Simon Morris: Solving The Ownership Conundrum
We’re constantly looking at the way our community interacts with the RealtyShares platform, and we’ve noticed a trend. Investors typically use different types of ownership, such as a personal account, an IRA, a Trust, an entity or even a joint account, but had no way of distinguishing between ownership types. Indeed, while there were some investors who endured the multiple logins, we’ve had other users who would like to expand their investment portfolios but encountered product barriers such as the login quandary blocking their path to optimum investing.
To solve this and make the process much smoother for our community, we launched our new Investor Profiles feature, allowing users to deftly switch between different ownership types all from the convenience of their RealtyShares dashboards. This streamlines the investment process for our most complex accounts, giving everyone more time to analyze deals and invest in those that match their risk profiles.
Ownership Types from One Dashboard
Previously, our savvy investors needed multiple logins to manage and track their investments separately through different investment vehicles. Now, each person on the RealtyShares platform needs only one username and password to create multiple Investor Profiles. Plus, users can filter their Investor Dashboard by profile.
Given the extensive reconfiguration of the underlying data that was required, this feature represents the biggest product release since I joined the company last year. For investors, the new profile will make it much more convenient to log in through a single account and manage several ownership types simultaneously, or encourage them to invest with a separate ownership account for the first time.
Our website currently has a step-by-step tutorial to guide customers through the new features.
The Path to Investor Profiles
On the business side, this change necessitated a complete restructuring of our data systems. As our Chief Technology Officer Gene Linetsky said last week, “Data is the crown jewel of the company,” and this launch is a culmination of a months-long project to harness the unique proprietary data that has historically been very difficult to access within the real estate industry. With Investor Profiles, the improved aggregated data of our investor activity now paints a more accurate image of who’s performing the transactions on our platform.
In order to give investors a great experience, we need data that is well-organized and has complex business rules built around it that regulate how we handle different account types. But the result should be worth it — we can now look forward to improved future data quality.
Giving Investors Greater Freedom
We believe that investors should have the ability to choose what to do with their money. This new Investor Profiles feature lets users manage their investments within a single login. And the added ease with which our investors use the dashboard may also increase users’ ability to create different ownership types.
This tech feature can be especially good for IRA investors given the nature of our real estate investments — they tend not to be short-term investments, and people are interested in using their IRAs for deals with long time horizons. But for any user, Investor Profiles can give RealtyShares customers greater flexibility and control over their money.
Simon Morris is the Chief Product Officer for RealtyShares.