your college, it's where do you go to high school? Like there are factions of high schools and everything else. Based on where you went to high school, that says something about you as an individual. And so it's kind of interesting. It's a very interesting dynamic that's very unique to Louisville that I didn't see in Phoenix, that I didn't see in DC. That I didn't see in other parts of the country. Being able to break into that establishment, as they say, requires you to become like a known commodity. 


 Raphael Collazo
 And that obviously takes some time. You can't do it over time, you can't do it overnight. That's kind of I don't know if that answers your question, but that's my observation. 


 Josh Wilson
 To do that, this is what I see on your LinkedIn commercial real estate meet ups, group coordinator, YouTube host, co host of a podcast show and then other groups and things, author of a book. You said to do to break into a network, you have to be known. Those are some of the things you did. This is an opportunity to kind of give a shout out for some of the this that you're working on. Give a shout out to your podcast, into your books and some of the other stuff you're working on. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, I know for sure, man. I started a podcast about a year and a half ago with a buddy of mine who's a business partner as well. He owns a commercial construction company here in town. It's called the Commercial Real Estate Academy podcast. We interview commercial professionals from a variety of different professions. We've had lawyers, we've had construction company owners, developers, brokers, bankers, lawyers, you name it, but really focused on the commercial real estate industry. We talk about a variety of different subjects to enlighten people about the commercial real estate industry. So that's kind of the podcast itself. The books that I've written six, but two of which are commercial real estate focused. One, which was released last year is called before you sign that Lease. The small business owners got a lease in commercial space. The one I've just released, actually a week and a half ago, is before you buy that building. 


 Raphael Collazo
 The Small Business Owners Guide to Buying Commercial Real Estate. That's going to be a series of commercial real estate books. The next one is going to before you sell that building. The next one after that is going to before you develop that building. The final one is going to before you invest in that building, which is like the limited partner's guide to vetting sponsors. So it's going to be go ahead. 


 Josh Wilson
 These books are already written and you're just not yet. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Well, that's the vision of the next book, which is before you sell that building. I'm about 70% complete on that one. As we start getting more into the development side, I'm going to have lessons learned from those experiences and I'm going to apply that to writing. Before you develop that building. As we start raising money, which is what we're going to have to do some of these deals. Before You Invest In That Building is going to be like a book on how to vet sponsors. So nice. 


 Josh Wilson
 And you've already written six. Did I Team Chat? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Right? 


 Josh Wilson
 What are the other ones about? 


 Raphael Collazo
 They were called the Millennial Playbook Series. It was personal and professional development topics for young professionals. I started writing those, and when I was doing what I was doing before in the software space, I had a blog and then took some of the articles that I wrote in the blog. That was my first book. From there, I just got into the habit of writing and wrote several other books after that. 


 Josh Wilson
 Please give me some advice. I'm in the process of writing my first book and it's literally been years and I'm struggling. Give me some advice. For other deal makers who know that they need to write a book too, about their journey and about life and the things that they're learning, because I think as we share our knowledge, we actually become better deal makers. Give me some advice on how to I get my first book out of here. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, I know. I think a starting point that was the hardest for me is that the overcoming the Imposter syndrome, because a lot of times, especially I'm relatively early in my career, there's people that take a note more gray hair than I do that haven't written a book. A lot of times the idea of who am I to write something like this is something that everyone deals with. I dealt with it. Every time I release a book, I continually have this thought process. Understanding that the target audience that you're broaching, if you have more knowledge about the process than they do, then you're adding value, right? I've been in the business for three years now. I've done quite several deals over the course of my three year career. I'm going to know a lot more about the leasing process, the purchase process, the selling process, than a mom and pop operator, a business owner, a small time investor. 


