Adrian Smalls grew up around real estate, watching his uncles build houses in South Carolina, buying properties, rehabbing what they could, and building new. It sparked a passion in him that simmered throughout a successful career in sales management for major corporations like American Express and exploded into a calling that spawned the founding of a collection of real estate companies. At the center of them all is Real Estate Capital Exchange, an investment firm on a mission to bring ordinary people extraordinary results. It all began in 2014 with a single real estate venture as a side project while managing a fulltime job. He started in wholesaling and contracts, and continued to evolve from there, exploring new builds as well as rehabilitation projects for distressed properties. Today, he leads a thriving firm that has already completed 52 rehab projects just four years since opening their doors, and with a current focus on waterfront properties across South Carolina, he’s delivering significant returns to his investors while transforming distressed properties so that they become as beautiful as their views.
While Adrian’s role at his companies is founder and CEO, his unofficial title is “Professional People Helper,” a moniker bestowed upon him by his clients for his expertise, his skill, and his dedication to personalize service, including one-on-one mentoring. And he’s more than earned it. As Real Estate Capital Exchange continues to handle fix-and-flip projects in the residential and multifamily market, his other companies are helping clients through the real estate process. His company, Off4er, scouts sellers and acquires talent and properties, and Lending Capital Exchange partners with lending institutions to help clients fund business ventures. Adrian’s most recent company, HL Smalls Construction, will eventually take over the fix-and-flip projects and bid on prospective residential and commercial properties.
A deeply creative person, Adrian jumps at the chance to meet head-on the unexpected challenges that come with rehabilitation projects. And with his thoughtful and diligent attention, he and his team are always able to come up with a bespoke solution. “I love creating something,” he says. “For fix-and-flips, you’re remodeling, rebuilding, and creating new opportunities. For development, you’re taking raw land and putting something totally new on it.”
In just four years, Adrian’s companies have made significant headway in the real estate market, and while the numbers speak for themselves regarding his success, it’s about more than that for Adrian. “That I was able to pivot from a corporate environment to real estate has been just amazing,” he says. That’s because Adrian has a natural talent for adapting, whether it’s rehabbing a distressed property or striking out into a whole new industry. It’s also kept him abreast of the constant evolutions in real estate and consistently able to innovate. It’s this creative process that keeps Adrian inspired and excited about a field he fell in love with nearly a decade ago.
Founder & CEO — Real Estate Capital Exchange