Creative Leadership in Real Estate — Meeting Joshua John, Partner at Royalton Capital

Joshua John — Royalton Capital
Joshua John — Royalton Capital

I’m talking with Joshua John, co-owner of Royalton Capital, a boutique real estate investment firm in New York City. With his strong initiative and creativity, Joshua has successfully completed over 100 construction projects in the past 25 years. I am excited to learn more about his approach over a virtual cup of coffee!

Joshua, in one of our previous conversations, I noticed you’re a person with strong visionary ability, but on the other hand, you’re also down to earth, disciplined, and hands-on when necessary, making sure the projects actually get from vision to execution. Can you talk to us a bit about how you manage both the design, planning, and build process of projects?

“It’s actually the fundamentals of my partnership with Jin. Looking back at what has worked for us since inception, it’s all about creative leadership. We both have had experiences wearing multiple hats and this allows us both to think at a higher level and get our hands dirty when we need to.

“When I started working in transitional neighborhoods like SOHO, 14th corridor, etc., I had limited resources and was managing every aspect of project development. I was doing the design architecture from the high-level concept down to the steel detailing, dealing with code and zoning consultants, hiring and managing the construction crews, tenant leasing, and even marketing and building management. My experience working on all aspects of development definitely informs my decision making today — whether a big or small project, quality decision making, and execution at every point in a project’s development will be reflected in the ultimate end product.

“When I met Jin 15 years ago, I immediately noticed her capacity for deep analytical understanding and relating, even when we found ourselves in the messiest of situations which one encounters in the world of development. Between the two of us, we have the core competencies required across the spectrum of investment, development, and asset management. That synergy helped us conceive how we wanted to operate as a company. With our experience and respective expertise, we wanted to operate our business with a small core team and build project teams that are the right fit for a project. This format allows us to optimize the people with which we choose to partner, plan carefully and anticipate issues, and adjust for the changing requirements at different scales. In addition, knowing the potential pain points and areas where we can add value across all aspects of a project’s development, allows us to better weigh risks/rewards and long term profitability. The benefit that comes from this organization is accelerated, high-quality decision making, and superior revenues and results.

“People talk about “value add” as if it is solely about buying low — but buying cheap is not a complete investment strategy. We believe it’s more important to buy with a thoughtfully conceived plan in place. That means identifying and unlocking potential, being ahead of the trends, and being able to translate what the market wants into the built environment in a cost-effective way. Our competitive advantage stems from our ability to identify opportunities before others, build the teams to execute and deliver high-quality results at each specific project. This helps us stay nimble and focused, and maximize our resources and team members.

Thanks for sharing Joshua, we’ll speak again soon.

Read Part 2 of Joshua John’s interview here.

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