Last week Dan Summers, CEO of RealtyeVest, sat down with OakPeak Equity, an investing and management company, to talk about Real Estate Crowdfunding. The interview details the thought behind creating RealtyeVest, and why it’s a good idea to merge real estate with investing. Take a look at the interview below to get some insight on a fairly new industry that’s about to shake up the investment world:
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE CEO OF RealtyeVest – Dan Summers
SEPT 26th 2017
Good morning! As part of my ongoing efforts to provide Oakpeak Newsletter readers with unique insights into the real estate industry, I will periodically interview executives at some of the emerging real estate crowdfunding companies as well as real estate private equity firms. We at Oakpeak are kicking off the ‘Interview the Executive’ series with an interview with the CEO (Daniel Summers) of a fast growing Real Estate Crowdfunding firm RealtyeVest based out of Jacksonville, Florida. If interested, you can also review RealtyeVest’s latest San Antonio, Texas based multifamily offering here. I kicked off my interview with Dan Summers by asking him to give Oakpeak Newsletter readers an overview of RealtyeVest…
Question I: What is RealtyeVest and how does it differ from the multitude of real estate crowdfunding firms that have mushroomed over the last few years?
RealtyeVest CEO Dan Summers: RealtyeVest is a real estate company first and a technology company second. That’s our biggest distinguishing factor. I’ve personally owned and developed well over $1B in multifamily, office, retail and flex-office. My resume in this industry stands shoulders above any in the crowdfunding space. We also invest in every single deal on my site. No one else can make that claim. Our future is to stay nimble and cutting edge. We want to continue to marry technology with real estate investing. For instance, introducing a one-stop seamless process for IRA’s to invest on our site. We’re working with one of the largest custodians right now to make that happen. What was once a 7-10 day process will soon be a 24 hour process.
Question II: Can you talk a little bit about yourself and your background? What was the catalyst behind launching RealtyeVest?
RealtyeVest CEO Dan Summers: I have been in the real estate industry nearly 40 years. There isn’t much I haven’t seen or done. I’ve ridden every peak and valley. I’ve touched every aspect from Brokerage to Development to over $1B in acquisitions. I’ve officed in Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Pittsburgh and now Jacksonville. I started a 1 man company and grew it to 147 full time paychecks, rolled out its IPO within 10 years and retired at the ripe age of 47. Started another acquisition company in 2013 with several Goldman Sachs ex-pats out of Singapore. We bought multifamily in markets with a story. RealtyeVest was my answer to 30 years of expensive PPM’s, a limited capital audience and laborious SEC reporting. When the solicitation floodgates opened in 2012 as a result of the JOBS Act, I took immediate note and tracked the competition for 12 months. I was amazed at the imbalance between seasoned real estate experts and digital marketing millennials. My peers were reluctant to enter the technology world but the millennials jumped in with both feet. That was the beginning of what is now RealtyeVest. I rebuilt my underwriting team and hired the most talented digital marketers available in NE FL. I’ve built a company once again from scratch but this time with a wide open playing field and limited competition.
Question III: Which among the following real estate asset categories: (multifamily, healthcare, student housing, office buildings and retail) do you consider to be relatively “safe” especially for the individual investors who often participate in crowdfunding deals? Which are the markets (from a geographic perspective) that you are bullish on?
RealtyeVest CEO Dan Summers: No doubt Senior Housing. With 4,000 Baby Boomers turning 85 every day together with an additional 12,000 retiring daily, this asset class has the most staying power. This is an undeniable demographic that can’t be argued. Couple the demand with supply or actually a lack thereof and you get a perfect storm. Blend in some nuances like retirees payments are normally secured by insurance, the government and/or an estate lends a heightened level of security to your investment.
Question IV: Where do you think we are in the real estate economic cycle (close to the peak or just mid-way there)?
RealtyeVest CEO Dan Summers: The light in my crystal ball went out ages ago but one thing I can attest to is real estate has no plateaus. It’s either up or down. Nothing in between. The question is…. when is that “Tipping Point”. When does Expansion turn into Over-Supply? The 2 benchmarks when determining where you are in this particular Market Cycle are Vacancy and Construction. Keep your eye on the GDP, rental rates and occupancy. With a strong GDP, job growth ticks up resulting in higher occupancies creating higher rates and eventually creating a need “or” opportunity for new construction. I think this where we are now but once again watch for the next “Tipping Point” when supply and demand meet. Vacancy starts inching up and while rent growth may remain it retreats a bit casting a decrease in overall revenues.
Question V: Finally, What are your thoughts regarding the future of Real Estate Crowdfunding?
RealtyeVest CEO Dan Summers: The real estate industry in large has long been overdue for a disruption. When you consider how archaic the traditional lending platforms are along with the minuscule returns investors are receiving from institutions, IRA’s and 401K’s, it’s no wonder why the real estate crowdfunding industry is expected to generate nearly $150B in managed asset within the next 5 years. Technology continues to upgrade the experience investors realize making the process seamless and transparent. There are 8.5M accredited investors in the US and less than 1% are actual investors on crowdfunding sites. This together with the Trillions of dollars in IRA’s and less than 3% are self-directed. Crowdfunding will mature into a sophisticated investing platform that will outpace Wall Street within 10 years.
(This interview was conducted by OakPeak Equity staff, and was published in their newsletter.)