New Website Aims to Match Investors, Developers
- Jan 16, 2009
Similar to an Internet dating service, a new Website is designed to introduce commercial real estate developers to investors and private equity companies looking for opportunities. Equity Interface is an online real estate investment service designed to connect developers and accredited investors. The site was launched six months ago and currently represents about $640 million of equity available, Nikolas Kron, founder & CEO of EquityInterface.com, told CPN. “There is not as much fluidity in the equity marketplace as we would like. Many developers are looking for equity partners as part of their general business structure. It is hard to identify who is available to participate with them on any particular deal,” Kron said. When it comes down to selecting an investment, there are many criteria that goes into the process, Kron said, making it hard to know what types of deals to send to specific investors. The website aims to make that process much more efficient, by allowing interested investors to connect directly with developers. Registered users of the site are able to search investment opportunities by various criteria, including amount of experience each developer possesses, financing needed for the project and usual geography and financial returns, Kron said. Developers post a resume and a detailed description of the deal, and those looking for investment opportunities can review and arrange a meeting with sponsors to discuss the project more in depth. Sponsors only have to pay a listing fee for each project. “This is completely transparent without a broker involved in the middle,” Kron said. “Brokers can use it, but it is designed to be transparent. When an opportunity is posted, the developer’s name, phone number and email are listed. Investors don’t have to go through us or a broker. This is like a listing service. Because we’re not a brokerage service there are no commissions charged. There is just a $1,500 flat rate to list instead of paying a 3 percent commission by listing with a broker.” Kron said that the site can work in tandem with more traditional methods of finding financing. “Financially it is an enormous savings, but using us doesn’t stop you from using your brokers, network and usual services,” he noted. “This is just one additional channel.” EquityInterface.com also has an investment profiler tool, which allows registered members to receive automatic alerts about new real estate investment opportunities that are entered into the database. Members can create one or more investment profiles by answering a few simple questions about their investment preferences. When an opportunity that matches their profile is entered into the Equity Interface database, the database automatically e-mails them a link to the matching deal.