Gabriel Cid is a serial entrepreneur with a penchant for property investment.
The Chilean native has an enviable reputation in South America. He has built a thriving multimillion real estate empire with no signs of slowing down. For the better part of five years, Cid’s been at the helm of Capitalizarme, an innovative online platform that’s helping millennials and middle-income earners to get their foot on the property investment ladder.
The Santiago-based firm has developed a disruptive business system that makes property investment more accessible. With their pioneering model, buyers do not need to put down a hefty down payment. Instead, they pay affordable monthly payments that easily convert to a buy-to-let mortgage for lucrative investment apartments.
The company is one of the largest platforms for investment buyers in South America. More than 5,200 units have been sold since its inception. This represents nearly $500 million that has turned Capitalizarme into one of the fastest growing startups in the Latin American region.
“I did research and there wasn’t a platform to help everyday people invest in property,” says Cid, who prior to Capitalizarmeutilized his engineering degree to launch a platform specializing in 3D geo-referenced models. “I spotted a gap in the market and created an online platform to help people, especially young, middle-income earners, or less sophisticated investors, to invest in affordable properties.”
Reimaging the business model for real estate investment
So how does it work. Capitalizarme sells multi-unit properties as rental condominuns or apartments. Most of its South American clients are between 25 and 30 years old, says Cid, co-founder and CEO of Capitalizarme, which currently has investments in Chile and neighboring Peru.
“My mission is to help everyone invest in property that has the ability to transform lives and create multigenerational wealth,” says Cid, a self-described impact-driven entrepreneur. “This is a platform for everyone, especially aspiring or first-timers, to simply and easily become a real estate investor.”‘
“This is a tool for communities to build generational wealth. This is for the rising middle class, Latinx and African-Americans. This model is another vehicle to buy into the American Dream.”
In fact, any savvy investor will tell you real estate is one of the most reliable strategies to build real wealth. Once you own property, it’s an ongoing source of passive income, and of course, when the rents go up the returns are even higher.
The TV host, political pundit, and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams agrees. “Now, one thing I tell everyone is learn about real estate. Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values, and the least risk,” he says.
Creating legacy wealth for Black & Latinx in the US
Now Cid wants to replicate this success in the U.S. market. Under BrickOp, an offshoot of Capitalizarme, the company has expanded operations stateside. They have just purchased 10 multi-family units in Denver, Colorado, where Cid now resides. The city has a growing Hispanic population, about 30 percent of residents, and a growing African-American community.
Buyers reserve a unit for a relatively small security deposit and then get started for as little as $1,000 each month. Then they can take up to 30 months to pay the 20 percent down payment to take out a mortgage on the property. Fully vetted tenants, in most cases, are already in the unit so once the mortgage kicks in clients immediately start seeing returns. BrickOp offers the option of managing property for its investors at a competitive rate.
It goes without saying that the clientele Brickop strives to serve may not have the funds to pay a 20 percent down payment upfront. In fact, research carried out by Zillow shows that about 25 percent of first-time home buyers rely on a gift from friends and family to make their down payment. Many Latinx, African-American, millennial wannabe property investors simply do not have these networks or resources.
Another bonus is that BrickOp sells its investment properties for extremely competitive — often way below the market value — prices because they are able to leverage the purchasing power of buying real estate in bulk.
Real estate investment should be accessible to everyone
The vision is for BrickOp to become a global leader in the real estate industry. They are already talking about expanding to Miami and Dallas, both larger markets with diverse populations. Miami is a majority Latinx city, where approximately 70 percent of its population is Hispanic, according to the Census data. Dallas is another cultural melting pot, with just over 40 percent Latinx and 25 percent African American.
“We are planning on purchasing another 50 units in Denver by the third quarter,” says Cid. “Afterward we will be focused on expansion. This is a good way to generate supplementary income with little effort.”
Historically, real estate investing is one of the best ways to build legacy wealth.
“This is a tool for communities to build generational wealth,” says Wallbreakers CEO Andrea Guendelman who works with Cid as an advisor. “This is for the rising middle class, Latinx and African-Americans. This model is another vehicle to buy into the American Dream. It’s an opportunity for you to own something as an investor. It’s also an opportunity for investors out of the U.S. to wants to have a piece of the investment.”
Cid has been dabbling in entrepreneurship since he was 19 years old. He has worked on several projects including one failed venture which he says taught “perseverance and determination as an entrepreneur.” Today the 30-something-year-old is a self-professed family man and devoted father. He passion for his family is matched by his vision to empower communities with options to build wealth and economic opportunity.
Interested in getting your foot on the property investment ladder? Be sure to reach out to BrickOp for more info.