Sam Eaton |Director of Investor Relations, Timberland Partners
What are your priorities at Timberland Partners?
I think about how we can appeal to new investors and strengthen our brand, and that really comes down to communicating the value our investments offer. I spend a decent portion of my time identifying and reaching out to those individual investors and investment managers who believe in our investment strategy and who are interested in long-term partnerships.
Why should someone consider a private real estate investment fund?
The fund is an excellent investment vehicle in that you get a level of diversification not afforded to an investment in a single property. Within a fund, we typically acquire properties in multiple geographic markets, and properties that present differing value-add opportunities. The result tends to be more consistent returns than those of single-asset deals. The flip side is that some investors really prefer to dig into the story on a particular deal, or personally believe in one market more than the next. For those investors, our single-asset opportunities can be a great choice.
What’s the transition from active management to passive real estate investment through a fund like for some of your investors?
We do have many investors who either currently, or previously invested directly on their own. More often than not, these partners began investing with us either to supplement or replace their active management with a more passive role because of the headache and time commitment of being an active owner. The other reason is simply for scale – our new acquisitions typically require a cash equity commitment of $10 million or more. For an individual investor or small group of friends, that’s not often feasible. Investing with a group like Timberland gets them exposure to more institutional quality assets, and a best-in-class property manager.
What do you see for the future of this company?
I think there’s no doubt in a few years we will be a nationally recognized name and one of the largest real estate ownership and operating companies in the multifamily sector.
We acquire suburban apartment communities in the middle part of the country and run them exceptionally well. It’s a simple business model in that sense. We do one thing, but we strive to do it better than anybody else. I think that discipline will continue to produce great results for our residents, team members, and investment partners. That success will continue to attract new investors and allow us to grow into one of the largest multifamily owner/operators in the country.