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Raising capital: Old school vs New school

“Dialing for dollars,” a phrase used by real estate investment firms trying to get capital raised for their deals. It usually lasts from opening to the close of business every day, and would go on until the deal closed. That’s how it was done in the 20th century. Old school. In the 21st, where technology is a driving force, it’s all about making things easier, and that includes raising capital.

Real estate investment firms all over the country are acquiring properties and turning them into profit. However, this is no easy feat. A lot goes into raising capital for a deal. Today, real estate sponsors will target an acquisition. Once the firm comes across an acquisition, a Letter of Intent (LOI) is drawn up, which is an agreement between the sponsor and the seller outlining the price and terms. Once the LOI, and subsequently the Purchase and Sales Agreement (PSA) is signed, the process to raise capital begins.

First things first, a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) is drafted by legal counsel which normally will take a month and $10,000-$20,000. This is followed by dialing for dollars.

To get started, one maybe two people with the firm sit down and look over an existing investor list and make warm-calls to investors advising them of a new opportunity. These firms in most cases, have a Reg D 506(b) exemption, which prohibits general solicitation of the real estate offering, and is only offered to friends, family and “existing” clients.

Not being able to reach out to new investors means relying on their existing network to support the project, which slows the success rate considerably. The firms can not advertise under the exemption, making it incredibly difficult to get the word out about a project.

Then, once these firms start to receive investments, managing investors and making distributions to investors or entire entities in multiple places is another ordeal.

It’s a long drawn out process just to get even a percentage of the funds raised for a new project, that in many cases result in success, but are costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, technological advances have served as a catalyst to launch a once formidable task into effortless achievement.

Step into the new school, now real estate firms have the option to manage their fundraising efforts from one location. Online platforms and accompanying software help sponsors manage investors and use promotional tools that will streamline a faster more consistent capital-raising process.

Sponsors who are formidably exhausted by the idea of “dialing for dollars” now have significant capabilities such as managing investor information, and sending documents electronically that allow for e-signatures. This eliminates the need to make constant phone calls and sending documents via snail mail. Contemporary methods of raising capital now include the use of accessible software that eliminates the need for sponsors to have to send documents and distributions to multiple places.

Additionally, modern technology allows for easier and faster communication. Sponsors can now issue correspondence and updates and communicate with investors via email and chat.

Keeping in mind that to be able to take full advantage of the software capabilities, sponsors need to be able to get new investors on board. That’s when promotional tools become an invaluable part of the process, as sponsors now have the ability to use a variety of multimedia applications to engage existing and prospective investors. Digital marketing now plays a huge roll in disseminating real-time data instantly to tens of thousands of investors with the click of a button.

Video, imagery, webinars, podcasts and the ability to share these things on social media are not only changing the way sponsors generate buzz about their projects with the goal of securing investment funds, but it’s also an extension of branding sponsors can take full advantage of.

In the past, much of the rate of success depended on the managing of many aspects of bringing a project to fruition. Now, sponsors can decide on one platform and utilize several digital marketing strategies and high level analytical tools to gauge investor’s interest in singular deals. This in turn, enables the sponsor to create better targeting and segmentation through email, syndication, and content marketing. Essentially, sponsors now have the option to build upon those old school practices by using available technology to improve their capital raising methods.

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