Optimism In The Storm: How To Navigate Your Business Through A Downturn With Levi Benkert | Ep. 203

COGE 203 | Navigate Business Downturn


The market is spiraling downward, and fear creeps into most business owners. The real estate market is also affected, but how do we respond to this current storm we’re in? Is there a way to sail through the current weather? In this episode, Levi Benkert, the CEO of Harbor Capital, teaches us how to navigate your business through a downturn. He shares why he is optimistic about the current state of the economy and the future of the United States and the Texas market in particular. Learn to maintain a positive view through turbulent times as Levi dives deep into the impact of being hyper-focused. He has so much more to unravel in this conversation. So before you set sail in the storm, tune in now!

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Optimism In The Storm: How To Navigate Your Business Through A Downturn With Levi Benkert

My guest is Levi Benkert. He is the Founder of Harbor Capital, a hyper-focused industrial real estate investment firm out of Texas. They are deep into the key markets in Texas. The reason I have Levi on for the second time is that he is an optimist, and I am not. We talk about why he is optimistic about the current state of the economy and the future of the United States and the Texas market particularly.

This will be interesting for you because it will give you some insights into how you can maintain your optimism through turbulent times as well as how you should be looking at the construction market as it pertains to the work that you’re focused on, how to niche, how to be hyper-focused, and why that can have a tremendous impact upon your company. You’re going to enjoy this conversation. Levi is super smart and optimistic. That helps me in my perspective as well. Feel free to share this interview with other people who you think would benefit from hearing it. Check out Levi’s website, HarborCap.com, connect with him on Twitter as well, and enjoy my conversation.

Levi, welcome back to the show.

Thank you. I’m excited to be back. It’s fun to get a second invite. I felt very honored. Thank you.

The reason I had you out is that I follow you on Twitter. I enjoy your posts. I personally am not an optimist. I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I read your Q3 update from Harbor Capital and your outlook. I was 2×4-ed by your optimism. I had to have you on the show to get that alternative perspective. Here we go. Why are you not betting against America?

I need to temper it a bit. We got into a good deal of irrational exuberance that was artificially low interest rate-fueled. I’ll dive into that fuel analogy a little bit more and probably burn it out here. We were putting jet fuel in a car that wasn’t quite ready for it or wasn’t made for it. The amount of borrowing construction growth got optimistic. Everyone knows this but this was a big Fed-induced attempt to avoid a catastrophe as we had never seen before from COVID. We certainly over-corrected to the wrong side.

I don’t think any particular political party or administration is to blame. This has happened all over the world. Inflation is not an American problem but what I do think is that the deeper I get into the weeds on the facts and figures of what’s happening, the more I see that America is doing a better job than many other developed or developing countries around the world at getting things under control.

I mentioned in the update that while the neighbors are keeping the lights on and the music going down the street, our Fed is choosing to send everybody home, turn the music off, take the underwear off the fan, and start cleaning up and getting things back in order because while the party may have been fun, it was getting out of hand. It’s certainly going to not end well. When you zoom out on the big picture, it’s hard not to be optimistic about America and one simple fact alone. We’re taking care of business when it needs to be taken care of. That’s why the dollar is as strong as it is. It’s the second-highest point in history.

There are a couple of points that you bring up in your update that we tend to miss at times. I want to explore those with you a little bit. The reason why these are so important is that they exist regardless of what we do. The first one is our geography and then the second one is our natural resources. Can you explore that? That’s fundamental when we’re thinking about America. We miss that at times.

We consistently miss it. I read a book. It’s called The End of the World is Just the Beginning, which talks about these macrogeographic, economic, and demographic trends around the world and paints a picture of why America is uniquely positioned and has been. We take it for granted and think that we had this great constitution, these founding fathers, or this political system.

COGE 203 | Navigate Business Downturn
The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization

The right people happen to immigrate with the right work ethic. That created this boom that the world hadn’t seen. It’s all the people. In reality, you’ve got ports on three sides, more arable land than any other country in the world, and energy independence when we want it. It’s certainly not always something that we do but it’s very easy to do. At this point, we are energy-independent. Thankfully, we’re not importing but we had been for years.

The fact that there are so many natural resources to utilize means that America is situated extremely well compared to the rest of the world. You look at other countries that are unable to stand alone without shipping, imports, expertise, and knowledge of other countries. In America, we could be painful but not nearly as painful as someone else. We could close off our borders and do our thing if we wanted to. We don’t need globalization as other countries do.

The fact that there are so many natural resources to utilize means that America's just situated highly well compared to the rest of the world. Share on X

It’s so interesting because as you’re talking about this, I think about the old cliché that this guy was born on third base and thought he hit a triple or something like that. In America, we can have that. As we go through the cycles, the booms, and the busts, we’re at the point in the boom where there are guys and gals who have launched businesses, whether in construction, investing, or whatever the case is where all they have known is the boom. They feel a certain sense of arrogance. I don’t mean that too harshly but it can be like, “I’ve never had the bad times. I don’t know what they mean.”

“It must be me. I’m the only reason that this has done so well. What else could it be?”

You’ve been doing this for a while. You went through ’08. That sucked. What are your prior experiences? How are they informing the way that you are proceeding at this moment? We’re recording this in early November 2022.

I recognize that one of the differences this time around is that I have the benefit of hindsight of having lived through ’08, which shaped and informed the investing strategies that I have put together in all of the personal net worth and other people’s money that I manage. I own $120 million worth of industrial real estate in Texas. I’m growing that. I would be shaking in my boots and very scared if I didn’t have the structure set up and in place.

That is a direct result of having lived through 2008 and watched an enormous amount of wealth fall through my fingers and an enormous amount of investor wealth evaporate when the market stopped immediately. This time around, I’ve got conservative debt-to-income ratios across the whole portfolio. I’ve got low loan-to-value ratios. I have properties that are flexible and could be rented out to a number of tenants. I have the ability to drop rents drastically and still cover overheads on each property.

These structures allow for a lot of flexibility. That puts me in a different position. I’m not trying to sit here and claim that the future isn’t going to be ugly for America for a little while but even when you zoom out and put into perspective 2008, we made some mistakes and things went bad but it wasn’t this complete catastrophe like the Great Recession of the 1930s. It’s something entirely different. It’s this little blip in a long journey upward.

In your mind, what is a prudent income-to-debt ratio a company should be looking at as they’re running their business? You may only be able to speak for your business specifically but do you have any opinions on that or perspectives?

I think about that a lot, not from a company perspective but from a particular asset. I buy industrial properties only. If I’ve got a multi-tenant property with a bunch of small units in it, I feel much more comfortable being a little bit more levered. If I’ve got a single-tenant property, even if it’s rented to a publicly-traded company or something, that company might go under.

You go from 100% occupied to 0% occupied in a 24-hour period. I feel much more cautious and careful about the structures that need to be put together. The same applies across each business. How exposed are you? How honest are you being about the exposure that you have? We call it a pre-mortem meeting around the office whenever we’re talking about acquiring a product or a property.

Sometimes we do it on properties that we own. We go through and say, “Twelve months from now, this property has completely failed and is going into foreclosure. What happened?” The power of that question to spur you to immediately hone in or zoom in on the problems or the issues that could exist and then start to think creatively about what solutions could we create and what hedges could we buy that would enable it to be not as bad as the worst-case catastrophe is fantastic.

COGE 203 | Navigate Business Downturn
Navigate Business Downturn: Start to think creatively about what solutions we could create. What hedges could we buy that would enable it not to be as bad as the worst-case catastrophe?


Let me ask you about that pre-mortem meeting. That’s an interesting one. What are some typical themes that come up and reoccur in terms of the worst-case scenarios? If it hits the fan, what’s it going to look like?

Particularly, if it’s a property in an area that is highly concentrated in one single market like oil, natural gas, a certain type of manufacturing, auto, or something in that particular market gets hit, then you might have a vacancy but you might have a vacancy at the same time that nine other properties in the same neighborhood went vacant, which means the amount that you could rent it for goes down drastically. It’s all a function of supply and demand. A.) What causes us to lose our income? B.) What potential causes exist? How might they affect the market as a whole?

My worst nightmare is that I own something that all of a sudden has zero income and expenses. Almost always the answer is when we’re buying a property, let’s raise a bigger reserve fund and put it in the bank. We have tens of millions of dollars’ worth of reserve funds held in CDs earning low interest because something bad might happen. I would rather lower my investors’ IRR and sit on a bunch of money that we could use for a rainy day if and when needed than give them a higher IRR and know that we have no plan B when the rains come that are inevitably going to come.

That’s interesting because that goes to something that you stated in this recent update, “The future is unknowable, yet history teaches us that those with the biggest moat and the highest walls last the longest.” It sounds like from what you’re saying, the moat that you’re developing is a combination of cash reserves and diversification.

Cash reserves and flexibility are important. I want a building that could rent to different sectors at different times. I love a building that can be split up into smaller units if needed. It could be rented to a gymnastics facility, a machine shop parts manufacturing, or an auto body shop. I want all of the above whenever possible. We want high demand and low inventory. You don’t want a lot of potential other inventory. The other moat that’s there is going in cost. I want to buy it for less than it would cost to replace it so that if and when a neighbor decides to build a mirror facility to mine, they can’t afford to rent it for as cheap as I can.

That requires a lot of thought and upfront work to be able to identify those types of properties. What are the main ways that you have to discipline yourself in your business? What are the main temptations to violate these principles that you have in your business?

Those temptations are enormous because we see properties all the time pitched to us that in layman’s eyes look to be a great investment well-located whatever else but the price is too high. It would be easy to go in and put together a pitch deck that said, “This price is higher but we’re okay with it because of these reasons.” The fees keep coming in. You look good for a while.

Years ago, I did home remodeling. I had a tile guy that used to say, “Grout covers up a multitude of sins.” I feel like you could quite easily do that in this industry. Put together a fancy-looking pitch deck, you’re going to buy the deal. No one is going to know the things that you’ve buried beneath the surface for sometimes 1, 2, or 3 years down the road. You “live to see another day” but you’re creating something unsustainable.

I started this business when I was 40. I had this big moment in life where it was like, “I want to build something substantial or something that lasts.” When I looked back over my career, I’ve done a number of large businesses and built some fantastic things that I’m proud of, many of which are still going. I’m proud of what happened but it felt like a lot of tall towers with questionable foundations. This time around, to me, there was this maturity that came with age that enabled me to say, “The foundation is more important than what people see coming out of the ground.” I want to build something that can stand the test of time, regardless of what will get thrown at us.

Let me ask you. The folks who are reading this are not directly in your business. They’re in construction. In your business, how do you balance the objective aspects of analyzing a deal with the intuitive aspects that enable you or someone in your business to see things that other people don’t see, and because of that, they’re able to make deals, get properties, or put things together that other people can’t because of that intuition? Is that a reality? Is that, “Look at the data, buy the data, and don’t trust anything else.”

I don’t know if it’s intuition as much as understanding. You’ve got to focus on a niche within a niche to get good at something. Maybe I’m not built like some other people are but when I look at what Amazon and Jeff Bezos have built, to me, it seems like a vast and disparate empire of businesses that they’re in. I’m appalled and amazed. I’m not as smart as the rest. I’m a dumb guy but I found that to be successful, I need to focus deeply on one specific topic to become the expert at it, pattern-match, and create a set of heuristics that I can rely on and trust.

That’s interesting you say that about Amazon because when you said that, what popped into my head is Amazon’s niche is the customer. We all say that the customer is the king but that’s what they do. They are ferocious in niching, “What do our customers want?” and then going after that. Let me pivot here a little bit. You’re in Texas. Are you buying and managing properties throughout all of Texas? Is there a particular geography that you’re focused on within Texas?

It’s only Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas in that order in terms of our holdings and focuses. You talk about being born in third base America. I was certainly born on third base, and Texas was to an even further extent. The synergy between these economies and the specialization that they have are mind-blowing the deeper you get into it. Dallas is this incredible financial hub that has banks, not to mention shipping and technology that they have of automation.

It’s one of the world’s leading cities in a number of different areas. You go over to Houston. It’s the largest port in America by dollar volume primarily because it ships so much oil in and out for those refineries there. It’s the second-largest hub of Fortune 500 company headquarters in the world. It has an incredibly diverse population and land. It goes on for miles. It takes you an hour and a half to get from one end to the other of Houston.

Austin is this mini-Silicon Valley. San Antonio has an even lower cost of living than Texas as a whole. I’m looping Austin and San Antonio together although they’re very vastly different. They just happen to be only 40 minutes from each other. You have this synergy between these four hubs. If America could be cut off from the rest of the world, Texas almost could do the same because there’s so much happening here. All of these things work together.

What sadly many countries learned in the 1700s when they started colonizing is that they needed those resources, cheap labor, and things that they were able to go and get tragically from other countries. It all exists here. There are these different variabilities, cost of living, focus, and expertise that create a synergy that’s unparalleled. I don’t know anywhere else in America or in the world where that exists.

I appreciate that summary of Texas. That’s pretty cool. With that in mind, what is the feeling on the ground in your markets regarding construction in the next 12 to 18 months?

There’s certainly a pullback. I’ll speak specifically to industrial because that’s what I know best although I certainly keep an eye on residential and other types of construction. Industrial has pulled back. Oddly, it’s at a time when vacancies are still extremely low and activity is still high. In my mind, they may be pulling back a little prematurely but I’m glad that they are because, at this point, it’s looking to avoid an oversupply.

One of our moats is my basis is lower than what it would cost for me to build that or someone else to build that building down the street. Therefore, I’ve got that as a moat. The problem with that thesis is if somebody builds a spec building down the street, some cost is irrelevant the day it’s finished. If the market won’t support the rents that they need to earn a safe return, then they have to lower prices.

A vacant building is a vacant building. Even if they have to cut their prices by 20%, the equity holders get wiped out. The bank has to own the property. In a down market, that’s what has to happen. There’s no buffer that gets you away from the realities of an overbuilt market. Cheap debt is what leads to overbuilt markets. That’s what we have had. I’m so thankful we’re getting rid of it.

A vacant building is a vacant building. Even if sellers have to cut their prices by 20%, the equity holders get wiped out, and the bank has to own the property sometimes; that's what has to happen. Share on X

Higher interest rates are here. How long they last remain to be seen. We don’t know the future but how are higher interest rates impacting your investment strategy?

We are looking a lot less at buy-and-hold stabilized core assets and focusing more on value-add opportunities by vacant, under-leased, and repurposed. Sometimes we will split the property up into a bunch of units that were bigger. We look at ways to add value and go even more significantly into that value-add bucket. We bought a building and closed on it. We bought it vacant. It’s 135,000 square feet. We paid $10 million for it. We’re in negotiations with two different tenants. Both want it. Thankfully, I have quite a bit of strong interest here. We will have it at least within the next month or two.

This asset fully leased in this market will trade for $16 million or more. We paid $10 million for it. We were the only bidders on it. It was mismarketed. It wasn’t a real experienced broker that knew what the property was. It hit the market. We jumped on it immediately because we knew the area, the building, the asset, and the market. We knew what we could do with it. We were able to come in and secure this asset at a low price. Interest rates are entirely irrelevant. I don’t care if I pay you a high interest or not if I was going to be able to earn a 60% increase on my purchase price.

That answers my earlier question a little bit more about this idea of intuition because you were able to spot a mismarketed property based on your understanding of the market that you were in. Therefore, you were able to put two and two together and see a killer deal when it came up. That was something you could see. Did that require additional analysis? Did you say, “I know that’s a deal right there.”

We knew that was a deal right there but did still enormous additional analysis to make sure that we knew what we knew. With this property, we went and negotiated with the seller for the ability to list it for the market during our escrow periods. We have been talking to tenants about it for a month prior to purchasing the asset. We were able to figure out some tenant improvements that needed to be done so that we had all of our lists ready to go and bids.

The day after closing, we called the contractor and said, “We’re pulling the trigger on option B that we have been discussing for the last month. This is what we need. We’re adding roll-up doors and a few different improvements on it so that it will be even more ready to run.” Everybody always asks me to predict the future. The older I get, the less interested I am in doing that. I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that the more specialized you get, the more knowledge you have about a particular market, and the more you can hone that intuition and build those heuristics that are incredibly valuable.

The more knowledge you have about a particular market, the more you can hone that intuition and those heuristics that are incredibly valuable. Share on X

You had a quote in your newsletter or your Q3 summary from Terry Smith, “There are only two types of people in the world when it comes to market timing, people who cannot do it and people who have realized that they cannot do it.” How much blood do you have to shed before you get to that point?

For me, it was unfortunately quite a bit.

It’s interesting. You see a property that’s mismarketed, take advantage of that, and get yourself a good deal. How do you build and maintain relationships with people who you may be working with long term when you know that you’ve gotten a killer deal, and they may have made mistakes? Is that a challenge? Is that something that you stay humble about so you’re not like in their face, “You blew it. I did well.” How do you handle that? Help me there with that.

Stay humble but we treat our brokers well. We’re thankful for everything they send to us. In that instance, the seller was quite happy. He earned some good profit on the building. He bought it for even cheaper than we got it for and was planning on putting his business in there. His business grew too quickly, so all the tenant improvements he had done added value to the building. He walked away with quite a bit of profit. The broker earned a good commission.

We’re thankful for everybody. We made sure to let them know that. I’m probably a little bit more ruthless than the average buyer. Through the peak of the market, I saw people touting that we will never retrade, “This is how you can do a deal with us. We’re the strong and reliable buyer that’s going to pay up regardless of what we find during due diligence.”

My investor is the customer, not the seller. I need to deliver a strong return to those investors. If that means sometimes we’re going to lose deals because we went back and tried to retrade after we found that there were some roof leaks or issues that we didn’t know about, were deceived about, or that maybe even sometimes the seller didn’t know about, that’s fine with me.

During a peak market, we’re going to lose some deals but at the end of the day, it only takes one bad deal to ruin a reputation. Our reputation is the foundation of what we build upon. That’s a much more sustainable position to take as a buyer of real estate. They have to be good deals. We have to take care of our investors. We’re not trying to take care of sellers. We’re trying to take care of investors.

There are a couple of things. I’ve heard you mention this a couple of times as we have been talking. It reminds me of this negotiating mindset that I learned many years ago. The willingness to walk away is more important than walking away. You’ve mentioned a couple of times your willingness to lose deals or not to get too obsessed with the property and not to have to win every single time because you have a very clear idea of what it means to win. You’re not going to go outside of that framework.

It’s interesting. The art of being dispassionate or unemotionally involved is important. A good mentor/friend of mine runs a very similar business out of Colorado. I’ve learned a lot from him. He gets honed in on the deal, “The deal has to be this good for me to buy it.” He will go back and negotiate it. The winners are his investors long-term. It’s an incredibly powerful tool. I don’t care if this makes you think I’m dumb. We found something in the property that we didn’t know was there. I don’t own the property yet so I don’t have to make you happy as a seller. I need to buy a good deal here. This problem is yours. If you want to make it mine, you’re going to have to make the price more attractive.

That’s great. I love the perspective that you have. Your investors are the customers.

Amazon made me think immediately about who our customer is. Without a doubt, it’s investors and banks. Our lender relationships are key. The thing that hit me the hardest in 2008 was the banks that I was working with, “We want to work with you and do more deals. We respect you. We’re going to work out stuff.” As soon as the music stopped, they call up and say, “It’s from the higher-ups. We’re out of compliance with our bank charter if we don’t do something with this debt. Therefore, this loan that we’ve got with you is getting called. We’re done. We’re not lending anymore on construction projects.”

Based on your perspective, you’re involved in the construction industry to a degree but as an outsider. What segments of construction based on macroeconomic trends do you see continuing to be strong as we go through the uncertainties of the next 12 to 18 months?

I’ve heard this said about the stock market. It applies well to real estate as well. There is no real estate market. There is a market of real estate, meaning each property, or in the case of the original quote, each stock is different. They have different characteristics, risk profiles, and potential issues that could come up, arise, and drag them down.

I hate thinking of real estate as a whole or even a sector as a whole. A certain building might be full and well-leased throughout a downturn with not a scratch on the owner. A neighboring building that maybe was right next to the train tracks had some negative. For one reason or another, the owner might not be able to hang onto it, and they’ve got to foreclose. A flight to quality is probably the best.

If you’re buying, you should buy quality as low as possible prices in terms of what will the market do. We talk about these high I rates. They’re not high. They’re normal interest rates. Low interest rates are what we should be talking about. Low interest rates were nitrous oxide in the tank of the market that helped sustain us through what could have been one of the biggest economic catastrophes of our lifetime. We enjoyed it a little too much for too long but so far, the market is showing that it’s leading to swing the other way. That’s causing a negative sentiment or a downswing in the wrong direction.

Take this into single-family home ownership. If I want to buy a house, I can afford a lot less house for the same monthly payment than I used to be able to afford. It’s like the Fed went and took the wallets of all the buyers. First of all, they went and stuffed cash in everyone’s wallets for the last few years. They went and took all that cash in everybody’s wallets all the same time.

It’s interesting. One thing that you said that I picked up on could be an insight into why you are optimistic. You had this idea of niching. There’s no real estate market. There’s a market for real estate. You understand your niche and you know how to identify properties that fit within that. That then helps you to maintain optimism because you know they’re out there.

Similarly, as construction companies understand their market, what they build well, and where they can make money, they need to be aggressive in making sure that they’re focused on those projects and opportunities. That will then enable them to block out the general noise of pessimism, which pervades often the media and the market in general, and focus on still building the right projects with the right people in the right locations.

Have you ever gotten to know the Barnhart Crane and Rigging story?

Give us it.

You need to find this guy. He’s incredible. Alan Barnhart is the owner. They are an enormous company now. They have bought 50 or 60 different crane and rigging companies all over the country. They keep expanding when they’re in cities all over everywhere. I got to know Alan and his wife. They are passionate and driven people but not for money. He realized early on that money was not what he was trying to do. He wanted to build jobs and opportunities.

They set the salary that they would live on personally and decided that everything above and beyond that would be given to a foundation. They set up a family foundation. They give 100% of the stock of the company to that foundation. They have run this company now for years and haven’t stopped. They live on the same amount of money and live in the same house that they lived in when they first got married. It may be even a little too extreme. I’m not quite sure I agree with that but it’s interesting because I talked to him.

At this point, his business is probably worth a couple of hundred million. It’s an enormous business but his concept is about being cautious about debt and becoming a specialist in a certain area. They have over 200 engineers if I’m remembering correctly. I went to his facility with them. They had 200-plus engineers on the team hyper-specializing. They’re able to move enormous oil rigging equipment. If something needs to be moved from Point A to Point B, sometimes it’s a year-long process. It’s complicated. It’s a year-long process to figure out how to do it. They could become good at that.

If something needs to be moved from point A to point B, sometimes it's a year-long process. Share on X

You talk about a niche within a niche. It’s hard to comprehend the things that they’re able to move and make happen but then also the mindset that he put throughout that company. It’s careful or cautious. I don’t think they have ever used any debt. They have grown steadily throughout the years. Every time the market dips, they buy 3 or 4 of their competitors. They have become one of the largest if not the largest in America. They keep growing. It’s fantastic. You need to look up Alan Barnhart.

I pulled up the website here. That’s pretty cool. As we’re wrapping up here, I kick it off by saying I’m naturally a pessimist. My views get confirmed very much so when I’m on social media or surfing the internet. Do you have any strategies in terms of what you’re consuming information-wise that help you to maintain what I view at least as a healthy optimism?