 Raphael Collazo
 So that type of stuff. I can apply a lot of value through my experiences by writing these books. The second piece is consistently writing. I got into the habit of writing 250 to 500 words a day, and I did that for several years. I mean, almost five years of just straight writing, writing. And a lot of the writing sucks. Like, it's not very good to start off with, but you start getting more effective through repetition. So that's my advice. Obviously, don't edit when you write. Just write, get your word count, and then at a later time, come back to it and edit. If you have to scrap the rest, that's fine. That's happened to me many times throughout written something, it sucked. I'm like, okay, well, I'm probably going to during the editing session, I got rid of it. It's all about repetition, because if you think about it, if you write 500 words a day, it takes you 100 days to write a 200 page book, a 50,000 word book. 


 Raphael Collazo
 So that's the logic there. 


 Josh Wilson
 Now, when you write, do you prefer pen and paper? Do you use a typewriter? 


 Raphael Collazo
 No, just computer word doc. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Again, it's all about the word count. As soon as I hit my word count, I can feel good about just stopping. Obviously, I finished my train of thought. I don't want to leave something just kind of hanging, but if I'm at 525 words and it's done, I'm like, okay, that's it. And then I leave it. I come back at a later date. If I feel like I want to write more, I'll write more. No one's stopping me from writing more, but as long as I hit that word count, we're in good shape. 


 Josh Wilson
 The hardest book for you to write? 


 Raphael Collazo
 The hardest book, probably the first one. I think it's just getting in the rhythm, right when you're establishing any type of habit. There's this book called the Habit Loop that I read many years ago that kind of informed me on how to structure habits. Anytime you're early on in the process of executing a habit, it's going to be very awkward and very difficult. Getting over that hump is usually the hardest part. Once you get into a rhythm, it's like working out, right? Once you start working out. At first it really sucks. It hurts. You don't want to get up, and then all of a sudden, you do it consistently over time. Now if you don't work out, it's kind of weird. You feel weird. You're like, I don't feel the same as I should. And so it's just getting going on. The first one, I think, was probably the hardest. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Just being consistent, I think that's the biggest thing. 


 Josh Wilson
 Awesome, man. I appreciate that. I appreciate you sharing that recommendation, man. Just get the word count in. Don't edit, don't worry if it's crap, just get it out there. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yes. 


 Josh Wilson
 I'd probably need an editor or someone to kind of tune it up for me because I'm hypercritical. Now, from an engineer background, I assume this idea of perfection. I guess perfection and systems and processes are probably pretty heavy. In your mind, how do you wake creativity with that engineer mindset? How do you balance that? 


 Raphael Collazo
 That's good. Yeah, that's a good question. I would say I'm writing nonfiction so I can't profess to know the creative process of how to formulate a fantastical story. That's not really what I've done a lot of personally. To that point, I don't really have an opinion. As far as the systemization of the process, yes, I do everything. I mean, in any business, it's important to have systems, and for me, it was the writing in the morning, and then once the manuscript is complete, you have a process of getting it live. So I would do the full editing. I'd contract people on fiverr to format the book. I'd contract people on fiverr or 99 designs to do the cover design. The process is already laid out. It's in a Word document that I can follow. If in the future I decide to offshore that or offload that to someone else to be able to handle that process, I can do so because it's already written out. 


 Raphael Collazo
 So, yeah, I'm not sure if that answers your question, but yeah, I'm a big systems guy. I'm an industrial engineer by trade. I studied industrial engineering, which is process engineering. That's kind of the way I operate. 


 Josh Wilson
 Your favorite book the Toyota Way or those books? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, The Goal. The Goal was a big one. It was a good book. Yeah, but no, I wouldn't say that for sure. I read this book called Systemology, which is a really good book. If you ever get a chance to read it, I highly encourage it. I read I just do a lot of research on YouTube and such and just kind of put stuff together as I go along. 


 Josh Wilson
 Speaking of YouTube, you also have six books under the belt, a YouTube show, a podcast show. Why did you start those? How in the world are you creating this much content and doing this much deal? Flow? Like, you're absolute crushing. And it seems like you're balanced. How are you doing it? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, at first it was balanced, and I think that's the difference. I first started out, I didn't have a YouTube channel. When I first got into the brokerage business, I just kind of getting out there and trying to generate business for myself. Covet hit March of 2020, and as you guys probably all know, were all indoors. No one was doing any type of activity. I would reach out to business owners and they were just like, yeah, we're not doing anything until we open back up. There's just nothing in our heart. There's too many unknowns. The market for deals was very limited because people just didn't feel comfortable making these big decisions when the homes whole world was shut down and we didn't know when it was actually going to open back up. I had a lot of time to think during that period of time. 


