For seven years, Scott Sherman represented ubiquitous New York City retail investor Thor Equities, most recently as Vice President of Investments. During his tenure, Scott executed over $2 billion in urban retail acquisitions in markets including Miami, London, Washington DC, Nashville, Austin, and Charleston. Few people in recent years have been involved in closing as many high-profile, high-street retail acquisitions as Scott.
Now Sherman, with business partner Ben Mandell and the support of several capital partners, has formed Tricera Capital to acquire properties with a more entrepreneurial approach to deals both big and small. Tricera will focus on both entrepreneurial and institutional sized retail, office, and mixed-use investments with a primary focus on the southeast, Texas, and select northeast markets. Tricera generally looks for transitional deals in transitional sub-markets within stable cities.
Scott and his team at Tricera are dedicated to protecting brokers, underwriting deals quickly, and providing quick feedback about their interest level.
In the meantime, we caught up with Scott to ask about the new venture and more.
Crexi: You’ve had the opportunity to work on some iconic properties. What was your most memorable deal or the first one that comes to mind?
SS: The first deal that comes to mind was my first deal at Thor. We acquired the Burlington Arcade in London. I had never done anything overseas, and it was a great learning experience for me. Plus, I had the opportunity to work on a unique and iconic property in the heart of London. We bought it for 104M Pounds and fully renovated the interior and upgraded the tenant. Thor recently took it to market for (pounds) 400 million.
Crexi: What was the last great book you read (or first that comes to mind)?
SS: Two books I highly recommend to everyone are “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. These two books I would recommend to anyone as they apply to building relationships and how you deal with people, which impacts all professionals across industries daily.
Crexi: Do you have any career regrets or opportunities you missed that still bother you?
SS: There are several deals I have chased over the years that I missed. You need to move on and look for the next one, letting misses bother you will only slow you down. I’d rather not do a deal than force it and do a bad deal.
Crexi: What advice would you give a high-school version of yourself?
SS: Enjoy your high school and college years….you will never get those back. 2) Figure out what interests you and focus on finding a career path that gets you there. If you do something you enjoy, then you will be a much happier person.
Crexi: Would you encourage your children to follow your career path?
SS: Yes, my son is two, so we have some time, but I would love to see him follow in my footsteps.
Crexi: If forced to choose one or the other for your son, would you want him to be all brains or all guts?
SS: That’s a tough one…I think the best is a combination of both. In our industry, I think you need more guts than brains. I always say Real Estate is the one area in business that requires more street smarts than book smarts. If you have both, then you are going to go far.
Crexi: Having now left a well-capitalized institutional investor, to become a business owner and entrepreneur, what keeps you up at night?
SS: Very different types of stress these days. I call it good stress: the weight of building a business with my partner Ben, having employees that you are now responsible for, and having to provide for my family.
Crexi: What can you do now as an entrepreneur that you couldn’t as part of an institutional firm?
SS: Everything. I like the ability to look at any opportunity that I find interesting. At an institutional shop, you are always answering to someone and are typically put in a box in terms of deal type, size, returns, etc.
Crexi: If asked to host the president for dinner, what would you cook (politics aside)?
SS: Trump looks like a good eater but also has expensive taste. I think the best is to bring in Joe’s Stone Crabs: quintessential Miami and always a crowd-pleaser. Also doesn’t require me to cook, and their key lime pie never lets me down.
Crexi: Having traveled to many markets to look at deals, what’s your favorite food city?
SS: That’s a tough one as I try to eat my way through every city – finding the best operators, coffee shops, and new concepts. I’d have to say Nashville and Austin both have incredible food scenes and seem to be getting better. I’ve seen a trend of emerging chefs going to cities like this to get their start because costs are much lower than starting in a city like NYC or Miami.
Crexi: What small city do you think is poised for a growth spurt?
SS: We have a few on our radar. I’m intrigued by Tampa, Charleston, Cleveland, and Orlando.
Crexi: What do you think is being done wrong (or could be done better) by your peers?
SS: Technology is changing our business and the world so fast. I think the speed at which people adapt and incorporate the new resources into our business could be better. People are resistant to change or slow to adapt.
Crexi: What do you wish brokers would do differently when presenting your deals?
SS: Some brokers (not all) need to manage sellers’ expectations better. I get frustrated by brokers who tell owners they can get unrealistic prices. What ends up happening is the seller now has an unrealistic price in their head, and it’s impossible to make a deal. No one wins here.
Crexi: If money was not an issue, what non-business career would you pursue?
SS: I love to travel. The Points Guy seems to have it good. I would love to do something like that.