151: How to Buy Industrial CRE, with Tom McCrossin

Welcome to the CRE Clarity Podcast with Jeremy Goodrich. Joining us today is Tom McCrossin, an industrial and warehouse investor and owner of New Lane Management. We’ll be diving into the world of industrial investing, discussing how to get started, finding the perfect property, and why it’s a hot market in 2024. 

Learn more about Tom and his story at creclarity.com!

“A lot of people think that all big buildings are manufacturing, but that’s not necessarily true.”


Tom started his investing journey in 2010 by househacking. He rented out half of his duplex. By 2020, he saw new potential and transitioned to acquiring industrial buildings and warehouses.

The industrial real estate asset class covers a diverse range of properties, each with its own purpose.

  • Warehouses and distribution buildings: Logistics hubs storing goods before export or distribution.
  • Manufacturing buildings: These are where industrial work and manufacturing take place.
  • Flex spaces: The perfect blend, offering smaller warehouse spaces with integrated office areas for increased functionality.

Industrial buildings typically stand tall, with ceilings ranging from 15-17 feet, reaching up to 35 feet!

“In multifamily, you look at the dollar amount per door. In industrial we look at square footage.”


Tom built a strong relationship with commercial brokers who are helping him find the right building and suitable tenants.

Tom shares his preference for industrial investing over multifamily.

  1. He enjoys collaborating with like-minded business owners, fostering a sense of shared purpose. 
  2. The tenants handle maintenance, simplifying the operation for him.
  3. He sees a rising trend of manufacturers relocating to the Midwest, creating new investment opportunities.

“As you go into these bigger deals, you got to have multiple ways that you want to get out if it starts to go South.” 


Tom calls himself the “Junior Warehouse Flipper”. He shares a risky deal that netted him a 185% return in just 7 months.

Tom’s recommendation for new industrial investors is to partner with someone who’s already successfully done a deal. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the lease language as it’s very different from residential real estate.

Towards the end of the conversation, Tom shares what he’s most excited about in the CRE world right now. While he anticipates a stabilizing CRE market in 2024, he expresses concerns about potential shifts in the manufacturing landscape and their impact on tenant revenue generation.

Finally, Tom shares one point of clarity with the listeners. Focus on maintaining a positive mindset and keep open communication with your tenants. This way you can plan ahead and make the most out of your investments!

About our Guest, Tom McCrossin

For Tom McCrossin, it all started in 2006 at the age of 19 when he purchased a condominium. With the opportunity to join the condo association’s board of directors, Tom learned about large-scale property management. His professional background includes serving as a property manager as well as managing the restoration of fire/water-damaged buildings.

Tom has extensive experience rebuilding homes and renovating buildings, which started in 2010 by buying duplexes with his wife.

The first industrial warehouse acquisition in 2019 inspired the business to buy vacant buildings with tenants in place to lease space once the property is acquired. In 2020 he added a duplex and a single-family home to the portfolio, while 2021 brought the addition of 100,000 square feet of industrial warehouses, along with a duplex and a whole home revitalization in Milwaukee.

Mentioned in the show:

  1. https://newlanemanagement.com/
  2. His LinkedIn
  3. His Instagram
  4. www.shineinsurance.com/reiclarity
  5. The REI Clarity Framework

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 Tom McCrossin for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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Show produced by Eni Horvath