Richard Crenian – Why Due Diligence Is Important

After more than 28 years in the real estate business, I’ve learned quite a bit about the industry. One particular aspect I’ve learned when it comes to earning any sort of success in the business is how crucial understanding and rationalizing why particular investments in the markets are made.

At 21, I started in the real estate business on the residential side of the industry, building rental, multi-family houses. It was incredibly challenging and incredibly exhilarating too. The lessons I learned and knowledge I soaked up during that time in my career still astounds me today.

Despite the challenges in my early career, it provided me with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of what an investor or a company needs in order to succeed in the real estate business. Above all, it taught me the irreplaceable value of “doing one’s homework” prior to investing in a real estate property. For those seeking advice as to what is needed to succeed in the real investment industry, I continually find myself repeating this mantra: do your due diligence, do your homework.

Eventually, I moved to Toronto and made the transition from residential to the commercial real estate. In 2001, I founded a commercial real estate investment firm called REDEV Properties, who since its founding, has acquired over 25 retail complexes around Canada.

Naturally, I’m very pleased with the success of REDEV Properties and am looking forward to its future. Our principle of due diligence, which I’ve learned through my experience and which I’ve introduced and continually reinforced in the culture and mindset of my team at REDEV Properties is a large key to our success.

At no point does REDEV Properties ever decide to purchase a property simply because it “seems” like it would be a successful investment venture. That’s not the way we run our business. It’s certainly not the way we manage our investor’s capital, and I would hate to have my name associated with any sort of investment method similar to that.

Instead, what my team and I do at REDEV Properties is conduct an involved process of due diligence that involves researching every aspect of the considered property that’s significant to the property’s potential success as an investment. The majority of our investment portfolio consists of retail complexes and shopping plazas, and with that in mind, we have an array of established due diligence guidelines that we follow. Some of which include, but are not limited to: performing background checks on previous owners of the shopping mall, studying the age and income of the population surrounding the property, doing an involved shadowing process of the anchor tenants of the property, and studying the occupancy history of the property.  Once again, this is simply a snapshot of the tasks included on our research/due diligence list. The point being that it gives you an idea of how involved my team’s process is when we consider purchasing a new real estate asset.

If you only take one thing away, let it be the importance of knowledge. The more accurate and current one has, the more likely success will follow. It’s a principle I firmly rest my name, reputation and company on.

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