Five Questions With: Prutha Patel

Just a year after she graduated from Boston University with a degree in business management, Prutha Patel began investing in real estate in 2013 by purchasing a four-unit, multifamily home on Jenckes Street in Providence, while working as vice president for a local group of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shops owned by her family.

Patel, now busy as a licensed real estate agent for the Providence-based RE/MAX Innovations, has since built up a portfolio together with other partners involving 50 residential and commercial units.

And last year, the East Greenwich native acquired a multifamily complex on Benefit Street in Providence, and recently launched her fifth Airbnb rental, with plans to launch a few more within the coming months.

 

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PBN: What was it like to be able to begin investing in real estate at a relatively young age, in terms of your motivation to do so and your keys to success?

PATEL: Being able to invest in real estate at the age of 21 was actually very unexpected, exciting and scary all at the same time. I did not know what I was getting into nor what to expect in terms of owning your own multifamily and being engrossed in property management.

My motivation has always come down to my curiosity – my hunger to learn more about anything that comes my way. Also, I am a resilient individual who will do anything it takes to complete the task at hand.

My keys to success are time management, dependability and strategy. I am willing to get creative and ensure my work is executed in a professional manner, with success as the goal.

PBN: What has been your experience with renting out properties through Airbnb, and what do you think of some of the restrictions that have been placed on Airbnb-style rentals in places such as Newport?

PATEL: I have had a very positive experience in the short-term rental market. Now having launched five Airbnbs, I feel confident in my ability to vet out the ideal properties and units for this business.

I do feel as though there is a hindrance on landlords in Newport due to the restrictions that have been placed on short-term rentals in Newport. I believe this is due to the hotel industry having a strong backing when it comes to regulations, which is understandable. That being said, with the housing shortage, along with lack of short-term housing availability, I believe there is value in having Airbnbs in the Newport area.

PBN: In a real estate market like Rhode Island is seeing currently, how important is it for buyers to practice patience? What kind of advice do you offer to your clients on patience and why?

PATEL: Given the current real estate climate, it is important that buyers have patience because not only are interest rates rising but the quality of inventory is very scattered.

My tips are to be specific about what your goals and needs are, ensure the numbers work and be clear about your limitations, whether that be related to inspections, a mortgage, or the type of property you are looking for. There is a lot of opportunity out there, but analyzing the deal is very critical.

PBN: Why do you not like to do business with clients over the phone or through Zoom calls?

PATEL: No, just no. I will gladly conduct a Zoom call with out-of-state clients. But with those that are fairly close, I would much rather meet one-on-one. I feel as though the connection, energy and interaction are so much more genuine when I meet with a client face to face. If after we initially meet, they prefer to have conversations via Zoom or a phone call, I am more than happy to do that. In my opinion, in-person always helps one another to feel comfortable and learn if that is the right fit for a working relationship.

PBN: What’s your advice for others who may want to break into the real estate industry as investors like yourself, in terms of building from the ground up and developing a portfolio of residential and commercial units?

PATEL: My very first recommendation is to do your research. Before I purchased my first investment property, I spent many days and hours learning about what my options would be to purchase a property. Due diligence is No. 1. This allowed me to find the right mortgage option to be able to afford a house that was over $500,000 at the age of 21.

After that, I was presented with an opportunity to manage an investment portfolio, which I accepted and learned a tremendous amount from. I now have equity in over 50 units and am eager to share my knowledge with others who are looking to build their own real estate portfolios and passive income.

Marc Larocque is a PBN staff writer. Contact him at Larocque@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter @LaRockPBN.

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