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Founders

Company

The Elevator Building

1938 Franklin St
Detroit, MI 48207

Randy Lewarchik

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I was able to secure a grant from the Jefferson avenue retail readiness program, which has been incredibly helpful to the development.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
My first customer pertaining to the real estate business that I am now involved in (I have run other types of businesses over the years) was a lease to a college girl who moved into a flat that I had fixed up in Minnesota. It was my first multifamily that we have purchased when I was still in school. She called on a flier from a cork board that I placed at Winona State University. My advertising has changed a bit since then.

Where did you find your first employee?
I placed an ad in the classified section of the paper. Out of the many responses I narrowed down on the phone whom I wanted to physically meet with and distilled from the interviews who I wanted to hire. My process has not changed much since those days it is more Internet based now and I can begin to weed people out before even talking to them which saves time. The other common means of finding employees is referrals, from other trustworthy employees or contractors.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
No, I have never had an intern.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
I have found capital investors, lines of credit and loans. The institution which has been the most helpful has been Fifth Third Bank. The assistance came largely because of a long-term relationship with the bank and my business partner.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to invest their time and money in the city?
I invite people to invest in all of Detroit. But if it was someone I cared for, like a family member or a friend, and I wanted to give them the best advice I could, being brutally honest, I would say: Go to the core. Try to be as close to it as you can. Be as close to a walkable area as you can. If you're thinking of buying for the long-term and you're looking for appreciation, then I would try to focus on the urban core as close to a walkable, mixed-use area as you can get. I would say that anyone investing in Detroit or Chicago or any state in the nation.

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