My name is Jeff Bartlett, co-founder of Dragon Prosperity LLC, a commercial real estate investment company. We bring investors together to acquire real estate assets with tax free cash flows and attractive total returns.
Any introduction to Dragon Prosperity would be incomplete without first sharing my story, who I am, and how Dragon Prosperity came to be…
Both of my parents were very present in my life. They believed in tough love. They let the consequences of my decisions do the teaching, and always delivered them with love.
I remember my mother as the most caring person I’ve ever known. She taught me the value of volunteering. She cared for battered women who could escape with their children and learn marketable skills so they could make it on their own. This made a lasting impact on me as a child. My father is the wisest person I’ve ever known. He was a salesman, and his interpersonal skills enabled him to work with such efficiency, that he was on the tennis court by 5pm, and bringing home the salesman of the year awards most years. My father was also a devoted Catholic altar boy growing up, and he took his role as our family’s spiritual leader seriously.
Growing up, competitive sports defined my childhood. I played many sports, but tennis was my passion. I lived on the courts, often with my father. I was well coached, and did the hard work necessary to achieve excellence. But this came at a price.
I loved striving for excellence at everything I got involved in. But on that fateful day, when I participated in Boston’s annual 20-mile Walk for Hunger, I remember sitting next to someone very sick during the drive into Boston. A week later I found myself
in bed with pneumonia, and unfortunately I never fully recovered. At first I was devastated; I had no purpose. But I asked God for help.
He was there for me, and my faith became even stronger. Those years I switched my focus from sport and threw myself into my studies since pneumonia has really taken its toll on me.
The next year I went off to college to study engineering, and graduated four years later with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. During these years.
Applying the lessons learned from playing competitive sports, I became passionate about being a lifelong learner in my professional career. Soon after completing my BS degree in Electrical Engineering and beginning my engineering career, I continued my education by earning my MBA after work at night. At work, I achieved certifications as a Quality Engineer, Quality Systems Lead Assessor, and Six Sigma Black Belt Champion, and I began my 20-year journey learning everything I could about operations management and later in my career, I received an Ivy League executive development education from Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, as well as the University of Virginia’s Darden School, and others.
In 2007, I was relocated to Texas to run the Irving, TX based Boeing Commercial Electronics, a struggling $240M business that Boeing sold to BAE Systems for only $66M. By making immediate changes to the leadership team, organization structure, and entire
approach to operations, I led the transformation that reduced annual costs by $16M, which increased its market value by $480 Million, or 7X.
This time I was operating 220,000 square feet of commercial real estate.
In 2009, I was asked to run BAE Systems’ Global Airline Support business, a $170 Million aircraft component maintenance, repair, and overhaul business with facilities worldwide. This business was struggling in the wake of the 2009 Financial Crisis. In
seven years, we increased sales from $170 Million to $240 Million, increased margins from 50% to 74%, and increased market value from $2.8 Billion to $5.3 Billion.
I was responsible for operating 6 global commercial real estate facilities, totaling 175,000 square feet.
I also walked away from investing in corporate America. I questioned why I invested in the stocks of companies that don’t share my values, won’t talk to me, and don’t even know who I am. I watched my portfolio go up and down with each economic cycle,
and liked my own business track record better. I began investing in multifamily real estate because it was a straightforward application of my education and career track record.
As a lifelong learner, I became a Brad Sumrok Apartment Investor Mastery personal student, and have personally invested $2 Million of my own money in 7 multifamily investments, totalling 1,698 units. Today as a general partner, I acquired a 108-unit Class B property in Dallas in Q3 of 2021, and a 330-unit Class A property outside Houston in Q4 of 2021.
As a young and ambitious engineer, I learned how to use advanced statistical analyses to improve manufacturing processes, and how to use lean/just-in-time manufacturing to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. I was 10 years younger than my peers, and
stepped into a nearly impossible situation at the starting point of my corporate career. I developed and led a team of a dozen Certified Six Sigma Black Belts to eliminate the root causes of problems. By creating reliable
systems and processes, we reduced defects by 50% and customer complaint resolution time by 80%.
This ultimately led me to eliminate over $1 Million in quality control costs, including my own job.
In 2000, I became vice president of operations for an underperforming division of what is now part of Eaton Corporation. On-time delivery was only 53%, which was the number one issue for our national sales force, which was on 100% commission. I challenged our sales team to grow sales by promising shorter lead times. This worked at first, but unfortunately the 2001 Dot-Com Crisis hit, devastating our customer-base, and forcing other divisions to close most of its factories worldwide.
I continued to lead the execution of an aggressive lean/just-in-time transformation of our division, and despite division sales declining from $190M to $140M, we actually increased profit margins from 25% to 33%, and increased monthly cash flow from $2.2M to $3.7M.
In this role I was responsible for operating 2 commercial real estate facilities, totaling 530,000 square feet and my passion for commercial real estate was born.
In 2002, I was responsible for the manufacturing of IBC-compliant commercial buildings, including: engineering, cost estimating, supply chain, precast concrete manufacturing, interior finish, and mechanical and electrical systems. We serviced the telecommunications industry, during the decline of what The Economist called“the biggest and fastest rise and fall in business history.”
Despite the collapse in sales, we reduced construction cycle time by 50% and improved sales per employee by 52%. In this role I was responsible for operating 120,000 square feet of commercial real estate.
In 2005, I accepted to head the lean manufacturing function for BAE Systems’ $5 Billion Electronics Intelligence & Support Operating Group. BAE Systems is the 3rd largest defense contractor worldwide, and I led the operational transformation that increased production output by 500%, leading to new contracts totalling over $1 Billion in sales.
I finally walked away from corporate America in 2017. After creating nearly $3 Billion in market value in 10 years, I should work for myself and my investors, not for a corporation. More importantly, I was creating exceptional experiences for my customers, but not for my own family. I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad and realized that I was a “poor dad” for encouraging my children to get good grades, go to college, get a job, and save for retirement. I was not yet an entrepreneur, but had begun investing in multifamily real estate and knew entrepreneurs. So shortly after I introduced my son to fellow investors and encouraged him to go work for them, to learn, not to earn.
My son switched college majors from engineering to real estate, and began underwriting multifamily investments, raising money for multifamily investments, and overseeing multifamily operations. At age 22, he is ready to become his own multifamily general partner, and is on track to be his own boss the rest of his life.
This would not have been possible had I continued to travel the world for my corporate job.
My parents taught me
how to treat people
Competitive sports taught me what it takes to achieve excellence
Tragedy taught me perseverance
My executive education taught me to how to create strategic advantages
My engineering background taught me how to systematically analyze and improve operations
Running businesses gave me the edge to drive results even during economic crises
Perceived to lack regulatory oversight: We explain how these investments are SEC-regulated, and will increase our education on why it’s even more important to know, trust and have access to those you invest with, because the SEC only goes after large-scale fraud.
We sit with investors and explain it pressure-free, and will increase our education with blogs, vlogs, and local meet-ups
Illiquidity: We only want to work with investors who can invest in illiquid investments, and will pursue establishment of an investment fund that enables liquidity.