REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Houwzer | April 19, 2022
Houwzer, a next generation real estate brokerage and homeownership platform powered by proprietary technology and an all-W2 labor model, announces that advisor, entrepreneur, and investor, Jonathan Zabusky, will join the company’s board as Executive Chairman.
Zabusky, most recently the President and Board Director at GrubHub Inc., will act as a co-pilot to Houwzer’s CEO, Mike Maher, helping drive the next stage of growth at the company, which pulled in $118M in equity and debt as part of a Series B funding round earlier this year. With the new funds, Houwzer is introducing three new products, Cash Advantage, Convenience Offers, and Buy Before You Sell, to help clients remain competitive in the most challenging housing market in history.
Zabusky will work alongside Maher to help refine corporate strategy, which is timely given the current state of the housing market. As a seasoned CEO and operator, Zabusky will provide mentorship to Maher as a strategic thought partner as he navigates the company through market volatility and unprecedented change. He will also ensure maximum collaboration and vision alignment between the other Directors and the management team transforming the Board into a strategic weapon for the business.
I am incredibly excited to join Houwzer's Board as Executive Chairman and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mike and his outstanding team. I’m energized by our mission to elevate the home buying and selling experience to become more fair, transparent, and seamless. Houwzer's robust suite of integrated tools, products and technology, coupled with a deeply engaged and aligned team of expert agents, facilitates a more enjoyable and productive real estate journey for its clients."
Zabusky led Seamless, as its CEO, through tremendous growth before merging it with GrubHub. After the merger, Zabusky led corporate strategy and development, product, marketing, and corporate and restaurant sales as GrubHub’s President. During his tenure, he successfully integrated multiple strategic acquisitions and played a pivotal role in the company’s initial public offering. Zabusky is Founder and Managing Partner of Bounce Ventures LLC and also serves as an advisor and board director to a portfolio of venture and private equity-backed companies in the U.S. and Israel.
“Jonathan brings a wealth of strategic growth experience to the team,” says Houwzer CEO and Founder, Mike Maher. “As we continue building on our momentum, he will play a critical role in fine-tuning our approach and ensuring we continue to prioritize resources to accelerate growth and market share. I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside an entrepreneur as successful and thoughtful as Jonathan.”
Houwzer also announced the recent hiring of Andrew Daley as Chief Marketing Officer. Daley brings two decades of high-growth experience in highly competitive environments, helping companies differentiate their brands across a range of industries like mobility, real estate, and travel. Most recently, he led marketing for Hana, a CBRE company that redefined the flexible office space experience. Daley has also served as Global Head of Marketing for Zipcar and in key marketing functions for Starwood Hotels, Reebok, and several online travel and startup brands.
“The real estate industry is ripe for disruption and the incumbent model is broken. Houwzer is realigning the incentives more fairly between the broker, the agent, and the client so that everyone wins. The end result is a better, faster, smarter way to buy, sell, finance, and insure homes,” says Daley.
Houwzer has eliminated the percentage-based commission pricing for listings and rebuilt the brokerage model around the customer, creating a one-stop shop for real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance that simplifies the chaotic and expensive process of buying and selling homes. Its $5,000 flat-fee listing model empowers sellers to maximize their profit – saving an average of $15,000 in commissions, while still providing a full-service experience via technology and expert, salaried agents.
Houwzer has helped clients buy and sell more than 4,000 homes with a cumulative sales volume of nearly $2 billion, saving home sellers $35 million in brokerage commissions. Houwzer is the only real estate company operating on an all-W2 compensation model across all of its salaried agents and mortgage advisors. It’s also the industry’s first B Corporation real estate brokerage and will soon be announcing its newly appointed Board of its impact model, the RiseUp Fund. Recently, the company entered into a partnership to become the Official Real Estate Partner of the 76ers.
Houwzer is a next-generation real estate brokerage and home services company built around the customer. Its full-service, salaried agents and loan officers help homeowners save when they sell and trust when they buy. Houwzer’s proprietary technology is an end-to-end platform that streamlines the entire transaction from beginning to end with an integrated one-stop shopping experience. The company employs unique salaried agents as dedicated seller or buyer agent specialists who receive salary instead of commissions, allowing them to focus on service, not just sales. Houwzer has maintained an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 84 and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over thousands of client reviews online. Since launching in 2015, Houwzer has saved home sellers along the East Coast over $35 million and helped clients buy or sell thousands of homes worth almost $2 billion.
