Nav Athwal: Building A Real Estate Ecosystem

I am proud to announce that more than $300 million has been raised since inception from investors for real estate projects through the RealtyShares marketplace.

This achievement is a continuation of our platform’s forward momentum, coming just four months after our $200 million announcement. It is through the hard work of our team, the commitment of our investors and the entrepreneurial spirit of our sponsors and borrowers that this feat was made possible.

300M Infographic (small)Our growth has been fast but disciplined. Building a thriving ecosystem requires a balance between strong risk-mitigation through a robust credit and underwriting policy and a concerted effort in providing our growing investor community access to quality real estate investments.

Our residential debt offerings have expanded in the last six months, the launch of a commercial debt program is giving individual investors a chance to participate in deals with institutional-caliber partners and our continued focus on equity offerings provides a range of commercial properties and opportunities for our community. We believe in diversification and our product offerings allow investors to diversify into real estate in a way that has never before been possible.  It’s this approach that has allowed our platform to emerge as a leading marketplace for real estate investing.

Looking at the Data

We often talk about tech-enabled underwriting. That doesn’t involve changing the bedrock criteria on which the real estate industry has been built. Rather it includes using data and automation to apply these criteria more efficiently than has been possible before.

We’ve now done more than 550 transactions, helping to fund over a thousand properties in 35 states. Countless more have been reviewed and passed over for approval. As a result, we’ve been able to accumulate unique, proprietary data that has been historically difficult to access. We’re not only collecting information on the front end, but we’re monitoring projects on an ongoing basis where we continue to collect real time data on how a project is performing. That is where our platform can excel. With this data, we can use predictive analytics and machine learning to pre-screen deals and identify red flags early in the process.  This in turn should allow us to be even more efficient in delivering the highest quality deals to our investors. We’ve also used this data to provide a level of transparency through standardization that has never before existed within private real estate.

These technological efficiencies are already improving the experience for our sponsors and investors. We’re able to close deals in weeks rather than months, which can help to ensure that those looking to raise capital can move on projects quickly. And our investors can make informed decisions efficiently by using standard metrics from deal to deal regardless of the location, product type or sponsoring real estate company.  Through the work of our engineering team, we’ve built a comprehensive data infrastructure that can allow us to constantly improve how we use data to improve the experience of our investors and sponsors.

Taking on the Challenges

U.S. Real Estate is one of the largest asset classes in the world yet it is tremendously inefficient. At RealtyShares, our long term vision is to build a real estate investment ecosystem that transforms real estate from a hyperlocal asset to a financial product.  

Through our platform we’ve tackled the hyperlocal nature of the industry, allowing individuals to invest in any market in the U.S. Our investors can invest in markets like Texas, Florida and New York even if they live in California.  This is transformative.  This year we’ve also expanded our base of institutional capital sources. We’re working with hedge funds, insurance companies and family offices to provide them programmatic access to micro-to-mid cap real estate opportunities, where transaction volume annually can be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

But access to new markets is only the beginning. We’re building an investment ecosystem with diversified capital across individual and institutional investors that can help fund both debt and equity deals for a growing base of real estate companies and borrowers.  A potential one-stop-shop for real estate investments and capital with all of the tools needed to transact within this massive asset class through the comfort of a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Passing $300 million raised is a great way to start 2017, and we’re only getting started. 2017 is expected to be a pivotal year for the company and I couldn’t be more excited about our vision and mission here at RealtyShares.