Commercial Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate panel with Bill Fisher, Founder & CEO of Plum Lending; Adam Hooper, CEO of RealCrowd; William Skelley, Founder, Chairman & CEO of iFunding; Dan Vetter; President & Co-Founder of Money360; Rodrigo Nino; CEO & Founder of Prodigy Network; and moderator Joanna Schwartz, CEO & Co-Founder of Early Shares.
The panel discussed how they got into commercial real estate. Bill from Plum Lending confessed that for him the appeal came from the absence of regulation. Whereas the customers in residential real estate are individuals who are assumed to be ignorant and to need protection, the customers buying commercial real estate are wealthy individuals who are assumed to be intelligent, knowledgeable and to have a team of advisors available. This means that there are deals that can be made more quickly with a lower cost.
Joanna from EarlyShares explained her passion for commercial real estate crowdfunding as being a way to "create entrepreneurs" from investors. She went on to make the announcement that she will be launching Property.com in two weeks time and hopes this will re-define the industry by facilitating transactions across the commercial real estate spectrum.
The rest of the discussion centered on where the panelist source their projects from. Rodrigo from Prodigy explained that his experience as well as his business partners contacts mean that they can access projects and get funding long before their competitors know about them. This gives them a badly needed competitive edge as they regularly have to pitch for business against 20-30 alternative funding organizations. The other panelists agreed that there is growing competition in the market and they are being forced to compete not just on price, but speed and customer experience.