CONTI Capital | February 03, 2022
Dallas-based CONTI Capital, a real estate investment company providing capital solutions to acquire, manage, and sponsor real estate investments across the U.S., has acquired Pioneer Hill in Austin, Texas. Austin, known as America's "Silicon Hills," is home to many top, global companies and is arguably one of the leading real estate markets in the nation.
Pioneer Hill, a 300-unit new construction asset in northeast Austin, benefits from convenient access to interstate 35 and is less than 10 miles north of Downtown, providing residents access to virtually all of the city's major employment and entertainment drivers. The property is located at 1625 Edgeworth Bend, Austin, Texas 78754. Austin's recent growth has spurred new developments north of the urban core, directly benefiting Pioneer Hill's northeast Austin location.
Austin is one of the fastest growing large metros in the country and is #1 on CONTI's top 10 markets for multifamily investment in 2022, The CONTI Index, CONTI Capital's proprietary market evaluation tool, analyzes dozens of weighted indicators covering six primary factors. It is an invaluable tool and, in combination with our dedicated team and investment committee, provides yet another CONTI difference for our investors."
Carlos Vaz, CEO of CONTI Capital.
The asset is CONTI's first asset in its $150M RE High-Growth Fund IV. The Fund will seek a target return of 10-14% ROI with a 3-5-year hold period. It is structured as a private offering for accredited investors, wealth managers, and institutions.
About CONTI Capital
Founded in 2008, CONTI is a real estate investment company, investing capital on behalf of individuals, wealth managers, and institutions. Our mission is to create outstanding value for our investors through an active stewardship of their capital. We provide capital solutions to acquire, manage, and sponsor real estate investments across the U.S. Our efforts are backed by years of industry experience, strong company culture, and a relentless drive to perform. In order to better serve our clients, CONTI has offices in Dallas, Miami, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. | April 12, 2022
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced that it has arranged $70,000,000 in permanent financing for 21 West Street in New York, New York. The 33-story tower includes 293 carefully designed studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Located in the Financial District of Manhattan, the property is proximate to the offices of major financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and American Express.
Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Michael Ianno, and Triston Stegall led the Walker & Dunlop team in arranging the financing for Rose Associates, a repeat client. Based in New York, Rose Associates is a leading multifamily and mixed-use real estate developer and operator that has overseen the successful residential and retail leasing at the property for nearly 30 years. The 12-year loan, provided by MetLife features an attractive fixed rate and interest-only payments for the entire term, which will ensure continued operating performance for years to come. The Rose Associates team was led by Marc Ehrlich, Chief Investment Officer and Michele Bengelsdorf, Head of Asset Management.
Though the New York City rental market experienced headwinds during the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has successfully absorbed more than 60,000 new units that were delivered over the past four years. With vacancies at near record lows, this lending opportunity was very attractive to the capital markets."
Walker & Dunlop's Jonathan Schwartz
21 West Street blends modern convenience and a classic landmark style with luxurious residences. The property's amenity offerings include a roof deck, fitness center, resident lounge, and children's playroom. With excellent transit access, residents enjoy convenient access to the rest of Manhattan as well as to Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey. New retail offerings, including West of Broadway, Brookfield Place, and Westfield's World Trade Center mall dramatically increase area residents' shopping and dining options.
Walker & Dunlop is the third largest provider of capital to the U.S. multifamily market, originating $49 billion in transactions and lending over $42 billion for multifamily properties in 2021. With one of the strongest networks in the industry, the firm's 2021 brokered loan originations totaled $30 billion, a 170% increase over 2020.
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop is one of the largest providers of capital to the commercial real estate industry, enabling real estate owners and operators to bring their visions of communities — where Americans live, work, shop and play — to life. The power of our people, premier brand, and industry-leading technology makes us more insightful and valuable to our clients, providing an unmatched experience every step of the way. With over 1,000 employees across every major U.S. market, Walker & Dunlop has consistently been named one of Fortune's Great Places to Work® and is committed to making the commercial real estate industry more inclusive and diverse while creating meaningful social, environmental, and economic change in our communities.
