Meet Our Team: Dan Croce

Post by 
Gigi Vaccaro

Asset management, property management, marketing, and legal all make up the Birgo Capital team. With expertise in acquisitions, legal, finance, operations, and property management, investors can be confident they’ve hired a skilled and dedicated team to preserve and grow their wealth.

Our newest content series will give you an introduction to our principals. Next up is Dan Croce, who leads our capital team.

Tell me a little bit about your background. 

I grew up in rural western Pennsylvania, about 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh. Growing up, we had to drive 20 minutes to get to a gas station from my house. My mom immigrated to the US from Belgium and my dad’s family lived in Montreal, so my nuclear family was pretty tight knit. I went to college and got a degree in International Business with concentrations in Finance and French, then attended the University of Virginia for graduate school while working for Ernst & Young.  

Which has been more valuable in your career, your education or your experience?

Experience. Such an easy question to answer! I did learn a ton in grad school, but my best learning was my early career entrepreneurial endeavors: building my own real estate portfolio, and raising my first fund prior to starting Birgo.

What's the best thing about your job?

Two things give so much joy: storytelling and nurturing growth. The storytelling is really being our voice to the marketplace, and nurturing growth is what we do with every dollar in our funds and every person on our team -- we cultivate them with care, and watch them grow. 

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made? 

C’mon, another layup! “Starting Birgo Capital.” Is that the right answer? Seriously though, outside of the textbook answer, I think taking the plunge into entrepreneurship by buying my first piece of investment real estate, and then doing it again and again -- taking those calculated risks has paid off.

What skills have you found vital to your job?

Building trust while articulating a compelling story, and paying attention to detail with pattern recognition. We can’t raise capital without trust, and we can’t generate successful outcomes without consistent thoughtful analysis.

What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?

Find a way to get your hands on some real estate. There’s no better way to learn. 

Is there a quote that motivates you?

“The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not rescued by great strength.” - Psalm 33:16. It points me to something bigger than myself, which in a roundabout way gets me back to our core purpose of improving lives through real estate... and that fires me up.

Who inspires you?

You know, this one is a little bit ironic and close to home, but my partner Andrew is an inspiration to me. I have a lot of respect for him at a deep level. I’m also really inspired by many of our limited partners -- they are an impressive group of people who have achieved great success and done a lot to dent the universe for the better. Lastly, my parents have modeled how to make much out of little, which is what I try to do every day.  

Dream job (apart from working at Birgo!)?

I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, but I have definitely had dreams where I am the basketball coach at UVA and I’m not mad about it... I love UVA basketball.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? 

My color would totally be “dad,” which would be a very bland grey, because I am absolutely that boring. 

What was the last gift you gave someone? 

My wife and I are more geared towards experiential gifts, and I recently gave her a big one -- we booked a trip to the Pacific Northwest next summer, assuming the pandemic will be under control by then. She loves the Cascades, and so do I, so I guess that one was a little bit selfish. 

Teach me something I don’t know in the next minute. 

One of the most interesting figures in our society right now is Jon Batiste. He’s a jazz musician who comes from a storied New Orleans jazz family. He leads the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but he’s also a cultural voice that’s leading something of a movement that’s about unity, love, peace, etc. I know that sounds like some hippy mumbo jumbo, but he’s got a microphone in America right now and I think his message -- and his musical style -- is a distinct one that’s worth listening to.

Favorite meal?

My standard go-to if I’m going to completely disregard my health is a pizza with sausage and green peppers. Lately, I’m pretty high on momo -- Asian steamed dumplings. Just on a big momo kick right now. 

What books or articles should I be reading?

Everything Financial Samurai puts out will make you think. Also, RealPage’s economists have been crushing it lately with thoughtful analysis. “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” has been formative for me lately as well.

What does a typical weekend look like in your household? 

We’ve got four kids aged 6 and under, so our weekends reflect that life phase. Friday night is family night -- we stay in and hang out as a crew, maybe watch a killer Disney movie. If we’re not afraid of getting a deadly disease, Saturdays we usually have friends over for brunch, go for a walk to the coffee shop in our neighborhood, and I try to get a longer run in. Sundays we do church, either go for a hike or watch the Steelers (!!), and prep for the week ahead.  

What are some of your best or favorite personal achievements? 

I was privileged to have the opportunity to be helpful to some friends in Uganda with getting their humanitarian work off the ground, and I’ve done the Boston Marathon twice. Also one time I rode my bike self-supported from Maine to Florida in 30 days with a couple of friends -- that was kind of crazy but really fun. 

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