Watermark Partners Real Estate

There was no feasible way we could have scaled our investor base 10x in 12 months if it hadn’t been for a tool like CrowdStreet.

Tom Carroll, Head of Investor Relations

“We needed a CRM tool, a better workflow, and a place to store documentation,” explained Watermark Head of Investor Relations Tom Carroll. “We’d been using DocuSign, and it was very manual. As importantly, we needed a better way to communicate with investors by email. We started with a list of 100 people, but it grew so quickly, I began getting dinged by Google for spamming. It just was not viable.”

Beyond greater efficiency and scalability, the company had another core requirement for their new investor and investment management software. “Privacy was one of our largest concerns,” Carroll elaborated. “We could have kept muddling along with our email system, but it lacked crucial elements of privacy and control. We have so much sensitive data that the capacity to control it was essential to us.”

Beyond greater efficiency and scalability, the company had another core requirement for their new investor and investment management software. “Privacy was one of our largest concerns,” Carroll elaborated. “We could have kept muddling along with our email system, but it lacked crucial elements of privacy and control. We have so much sensitive data that the capacity to control it was essential to us.”

Beyond the technical issues, there was yet one more core requirement needed to meet their scaling business drivers: supporting Watermark’s dedication to greatest possible transparency and communication with its investors.

As CrowdStreet Client Success Manager Molly Hart explained, “Funds evolve and require a consistent ow of information to investors. Beyond that, though, Watermark sets the standard for investor communications. They offer a ton of resources, but also make the time for small touches. That attention to relationships makes all the difference for investor satisfaction and retention.”

There was no feasible way we could have scaled our investor base 10x in 12 months if it hadn’t been for a tool like CrowdStreet.

Tom Carroll, Head of Investor Relations

Based on the company’s needs, one of Watermark’s investors recommended CrowdStreet’s Sponsor Direct. As Carroll explains, “He’d invested in multiple crowdsourced real estate deals and engaged with four or ve investor management solutions. He endorsed Sponsor Direct as the absolute best platform out there. He introduced us to the CrowdStreet team, and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since.”

Watermark points to the Sponsor Direct portal as giving investors an experience that “mirrors a bank statement,” providing them with the online, on-demand access to information they expect. “It’s a real legitimizing factor, especially for a small private fund like ours,” said Carroll.

As the company moves into tax season, CFO Mike Schmansky highlights another benefit of the platform: distribution of K1s. “All of our document delivery, including investor K1s, now goes through CrowdStreet. We’re able to bulk-upload the information for our 300 investors and blast it out from there. It removes the risk on my end of sending the wrong K1 to the wrong investor. It eliminates the whole privacy issue.”

We’re in love with our account reps. The human touch is fantastic. They’ve lead us nicely through the process.
Tom Carroll, Head of Investor Relations

Bonus

Fundraising Partner


The company recently introduced its most ambitious offering yet: Fund Portfolio 4. This opened a new point of engagement with CrowdStreet, as Watermark plans to complete the remaining 10% of its fundraising on the CrowdStreet Marketplace.

“We had looked at other online fundraising platforms, but they don’t like funds. They want to do their own. CrowdStreet welcomed working with us. We expect the marketplace to be a good source of additional funding and a channel for new, lasting investor relationships.” Lastly, Carroll commented, “We’re in love with our account reps. The human touch is fantastic. They’ve lead us nicely through the process.”

Schmansky elaborated, “Molly will come to us and ask what’s working and what’s not. When we give her examples of things that aren’t working, there’s legitimate traction regarding listening to our needs and then putting those changes into place.”

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About Watermark Partners Real Estate

Michigan-based Watermark Partners focuses exclusively on low-to-moderate income multi-family housing in the Midwest’s rust-belt. The company’s strategy is to generate consistent and high returns for investors by acquiring properties that have been poorly managed, were underpriced, or bene ted from an upfront capital investment to improve rental income immediately and over the long term. Watermark’s funds span 4000 apartments across 10 cities, with a focus on secondary and tertiary markets.

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