Oct 24, 2017
There are 16 million single-family rental investment properties in the United States. Yet, investors often only know about the limited real estate opportunities in their own local market. While many other investment opportunities have become accessible due to technological advances, real estate has remained largely analog.
As the founder and CEO of a tech PR firm, I spend my days working with companies that are developing cutting-edge consumer technologies. I use technology to manage virtually every aspect of my business, as well as my personal life.
I also own and manage single-family rental properties. But I realized that I’ve never used a website or app to help me purchase any real estate.
Gary Beasley, CEO and Co-Founder of Roofstock is changing that reality. Roofstock is not only making single-family rental investment easy, but it is also giving investors access to markets around the country.
In this episode of Unconventional Genius, you’ll hear my conversation with Gary Beasley as he shares an inside look at starting and growing this revolutionary company.
What sets Roofstock apart from other Real Estate websites
There are several real estate websites out there. So what sets Roofstock apart? Gary Beasley says, “Most real estate sites are primarily advertising vehicles, but Roofstock is a comprehensive marketplace and transaction platform. We enable investors to treat their real estate investments more like stock portfolios, focusing on asset allocation rather than dealing with the hassles of researching and buying vacant homes."
The challenge is to help investors feel confident about buying a property they may never physically visit. “No property is perfect, and every one has its own idiosyncrasies,” he says. “The idea is to make it open and transparent so investors can see all the information and select what they want to buy.” Hear more about Roofstocks unique approach to single-family real estate investment during this episode.
Upending the traditional single-family real estate investment model
Gary and his co-founder Gregor Watson came up with the idea for Roofstock after Gregor tried to sell 500 homes that his fund management firm owned.
“The first broker said, ‘Gregor, I don't have 500 signs, I can't possibly sell your 500 homes,'" he laughs. "Others would not list the properties on MLS until the tenants were out. That’s when we realized we could upend the traditional real estate investment model of only buying properties that are vacant."
The brokers' collective reluctance to list houses on MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a free service realtors use to search for real estate, did not make any sense to Gary and Gregor. Why would buyers and sellers of single-family rental properties feel compelled to wait until the home is vacant to sell?
"You're trying to take advantage of the positive cash-flowing," adds Gary. "It actually costs the investor more money when you consider the fact that no one is paying rent, and the property remains vacant during the marketing process." Hear how Roofstock is changing this flawed approach in my conversation with Gary Beasley.
Valuable Lessons Gary Beasley has learned while growing Roofstock
While he has experience working for early-stage startup companies, Roofstock is his first turn in the role of founder. There have been many challenges, including balancing supply and demand, hiring new employees that mesh with the company’s culture, and not letting his cautious nature hamstring his vision.
"I'm from the Midwest where people are prone to underselling themselves and their ideas, which is the polar opposite of the Valley's 'Change the World' mindset," he says. "What was clear to me is that in order to get the momentum that you need to create these businesses, you really need to think in a big way. We have been thinking big, and it's paid off.”
The exciting future of single-family rental investment properties through Roofstock
Roofstock is growing rapidly under Gary Beasley’s leadership. They are continuing to hire the right people who can develop and engineer the company’s technical needs that are fundamental to building a tech business. Gary is also constantly looking to increase their geographic footprint. Roofstock’s growth will continue to open up opportunities for single-family rental investors across the country.
“One big factor is that the category of real estate fintech is in vogue right now because it’s arguably the largest segment of financial services that is the technology sector has not paid much attention to,” says Gary. “This is a very large addressable market, and we have an innovative business model that brings down a lot of costs and inefficiencies.”
Through my conversation with Gary, I learned that there are exciting new opportunities to invest in single-family rental properties by utilizing Roofstock. Listen to Unconventional Genius now to hear more.
If you are with a consumer technology company planning to launch a new product at CES, or are even looking ahead to CES 2019, the Max Borges Agency can help you succeed. To learn more, check out: www.maxborgesagency.com.
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