Welcome back to the 188th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Rich Arzaga. Rich is the founder of Cornerstone Wealth Management, a hybrid advisory firm based in Northern California that oversees nearly $70 million of assets under management for 65 affluent clients. What’s unique about Rich, though, is that he’s one of just a handful of advisors across the country who in addition to being a CFP certificant, also holds the CCIM designation to advise clients on commercial real estate, and in practice has been able to turn his ability to advise on directly held real estate investments into opportunities to gain clients for his traditional wealth management services as well.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Rich incorporates advice on directly held real estate into his practice. The APOD, short for Annual Property Operating Data analysis he prepares to clients as part of their financial plan, the tools that Rich uses, from eMoney Advisor to separate Excel spreadsheets, to track and analyze directly held real estate for clients, and why Rich charges an upfront but not an ongoing financial planning fee for his real estate analysis.
We also talk about how Rich was able to turn his directly held real estate advice into a growth engine for his advisory business. The unique networking opportunities he was able to develop through the CCIM organization as a holder of their designation, why Rich used but now stays away from advising clients on REITs as an alternative to directly held real estate, and why Rich views advising on directly held real estate as a great way to open the door for clients, but traditional wealth management is a better approach for generating ongoing revenue as an advisor.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Rich shares how he turbocharged his advisory firm in the early years as a career changer coming into the financial advisor world. Why he pursued the education for both his CFP and CCIM designations before he launched his firm, even though he didn’t have the experience to actually use either of the marks, how Rich became an adjunct professor teaching financial planning early in his career as a way to further establish his credibility, and why the financial advisory business can be challenging for career-changing entrepreneurs because in the end, even for successful advisors, the path to growth is rarely a good sprint and more commonly a very long marathon.