Lance Bradford wears a variety of hats. He’s a certified public accountant and co-founder of L.L. Bradford &Co., a local accounting firm. He’s also CEO of Stable Development, which recently added the Longford Medical Center to its growing portfolio.
Bradford grew up in Reno before moving to Las Vegas and graduating from Valley High School. He attended the University of Nevada, Reno on a baseball scholarship. He spent five years in Reno working as a CPA before returning to Las Vegas in 1992 and opening L.L. Bradford.
You were a CPA first and now you’re into real estate; how did that transition come about?
I became a CPA because I didn’t want to have people telling me what to do, like coaches did my whole life in baseball. I wanted to be the one in charge. So my plan was to become a CPA and find a business that I really enjoyed … and then go run and take over that business. That’s how I first got into the world of CPAs. However, once I was working in this industry as a CPA I fell in love with the industry and dealing with different clients every day.
How did you get into real estate?
We had a strong physician client base and many of our doctors would ask us about owning their own building but they never really did it. So in the mid ‘90s we had a doctor who said it’s time to own a building and he said “I’m going to team up with a developer and I want you (Bradford) to be a partner with us so you can be part of this and make sure I’m fairly treated because I’m a busy doctor.”
So what happened is I became a partner in some buildings and we started building buildings; the doctor would take a long-term lease in the building, and the developer would be a partner in the building they would actually build and develop and have it all ready to go and they would be a partner; it would be a valuable asset. It was already rented and the doctor didn’t have to do any of the work.
How does this work for the doctor, professional, or other Stable Development client?
That’s really my only focus on the real estate side. We find physicians and professionals and partner up with them to help them out. We give them ownership in their building. We build it, we manage it, and when the time comes down the road we sell it. And they end up being a 40 percent owner, which is a unique way for physicians and professionals in our community to have ownership in their building without really having to pay for it. Their obligation is to have a long term lease with us.
Does being a CPA first have any effect on how you make decisions as a CEO?
It probably affects the way I think through processes — more analytical, more conservative when making decisions.
Stable Development has just paid $17.3 million for an office building at Buffalo and Summerlin Parkway. What did you see that made it an attractive investment?
We’re very excited about that real estate opportunity. For our business we currently we have a significant presence in Henderson, Green Valley, and we also have great presence in the southwest. We have had a desire to have a strong presence in Summerlin and also downtown by UMC and Valley Hospital. This opportunity gives us that presence now in Summerlin. It’s a large building in an incredible location on Summerlin Parkway and it will provide for many doctors… to share in their ownership.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Have a good plan, have good people, don’t always try to recreate the wheel… learn from your mistakes.
What is the most common mistake you see with new business owners as a CPA?
Inadequate capitalization either from a money standpoint or from human capital or their people; and usually when one of those are not adequate … they fail.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Keep helping the community. Get a presence in the downtown area for the medical buildings. Our CPA firm will continue to grow. We have expanded to other cities, other markets. We will continue to grow both in our size and the services we provide and we hope to employ more and more people in the Southern Nevada community.