The Value of a Vetted Marketplace

What would you pay to have access to only the best of everything? If you could guarantee that your pizza would always be Brooklyn quality. That your vehicle would always offer Italian performance and German handling. That your pilot was going to fly like Chesley Sullenberger.

What if you could ensure the people you are doing business with are accredited, accomplished, and trustworthy? Regardless of Uber horror stories, it’s a step up from hitch hiking and if you lost your wallet in a cab… good luck. Do you want to buy your tickets from a shady scalper or through a guaranteed secondary ticket market, like StubHub?

The value in having someone vet the person standing on the other side of the market is magnified tremendously in white collar industries. And in an industry filled with rumors and false promises, real estate deserves special mention.

The “real estate investor” who is ready to shop your deal around without you knowing. The broker connected to a listing through a mile-long string of people. No one wants to work with these people and, unfortunately, for every qualified and efficient professional there are ten of these unsavory individuals.

One of the most challenging aspects of the trade of institutional real estate is avoiding the people that complicate deals, burning away hours and destroying deals. No one works tirelessly to remove these individuals from your world… until now.

Brevitas is this filter. Our sellers are direct on any asset they sell. Buyers on Brevitas are liquid.

In the formative days of Brevitas we were dejected when we had to turn down listing after listing, but we did. Time and time again. We had – and still have – a thorough vetting process that requires everyone listing assets on the platform to offer a Letter of Authorization or other equitable proof they directly represent an asset. Flagship assets rolled on to the platform and, to our chagrin, we turned them down time and time again because the individual selling couldn’t even whiff at what broker really had the listing. It was tough.

And it is paying off. Legitimate sellers brought us significant assets. And our buyers began to trust us to bring them not only deals they cannot find anywhere else, but to connect them with someone who can immediately close. Not someone, who knows someone, that has a friend, that has the listing – and, of course – they’re all going to take their bite out of the apple.

In the same vein we’ve been inundated with potential buyers. Working with captains of industry and real estate acquisitions professionals behind some of the world’s most powerful buying institutions has been a mutually wonderful experience. There is another side to that coin – we flipped through thousands of buyers that had no business having access to the listings we sourced and could never connect our sellers to. And we had to turn them down.

What did that leave us with? A chiseled marketplace. How are we doing it? Brick-by-brick. We use proprietary technology and, honestly, individualized research to personally vet every individual that wants access to Brevitas and every listing placed on our platform.

It takes an incredible amount of work, but we know this is a core value that we offer to our members.

When you use Brevitas, you can rest assured that we are linking you to real assets and real buyers. And even then, you still have selective control over who you want to work with, filtering your buyers and assets based on whatever criteria you decide.

Our commitment to quality is our bond. As long as you work with us, we promise to work diligently to only connect you with the individuals you deserve to work with.

-Raymond Pressley, COO


Harnessing the International Real Estate Investor

Seasoned commercial real estate experts know many of the buyers in their region. They’ve worked in their market for years and built an impressive list of contacts and established relationships with important individuals – titans of industry. This leads many dispositions professionals to believe they have access to every buyer and are going to get the best and highest price for their asset. And, in a number of instances, they are correct… but they may be forgetting a person or two.

What about the international real estate investor?

What about that Taiwanese buyer looking to stash some cash in American real estate? The investor that would buy their asset for $5 million more than any domestic buyer in their Rolodex. The investor who will buy it sight unseen and close within 15 days. Maybe that international real estate investor was worth trying to find. Right?

The globalization of commercial real estate is very real. Whether the investments are borne from the esteem associated with purchasing American real estate, higher yields relative to their domestic markets, or just as a means to house money – the cash is coming in and there is more money than there are means for foreign investors to find the right assets here.

There are legions of qualified investors across the globe looking for real estate in the United States. While some of them are well represented by stateside teams, many of them still lack the local expertise and relationships to compete for assets here, despite being as capable as local buyers when it comes time to close a deal.

Wealthy Chinese investors already occupy the role as the largest group of foreign investors purchasing real estate in the United States. Many Chinese investors are looking to diversify out of China in order to hedge their bets or to move some of their resources after taking hits in domestic equity markets. This sense of urgency is further compounded by the recent devaluations of the Yuan.

Connecting buyers and sellers across the globe has been a core focus of Brevitas and is something we have worked diligently at. Our buyer pool features top investment firms and individual investors from Guangzhou to Bangalore. Every day we are building our relationships overseas to connect our domestic members with assets and investors from across the globe. Connect with international real estate investors and assets today on Brevitas.

Why Sell Off-Market? The Cost of Failure.

One week. Two weeks. A month. Two months. Three months.

Tick, tock, tick, tock. That’s the sound of a pocketbook getting lighter… and someone being fired. The age old adage “Time Is Money” is as accurate in real estate as anywhere else.

