HBCU Grads Turn Travel Passion Into $10 Million Real Estate Portfolio in Less Than 5 Years
HBCU alumni Carrington M. Carter and Calvin J. Butts Jr. of East Chop Capital are changing the face of private equity.
The two Hampton graduates recently announced the closure of their $ 4 million fund. Carter and Butts have strong real estate and entrepreneurship backgrounds, benefiting from the multi-billion dollar global vacation rental market.
“Our firm was founded to help accredited investors build wealth and get involved in private investments they may not have access to,” Butts Jr. said in a statement. “East Chop Capital’s first fund introduces our investors to the travel and hospitality industry through luxury vacation homes by owning and operating homes in locations like Martha’s Vineyard, Hilton Head, Gatlinburg, Orlando and several other markets that we will expand into in 2021 . ”
From customer to investor
The Getaway Society, a luxury rental company, was founded in September 2018. The idea came after Carter made a number of trips to the Pocono Mountains to ski. When it was time for Carter to plan the trip, he had an aha moment that broadened his vision of what was possible in real estate.
“I saw the financial viability of being in the vacation rental,” says Carter. “I enjoyed the experience as a guest and traveler. After investing in many properties in different markets, I decided that getting into vacation rentals would be an evolution of my previous property investments. “
Carter adds, “I jumped upside down. I reached out to Calvin, whom I connected with at an alumni conference. We had a similar passion for real estate and wealth building, so we teamed up. We built our first vacation home from scratch in the Pocono Mountains. ”
That one idea helped them grow their real estate portfolio to $ 10 million in just five years. The additional $ 4 million will allow them to double the value of their portfolio over the next six months.
HBCU graduates want to expose more blacks to opportunities in real estate. Studies have shown that black founders receive less than 2% of funds from investors to scale their businesses. Carter and Butts are on a mission to change these statistics through Eash Chop Capital. To date, they have worked with nearly 50 black investors to help the Getaway Society grow.
“What keeps me going is knowing that we educate people and give them trust,” says Butts Jr. “We give people the ability to do more. Many of our investors work hard in their careers. We give them something else to be happy about. “
Butts Jr. adds, “This investment vehicle has enabled people to combine their vacations, vacations, and family time. We have investors who book the houses and hold company retreats with their colleagues. It feels good to see people get involved during this time and have something exciting to talk about.“
HBCU graduates fill the gap
By launching their separate private equity firm, East Chop Capital Fund, the HBCU graduates are closing the wealth gap. They use private equity to grow black-owned companies and generate returns for investors.
“There are executives and middle managers who meet the financial qualifications and criteria for approval as investors. But they don’t know that they qualify and what that means. As an accredited investor, you can privately invest in a variety of companies, ”says Carter. “We need to raise awareness and education.”
Carter adds, “We need to improve the assessment of business ideas and risks. Many of us are scared. We want to keep the status quo. So we keep the money we have for ultra-conservative investments. Sometimes that’s good and it plays a role in our portfolio, but it certainly won’t bring us the return we need to fill the wealth gap. “
Words of Wisdom from Two Successful HBCU Graduates
Carter and Butts Jr. began their journey home in their thirties. But these two wealth builders have decades of experience that will help others succeed.
Carter took this opportunity at the age of 30 and urged others to think beyond their comfort zone. “Stop being afraid. Get a little more aggressive in your decisions and investments … especially when you are young, “says Carter. “There are people in their twenties, thirties, and maybe even forties who are just investing far too safely. I am not saying to be reckless. But we have to be a little more aggressive now. As you get older, you have a lot of time to be more conservative. “
Butts Jr. believes the normal conversations people need to have must be more intentional. “When it comes to things that are really important and add to our generational wealth, we don’t share or talk about them,” says Butts Jr. “I have a group of friends from Hampton and we read each other’s offer letters and talk about negotiations. That helped us advance our career as a company earlier. If people can take the time to tell others what they’re involved in, it can make people go that route too. “