“I’ve tasted my own ignorance. It’s horrible. It’s bitter. And it’s so expensive.” [on the importance of learning]

– Carlos Vaz

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Carlos Vaz, CEO and co-founder of Texas-based Conti Organization, a thriving commercial and multifamily real estate investment company whose portfolio is valued at more than $400 million. Carlos’ passion, discipline and creativity coupled with his extensive real estate experience have yielded a portfolio of over 1,400 units his first year in the multifamily business. He is passionate about building a solid vertically integrated company with strong core values, proven systems and an adept team. Carlos directs strategy, team building, investment sourcing and capital origination.

The second-youngest of nine children and one of six boys, Carlos came to the United States in 2000 from his home country of Brazil with just $300 in his pocket. He began working at the age of seven at the family farm and his father’s butcher shop. He eventually entered a federally-funded law school in Brazil but became frustrated with professors routinely going on strike. This motivated him to secure an apprenticeship at a Boston law firm.  As the internship was unpaid, Carlos worked multiple jobs while interning and taking classes through Harvard’s extension program. After his internship ended, he started working in construction and ultimately built a construction company. He then started working in the mortgage industry, while maintaining his construction company and buying and flipping houses. By 2007 he purchased his first apartment complex and then formed Conti, named in honor of his mother Neusa Conti. Since its inception, Conti has closed deals involving more than 5,000 units and $400 million in value.

At the time of this interview Carlos had just completed Harvard Business School OPM Program.

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Podcast Topics Include:

  • Building a business based on core values
  • The pursuit of knowledge and constant learning
  • The importance of integrity, trust, commitment, family and respect
  • Employee Retention – hiring people that fit the culture
  • Strategies for scaling a business: Combining EOS with Culture Index (Combining an operating system with personality assessments) – Listen to future episode when Gina has her Culture Index report reviewed by Jason Williford
  • Why it’s okay to be as “boring” as “vanilla yogurt” in business
  • Best conferences for CEOs to attend
  • Advice for rising CEOs & COOs
  • Recommended Books: Get A Grip, Profit From The Core, The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

More About Gina Trimarco

Learn More About Pivot10 Results

More About Carlos Vaz and Conti Organization

Since getting involved in the multifamily game in late 2007, the market has benefited from strong population growth and a shortage of single family homes. He looks for properties with at least 150 units but no more than 500. His approach is very cash -flow driven, thus his company focuses on acquisitions and not ground-up development. As CEO, he directs strategy, team building, investment sourcing and capital origination.

Carlos is now a U.S. citizen and says he feels a great deal of gratitude for the opportunities he has been afforded. America has given him the chance to provide homes and jobs for others. He has received several awards including Dallas Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award, Real Estate Forum Magazines’ 35 Rising stars in the industry under the age of 35 and a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is also a two-time recipient of the Dallas 100 and Inc. 5000 Awards. As a recognized thought leader in the multifamily industry, he is a regular guest speaker at many events such as MFE (Multifamily Executive), Crittenden Multifamily, Marcus & Millichap, IMN Conferences, among others. Carlos also is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), TIGER 21, the Real Estate Council of Dallas and a board member of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).

The Pivotal Leader is a production of Pivot10 Results, a strategy and training company that helps businesses shift from people problems to performance results.

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About the author

Gina Trimarco is a native of Chicago and CEO/Founder of Pivot10 Results and Carolina Improv Company. She has 25+ years of experience in marketing, sales, operations and people training. Gina combines street smarts and improv comedy skills with her experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds, which sets her apart from her competition.

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