 Raphael Collazo
 What I decided to do was to go digital, because everyone was doing digital stuff at that point, right? All the Zoom meetings were happening and people were online more than ever before. That's when I started thinking about ways I can engage people online. That's where I started the YouTube channel. I started the Virtual Meet Ups Group for commercial Real estate, and then from there, I just kept them on with it and it grew slowly but surely over time. A lot of the videos that I produce, like, I edit myself and put it out there and everything else. And so it's a very cumbersome process. Now I've systematized everything and I have a virtual assistant that helps me out with the distribution and everything else. All I do is record the video uploaded to the cloud, and then we have processes written out on Word documents and Loom. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I don't know if you're familiar with Loom, like the video sharing software or the screen sharing, I should say. I recorded myself doing all the processes and then have the accompanying PDF to kind of support that learning. That's what I passed along to the virtual assistant. Now she's somewhat autonomous in that regard. All I have to do is create the content, and I don't edit a lot. I released one video on Monday where it's just me answering a question. I literally just throw up the phone and then I have this little handy dandy tripod where I put my phone on and just record it. And that's it. I upload it and that's done with. My involvement as far as the content creation side is much more limited now, so I only dedicate maybe a couple of hours a week to doing it. 


 Josh Wilson
 As you're building this out, you're starting to crack open the network, right? You're building a deep network in Louisville, but also digital, right? YouTube podcast your books, your meetup group. What have you found has been if you look back over since 2019 when you dove into this, what has been the greatest moment for you where you look at it, was it a deal size or group size? What's something that you're the most proud of? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Wow, that's a pretty profound question. I'd say one of the biggest things for me is I think one of my natural gifts is I'm a teacher at heart. Being able to hear the connect the value that others have received from what I'm doing is obviously positive reinforcement to continue to do it. I've definitely generated opportunities from these different mediums, don't get me wrong. I wouldn't say that it's going to replace my other business development efforts anytime soon. I mean, maybe down the road if I have coursework or whatever else. If anything, what it has done is it's created an opportunity for someone. If they do search me and let's say we have an interaction in the marketplace, they know who I am and that lowers the barrier for interacting with them the next time. That's where I think the biggest value that I've seen from me doing what I've been doing is that when I have a conversation with the business owner, maybe they don't know who I am. 


 Raphael Collazo
 After they go and search me the next time, they're like, oh wow, I didn't know you all set a book and all this stuff. You know, it just creates that credibility. What you need when you're a service professional. Right. We're here to be of service to other people and they have to receive the value in order for us to actually be able to work with them. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yes. Super cool. Love teaching you, love service, but you mentioned you're like, yes, I get some deals from it, but it's not my primary source of business development. Give us some tips on the retail side. You're out there hunting for new tenants and then new opportunities for those tenants. Right. That's the brass tacks of what we do. Right. What are some tips that you have for business development in your space? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, a big value add for the commercial real estate businesses. Other brokers I interact with pretty much the same brokers on a regular basis, and they represent landlords of a variety of different capacities. Any time I get an opportunity to start working with the tenant, one of my first calls typically is the people that I think that have a presence in that area to kind of just have that conversation to see if anything's coming available. The next step also is just outreach in a variety of different capacities, whether that's phone, email, other digital platforms like LinkedIn. I go attend a ton of networking events. I host my own networking events. I leverage relationships that I already have by talking to them and seeing if they know of anyone who is looking for opportunities to expand or contract or whatever. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I don't know, there's so many different types of ways to generate business that's just, I guess, a handful. 


