Real estate crowdfunding platform AssetAvenue has announced the hiring of former FDIC official Eddie Prosser as their Senior Vice President of Real Estate Investments.
Mr. Prosser will be charged with enhancing broker and lender partnerships along with developing Asset Avenue’s technological capabilities.
“Eddie is one of the most sophisticated commercial real estate executives in the field and has a passion to improve the process for investors using technology,” said David Manshoory, founder and CEO of AssetAvenue. “His leadership will guide the growth of our proprietary underwriting platform and further develop our strategic industry alliances and partners.”
During his decade-plus in real estate, Mr. Prosser had influence with more than $1.5 billion worth of acquisitions, dispositions, financing, and management. He joins AssetAvenue from Legacy Partners where he acquired, developed and managed multifamily and mixed-use opportunities.
While with the FDIC, Mr. Prosser disposed of real estate assets from failed institutions, assisted with bank closures, and served in marketing. He graduated from the Marshall School of Business at the USC and holds a real estate broker’s license in California.
Mr. Prosser recently spent a few moments with Bankless Times to discuss the real estate industry and his role with AssetAvenue.
The release announcing your hiring mentions you will use your acquisition and financing experience to build the company’s tech platform. Can you elaborate on that? Are you looking at acquisitions of firms with useful technology, or refining API’s?
Over the last decade, I have honed my underwriting, acquisition, finance and management skills across a wide variety of asset classes. I plan to leverage that experience and combine it with AssetAvenue’s exciting efforts to create efficient, streamlined lending procedures surrounding every aspect of the borrower experience. With regard to the acquisition of firms or refining API’s, this is definitely on the forefront but is not currently planned in the near term.
Mr. Manshoory mentioned your passion to improve the investor experience through technology. In which ways can it be improved?
AssetAvenue provides investors with the opportunity to deploy capital efficiently into loans by doing all the heavy lifting of in-depth underwriting and investment analysis for them. We also provide real time data and communication with our investors on their portfolio, which is a great added value for our typically busy accredited investors.
In the striving for efficiency of technology, is there the risk that a level of customer service is lost? How do you balance those two?
I believe that customer service is undergoing a metamorphosis in today’s marketplace. The experience investors demand today isn’t necessarily synonymous with the traditional customer service expectation of picking up the phone and waiting on a call. The great thing about technology is that it provides real time feedback and fast, efficient reporting, which is of high priority to our investors. They don’t want to be waiting for a quarterly update in the mail – they want immediate access whenever and wherever they are, and AssetAvenue provides that experience.
You worked at the FDIC managing real estate and other assets for various receiverships at a time of many bank failures and when many businesses and individuals lost their homes and workplaces. What was that experience like and what general lessons did you take from your time there? Did that experience change you in any way?
I vastly expanded my knowledge base in real estate across a large variety of geographic locations and asset classes, but perhaps even more importantly, I learned how to lead teams, how to manage staff members, and how to make key decisions on the fly. I feel like my experiences at the FDIC have changed me for the better and greatly contributed to my expertise.
What was wrong with the traditional economic system and why did it fail on such a massive scale?
Although there are a number of reasons that contributed to the last real estate collapse, I believe the largest factor was the over extension of credit to unqualified home buyers. That over-extension then precipitated the loose credit underwriting practices of development and construction loans to home builders, done by lending institutions that did not employ proper credit standards and who didn’t have sufficient capital reserves to shore themselves against the underperforming assets.
One’s view on the extent of the recovery in real estate is partially shaped on where in the U.S. they are located. Can you share some of the differences between the different areas of the country and how this affects the types of opportunities available in those regions?
Real estate values are largely tied to the local economy, job growth, cost of living, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. Where there is imbalance in these drivers, there is opportunity for market mispricing whether there is fear or hope in the marketplace recovery. For example, for areas that didn’t have a diversified economy like Detroit, values fell the hardest because the city experienced an exodus of jobs and values across the board felt that hit. By comparison markets like Denver and Austin, with a diverse job base, were able to weather the storm much better.
Now that real estate investing is available to more investors, who is getting involved for the first time? Any surprises?
I think what we’ve been most happy to see is that most of our accredited investors are simply busy working professionals who haven’t had the time or access to easily diversify their portfolio into passive, fixed-income investments before AssetAvenue. It’s been great to see the level of excitement that our investors have for investing in our real estate notes.
When I interviewed Mr. Manshoory in March he mentioned the investor communication strategy (given the additional investor pool) doesn’t have to be more complex but it does have to be more robust. As you now have access to a larger pool of investors, do you have to change your communication approach in any way?
No, we intend on continuing to provide our investors with a robust dashboard that gives them real-time access and data into the performance of their loan portfolio. We constantly solicit feedback from our investors to look for additional ways to improve their experience, which simply adds to the experience they are already having today as one of our valued investors.