When Acquisitions-as-a-Service Is the Brokers’ Best Friend
Greg Cooper J.D.
Greg and his team have sourced and transacted well over $1.5 Billion in assets, and negotiates deals with extensive analytical and legal skills. He’s a serial entrepreneur: He founded and ran the Austin Java Company early in law school, then co-founded and ran Goldwasser Real Estate (later sold to Bradfield Properties). He’s trained over 1,000 real estate professionals in all aspects of sales and marketing, and has spent the past several years focused on the multifamily acquisitions market. When he has spare time, he is hitting the running trail or gym since he is a fitness fanatic and Greg and his wife Terri also love to travel the world when he’s not sourcing deals.
When an emerging business makes its presence felt in an established industry, it can make some of that industry’s longtime practitioners somewhat uncomfortable. It gets more threatening when that new business has all the hallmarks of the digital era: new technologies to expedite searches, negotiations and transactions; the use of data to guide effective decision-making; and the blurring of boundaries between different skillsets and functional categories. The concern is understandable.
But what happens when those ‘traditional’ practitioners embrace the new capabilities? Turns out, a lot of good things.
Consider what we do at Offerd: Acquisitions-as-a-Service to enhance and expedite multifamily transactions, with an emphasis on off-market properties. So, following conventional thinking, existing brokers might not welcome this trend. And yet. . .we’re proud to say we already work with many brokers from around the country—and the results have been beneficial to both parties. It’s also not hard to see why.
First, consider the current reality for many multifamily brokers. This is a brutally competitive market. That’s good for the industry overall, of course, but for brokers in the trenches, it means that every listing is very hard to secure and can require discounted pricing. Brokers with relationships built over many years can leverage those connections to make deals faster; professionals entering the market or moving to new territories don’t even have that advantage. Also, many multifamily properties are now owned by corporate entities, and that makes personal relationships even harder to build and maintain.
And when that listing is secured, the work doesn’t get any easier. Even when a marketing campaign is successful, the sheer volume of responses brings its own share of problems. There are often hundreds of inquiries and dozens of offers, but unfortunately, more is not always better. Some are essentially tire kickers, just checking out the market without any real intention of buying, and others don’t have the necessary resources. However, they all deserve the same level of responsiveness and scrutiny. It’s time-consuming and labor-intensive.
Meanwhile, perhaps half of all multifamily assets that trade each year are off-market—they’re not listed with any broker and don’t show up in online searches. They embody Principal-to-Principal transactions, and these are exactly the kind of properties and business models that many qualified investors now prefer.
It wasn’t always so complicated. Many of these trends are relatively modern, and they can be disorienting to longtime brokers. However, this is the reality, and it’s best to acknowledge it.
Offerd, perhaps the newest element in this complex equation, tackles these challenges head-on. Every entity on the buy side that retains Offerd is fully vetted, and the goal is always to create the perfect match between buyer and seller. We don’t bring every potential buyer to the table—it’s a small and select list, leading faster to the best and final offer, and the process is both efficient and lucrative for all parties.
It's a new business model to be sure, but Offerd doesn’t take business away from brokers. Instead, we get in front of the 50% that operates off market on both sides, and bring them to the properties that best meet their investment goals. We also work with affiliate programs that bring their properties to us, and we expose them to sophisticated investor groups.
In sum, we leverage connections around the country; reduce the trouble and expense required to market properties; offer greater exposure to qualified buyers; streamline the research, negotiation and acquisition process; and close faster. And we have the record to prove it.
And importantly, we’re buyers ourselves. Offerd itself is a qualified group that purchases assets with the operators on our platform—as well as for ourselves—and we currently have an ownership stakes in properties in around the country.
Again, we know that a new concept for the market—especially one that leverages technology, data, expertise, experience and nationwide connections—can seem likely to disrupt existing practices. But when those capabilities are adapted to competent brokers’ skills, listings and relationships, it makes for a powerful combination.
We’ll be rolling out more details and stories soon about our broker programs. But in the meantime, feel free to give us a call.