 Josh Wilson
 That's cool, man. In your years of doing this, you've done a lot of deals, but you've also which is super impressive, like looking at some of the stats, like, you guys are doing a lot of commercial real estate deals, right? Other type of deals, but super impressive. Shout out to you guys like, great job. On the flip side, you've accomplished more in just three years on the digital side and the content creation side than most people will do in their career. So really, kudos to you. That's your multi prong approach and you're doing well. Hats off to that. I know how hard it is to have a YouTube show, to have a podcast show, to try to write a book. I'll get it out there one day, guys, I promise. Right. But kudos to you to doing that. Now that you're in commercial real estate and you're building something of significance for you and your family, what's the end goal? 


 Josh Wilson
 What are you working towards? What the significance look like to you? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, I think for me, it's just being able to leverage the talents that I have in this world to help others. I don't think there's an end goal in sight. I don't necessarily ever think I'll retire. I like to work. I'm somewhat of a workaholic, but not to an unhealthy degree, but I like to work. I think people need to find things that they love to do that also can be of service to others. If that's the case, then you're in the right area. I would say that of significance is building something that will be able to service other people through giving them jobs and employment and also being able to give excellent service to the clients that we ultimately decide to serve, whether that's on the brokerage and the property management and the development end. Really it's going to be in the commercial real estate vertical and it's going to incorporate brokerage, property management, development and passive investing opportunities for those individuals who are looking for those types of opportunities. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super cool. In a bit, towards the end of the interview, I'll give you an opportunity to say, hey, this is how to follow me, follow my podcast, all that stuff. I swear we'll get there because I think it's important. People are listening in and going like, yeah, I want to learn about this, but I got some personal questions to ask you. I see in the background, I see some golf clubs and a lot of books, tons of books, but I see some golf clubs. All right, so you and I just close a huge deal, right? Industrial park, right? You and I sell it. I bring the buyer. You have the seller. And we're going to celebrate. We're going to golfing. Right? You got this windfall of money that comes in and you budget it out probably because you're an engineer, but you have extra. What is something that you would do to celebrate with an extra windfall? 


 Raphael Collazo
 That's great. I think part of it is to enjoy it. Right. So you'd probably incorporate some travel. I'm a big traveler. My fiance and I love to travel, so we probably take some form of location. Doing that. I would take another portion of that. I contributed to causes that I believe in, whether that's like I'm involved in several boards for charities, and I also started an organization called Engineers for Business that supports engineers who also have business aspirations, whether that's in an entrepreneur where you're inside of an organization, or an entrepreneur where you start something from scratch. We have an organization that we started back in college to support that. We have a scholarship that we award every year that supports that mission. I'd say those are parts of it. The other part I did invest and put into something that I felt would be of value long term to make sure that I'm not reliant on the massive deals to close in order for me to be able to support my family. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. What causes are important to you and why? 


 Raphael Collazo
 That's a great question. I'll give you an overview of the ones that I'm involved with currently so you guys can get some context. I'm involved in Junior Achievement, which is a financial literacy organization and work readiness organization. They go into elementary schools, high schools, and they have curriculum that they teach. A lot of it has to do with financial literacy. Teaching you how to properly use money so that you can support yourself long term, work readiness. Let's teach you about how to give a proper handshake, how to interview and for potential opportunity. Entrepreneurship, which is something that I really enjoy. I've taught several classes, and I'm the vice chair of the Young Professional Board here. I'm involved in the Home of the Innocence, which is a phenomenal local organization that's been around for many years. I think it's 1860 or something in that range. It's been almost 150 years where they've been operational. 


 Raphael Collazo
 They support children with disabilities and also children that come from homes that aren't the best environment for them to be in. It's really just kids centric, and it's to support them getting into a better situation and also provide them with the health care options that they deserve. Finally, I'm involved in sigf in college. So. Sigma Phi Episode fraternity. I'm also on the board here locally for the University of Louisville, although that was not my main computer. I was at Sigma at Arizona State University. I just find it value to be able to contribute in that capacity as an alumni to the undergraduates. 


