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Harmel Rayat

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Harmel Rayat: From Investor To Commercial Real Estate Genius

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Chairman Of RenovaCare and of SolarWindow Technologies

Courtesy of Levi Walton/Viceland

You get what you give.

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HARMEL RAYAT

Harmel Rayat is a rags to riches story of an investor who catapulted from the bottom of a brokerage firm to success in commercial real estate. He has an amazing range of talent: entrepreneur, investor, commercial realtor, as well as chairman to two publicly traded tech companies. 

Armed with only a basic college entrepreneurship program, he began his career in the mailroom of a stock brokerage firm. Soon he was a stockbroker at the age of  21, but the title was more glamorous than reality.

Months before the market crashed and the Dow dropped 23% in a single day, and after being broke three times, Harmel took his own investment advice and moved on. Like his investment career, he entered real estate with no experience, no knowledge, and no contacts.

Hands on experience resulted in a lucrative commercial real estate career and a diversified portfolio ranging from commercial real estate (www.taliajevan.com) to significant stakes in two publicly traded technology companies: SolarWindow and RenovaCare.

SolarWindow (www.solarwindow.com) has a coating technology that turns ordinary windows into electricity-generating windows. RenovaCare (www.renovacareinc.com) has the SkinGun™ to spray a patient’s own skin cells onto burns and wounds. 

Harmel has self-published two books, including Double-Digit Returns: In Good Markets and Bad. This latest book details how he generated annualized real estate returns of over 40 percent per year since 2006.

 

Courtesy of CoFound Harlem

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Harmel went from a business plan and no money to learning from a mentor he found in a magazine.
  • Why Harmel found the stockbroker life to be hypocritical and how many people lose money in the stock market.
  • Why it’s better to get into commercial versus residential real estate.
  • The advantage for lowering the rent of tenants.
  • What’s more important than location when dealing with real estate.
  • How Harmel built a real estate portfolio that transitioned him into other sectors.
  • How Harmel is helping to pioneer new technology, such as electricity generating windows and skin cell regeneration.

Transcript

Dan Lok: Welcome to another episode of Dan Lok show. Today we are in actually New York City, and I’m with John Henry. Now John not only is an entrepreneur, but also a real estate investor as well as owns a venture capital company.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: Now before we even talk about John’s story, I want to talk a little bit about this space.

John Henry: Let’s talk about it.

Dan Lok: Let’s talk about this space. Like what makes this space, co-working space, so special?

John Henry: First things first, thank you for having me on.

Dan Lok: Welcome man, welcome.

John Henry: Appreciate you. And look, what makes this space special is this is the proof right here. Like you’re on a one day trip, you came, you interviewed with Faiza, this content, that content lined up. We connected and it’s central in the city, a lotta energy here, there’s six floors.

Dan Lok: You can feel the entrepreneurial spirit.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: The minute you walk in you can feel the hustling.

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Dan Lok: Welcome to another episode of Dan Lok show. Today we are in actually New York City, and I’m with John Henry. Now John not only is an entrepreneur, but also a real estate investor as well as owns a venture capital company.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: Now before we even talk about John’s story, I want to talk a little bit about this space.

John Henry: Let’s talk about it.

Dan Lok: Let’s talk about this space. Like what makes this space, co-working space, so special?

John Henry: First things first, thank you for having me on.

Dan Lok: Welcome man, welcome.

John Henry: Appreciate you. And look, what makes this space special is this is the proof right here. Like you’re on a one day trip, you came, you interviewed with Faiza, this content, that content lined up. We connected and it’s central in the city, a lotta energy here, there’s six floors.

Dan Lok: You can feel the entrepreneurial spirit.

John Henry: That’s right.

Dan Lok: The minute you walk in you can feel the hustling.

John Henry: That’s right, and there’s a lot at WeWork’s, obviously, and this is … this, though, is billed as like the OG space, and there are a lot of veteran New York entrepreneurs here. There are several accelerators and several funds and stuff, and so yeah, I’m fortunate to be part of this community.
So we’re in Alley right now. Yeah, and that’s where we find ourselves.

Dan Lok: That’s awesome.

John Henry: Welcome to New York, man.

Dan Lok: Thank you, I love New York. The cold, it takes a couple of days to get used to. The minute I arrived, the airport, like wow! This is cold. I know New York, it’s cold. But this is cold!

John Henry: This is very cold.

Dan Lok: This is very cold. So John, take us back. How did you get into entrepreneurship?