On Monday, the Five Star Conference began with the third Single-Family Rental (SFR) & Investment Roundtable, a hyper-focused event that allowed attendees to learn more about the available opportunities that can help SFR investors meet their objectives. Attendees also heard valuable insights from industry experts on how they could continue to meet their performance objectives by partnering with the right investors and lenders.
The day-long event saw expert panels give insights into rehab, acquisition, funding, market overview, due diligence, and technology innovations in SFR.
Opening the proceedings, Jeffrey Tesch, CEO, RCN Capital and the Event Director for the Roundtable, said that the U.S. currently has the highest rate of investment since 1999; 11% of all investment properties are bought by single-family investors.
"This is truly monumental. It's amazing how far we've come in a short time," Tesch said.
The first session—titled, “Latest and Greatest: Cutting-Edge Lending Strategies for SFR & Investment Markets,” and moderated by Tesch—focused on the options and instruments available for investors to improve their return on investment (ROI). The session featured Glen Mather, CEO, NuView IRA; Alex Offutt, Managing Director, Constructive Loans; Chase Scott, Head of Servicing and Asset Management, LendingHome; and Dennis Spivey, VP, CoreVest Finance, all of whom gave insights into new lending products and financing strategies that could be the best fit for an SFR investor.
"Single-family rental has transformed over the past few years moving from large corporations to small investors with a minimal number of properties," Spivey said, explaining how this market has now become available to every investor.
"A lot of it in this particular space is more of a knowledge share, so if you could create what we mentioned [during the panel] was a membership profile so you don't have to underwrite, it allows [the borrowing process] to be more seamless on the upfront," Scott suggested.
During the session on asset rehab strategies, moderated by Rebecca McLean, Executive Director of National REIA and featuring John Gordon, Director National Accounts, Home Depot Pro; Kevin Jonas, SVP, Bayview Loan Servicing; and Bill McGee, VP Sales & Strategic Partnerships, Alacrity Services, the panel discussed why smart rehab was key to effective SFR investments and the best, cost-effective strategies to increase the value of a property.
Martin Kay, Founder & CEO, Entera, turned the spotlight on the evolution of residential real estate and how technology like big data was changing the future of homebuying.
The next session dived deep into due diligence and its importance in SFR investments. Moderated by Lori Eshoo, President & CEO, National Tax Search, the panel consisting of Rob Dewald, Co-Founder & CEO, Precedent Management; Lee Rogers, President, realprotect; and Brandon Winters, CEO, eMerge Property Solutions. Together, they gave insights into the factors that can affect the value of a transaction, as well as the potential impact of HOAs, insurance, property tax, and valuation.
In "Bringing in Help," moderator Charles Tassell, COO, NREIA, along with his fellow panelists Aaron DiCaprio, CEO, Rent Rescue; Scott Heimel, VP, Property Frameworks; and Tucker McDermott, VP of Sales, Real Estate, SMS Assist, then delved into the factors and trends that SFR investors must consider before they bring in outside property managers.
"If you want to scale as an entrepreneur, you better have third-party management. That's first and foremost," Tassell said during the event. "After that are some very specific questions to ask." The panel covered factors such as cost, background, and certifications.
"When it comes to third-party management, know what you actually need," he added.
In an afternoon keynote, Stuart Denyer, CEO, Sherman Bridge Lending, took the audience through the fundamentals of the housing market and how they can impact an investor’s bottom line. He also focused on the trends that were likely to impact the SFR market in particular and the steps that investors should take to adapt to changing market conditions.
"Everyone in this section of the industry needs to stay aware of changing horizons," Denyer said. "The whole market is changing. The way business is done and handled is all moving quickly, and it's important to stay as up-to-date as possible."
Next, a session on tech innovations was moderated by Zach Bassett, VP, Field Operations, Property Masters, and featured Inaas Arabi, VP of Single-Family, General Manager, Propertyware; Jeff Cline, Executive Director - Principal, SVN; and Tim Rath, AVP, Business Development & Marketing, Safeguard Properties. The panel discussed the technology that is available for entry-level investors and how it can support the growth of their portfolio.
Zach Bassett's biggest takeaway from the panel was the availability of ways to increase productivity.
"Obviously the technology is helping with everyone's productivity, but at the end of the day we still need humans," Bassett said. "It's great because we can keep our jobs, but we couldn't be near as successful with paper maps and landlines."
The day ended with a panel discussion on how investors can adapt to a changing environment. The session was moderated by Johnny Pannell, Senior Advisor, Enterprise Sales Manager, 5arch and featured and Lou Brown, CEO, Certified Affordable Housing Provider; Chris Clothier, Partner & VP of Sales & Marketing, Memphis Invest; Bryan McLain, Founder & CEO, McLain Companies; and Josh McLeod, VP, American Homes 4 Rent.
Star Sponsorship for the Single-Family Rental and Investment Roundtable was provided by CoreVest Finance, Home Depot Renovation Services, and RCN Capital. Corporate Sponsoship for the event was provided by Ark Forecast, Certified Affordable Housing Provider, Constructive, eMerge Property Solutions, Globus, Property Frameworks, Property Masters, REI Nation, and Rent Rescue.