Industrial development is driving his real estate investment firm's growth
DALLAS, July 29, 2021 – Q&A with Romit Cheema, CEO & Principal, CanTex Capital
By Rob Schneider, Managing Editor, Dallas Business Journal, July 29, 2021
Romit Cheema is one of our 40 Under 40 honorees for 2021. This year's class was honored at a virtual event on July 20.
Romit Cheema, CEO and principal at CanTex Capital, said his company has used a typical formula of acquiring and operating Class B industrial warehouses since it was formed approximately three years ago. But the past year has him thinking about opening that formula up more.
"We have been focused on acquiring existing buildings but are now looking at doing new industrial development," said Cheema, who was trained as a lawyer but then returned to commercial real estate. "It is something I would have said we weren't interested in doing six months ago, but with rental rates climbing the way they have and some of the quality infill land sites we have acquired, we see lots of opportunity in this space."
Cheema said his real estate investment firm is really asset class agnostic. It acquires extensive value-add renovations of an existing warehouse building in an infill location and then leases the buildings up. It also has an affiliate property management and construction management company that services the assets it owns and operates.
He said his job has him doing a little bit of everything. Cheema said CanTex is probably too big to be called a startup at this point but said the firm runs lean with everyone wearing multiple hats.
Q&A with Romit Cheema, CEO & Principal, CanTex Capital
What was the biggest lesson (personally or professionally) that you took out of 2020, and how will it change you going forward?
Everything we do comes from the lens of a long-term relationship. We try to envision what our relationships look like 20 years from now because we still want to be around and transacting in DFW then.
The value from our relationships and doing the right thing today (even if it is detrimental in the short-term) will compound as we continue to grow our real estate company. We saw the value of our relationships during the pandemic when we were going through unprecedented times. The relationships that were the strongest allowed for the greatest flexibility and communication.
How important is a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce to your company's success, and how do you keep that at the forefront coming out of the pandemic?
I always tell people that our biggest strength at CanTex is our diversity and drives better business outcomes for us. I don't mean diversity in the traditional sense but diversity in perspective, background, ways of thinking, experience and skillset. We pride ourselves on taking on challenging projects and being able to think outside the box, and we can only execute that way by thinking differently. It is critical that we can look at an investment from many perspectives and assess risk and the best way to do that is by having a diverse team.