 Josh Wilson
 That's super cool, man. I love what you're doing to invest in kids and the future of their success. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Right. 


 Josh Wilson
 When it comes to this training of financial literacy and entrepreneurship, like, you're looking at some of the curriculum, being on the board and being on this. Has there been anything as a grown adult where you look at it and you're like, holy moly, I missed that. That's something that I need to implement myself. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah. On the entrepreneurship side, it's an experiment, right? Like, a lot of times, you're just kind of shooting in the dark. As a kid, I really didn't know what I was doing. I was just kind of messing around and trying stuff out. I would say one of the biggest things that I think all entrepreneurs should have before they start anything is there a need for it? Because I can't tell you how many times I thought something would be a good idea. Come to realize after you invest a ton of time and energy into it's not really a need that people are willing to pay for. It's one of those things where I think it is a very important exercise to perform before you start diving into these types of opportunities just for the time saving reasons. Although you learn a lot from the experience, I would say it's also best to focus your attention in one direction that could be most fruitful as far as financial literacy is concerned. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I mean, when I was young, you go out and stuff, and I never really would think about it. I'd be like, oh, yeah, Friday, Saturday, whatever, we'll go out and hang out and stuff. You don't realize the amount of resources that you're allocating to that when, in reality, it doesn't really serve the higher purpose that you're trying to achieve. I'd say that's just part of being young and wanting to go out and do stuff. I wish I would have thought about, okay, well, is this really the place that I should be investing these resources? 


 Josh Wilson
 It's so good, man. I'll tell you. In terms of, like, investment wise, something that I learned recently, I'm 40 years old, and my wife and I went out to dinner, and I ordered a tequila on ice, right? Milagro ice mullago is a decent drink. When I looked at the bill, it was like $38. I think they might have rung up something else. And I was just like, holy moly. I could have bought a bottle with that 1oz pour, or hopefully it was more than a 1oz poor. It's just like, how much we spend doing these things. That same money compounded interest 20 years later would buy my wife probably a few more bottles. Right. It's just so interesting that when I was a kid, I wasn't thinking that, and at 40 I'm starting to as you're teaching future generations of investors in commercial real estate. 


 Josh Wilson
 You have a commercial real estate academy now, right? As you're teaching that, what are some fundamental things that you think people should learn about commercial real estate as a whole? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, I can speak from the brokerage and trying to get more on the development on my end. As far as the brokerage end is concerned, I mean, it's the sales role. It is a pound to pavement type of role where you have to get out there and meet a lot of people in order to generate opportunities. And it's coming from an engineering background. That wasn't something that I had to do. I mean, you're kind of assigned a task or you have a problem that you're trying to solve and you work towards solving that problem. There's a paycheck that comes in every two weeks. That does not happen in the brokerage side. It is an emotional roller coaster at times. When things don't go the way that you hoped, you can get down. You also have really big highs where you get a deal done and you get the check and you're like, oh, this is great. 


 Raphael Collazo
 I think emotional regulation is very important in this profession, and it's one that I'm still dealing with on my own. My end, again, it is what it is. If you want to have the, quote, unquote, unlimited potential of income, you also have to have the skin, the thick skin that comes along with being in any type of sales role. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, ultimately, I own a brokerage, and it's a sales role. That sales machine always has to roll. I'll tell you, I'm so glad you're talking about this because I think as a deal maker, it's not taught in books. Here's a book, here's how to sell. Here's a book, here's how to do brokerage. Good luck. Here's a big windfall of cash key. Put some aside because your next deal. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Might be taxes on taxes, too. People don't think taxes. That's the thing that I thank the Lord that I since the beginning, I've been very deliberate about setting aside money for taxes. I've heard stories of people that they get a big check, they spend it on something, and then all of a sudden, the tax bill comes due at the end of the year, and it's like, oh, wait, you mean I owe 20,000 or $30,000 to Uncle Sam? It's like, yeah, no one's withholding the taxes for you, man. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, I made that mistake. I just recently paid off my tax debt because at the time I was thinking about putting aside, consider myself smart guy, I've just made a lot of mistakes. There's a rule, I think they call it like it's in the book profit first. It's the Parkinson law or whatever. However much you have in the bank account, you'll wind up spending it you spend whatever you have. Learning to put aside money and to invest money is such good. Really awesome work for putting that together in your real estate training program. Now, let's do this for people who are like, hey, I want to learn real estate, commercial real estate. I want to learn investment principles. I want to read some of your books. I want to connect with this dude and do a deal. What's a good place for people to connect with you and do a deal? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Absolutely. Yeah. So I'm very active on LinkedIn. I'd say that's probably the best place to reach out to me. Also, my website, that's my name, so it's www, dot, Raphaelcoya, Collazo.com. I'd say those are the two best ways to reach, and all my contact information is on those mediums as well. 


