In the most recent episode of "The High-Performance CEO Show," we had the privilege of exploring the remarkable journey of Matthew Pezon. From his humble beginnings of employment in a conventional corporate position to his triumph as a thriving entrepreneur in the real estate sector, particularly in the realm of affordable housing, his story offers invaluable insights for leaders seeking to venture into new businesses or gain a deeper understanding of real estate's role in economic development.
Matthew and his wife, Anna, specialize in purchasing, renovating, and holding single-family and small multifamily properties for the long term in the greater Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania area. Despite having three children under the age of three, they are dedicated to their real estate endeavors.
Previously a chemical engineer for 12 years, Mat made a recent career transition to full-time real estate investing. He earned his Master's in International Management at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain, as a Fulbright Scholar in 2013. Since 2014, Mat and his wife have focused on acquiring and managing rental properties, primarily in Allentown, PA.
Beyond his investment ventures, Mat actively maintains his Spanish language skills, cherishes family time, and indulges in playing the guitar and violin.
Identifying Gaps and Opportunities in the Current Market
In the realm of real estate, Matthew Pezon stands out as a visionary entrepreneur. His journey began with a crucial observation: the acute shortage of affordable housing.
If you're interested in this type of social entrepreneurship, it's essential to conduct thorough market research to identify unmet needs, especially in areas impacting low-income families or underserved communities. This will not only give you a competitive edge but also allow you to create meaningful change in society.
The Challenge of Supply and Demand in Real Estate
Understanding market dynamics, especially in real estate, is crucial. As an entrepreneur, particularly in new business ventures, grasping this concept is fundamental. Analyze your market's supply-demand curve, then adjust your strategies accordingly for economic growth.
However, when it comes to underserved communities, this traditional approach may not work. These markets often have unique and complex needs that are not reflected in the overall supply-demand curve of the larger market.
The Significance of Systems and Process Documentation
Documenting processes was pivotal for Matthew. By implementing a robust system for recording processes and best practices, you can enhance efficiency and knowledge sharing. As a small business owner, you may be the only one in charge of operations, but having documented processes allows for easier delegation and training when your business grows.
Balancing Business and Personal Life
Matthew spoke on work-life balance. This is especially relevant for entrepreneurs managing both their own business and personal commitments.
Focus on your strengths and delegate other tasks to maintain both professional achievements and personal well-being. Set boundaries for yourself and prioritize your time, making sure to allocate time for self-care and personal relationships.
In entrepreneurship, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and grind of building a successful business venture. However, neglecting your personal life can lead to burnout and hinder your creativity and productivity. Take time to recharge and invest in self-care activities such as exercise, hobbies, or spending quality time with loved ones.
The Transition from Doer to Leader
Matthew's transition to a leader was inspiring. Entrepreneurship requires the transition from hands-on work to leadership. It is a critical step in growing a new business venture. It involves empowering and trusting your team, focusing on strategic growth.
Delegating tasks and responsibilities allows you to focus on the bigger picture and steer the business towards success. It also frees up your time to invest in personal development, building relationships, and networking with other industry leaders.
The Role of Technology and AI
Matthew highlighted the impact of technology on his business.
For businesses, incorporating new technology and AI can streamline operations, enhance customer experience, and drive efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks and utilizing data-driven insights, businesses can make informed decisions that lead to growth and success.
In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it's crucial for businesses to stay updated and adapt to new advancements. However, it should not replace human interaction and relationships with clients and customers. It's important to find a balance between using tech as a tool and maintaining personal connections.
Building Reliable Networks and Support Services
Strong networks have been vital for Matthew.
Entrepreneurs should focus on building and nurturing professional networks for sustained success and growth. These networks provide opportunities for collaboration, learning, and potential partnerships. They also serve as a support system during challenging times.
In addition to professional networks, it's crucial for businesses to have reliable support services in place. This can include outsourcing tasks to specialized companies or hiring in-house staff to handle various aspects of the business.
For example, Matthew realized the importance of having a strong team when he faced unexpected challenges with his website and needed immediate technical support. Having an in-house web developer saved him time and money compared to outsourcing the task.
Remote Work and Global Teams for Your Business Venture
Embracing global teams was key for Matthew. This approach is increasingly relevant in today's business landscape.
Consider hiring globally to access diverse talent and skills. Not only does this open up a wider pool of applicants, but it also brings diverse perspectives and new ideas to the table. With the rise of remote work, this is becoming more feasible and cost-effective for small businesses.
The Importance of Customer Service in Real Estate
Customer service is paramount in Matthew's business philosophy.
Focus on customer needs and feedback to improve services and customer satisfaction. This not only leads to happy customers and potential referrals, but it also helps identify areas of improvement in your business.
In the competitive real estate industry, providing exceptional customer service sets you apart from the rest. It creates trust and loyalty with your clients and can lead to repeat business or positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Personal Motivation and Resilience
Matthew's journey is marked by resilience.
Entrepreneurship means assessing career paths and being willing to take calculated risks is crucial for success. Matthew's persistence to take risks and learn from mistakes fueled his motivation to push forward.
As a real estate agent, staying motivated through the ups and downs of the market is essential. It takes a strong mindset and determination to succeed in this industry.
When facing challenges or setbacks, reminding yourself of your personal motivations can help keep you focused and driven. Whether it's providing for your family, achieving financial freedom, or simply pursuing your passion for real estate, keeping these goals at the forefront of your mind can help you overcome obstacles and stay resilient.
Key episode moments
0:00 - Introduction: Meet Matthew Pezon, From Corporate to Real Estate 1:30 - The Birth of a Real Estate Venture: Focusing on Affordable Housing 4:45 - Tackling Market Challenges: Understanding Real Estate Dynamics 8:15 - Systems and Processes: Key to Efficient Property Management 12:00 - Achieving Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur 15:25 - The Role of AI and Technology in Enhancing Business Operations 19:10 - Strategic Relationships and Network Building in Real Estate 22:00 - The Future Vision: Sustainable Growth in Affordable Housing 24:40 - Final Thoughts and Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs