by Jenn LoConte
Hans Box has simple advice for hopeful entrepreneurs.
Hans definitely knows what it takes to be successful. His company, Box Wilson Equity, is a successful real estate investment and private equity firm that has purchased over $110 million in commercial real estate either directly, or through equity positions in other sponsors. They focus on multifamily assets, primarily in Texas, as well as other types of value-add, income generating properties, like mobile home parks and self storage facilities. Recently, they also acquired distressed debt in Brooklyn, NY.
“Take calculated and well thought-out action but don’t overanalyze,” adds Hans.
“Don’t be afraid to dip your toe in the water and go for it.”
Hans wasn’t always the confident business owner that he is today. Originally from the hill country area of Texas (outside of Austin), Hans earned his MS degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he worked for 11 years in tax and consulting, collecting a paycheck and investing in his 401K.
As time went on, Hans became more and more interested in real estate investing and saw an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. Although he was inexperienced at the time, Hans and his current business partner, Doug Wilson, wound up taking over that first deal after being voted in by other passive investors. They eventually turned it around, making a decent profit. More real estate deals followed and soon after, Hans quit his 9 to 5 job and ventured out on his own, starting his own career in real estate investing.
“Back then, I was working like everyone else, making a W-2 income, not even knowing this world existed until my early thirties,” says Hans. “You grow up thinking you’ll go to college, get a great job after graduation, and work until you retire, similar to previous generations. But times have changed and it’s become increasingly more important and necessary to take ownership of your own retirement. I wish I would have started 10 years earlier.”
“Making sure a potential sponsor takes the time to answer all of your questions is essential,” comments Hans. “And, being transparent as both a business owner and an investor is key.” Hans expects to get answers from sponsors he wants to invest with, just as he answers questions for his own investors.
When he’s not investing, Hans and his wife, Jillian, enjoy traveling. Their most recent trip took them overseas to Greece and prior to that, Italy. Next they’ll visit Germany (where Hans is applying for German citizenship), Austria, and possibly Prague. Hans has loved to travel the country since his childhood and has been to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. Of course, during football season the couple can be found cheering on their Aggies. And, just as he became an entrepreneur, his wife is following in his footsteps, launching her own faith-based and fashion forward jewelry line, called Trumadee (www.trumadee.com).
Larry Hickernell, DLP Capital Partners Success Manager commented on what it means to have Hans as a member of the DLP Investor family. He says, “Hans’ experience and knowledge in the real estate and investment industry gives him a unique insight into good opportunities, which makes his trust in DLP uniquely special to us. His entrepreneurial spirit and ability to execute has led Hans to become a great partner to us at DLP Capital, and we look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship well into the future.”