As the National Rental Home Council’s celebrates its four-year anniversary this week, we are taking a look back at where things were when the NRHC launched in March 2014. Roofstock CEO + co-founder Gary Beasley shares his thoughts on how the single-family rental industry has evolved and where it is heading:
How were you involved with the NRHC when it launched, and how has that evolved over the past four years?
I was co-CEO of Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust (now part of Invitation Homes) and we had just gone public at the time the NRHC launched in 2014, and am proud of the fact that that we were one of the four founding members of the organization. Back then the vision was more limited to the needs of the largest institutional players in the space, but the organization has since evolved to embrace a much broader mission to represent the interests of owners and service providers throughout the growing SFR ecosystem.
What’s changed in the industry that you didn’t expect in 2014?
Probably the biggest surprise is how quickly SFR has become a legitimate institutional sector. It had always been a large and dynamic industry for mom-and-pop investors, but I thought it would take a decade or more for institutional investors to get as comfortable as they have in less than half that time with the space both on the debt and equity side. The question about whether this is simply a trade, or whether this is a real business, has been soundly answered as investors have voted with their feet (and dollars)!
What are you most excited to see in the next four years?
I am most excited to see how technology can continue to help the SFR sector mature, both for institutional and individual investors. The advent of cloud and mobile computing, as well as the emergence of AI and machine learning, provide potential to improve service, drive down costs, and increase accessibility to the sector for investors of all shapes and sizes. I fundamentally believe in the attractiveness of US housing as an investment, and over the next four years am confident we will see more investors getting exposure to SFR, whether through REITS, private funds, direct ownership or fractionalized interests made possible by cryptocurrencies/Blockchain or other innovative approaches.
Gary Beasley is CEO + co-founder of NRHC member Roofstock, the leading online marketplace for investing in leased single-family rental homes, with listings in 25 markets across the U.S. To learn more about Roofstock, visit: www.roofstock.com.