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the state of the industry from an expert's perspective

In this week’s blog, I am turning it over to Auben Columbia’s Market Sales Manager, Chris deTreville, and his thoughts on what a 20-year scatter site residential rental professional thinks about new construction rentals and specifically intentionally developed (build-for-rent) rental communities. 

Chris’ recent  trip to IMN’s Build for Rent conference unexpectedly brought Chris back not only to his early real estate days, but also his high school days. 

As Columbia Market Sales Manager, Chris points out below the iterative journey of change we all experience in high school and as a beginning real estate professional persists even at the highest level of high finance and development. No matter how much experience and capital you have, a dynamic debt and sales market always has a way of humbling even the most seasoned senior professional. Read below to hear from Chris:  

Being a teenager is a difficult time, which most of us apply selective memory to.  Your brain is going haywire and your body is simply trying to do all the changes and still fit into your skin.  Though few express it outwardly, all teenagers are full of doubt.  Yet inevitably, internally, you think everyone around you is doing it the right way and you are just fumbling along.  Most teenagers think everyone has it figured out as they stay fixated on their shortcomings.  The reality, of course, is that everyone else is feeling the same way.  Some of your classmates and friends may be more vocal about expressing it or conversely be better at hiding it. In the end, we always discover everyone is just figuring it out through an iterative journey.. 

When I started my real estate career in 2006, I knew next to nothing about selling a house.  I was a warm body in a model home selling spec homes in what turned out to be, in retrospect, a really crazy real estate environment.  I had no idea that buyers were purchasing these homes with subprime mortgages.  I didn’t even know what subprime  meant until much later.  

Turns out nobody else in the industry, including lenders, really understood the negative impact these loans would have on millions of people.  We understand it now, as we always do with the benefit of rear view vision.  But, during the boom and bust of the great housing bubble, everyone was caught in the frenetic pace. A similar frenetic pace to the one  that has captured the last couple of years of residential rental investment and development 

Nearly 20 years into my real estate career at this point, I can draw on that experience in order to have a much more measured approach to the business.  But as I recently learned, even the most seasoned, senior real estate professionals and investors still have to rely on an iterative journey to success.  

I recently had the opportunity to tag along with Auben Capital Partners founder, Tyson Schuetze, to IMN’s Build to Rent conference in Nashville this past week.  Panelists discussed a myriad of topics, including financing, deal structure, product type and design. As expected, even how to best leverage AI for maximum efficiency was given airtime.  Being new to the build-to-rent model, I was there to learn.  

As I discussed with Tyson at the conclusion of the event, it was very clear that no matter the experience level or how many millions of dollars in capital a panelist has allocated to  the build-to-rent business, everyone was there to learn.  

It was restated many times how the model and asset class is very new, existing just a handful of years in a very dynamic market and economy.  

Even though there were seasoned builders, investors, developers and lenders, not one panelist was able to draw from 20 years of experience specific to build to rent.   It was clear they were all forging their own path, trying to figure out best practices, and unlike a teenager they were there express and discuss those concerns and doubts outwardly so we could all benefit from the collective successes and mistakes of the group.  One could see directly we were all drawing from our combined experience for a more measured approach to build to rent, which is on its own iterative journey to standardization.  

If you are interested in learning how Chris and his team are tackling new construction rentals working with local builders and developers in Columbia, SC, please email him at cdetreville@aubenrealty.com