 Josh Wilson
 Cool. For this right, I like to ask specifics. What kind of deals, what kind of connections are you looking for or open to receiving, whether from me or my network? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Any type of opportunities in the retail space in this corridor region, ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, open to talking about it. Also, if people are looking for JV opportunities, again, I represent a lot of tenants on the retail end. Finding my goal with this would be to find a great building that maybe has some vacancy or is underperforming in some capacity and then bring a tenant in tow to be able to fill that building and add value to push the actual price of the building. If people are open to any type of JV opportunities in that regard, happy to speak with them as well. 


 Josh Wilson
 Cool. Tenants in tow. Let's peel that back because I think that's an interesting term. Probably be the title of this episode. What do you mean by that? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, so tenants and so what that means is that if you are a broker or an agent and you represent someone who's looking for space to lease, if you identify a building or a space that they're interested in leasing, and you then go buy the building and execute a lease with Team Chat is what I mean by tenants. Obviously, you got to make sure there's no conflict. You have to disclose all this to the tenants so that they feel comfortable with it. If they do, then you essentially have the opportunity to buy an underperforming asset that has their value being suppressed because they're just not achieving the revenue that would justify that price. You buy the building, renovate it, put in the new tenant, and now the value of the building is much higher than it was before. That's one of the safer ways, in my opinion, to invest, because you can again set the tenant on the front end to make sure it's a good fit, and then you go ahead and make the deal happen. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, super awesome. As you're podcasting you've interviewed, how many episodes have you guys produced? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah, we produced 82 at this point. 77 have been released. We've interviewed people all across the nation in the world. I mean, we just interviewed someone in Peru as well. 


 Josh Wilson
 You've done a lot of them. What has been a memorable moment for you, like where you're interviewing or after the interview or something that happened? Like, podcasting is so fun for me, like for you, what has been a memorable moment. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yeah. There's this gentleman named Michael Bowl who has the America's Commercial Real Estate Show. It's one of the longest running commercial real estate podcasts out there. I remember listening to that show when I first got started and I got to interview him on the podcast and talk to him, and he obviously was a big value add for me and how I learned about the business. It was kind of cool to be able to kind of Internet him and pick his brain and such. I come from a tech background, so I've had the opportunity to Internet a lot of people in the tech space for commercial real estate, and I just get kind of geek out about those types of opportunities coming down the pike. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, like if you were interviewing someone who's building a large data center or something like that'd probably tune you up pretty good, wouldn't it? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Well, even some of the technologies we had people who've talked about like virtual reality, artificial intelligence. We've talked about a gentleman who runs the biggest tech meet ups for tech conference for commercial real estate, Crate. He talks about all these different types of companies that are supporting brokers, developers, even owners as far as integration of technology within their buildings and stuff like that. It's great. I think the industry itself is becoming more tech friendly, where historically weren't very much so, but now it's becoming a lot more friendly to tech and we're starting to see a lot of more adoption in a variety of different sectors, and I'm excited for what the future holds in that space as well. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super awesome. Behind you. Here's another personal question. It could be business too. Behind you, there's a bookcase full of books. All right, so have you seen the movie Men in Black? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Yes. 


