Exeleon Magazine

Sunny Dharod: The Rising Stalwart of the Real Estate Industry

Sunny Dharod_Exeleon Magazine

Real estate has enabled many people to turn over a new leaf in life, it is a field that can create very lucrative and rewarding careers for those who find success in it. That said, it also demands hard work, remarkable acumen and a lot of desire. Consequently, it is important to be armed with the right insights and attitude to optimize your path to success and be the next real estate mogul.

Amidst the uproar of numerous real estate entrepreneurs, one distinctive story that stands out is that of Sunny Dharod’s.

As the Principal of Silver Star Real Estate, Sunny strives to provide the best communities and services in his markets possible for his residents. Moreover, the company’s mission is to improve assets and drive value for its investors.

The foundation of his leadership is based on a quote that has captivated him since childhood, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change, that lives within the means available and works cooperatively against common threats.” It took a long time for him to grasp the full meaning of this quote but as time went by he seemed to understand it more and more.

Uncertain Beginnings

Sunny Dharod’s growing up years were fueled with his enthusiasm and inquisitive mindset. During his younger years he wanted to play in the NBA but since that didn’t work out, he soon found a new area to explore – the restaurant industry.

Therein, Sunny was involved at all different levels; from being a crew member to handling drive-throughs to becoming a shift leader and finally a manager. He eventually started his own pizza concept for a brief period as well. “Working in restaurants for that period of time taught me many valuable lessons and gave me a newfound respect for those who work in the food service industry,” he recalls.

Although Sunny learned many things from the restaurant business, he did not have a passion for it. In 2013, Sunny took a risk and began a new journey in real estate. He started off with managing a small residential multifamily community in Buena Park. “The process of learning the day-to-day management and later going through a full renovation program at this property taught me a lot in a very short amount of time,” he says. By 2015, Sunny had a grasp on what to look for in a good multifamily investment and began his journey into real estate acquisitions.

Shaking hands with success in the real estate industry was filled with a mixed bag of challenges and opportunities for Sunny. His journey has been successful so far but not without meaningful lessons along the way that have helped to shape his life and career today. “It’s been an incredible process to have gone from a kid who didn’t know where his passion would lie to growing into someone who wants to open every door possible in his craft,” he recalls.

Mustard Seed Roots

In the most unanticipated of ways, a very small idea with the right strategy and execution can become an empire. The genesis of Silver Star was actually the result of a suggestion from one of the IT guys at the original firm. Years of successful restaurant operations had built up excess cash reserves in the company’s bank accounts that were earning such low amounts of interest that the money wasn’t even keeping up with inflation.

It was with this capital that the company began buying multifamily assets after one of the IT members made the suggestion and thus Silver Star was born. “We needed a place to put the money and one of our IT guys actually suggested apartment buildings. It’s crazy how things can begin but definitely happy things turned out the way they did,” Sunny adds.

Sunny believes that one of the advantages his firm has is the “ability to quickly adapt and implement new strategies to maximize growth year over year.” He also takes a very different approach in finding solutions to diverse problems. “I don’t look at things from just one angle or have one cure all strategy for anything that comes up, each moment and situation is different so I try to be the missing piece of whatever puzzle we are trying to solve at that given time,” he comments.

As Principal, Sunny believes it’s most important to master all aspects of ones profession because “at the end of the day the company’s direction and ultimately its success or failure depends on your decisions.” He adds, “On some days I need to figure out why our team is unable to rent a particular unit at a particular price and the next I may be focusing on figuring out how to best finance a deal we just got under contract.”

Leading Without Limitations

There were many businesses that were forced to shut shop due to the impact of COVID-19. Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc, Silver Star’s continued success was an outcome of its adaptability. Throughout this time, Sunny overcame uncertainties that gave him the confidence to go after his goals with even more conviction.

Between 2015 to 2020, Sunny relentlessly worked towards finding, financing and closing deals in a competitive industry. Many mornings he was up as early as 4am responding to emails to and planning the priority items out in order to keep up with the financings and acquisitions of different projects.

When COVID hit, as someone true to his word, Sunny followed through and closed every deal that he had under contract at the time. “Almost all firms including ours decided to hold off on putting new deals under contract until we had a better grasp on what the exact effects of COVID would be on multifamily assets and the economy as a whole,” he says. Silver Star was not shaken when most people got spooked and backed out of deals and potential partnerships.

On a personal front, Sunny Dharod did not let the impact of the pandemic dampen his spirits. He filled his time with many things that he wasn’t able to do while he was working. He used this time to improve on many things outside of work such as eating healthy, working out, spending more time with family and his dogs, playing basketball, re-learning the piano, reading fictional and informational books, while also keeping tabs on additional aspects of real estate and other types of businesses. “I tried to make the best of a bad time and I believe I ended up using the time very wisely.”

Advice For Emerging Leaders

Every decision involves the balance of risk and returns. Foraying into the past, if there’s one thing that Sunny wished he would have done differently it was to start in real estate earlier, probably right out of high school. “It took a good amount of time to get a firm grasp of multifamily investing and figuring out what types of assets and locations were best to buy. But really all it took was putting in the time and gaining the experience,” he states.

When Sunny started out in this business, the biggest roadblock to his success was his own self he stated. Though early on he had much to learn he many times doubted his capabilities and over estimated others’ which ended up holding him back and slowing down his growth.

“It’s definitely a process. I think the most important thing is in the beginning you have to put the time in and just saturate yourself in your chosen craft, sharpen yourself to the point where things start to become second nature. Once you’re there, believe in yourself and your capabilities keep sharpening and never lose the curiosity to learn more. At a certain point the faith in oneself just comes and you get to a place where things actually start coming to you.”

Goals in expansion

Leadership is about having the right outlook, setting the exact tone, and making changes in turbulent times. While sharing his future plans for the company, Sunny said, “the sky’s the limit for Silver Star.” He is excited about future possibilities with Silver Star’s solid foundation and its current trajectory. “The future is bright as long as the foundation that the company was built upon is carried forward,” he concludes.

On a personal front, Sunny Dharod is focused on expanding his mind every day and becoming the best version of himself. “I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I’m definitely enjoying the journey,” he says.

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Contact Sunny Dharod on LinkedIn.

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