Insights from a Seasoned Real Estate Fund Manager: Ray Mazzie

Oct 24, 2023

Insights from a Seasoned Real Estate Fund Manager: Ray Mazzie

Insights from a Seasoned Real Estate Fund Manager: Ray Mazzie

Q&A with Ray Mazzie, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Southern Waters Capital

We sat down with Ray Mazzie, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Southern Waters Capital to learn how he has successfully navigated the complex world of real estate fund management. During this conversation we dug into his journey and uncovered strategies for raising capital, insights from his experience with fund administration providers, and explored some of the challenges he’s faced and the valuable lessons he’s learned. If you’d like to see the full conversation, you can watch it here.

Question 1: Tell us about your journey as a fund manager and how you got started in this business.

I began my journey as a fund manager by starting a hedge fund with a primary focus on credit strategies. However, our trajectory took a significant turn towards ground-up real estate development.

Question 2: How do you raise capital for your real estate endeavors, and what is your take on syndication versus pooled funds?

It's essential to focus on what you're best at—finding deals or raising capital. Initially, we worked with pooled funds but later transitioned to syndication. The decision often hinges on where your strengths lie; if you excel at finding deals, focus on that. However, if you have access to eager capital and a track record, pooling funds can provide agility.

Question 3: What's your perspective on fund administration and the value it brings to your business?

Verivest organizes the process, making it step by step, which takes a load off my team and improves investor relations. Fund administration, particularly in syndication, involves more than just paperwork—it's also about investor relations. Having a partner like Verivest streamlines the process, making it easier for both my team and our investors. It ensures a structured approach, helping our investors navigate smoothly through their investments with us.

Question 4: What are some challenges you've encountered with administration, and how do you perceive the role of a fund administrator?

The biggest issue with some administrators is a lack of quality control; those mistakes can be costly. Fund administrators play a crucial role in maintaining investor trust and quality control for our business. I've had concerns in the past about other administrators treating my business as a "money grab." At the end of the day, quality control, accuracy, and a seamless process are vital to ensure investor satisfaction and I get it all from Verivest.

Question 5: What lessons have you learned, and how do you plan to grow your real estate ventures in the future?

Patience is a key takeaway I’ve learned along my journey. Real estate is not a get-rich-quick scheme; success requires a long-term perspective. Your money is made on the buy. You're never going be able to change your purchase price after you buy it.

Question 6: What exciting developments can we expect from your real estate endeavors in the near future?

We have a promising project in South Carolina, featuring multifamily units, commercial space, and senior housing. We're also exploring land development deals with national home builders, all while carefully managing our growing pipeline of projects.

Question 7: Balancing day-to-day operations and expanding portfolios can be challenging. What advice do you have for aspiring fund managers?

Persistence in both finding opportunities and raising capital is key. Balance is about prioritizing your strengths. Fund managers should persistently seek opportunities and capital while understanding their strengths. Balancing day-to-day operations with portfolio expansion requires a dynamic approach, and prioritizing what you're best at can make a difference.

Question 8: How do you research and identify land deals for your real estate ventures?

My research strategy is surprisingly simple—it starts with Google Earth. Identifying promising markets with supply and demand imbalances is followed by diligent online research to locate landowners and opportunities. Again, persistence is a key trait in this process.

Ray’s real estate fund management journey, like most, has been dynamic and multifaceted, requiring adaptability, persistence, and a commitment to providing value to his investors.

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Nothing in this blog is or should be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation of offers of investments. Both Real Estate Investments and Securities offerings are speculative and involve substantial risks. Risks include but are not limited to illiquidity, lack of diversification, complete loss of capital, default risk, and capital call risk. Investments may not achieve their objectives. Investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment should not invest in such offerings. Consult with your legal and investment professionals prior to making any investment decisions.