While most individuals who work with institutional-grade and flagship commercial real estate are keenly aware of the myriad reasons that assets are sold off-market, every now and then I am approached by an individual asking me why anyone wouldn’t publicly list an asset. I mean, if you are trying to sell something, you want to get it under as many noses as possible, right?

Not so. Not when the Cost of Failure in commercial real estate is so high.

Let’s draw a nonconforming parallel. I have a bottle of Coca-Cola that I want to sell. I walk up and down the streets of San Francisco parading this bottle of soda, offering to sell it at market-rate. Let’s say I do this for a month and, much to my chagrin, no one buys it. Disregarding the wear and tear from taking that bottle everywhere with me for a month, that bottle of soda will maintain its value as long as every other retailer in the city doesn’t drop their soda prices. I could offer to sell it for less, but the market isn’t forcing me to. As such, I should be doing everything I can to sell the soda; posting it on Craigslist, creating a website for it, maybe I’ll even conduct a direct mail campaign for it.

One thing is for sure: the fact that I am failing to sell that soda is not impacting the value of Coca-Cola soda. This is not how real estate works.

In the vast majority of instances, real estate values are driven by market forces. This is often the best determinate of the actual value of the asset, although not in every scenario. Let’s create a more apt hypothetical situation:

I have a unique multifamily asset in a prime San Francisco neighborhood that is underpriced at $40 million. Maybe I am looking to close quickly. I call my broker and the asset goes on the public market. While this asset would appeal to a number of buyers, the individuals who would be ready to jump on it may have their liquidity tied up in other deals, another may be in Barcelona for the month visiting their daughter at boarding school and taking in the sights, and yet another working on expanding growth in a different geographic region for this financial quarter.

Whatever the case, my multifamily asset didn’t sell within a month. Every buyer in the marketplace saw it and whether I try to keep selling it or bring it back on the market a year from now, the value of my asset just took a serious nose dive. Maybe I **unfairly** fired my broker and he was a good guy – helluva golfer. So, now my asset has lost value and I lost a good broker. I am being hyperbolic, but you get the point. I was in a strong negotiating position at the beginning of the month and am screwed by the end of it.
That’s the cost of failure.

And this – THIS – is why you sell off-market. You sell off-market to dictate the value of your asset. You sell off-market to maintain fair negotiating position. I’m savvy (well, this iteration of me – the one with the prime multifamily asset – is) and the buyers interested in my asset are savvy. We know what a fair price for this asset is and could have found it while the open market, in this instance, only served to hurt me.

In reality, I could begin to list a dozen or so reasons a party chooses to sell an asset off-market, although, the point is that there are a number of reasons to choose this route… and one of the many reasons is the Cost of Failure.

– Ardian Zagari, CEO, Brevitas


Document Lockbox for real estate due diligence

Ty Warner, of the famous toy empire, once said “Even perfection has room for improvement.” While I would never feel comfortable saying we are perfect, I have a similar respect for the importance of improvement. That is why we are excited to introduce some exciting improvements to the Brevitas platform that add additional efficiency and simplicity to real estate due diligence.

We knew Brevitas was a useful tool because of the way in which it increases transactional efficiency. Members can send confidentiality agreements and communicate with each other at the click of a button. They can meet investors and sellers that exist far outside of their network in ways that they never could have before. The ability to source new business partners and transact with them so quickly is a very powerful tool, but one we knew we could improve. What happens once they connect? They begin sending a flurry of documents back and forth.

So we built a document lockbox. A place on Brevitas where our members could securely interact with each other individually and exchange documents. This virtual deal room holds every real estate due diligence document, enabling you to track every document you have sent in a place far more secure than your mail client. At Brevitas, we aim to assist you along the entire process to save you valuable time… and money.

While adding new and useful features will always be a primary focus for our development team, it is important to me that we are always looking at ways to improve what we have already built. This is a daily exercise and a challenging one as well. Examining the work you have done in the past with a completely fresh perspective is a perplexing challenge and one that I take tackling very seriously. This is why we revamped our listings page for sellers.

The My Listings pages worked well before. Members who were selling assets could scroll through their assets and make changes, but we saw that the functionality could be improved. The My Listings page now better reflects the rest of the platform with an interactive map anchoring the page, the member’s assets listed on the left, and all of their deal flow statistics are located on the right side. The purpose Brevitas serves is to take every challenge that someone selling a real estate asset faces, find the ones that can be eliminated, and eliminate them. This means having an amazing interface that allows you to effortlessly see the status of every asset you are working with and how it’s performing in the marketplace.

Continued improvement of the platform – be it the addition of crucial, new features or improving what we’ve already built – is one of our top priorities. Our goal is, and always has been, improving the process of buying and selling private commercial real estate assets. We aim to continually add efficiency for our members.