The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful.
When raising capital from high net worth investors or family offices always place building your authentic relationships first. Allow investors to get to know your team and show them just how you can be trusted to handle their investments properly. Showing investors just who you are immediately puts you ahead of much of the competition.
Richard Wilson: What lessons have you learned regarding raising capital from high net worth private investors and family offices that you can share with us?
Louie Soffner: Yeah I think most simply raising capital takes time, time and energy. Any firm like ourselves who are raising capital from high net worth individuals, family offices, institutions, they need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and on a daily basis for communication. We’ve learned this very quickly. Having the discipline and willingness to continuously follow up and follow up on prior communications having conversations with prospective investors is key. You want to show that you obviously value their interest in your firm, and that you would appreciate them as a partner just as much as any other partner that’s already investing with you. I think it’s also important to try to speak the investor’s language as much as possible, you really want to understand what their individual or their firm’s needs are, and their drivers, what their drivers are behind making an investment. It’s helpful to fully understand where your offering might fit in to their overall spectrum, so you can positively speak to how an investment with your firm will help them succeed as well.
And I think kind of our last thing that we’ve noted as far as our capital raise is that it’s crucial to keep an open line of communication internally as well. We need to do our best to introduce as many of our team members to an interested investor or a family office that shows interest in partnering with us. As the communication continues to evolve, you want to make sure that anyone on your team can jump in at any time to assist with questions and provide information as needed. We want the individual, or family office, whoever is interested to see that our team is constantly in unison and collaborating. We hope that it gives a glimpse into how we operate and how we and how we would value their partnership should they wish to invest with us.
Richard: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. I think that last point is so important. I mean, just having the four of you on here is a little of the thing that seems, you know, 50% of the competition out there that raises capital for real estate is a one or two person firm, or they won’t show up on video and be professional and well spoken. I mean it already separates you from a lot of the people out there as simple as that sounds. And also within our PitchDecks.com division we’re helping people with their teasers an their pitch decks and we often find that by putting headshots of their executive team or maybe all 20 people on their main team, and just bios and headshots of the top 3 executives it goes a long way in building credibility because a lot of companies don’t have 20 headshots to put on there. So, just the fact that you’ve built a sizable team and have credible members on the team that it’s not just one person that you like, but when you go and talk to other people there’s some depth to that expertise, I think it really makes a big difference in investors feeling comfortable at the end of the day which is the main focus of the capital raising process. It’s just to get them comfortable with who you are, you are who you say you are et cetera. I think that was a really important point you made there, I appreciate that.