Michael Searls is a 15-year commercial real estate veteran specializing in retail, industrial and office space in Austin. After graduating from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business with a Master of Business Administration and concentration in Real Estate Finance, Michael founded Charter Stone Capital (“CSC”). His firm currently manages over 30 properties in four states. CSC completed over $80MM of new acquisitions and over $40MM of dispositions in 2018 alone. Michael is also a commercial agent with Urbanspace Real Estate, closing $9MM in transactions in 2018.
Michael began his real estate career in high school managing multi-family units for his family’s investment firm in Colorado. While pursuing an Information Systems and Real Estate degree from The University of Colorado at Boulder, Michael transitioned into handling the firm’s financial operations. Upon graduating, Michael accepted a sales position with Sovereign Homes, a single-family and multi-family development company in Denver, and gained success as a top grossing sales agent, closing about 25 homes a year with volume of over $6MM annually.
In pursuit of his lifelong interest in commercial real estate, Michael returned to Boulder to work with Tebo Development Company as a Leasing and Project Specialist, negotiating over 125 office, retail and industrial leases and producing over $10MM in revenue. It was here he gained extensive knowledge modeling lease alternatives to determine impact on project level cash flows and analyzing return on investment.
Michael moved to Austin in 2007 to pursue his MBA at The University of Texas and landed the role of Project Development Manager at Inland Public Properties Development (“IPPD”), a subsidiary of the Inland Group, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate and finance groups. There he headed up East Coast project development for the social infrastructure platform within Inland’s $9.5B equity fund. While at IPPD, Michael spearheaded the successful acquisition of a $61MM portfolio of seven charter schools and managed the design and development of a $100MM build-to-suit private correctional facility.
Armed with extensive commercial experience, Michael founded CSC in 2011. Together, Michael and his business partner are principals in and actively manage a portfolio of $130MM in assets comprised of 31 properties in Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and South Carolina with a focus on acquiring and developing educational facilities. Constantly combing the market for high return investment opportunities, they use a custom-built platform to intricately evaluate scenarios from every angle and present the most strategic options to their investor pool.
An active member of the industry, Michael is involved with Urban Land Institute and Real Estate Council of Austin and resides downtown with his wife Abigail.
“My experience working with Michael has been, in a word, wonderful. He has really gone out of his way to help us understand and navigate the commercial real estate world (which we knew NOTHING about beforehand). He was always very patient and provided great insights and helpful guidance that led us to our future long-term home. We could not be more excited about it. Even after closing the deal, he has remained involved in making sure the new landlords, the design firm, and the contractors are moving at a reasonable pace. We could not have done this without him.
In addition, Michael helped us locate office furniture and cubicles that were ultimately donated to us. That saved us about $40,000. For a nonprofit, that is a game changer. I am not sure I can adequately express what that means to us. Michael took the time to listen to our unique needs and provided solutions that brought a TON of added value to this deal. I can’t overstate how grateful we are for that and I would happily recommend Michael and Urbanspace to anyone looking for commercial real estate assistance.” ~ Ted Rutherford
“Michael has assisted us with several leases. He has always been helpful and responsive and worked to complete all the details. I appreciate being able to get his help when we get a potential vacancy. He knows the property well and gets right after the situation.” ~ Karen McGraw