One way to be successful in America or the rest of the world is through land ownership. This is something on which that Texas entrepreneur Nate Paul has fully capitalized. At 31 years old, Paul is the founder of Austin’s World Class Capital Group, a real estate development firm with $1.2 billion in assets. Paul’s net worth is estimated at $800 million, and growing.

For those interested in real estate development, Paul’s story offers some great insight into how thinking creatively about land use can pay off.

An uncommon success story

In 2007, Nate Paul was a twenty-year-old college dropout with no idea that the Great Recession was only months from beginning. None the wiser, Paul ventured out on his own and started purchasing real estate. Despite beginning his business at one of the worst times in American history, Paul has reached great heights. How did Paul achieve this? He owes much of his success to non-traditional investments.

Making bank on self-storage

From the onset, Paul’s investments were somewhat non-traditional. Paul’s 10 million square feet of commercial real estate runs a wide spectrum, including a lot of storage buildings. So many, in fact, that he has a separate corporation that acquires, develops, owns and manages self-storage facilities. To date, the storage company operates over 4.1 million square feet of rentable space spanning 10 states.

In addition to self-storage, Paul has made his millions in the following areas:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Parking lots
  • Low and high rise buildings
  • Vacant properties
  • Small and large office buildings

While Paul’s investments are admittedly “not sexy,” he has clearly demonstrated that a little creativity in real estate investments can go a long way. In this case, from a college dropout to an astounding net worth.

As with any real estate development venture, legal and financial professionals should be consulted at every step of the way.