 Josh Wilson
 Okay, so I hold up the one, erase your memory. Boom. Any book you've ever read on a bookshelf is erased. You could go back and choose one book to refresh your memory or to relearn something. You could choose one in business, one in personal, if you want, but what would you choose? 


 Raphael Collazo
 The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is the one that I read that changed my life, and I was 23 years old, I think, when I read it. Essentially, the basis of the book is small, consistent action taken in a positive direction and you expand it over time, adds up to huge results. The same type of logic that I applied to writing a book, write 500 words a day, extrapolate, that over 100 days, which is just over three months. You got a 200 page book. You talk to five people a day over the course of a year. That's 1500 connections. What does that mean for your business? It doesn't happen. You don't eat an elephant in one bite. It's the daily habits you take that add up to where you want to be in life. They could be in a positive direction, or they could be in a negative direction, because the same applies if you drink three Cokes a day over the course of a year, that's over 1000 Cokes. 


 Raphael Collazo
 Like, that's not a positive direction. You're not going in a positive direction in that regard. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah, that's super awesome, man. What we can do is maybe you could do this is maybe share some of the charities that you're involved in, maybe a link. If someone's listening and they want to go, hey, I want to help support a mission that's important to you, they could click and donate or volunteer or something like that. So, fellow deal makers, as always, thanks for listening into this podcast interview. Reach out to our guest directly. Do a deal with them. The purpose of mission of the show is to connect deals and dealmakers. If you hear someone and you're learning something about a deal and you want to connect with them, their information is in the show notes. Or you can reach out to me and say, hey, connect me with Raphael. Right. So, one more thing. Raphael Is there any I should ask you two more questions? 


 Josh Wilson
 What's your favorite ninja turtle? 


 Raphael Collazo
 Right? 


 Josh Wilson
 Is that Raphael? 


 Raphael Collazo
 I think that's a safe bet. I'd say that's Raphael. Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 Cool. Second question, are there any other questions that I should have asked you during this interview that I completely screwed up and did not ask you? 


 Raphael Collazo
 No, man. I think it was pretty comprehensive, and I just appreciate the opportunity to be here with you, and I'm looking forward to connecting with your network because you've seemed to build a pretty solid one. So excited to engage. 


 Josh Wilson
 Thanks, man. I appreciate you. Fellow deal makers, as always, head on over to thedealscout.com fill out a quick form if you want to be on the show to talk about your deal. As always, if there's a deal that you need some help with, or you'd like to go on the hunt with, a deal with the deal scout.com, there's a form at the top. Fill it out and our team will get a hold of you. Till then, we'll talk to you all on the next episode. See you guys.

Raphael Collazo Profile Photo

Raphael Collazo

CRE Agent| Author| Podcast Host

Raphael Collazo is a licensed commercial real estate agent specializing in retail and multi-family properties. Transitioning from a career in software, Raphael brings a strong technical background and a love for dissecting complex problems to his client interactions. These characteristics enable him to provide innovative and effective real estate solutions to help his clients get the most out of each transaction. As a real estate investor himself, Raphael is acutely aware of what investors look for when evaluating commercial property. As a result, he’s able to offer a unique perspective and help his clients make the best possible decision based on their financial goals.

Prior to joining the Grisanti Group, Raphael worked as a software implementation consultant for FAST Enterprises, a software company that provides C.O.T.S software products to government agencies. Having lived and worked in various locations around the United States and abroad including Pordenone, Italy, Phoenix, Arizona, Washington D.C, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Louisville Kentucky, Raphael has gained a unique understanding of cultural intricacies and has leveraged those experiences to expand his professional network to better serve his clients.

Along with being a full-time commercial agent, Raphael is also the author of the Millennial Playbook series, a book series that focuses on personal and professional development topics for young professionals. He wrote his latest book, "Before You Buy That Building" to help business owners with the often difficult process of purchasing commercial real estate. As a performance coach and speaker, he's also had the opportunity to speak to thousands of students and professionals on a wide range of subjects.

Raphael graduated from Arizona State University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a minor in economics.