109: Healthy Partnership Agreement, with Brian Adams

Welcome to the Managing CRE Risk podcast, where we believe that if you can identify, understand, and manage risk, you can take huge leaps in your CRE journey and find more success along the way. Our guest today is Brian Adams, a syndicator, operator, investor, and former attorney. In this episode, we talk about the importance of contractual relationships, how to set clear expectations with your partners, and build strong teams to mitigate your CRE risk. Listening to Brian will change your thinking around contracts, the relationships you have with your partners, and the people you work with on your CRE investments.

Learn more about Brian and his journey at shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk!

“When we talk about risk, it’s not volatility. When I think about risk, I think about the permanent loss of capital.” 


At the beginning of the conversation, Brian explains what the word risk means to him. He started his career as a lawyer, so he sees “death, disability, and divorce” as the biggest issues that you need to front-run in your personal and business life. That is why he suggests people always have clear contracts when entering a partnership.

The most important things to consider when establishing a partner relationship are the roles and responsibilities. The biggest risk is not establishing a good business plan and losing capital permanently.

Brian recommends having independent third-party counsel representing each partner’s interests in the contract negotiation and not just one general corporate counsel.

“When you go into partnerships, you’re working with a human. And people are irrational, unpredictable, and they change.”


Brian shares his advice on how to adjust the structure if you are in an already established partnership.

  • Review your real estate documents and contracts every few years.
  • Create a clear plan for the next quarter, year, and 5 years.
  • Do regular check-ins with your business partners to see if you’re still aligned on the same goals.
  • Be open and transparent about your goals.

“Just hoping for time to solve the issue never works.”


At the end of the conversation, Brian talks about how to address your business partners if you want to end the partnership.

  • In case you don’t have the proper documents or contracts in place, hire a third-party counselor to mitigate the situation.
  • Don’t wait for the partnership to change because time won’t solve this issue.

About Our Guest, Brian Adams

Brian C. Adams is the President and Founder of Excelsior Capital, where he spearheads the investor relations and capital markets arms of the firm. He has 10 years of experience in real estate private equity. Prior to forming Excelsior Capital, Brian co-founded Priam Properties (an institutional real estate private equity sponsor) in 2010 and provided leadership and direction for the firm in connection with capital markets, investment management, and investor relations.

Mentioned in the show:

  1. www.excelsiorgp.com
  2. His LinkedIn
  3. Colloquium Podcast
  4. Shineinsurance.com
  5. www.shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk
  6. Jeremy’s LinkedIn

Need an instant insurance ballpark for your next Multifamily deal?! Answer 9 simple questions and we’ll give you a sense of what insurance should be. Visit us here for everything you need to know: https://www.shineinsurance.com/ballpark/ 

Special thanks to Brian Adams for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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Until the next time, We truly appreciate you listening.

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