What Makes JLAM Unique?

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At MBNA there was a sign above every door that said, “Think of yourself as the Customer.” The phrase had a profound impact on employees Nick Hammonds and Doug Motley—at the time, the two were just starting their careers, but they aspired for big things. One of those big things happened when they formed JLAM in 2011 after founding several successful real estate-related companies.     

Hammonds and Motley knew when they started JLAM they wanted to create their own version of “Think of yourself as the Customer.” Read more to learn how they developed their motto, and how this philosophy helps make JLAM unique.   

What is JLAM’s philosophy? 

We strive to create places people want to show up to every day for work or call home at the end of their day. If our residential & multi-family communities or our commercial spaces deliver this, we'll have very satisfied customers (residents and tenants). Happy residents are more likely to continue to rent their residence or encourage their friends to buy in their community. Motivated and happy workers are more productive and help businesses flourish and grow. The emotional state of being proud of where you live or work does translate to investment performance—as these dynamics generates more revenue, faster sales and leasing, and higher occupancy rates, which increases profits and drives higher returns for our partners. In the spirit of our early professional roots, we codified this philosophy into our organizational motto, “Creating and Investing in Places People Want to Be.” It’s this company mission that powers everything we do that makes us unique.  

While this tenet helps ensure attractive returns for our investment partners, it isn’t our only concern for our carefully curated and handpicked portfolio. We care about how we execute a project because we want our investment partners to be proud of what they’re investing in. We found that focusing on differentiated assets and how our projects can have a favorable impact on the community enables us to make potential homeowners, residents, tenants, and investors proud to be at our properties. It enables us to consistently create strong product/market fit at our projects throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

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Again, all of this stemmed from our unique interpretation of the “Think of yourself as the Customer” doctrine. Once we developed this mantra, we carefully and selectively built a team to execute it.  

How did this influence who JLAM hired? 

Over the last 12 years, we’ve hired employees with a wide variety of experiences that complement each other and serve our mission. By discovering, hiring, and retaining the right people who have the right mindset—someone who is energized by having rewarding work to do, thrives on new challenges, and is anchored by doing the right thing—we deliver results for our stakeholders (investors and residents/tenants). Hammonds and Motley lead the team by giving guidance and support that enables each person to learn about the company, have a wide-ranging impact, and excel at the job while empowering employees to leverage each person’s expertise and skillset. 

To ensure our team is aligned, we set quarterly Rocks (goals) that focus on professional growth as well as our organizational objectives. Each week, the team meets with Hammonds or Motley to discuss their progress towards achieving these goals.   

The belief is, if our team continues to do the right thing every day for our company and stakeholders, our organization will be happy with the outcome project after project, which creates the longevity the organization is hoping to have. (If you're interested in working for JLAM, read our blog here.)

How does your team compete with other investment and development firms? 

We’re able to provide attractive investments because of our team’s agility to quickly pivot when opportunistic investments present themselves. This is coupled with the experience, knowledge, and institutional-quality processes we carefully built over time. We’re able to outcompete competitors in bigger markets where we can be nimbler while maintaining our competitive advantages in smaller markets because of our extensive knowledge and networks.     

The fact we have team members with field experience, project management, and operational risk management provides advantages in both hands-on execution as well as strategic planning of investments and developments. This is in direct contrast with some of the bigger players in the industry, who typically manage projects from afar–running a development in South Carolina from a glass office tower in New York City, for example. All the degrees in the world don’t equal real-life experience dealing with a local contractor or key regulatory agency. 

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For more information about our processes, read our blog How Our Real Estate Investment and Development Process Works. 

How does this create an opportunity for potential investors?     

Historically, we’ve had a relatively tight group of investors who’ve partnered with us. As we continue to find attractive opportunities within the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, we want to provide preferred access to our rewarding private real estate investments to a wider reach of potential partners.  

In fact, if you’re interested in partnering with JLAM, there is a process you can follow, depending on which type of investor you are. We work with both accredited investors and investment professionals like RIAs and family offices. In both cases, you need to fulfill the SEC’s accredited investor definitions. 

If you do meet the SEC’s requirements, the next step is for you to meet with Doug Motley, who has overseen the investment of more than $500 million in capital across all major real estate asset classes and multiple investment strategies throughout his 20+ years' experience in private equity, real estate, and finance.. He’ll learn more about your objectives and then provide the background of who we are, how we select our carefully curated portfolio, and what your next steps are. In fact, you can read our blog How to Partner with JLAM to learn more about this process.  

Our motto, “Creating and Investing in Places People Want to Be”, helps us build wealth for our investment partners through private real estate investments and powers our organizational operations.  

Since 2011, we have deployed over $400 million in capital, developed over 2,500 units and 1+ million square feet of commercial real estate. We’ve delivered an average Net IRR over 19%, an average 1.9x Net Multiple, and zero losses, which has led to very satisfied investors as evidenced by our investor re-up rate approaching 100 percent. 

Hammonds and Motley found their version of “Think of yourself as the Customer,” and it’s at the heart of what makes JLAM unique

*All investments involve the risk of potential investment losses as well as the potential for investment gains. Prior performance is no guarantee of future results, and there can be no assurance, and clients should not assume, that future performance will be comparable to past performance. Metrics updated as of June 30, 2023.  

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