One of the biggest challenges facing businesses these days is staying current in a fast-paced world where technology is driving rapid-fire change. Let’s face it. No one wants to be a dinosaur that gets left behind, but change can be a little scary.
Commercial real estate firms tend to have a reputation for being slow to part with “old school” practices, but the industry hasn’t been immune to change. Traditional practices such as using billboards to market a property or sketching out the specs of a deal on a cocktail napkin have long since fallen by the wayside. Real estate professionals now embrace sophisticated tools including financial analysis software, digital marketing tools, 3-D maps, and the latest time management apps to work quicker and smarter.
Technology is now changing the way real estate developers and operators (In commercial real estate, the sponsor is an individual or company in charge of finding, acquiring and managing the real estate property on behalf of the partnership. The sponsor is usually expected to invest anywhere from 5-20% of the total required equity capital. They are then responsible for raising the remaining funds and acquiring and managing the investment property’s day-to-day... More) raise capital and manage investor relations. The country club dinners and little black books filled with the names of high-net worth individuals are giving way to online crowdfunding portals that can tap into a much larger pool of investors from coast-to-coast and centralize engagements with all investors.
Whether you’re a boomer or a millennial, new technology can be intimidating. It’s not uncommon to think that change will require significant time and capital to implement. That is not the case though with crowdfunding. Crowdfunding firms such as CrowdStreet provide turnkey fundraising and investor management solutions that can be up and running in just a few days. Whether posting a project on the CrowdStreet marketplace or integrating the “white label” CrowdStreet investment management software as a service (SaaS) solution with an existing website, real estate firms are now able to easily market their current offerings either publicly or privately, process investor funding commitments, manage closings, and provide regular updates post-closing via investor portals. Not a tech expert? No problem. The experienced CrowdStreet implementation team is here to lead you through the process.
Expand the Way You Share
Once implemented, CrowdStreet enables real estate sponsors to share current offerings with both their own investors and new investors from a custom-branded portal integrated to their own website. This solution allows sponsors to quickly and easily share all offer materials digitally with potential investors, and avoid the need to print and send documents, email files as unsecured attachments, or set up and manage a shared folder system. Gone are the days of not knowing which investors have received what information or who may be interested in a project. All emails sent to investors and all online investor engagements with investment materials are tracked for central review and analysis, a feature that helps improve investor satisfaction while mitigating sponsor risk. The transaction process for investing is also digitized, reducing the time to complete an offer from days or weeks to just minutes. And once the closing process is complete, posting distributions, updates and documents couldn’t be easier with powerful tools that enable centralizing mass communications and document distribution.
The CrowdStreet platform uses the same technology infrastructure that powers the CrowdStreet Marketplace. Investors can view offer information, complete offer transactions, receive post-funding updates and track investment performance. Sponsors have access to a highly efficient fundraising tool that offers today’s investors the information, transparency and convenience of conducting business online that they not only value, but have come to expect.
Innovation For Sponsors and Investors
As one of the early firms to launch a real estate crowdfunding marketplace, CrowdStreet continues to introduce innovative solutions to better serve both sponsors and investors. There has been a lot of buzz about the potential for online crowdfunding portals to become a key capital raising tool in the $1 trillion-plus commercial real estate industry. We believe that online fundraising and investor management solutions are the wave of the future that have quickly earned a seat at the table as a legitimate financing source. But that future does not start next month or next year, it is already here. It’s time to plan for the future by contacting CrowdStreet today to learn more about how we can help your firm introduce a branded investment management platform to your investors.