I don’t do as well as I want to in that regard but my main media consumption is timeless like books, articles, and things that are not just about what happened in politics and the immediacy. I’m reading Mastering the Market Cycle by Howard Marks, which is a phenomenal book. I find that those bigger zoomed-out perspectives help me quite a bit. I place an extremely high value on sleeping well at night.

It’s not that I don’t do it but the more immediate media day-to-day news that I consume, the less I sleep well at night and the more I feel like the sky is falling. The more I zoom out and look at the market that I’m in America and the stability that we have created through the deep foundations we have built into the company, the more I can look out on the horizon and these bumps and things. I realize I’ve built a vehicle with a suspension system to be able to handle it, so this is okay.

That’s awesome. Having those ratios in line that we discussed earlier is very helpful for your sleep as well. Go back to the Mastering the Market Cycle book. Give us 1 or 2 takeaways that you’re getting as you’re going through the book if you wouldn’t mind.

This is not a concept that he created but it’s certainly one that is helpful and timely. You go back and zoom out on the value of equities. He includes real estate stocks and everything in this. You look at them over a 100-year trend. It’s up to the right with these gyrations and swings but if you level that out, it’s a straight line from Point A to Point B. He talks about how that line carries some gravity with it to the reversion to the mean but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to do this step along the way.

That’s to be expected. It’s how very rarely the market hits the mean or the average. We will have a couple of years where we’re extremely off to the negative of the average. In a couple of years, we’re extremely high to the positive of the average. Zoom out is the theme that I get from that. Howard Marks is fantastic. His quarterly updates are some of the best market analyses and thoughtful and contemplative dialogue.

Levi, I appreciate you coming on. I get refreshed by people who are optimistic. I’m always amazed when I hear it in the tone of their voice. It’s super helpful to me. Give us a reminder here how people can get ahold of you and what you’re all about here please.

HarborCap.com is our website for Harbor Capital. We are buying industrial in Texas and continue to do so. We are net buyers even though we have had a couple of opportunistic sales that we will continue to do here. We believe long-term in the value of this real estate and what the state is doing here. We’re adding more to the portfolio. I’m on Twitter. @LeviJamesHere is my handle on there. I often get on there and talk about industrial real estate.

COGE 203 | Navigate Business Downturn
Navigate Business Downturn: We believe long-term in the value of this real estate and what the state is doing here.


Levi, it has been a pleasure. Thanks so much for coming to the show.

Thanks, Eric.

This is Eric. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my chat with Levi. I know that I did. Before you bounce away, I want to encourage you to go to one website. That is HarborCap.com. Check out what he does and then go to one other website. That is ConstructionGeniusBook.com. The Construction Genius book is live. It is flying off the shelves. It is the one book that every construction leader must read. The reason why is that people’s problems are costing your construction company millions. In Construction Genius, the book, we talk specifically about how to solve them.

If you want to learn how to lead, strategize, sell, and be successful in the construction industry, this is the book you must read. It is the book for all construction leaders. Go to ConstructionGeniusBook.com, click on the Buy Now button, go out to Amazon, and get yourself a Kindle version, a paperback version, a hardcover version, or the Audible version. We are across all of those platforms. It’s a killer deal. For about $20, you can get a book that could make you millions if you use and apply the principles that you learn. You can tell I’m pretty pumped up about the book. I know you will enjoy it. Go check it out. Thank you for reading. We will catch you on the next episode.


Important Links


About Levi Benkert

COGE 203 | Navigate Business DownturnLevi Benkert is the CEO of Harbor Capital. He is a proven innovative business leader with 20 years of experience in strategic real estate related business development. Levi has leveraged his skills to identify unique opportunities, maximize growth, raise capital and create sustainable vision for companies that he has founded and led. Levi has bought, managed and developed over $400M in real estate properties in his career. Levi is great at building teams who are aligned around clear objectives and a shared passion for building a better world. When not doing due diligence on another industrial property Levi can be found on a paddle board in Lady Bird Lake in Austin with his wife and their 4 kids.