Investing In An Investor-First Approach

Dec 2, 2022 | Investment Insights, Multi-Family Advice

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From Day One at Wildhorn Capital, we have been an Investor-first company.  I’ve often said that we’re in the relationship business—not the real estate investment business.  Every decision we make as a company is through the lens of our investors.  Whether that is an investment decision related to a new acquisition or analyzing the strategic direction for the company we process those decisions through an investor-first filter.

The main reason we’ve stayed focused on Central Texas rather than expanding?  We think it serves our investors better.  The reason our office space is less than 900 square feet for 6 people?  Keeping our expenses low allows us to make the investment decisions we want to make—rather than the ones we have to make to generate a fee.  Why don’t we start up a fund?  You guessed it—we think it doesn’t serve our investors the best.

We really and truly want our investors to know that when they invest with Wildhorn, we have their best interests at heart.

And we want them to have a first-class experience with us. While we desire to stay boutique in our operations, we strive to create an investor experience that feels like it’s coming from a company ten times our size.  To that end, we’ve chosen to work with the biggest independent Tax Accounting firm in Texas.  Our legal work is handled by the largest Austin-based Law Firm.  We could absolutely choose to work with cheaper, smaller operations on both accounts.  But by doing so, we couldn’t look investors in the eye and tell them we’re doing everything we can to maximize and protect their investment in and alongside Wildhorn.

Along those lines, we’ve spent the last 6 months investing in a new Investor Portal—our online website that investors use to monitor their investment(s) with Wildhorn. Wrapped up in this portal we send out our regular communications and reporting, post end of year tax documents and most importantly manage calculate and administer quarterly distributions.

In the early parts of 2022, we sat down and realized that our existing Investor Portal was no longer providing an Investor-first experience.  It was a fine product and checked a lot of boxes, but it wasn’t best-in-class.  As a result, we recognized we had migrated away from the Portal for many of the regular tasks it was supposed to handle.

So we decided to make a switch.  And make another investment into the Wildhorn Investor experience. After an exhaustive review of the companies and products out on the market, we selected the one that best fit our wants for our investors’ and their experience with Wildhorn.

First, that meant a streamlined and first-class Distribution experience.  In our previous iteration, we were having to rely on our property management company to manage our Investor Distributions.  They did a great job—but we didn’t control the end-to-end process.  When questions arose about the whereabouts of a distribution, we didn’t have the answers and had to ask our property accountants to ask the bank for the status of a particular check of ACH.  That game of telephone caused delays in getting back to Investors, and we realized we needed to be able to administer Distributions directly from our bank account to investors’ so that we controlled the entire chain.  We needed the visibility and accountability to track every cent we send to investors.

Second, we prioritized the Investment Performance dashboard.  When an investor logs in to our portal, we want them to be able to quickly access the information they are looking for.  Whether that is the most recent quarterly report for a single asset or a holistic view of their total investment and return performance with us, we wanted to ensure investors could quickly access the view and information that was important to them.

Finally, we wanted to streamline and simplify the investing experience on the front end and make it easy to review and evaluate our new offerings.  The ability to see all of our offering materials, commit to the deal, electronically review and sign the documents and ultimately fund the investment.  All in one place.  And in one sitting (if that is what you wanted to do).

Ultimately, we landed on a solution that checked all those boxes and more.  It provides great online security and seamlessly integrates with our website; we can manage all of our monthly Investor communications through the portal and post all subscription and tax documents there as well.

From the beginning of our search to final implementation it took nearly 6 months to get set up and transition our investors to the new platform.  It costs us five times more than our previous solution.  And it required an immense amount of time and energy from our team to cross reference and double check that all our historical data was ported over correctly. But today we sit here knowing our first quarterly distribution of over $800,000 was processed to investors via the portal and we’ve invested in a solution that best serves investors.

Putting Investors first will never not be our focus at Wildhorn.  And we’re excited about (and proud of) our new portal.

Note: If you’d like to see around the portal, please reach out and we can set you up with an account if you don’t already have one.