REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Douglas Elliman Announces Strategic Investment in Bilt Rewards

Douglas Elliman | September 22, 2021

Douglas Elliman Announces Strategic Investment in Bilt Rewards
New Valley Ventures, an investment vehicle managed by Douglas Elliman's parent company, Vector Group, announced a renter rewards program via strategic investment in Bilt Rewards, the first loyalty program and co-brand credit card for renters. The investment comes as Douglas Elliman officially joins the Bilt Rewards Alliance, a network of more than 2 million rental units across the country where renters can enroll in the loyalty program to earn points on rent with no fees.

We are proud to support and align ourselves with Bilt Rewards as its program fills a gap in the market to set renters up for financial success and encourage a path towards homeownership.

- Scott Durkin, CEO of Douglas Elliman.

New Valley Ventures is dedicated to investing in innovative tech-driven solutions for the greater real estate community.

- Dan Sachar, Managing Director of New Valley Ventures and Vice President of Enterprise Innovation for Vector Group.

The funding round, which also counts Mastercard, Wells Fargo and other leading real estate property owners including AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential, GID, Lennar, The Moinian Group, Morgan Properties, Starwood Capital Group, and Related Group as investors, will propel Bilt Rewards to further expand its loyalty partner network, grow its organic distribution channels, and open the Bilt Rewards platform and Bilt Mastercard more widely to the public.

Launched this June by Kairos HQ, Bilt Rewards is the first-ever loyalty program and co-brand credit card for renters, enabling the country's 109 million renters to finally earn points on their largest monthly expense with no fees. By offering the Bilt Rewards program to tenants across Douglas Elliman's rental portfolio including new development projects, residents can now earn points with every on-time rent payment.

Additionally, Douglas Elliman residents will be among the first to receive an invitation for the Bilt Mastercard, the first credit card that allows users to pay their rent with no fee. With the card, Douglas Elliman residents can earn 1x points on every dollar of rent, 2x points on travel purchases, 3x points on dining, and 1x points on all other non-rent purchases, allowing them to maximize rewards potential, all with no annual fee.

Through Bilt, renters can redeem points for travel across over 100 major airlines and hotels, fitness classes at the country's top boutique studios, and can even use points towards rent credits or a future down payment on a home. When paying rent through the Bilt Rewards app, members can also have their rent payments reported to the credit bureaus at no cost, which can help build credit history for millions of young renters.

New Valley Ventures continues to invest in promising, next-generation technologies in order to propel the real estate industry into the future and further benefit the agent, renter and buyer experience. In doing so, New Valley Ventures utilizes its deep industry knowledge through Douglas Elliman to advise on meaningful digital development, tech solutions and financial software.

ABOUT VECTOR GROUP
Vector Group is a holding company for Liggett Group LLC, Vector Tobacco Inc., New Valley LLC and Douglas Elliman Realty, LLC.

ABOUT DOUGLAS ELLIMAN
Established in 1911, Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and one of the largest independent residential real estate brokerages in the United States. With approximately 7,000 agents, the company operates approximately 100 offices in New York City, Long Island, The Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Texas. Moreover, Douglas Elliman has a strategic global alliance with London-based Knight Frank Residential for business in the worldwide luxury markets spanning 61 countries and six continents. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services including Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, Douglas Elliman Property Management and Douglas Elliman Commercial.

ABOUT BILT REWARDS
Launched by Kairos HQ in June 2021, Bilt Rewards is the first-ever loyalty program that allows renters to earn points on rent with no fees and builds a path towards homeownership. Through a partnership with the nation's largest real estate owners including Avalon Bay Communities, Equity Residential, Related, Starwood Capital Group and more, Bilt Rewards enables renters in more than two million units across the country to earn points just by paying rent. Bilt Rewards boasts one of the highest value rewards programs on the market today, including one-to-one point transfers to 9 loyalty programs allowing travel across over 100 major airlines and hotel partners; fitness classes at the country's top boutique studios including SoulCycle, Rumble and Y7; limited-edition and exclusive collections of art and home decor through the Bilt Collection, and the ability to use Bilt points for rent credits or towards a future downpayment. Bilt has also partnered with Mastercard to create the Bilt Mastercard - the first and only credit card that can be used to pay rent with no fees.

Spotlight

Real estate has historically been known for its cycles, which have included some big highs and some low lows, but we are now at a unique time in the current cycle and the norms of the past regarding pace and cadence are foundationally different. This causes us to ask, what does this mean and what can we expect. We are entering uncharted territory. If the current economic expansion continues through June 2019, it would mark the longest expansion in US economic history since records started being collected in the 1850s. Based on data from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the average post-World War II expansion phase was 58.4 months; the current expansion phase will surpass 120 months in July 2019, assuming it reaches this historic milestone. We have been crawling the wall of worry for at least the past two years that a correction in both real estate and the overall economy  is looming. A future recession is inevitable, but there is no way of knowing


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