“If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature.”

— Bruce Fairchild Barton, co-founder of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osbo


Creativity is not a scarce resource.  Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson became a success by putting themselves fully into it and developing something new or executing a plan better than anyone else.  They also connected different ideas or concepts to create something new.  Jobs become famous by being the first to apply beautiful design to technology.  Branson was the first to effectively apply entertainment to various industries, most recently airlines.

If you aim to become successful via creative means, competition is irrelevant because you’re creating a new playing field.  Over the last ten years, I have come across many real estate investment entrepreneurs that exemplify this creative spirit.  Here are examples of just a few:


Entrepreneur: The Power Brothers / Power Properties (Dallas, Texas)


While investing in North Dallas in 2009 and 2010, I began hearing of what the Power Brothers where doing in the Historic District.  This area was mostly composed of very old, but historically significant, apartment buildings most of which were in significant disrepair and required an enormous amount of capital to rehab and reposition.  The Power Brothers came up with a risky, but creative solution that became very successful.

The Power Brothers began acquiring and rehabbing these very old apartment buildings to create unique contemporary lofts.  Young urban professionals appreciated the architectural details of these properties so much so that they were willing to pay above-market rental rates to rent them.

From the website:

“We offer unique homes with a boutique flare situated in the vibrant Historic District of Downtown Dallas. We have been providing dwellings that provide comfort and style with distinct management services for more than twenty years.”

Learn more at www.powerproperties.com


Entrepreneur: Craig Hall / Hall Office Park (Frisco, Texas)


I’ve read many, many real estate books throughout my real estate investment career, but very few have been as memorable as reason Craig Halls’ Timing the Real Estate Market.  In this best selling book, Mr. Hall who is not only an extremely successful real estate investor, but a winery turnaround expert as well, described his dream of developing a commercial office park focused that integrated all types of art into the buildings and landscaping.  After completing the book, I conducted some online research and discovered that Mr. Hall fulfilled his dream.  He acquiring over 20 acres of land in Frisco, Texas one of the fastest growing cities in America.  As the land in Frisco became more valuable, he developed his office park dream.  Over the next few months, I visited the Hall Office Park and was very impressed with Mr. Hall’s accomplishment.  Turning an idea into reality is a beautiful thing!

From the website:

“As a critical component when designing the Hall Office Park master plan, significant works of art were placed throughout development grounds and within building lobbies. More than 150 works created by artists from all over the world are on display here and include drawings, sketches, sculpture, paintings, glass art and photography. From humorous to serious, whether outside or in, each individual piece has been positioned and installed with the utmost of care.”


Learn more at www.hallofficepark.com


Entrepreneur: Jakob Medve / The Medve Group (Texas, Lousiana)

Medve Group

I noticed one of Jakob Medve’s properties called “The Arts” while driving through North Dallas.  What immediately impressed me was his use of large sculptures and other types of art throughout his communities.  After touring some of his properties, I was further impressed with his efficient logistics (all sculptures are imported and very low cost) and his integration of technology in everything he does.  Jakob fully refurbishes his properties with a line of products produced by a separate entity he runs called “VIMA Décor”.

VIMA Decor started as a function of The Medve Group as a way to add value to acquisitions of significantly undervalued properties.  This increased profit margins across the board by transforming Class-C units to Class-A for the price of an average Class-C rehab. After five years of product development, VIMA Décor Ltd. was established as a separate business to offer these products to other commercial property owners, builders, and developers.

From the website:

“The Medve Group (TMG) continues to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the real estate industry. Using new technology, advanced equipment, unique methods with new materials for old applications (Aqua Therm and Rust Stopping Paint) and sophisticated logistics (with highly skilled personnel) TMG, Inc. creates solutions, resulting in approved operating costs. ”

Learn more at: www.medve.com


Entrepreneur: Paul Robinson and Joe Gilbert / Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar


While in Dallas, a friend of mine took me to lunch at Houlihan’s.  I was impressed with the design, quality of service, and immense creativity infused into every aspect of their business.  In addition, take a look at their website.  They are super tech savvy.

Founded in a Leawood, Kansas in 1961 by Paul Robinson and Joe Gilbert, Houlihan’s is a restaurant with music and creativity in its veins.  Houlihan’s kitchens are run from scratch.  In the bar, cocktails and wine along with small bites have won the restaurant chain many ‘Best of’ happy hour awards. Houlihan’s has just under 100 locations, primarily throughout the Midwest and the eastern U.S. Buildings feature design-forward finishes and architectural elements, and a custom, curated playlist that changes monthly. Most locations feature display kitchens, original artwork and patios designed for social lounging.

From the website:

“What we believe in:

•Happy hour

•Good tunes

•Cooking from scratch with real, whole ingredients

•Really good cheese

•Celebrating anything, on any day, with wine

•Live and let live

•Good, thoughtful design

•Listening to our employees and our guests

•Lunch. Out of the office.

•Betting on everything, from reality TV to the final four. We don’t do that, but we hear it’s fun.

That pretty much sums us up. If you must know more, we’re an American restaurant and bar serving quality food and drinks. We cook from scratch and purchase products you don’t find in most casual restaurants due to higher quality and therefore, cost, but our guests are discerning and know the difference is worth it. Because life’s too short to eat mediocre food. We’re still able to offer amazing value due to our size and volume, which puts us in a bit of a sweet spot — our pricing tends to compete with more casual restaurants, while our vibe and food quality is what you’d expect from classier joints.

Our menu features center-cut steaks, wood-grilled flatbreads and artisan salads and sandwiches, along with an interesting, everyday wine and cocktail selection. We offer many dishes in both small and large portions and are dedicated to developing menu options that address ever-evolving consumer lifestyles — be it meatless, organic or whole grain items — and work with quality-focused partners like Creekstone Farms.”



Take a risk. do something different. Connect things.  If you don’t succeed will have enjoyed the ride.  If you do succeed, it will likely be BIG!

I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to post your questions or comments below.