About Rose Associates, Inc.
Established in 1925, Rose Associates is a premier real estate firm specializing in multifamily rental properties in New York City and the tristate area. Focused on the development, acquisition and management of the highest quality assets, the firm is currently developing six properties in the New York City metropolitan area. Rose's management platform incorporates state-of-the-art services to maximize revenue and enhance asset value, ensuring that Rose properties consistently outperform the market. Under the leadership of CEO and President Amy Rose, the firm is a certified Women's Business Enterprise that is currently pursuing a diverse and aggressive growth strategy.
Rubicon Point Partners | January 25, 2022
Rubicon Point Partners ("Rubicon"), a woman and minority-owned real estate company specializing in transformative investments, announced its recent acquisition of the iconic Rotunda Building in downtown Oakland from Rotunda Partners II, who have owned the building since 1999 and will continue as a minority owner. Featuring some of the Bay Area's best examples of Beaux-Arts architecture, the building also features a four-story parking garage.
Rubicon plans to roll out its "Work From Here" program and put in place a sustainability plan to reduce the building's carbon footprint.
The "Work From Here" program focuses on creating workspaces that are amenitized in ways not available at home, emphasizing employee health and wellness while enabling employers to better accommodate a hybrid workforce. Rubicon plans to introduce a state-of-the-art fitness facility, upgraded common areas, hybrid digital conferencing and collaboration infrastructure.
We are honored and humbled to be the caretakers of the historic and beautiful Rotunda. We look forward to implementing an improvement plan that will honor its history but also modernize it to allow for a new generation of companies to thrive, We are especially excited to work with key stakeholders to activate Frank Ogawa Plaza and integrate it with the building's indoor space. This indoor-outdoor environment is rare in urban settings like downtown Oakland."
Ani Vartanian, Rubicon's co-managing partner.
Situated at Frank Ogawa Plaza across from City Hall in Downtown Oakland, the property was built in 1912 and originally designed by Bay Area architect Charles Dickey, who fitted a dramatic elliptical glass dome in the interior atrium. At the time, the dome was said to be the largest of its kind. He was also known for developing a diverse architectural style, fusing elements of Hawaiian and Beaux-Arts design. Dickey's most recognizable California creations, the Oakland Rotunda Building and Claremont Hotel, proudly sit on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the early 2000s, prior ownership of the Rotunda reinforced its structure with a full seismic retrofit following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, transforming it into one of the safest historic spaces in Downtown Oakland.
We selected Rubicon because of their track record in transforming historic assets and are confident that they will be great custodians of this Oakland jewel."
Phil Tagami, one of the managing partners at Rotunda Partners II.
Rubicon purchased the eight-story property through the Rubicon First Ascent Fund, seeing an opportunity to simultaneously preserve an Oakland treasure while reducing its environmental impact. The firm has been busily transforming similar historic spaces from California to Washington for the past decade such as 450 Shotwell, the Storek building, 1125 Mission Street and Masin Block.
Rubicon plans to continue offering the building to be used as an event space for galas and events that benefit the City and are essential to the success of the people of Oakland.
Being good environmental stewards is important to us at Rubicon. In addition to modernizing the Rotunda, we plan to reduce the building's carbon footprint in the process. We hope the Rotunda Building will serve as a blueprint for how historic spaces can remain sustainable for future generations, Our playbook at the Rotunda Building involves investments in the building systems and the deployment of our technology stack, including machine learning utility management systems. All of these serve to increase efficiency while reducing the building's carbon footprint."
Razmig Boladian, Rubicon's co-managing partner.
About Rubicon Point Partners
When workspaces call for out-of-the-box innovations, Rubicon delivers creative, environmentally driven, and socially responsible solutions. Since its inception, the San Francisco-based woman and minority-owned investment firm has transformed over 2 million square feet of space to sustainably house companies of all sizes, making way for future generations of talented leaders, thinkers, and creators.