I thank you so much for you taking the time to answer these questions.

Would you mind breaking down mezzanine debt?
Mezzanine debt is just secondary financing, i.e. like a 2nd mortgage. Mezzanine debt is prohibited in many cases by the primary lender and is generally very expensive with onerous terms. I’ve been offered mezzanine debt but I’ve never used it. In my personal opinion, too often it is used by folks who do not have the balance sheet i.e. financial resources to be doing as big a deal as they are trying to do i.e. they are biting off more than they can chew. It can come in a million forms and the line between preferred equity and mezzanine debt can get blurred with the only real difference left is that mezzanine debt can foreclose and preferred equity can’t BUT often preferred equity can take over management if certain conditions occur or cram down ordinary equity if stated levels of return are not met — so what is the real difference? And sometimes the terms of the senior debt forbid the mezzanine from foreclosing (if it allows it at all) so that is one more blurring difference. 

From hiring and firing people over the decades, would you say women are better at certain business tasks and responsibilities than men?
Stereotypes can blind you to vital individual differences. “You Just Don’t Understand” by Deborah Tannen is an excellent book describing differences in communication styles but I find that cultural backgrounds, experience, education, upbringing and personality differences are MUCH greater determinants of skill sets than gender.

As a rule of thumb, is there a ratio of expenses per community (asset)?
35% to 50% is a common range. Newer communities with higher rents have lower operating expense ratios (a/c tech costs same whether rent is $500/month or $2000). Student housing where utilities are included have higher ratios than housing communities where residents pay their utilities.

What size company justifies a person having the title CEO?
CEO is one of the most overused titles these days. It’s a free country and you can call yourself anything you want but it can be seen as pretentious in the absence of a significant organizational structure with other major executives reporting i.e. Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, etc. President with VP’s (including Senior and Executive as needed) is often a more appropriate title for small companies. 

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier