Rebound Partners loves partnering and collaborating – as we do nothing alone – it’s the Rebound Way. As part of partnering and collaborating in the real estate world, I love doing transactions, all types of transactions. With these I find myself curious, bringing energy, positivity, and passion, creating win-win scenarios, finding value where others don’t, building relationships, and continually learning and improving.
I have been investing in real estate since the age of 23, when in 1983 I purchased my first property with my uncles and aunts Duane & Ellie Temple and Dick & Sharon Engdahl (Dick and Sharon are still investing with me nearly 40 years later). The investment was a duplex a few blocks from Lake of the Isles located in South Minneapolis. Shortly before, in 1982, I had purchased with Dave DeLong and my parents Bert & Bernie, the Rueb-N-Stein, a popular bar & grill restaurant located on Division Street in downtown Northfield that had an option to purchase the commercial building in which it was located. In 1984 my 2nd building was purchased again with partners.
With these transactions, I was on my way, in many ways. Partnering, investing, and learning to work with others in both business and in my true love of real estate. Any kind of real estate—commercial, mixed-use, residential, multi-family, downtown, hospitality, and industrial. I love and enjoy putting deals together, working with others, and getting creative with financing. I started primarily with buildings- leveraging the purchase with little cash down, managing the property to a positive cash flow so that returns could flow back to investors.
From there, I then graduated to my first development project in 1997. Sumac Properties LLC dba “Hills of Spring Creek” with partner Steve Schmidt. We purchased a 120-acre farm on the outskirts of Northfield. From there we created an overall conceptual layout of the property and began building homes in Phase I. Twenty-four years later we are completing our final phase, Phase 9, of this development with over 300 homes and beautiful neighborhood additions to our community with ponds and streams, prairie land and walking paths.
Up until 2010, the Rebound Group- an investment and management company- which I was Co-Founder and Managing Partner- had primarily family and friends as investors. We had created quite a diverse portfolio of real estate, consisting of over 40 properties located primarily in Northfield. With inspiration from above, it dawned on me, why not give others the opportunity to own real estate in their own hometown? Many don’t have the resources, time, or know-how to directly own real estate, yet may do so through an investment in a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).
In 2011 we created our first Community Real Estate Fund in the town of our home office in Northfield allowing individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations with an investment portfolio to invest in their backyard, where they live and work. Though the targeted annual return to our limited partners in this initial Community Real Estate Fund was 8% to 12%, the Fund generated an exceptional return of 24.3% on committed capital from 2011 through 2019.
After this first Fund, it wasn’t until 2019 that Community Real Estate Funds were started in Grand Rapids, the hometown of Partner Jennifer Sawyer, and our second Fund in Northfield. From there, it again came to me from above, why not create a Fund for locals to invest in every community? All communities have real estate needs- such as housing (residential, multi-family, senior, affordable, workforce, downtown, commercial & industrial, tourism & hospitality.
The vision was set in 2020 – generate 1,000 Community Real Estate Funds in the next 10 years. A new Rebound Partners vertical was created – Rebound Partners Community Real Estate Fund which has now been rebranded as REVocity. Led by newly hired Champion Lori Bonin to partner with Chris Kennelly and myself, REVocity provides the concept of Impact Investing. Creating community returns by working on important, needed, complex projects along with a return to investors. The dream and vision inspired by God is now becoming a reality. Our team is on its way to serving many communities with newly established Funds and continues to expand and grow by creating Funds in new communities.