Education Centre

US Real Estate Opportunity in a Time of COVID-19 and How to Stay Connected while Being Isolated!

By Gregory M. Colford, B.A., J.D., C.I.M.®

Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems; somewhere in between lies reality – Lou Holtz

Many of us these days feel like Schrödinger’s cat – having to be present and absent at the same time! Last April 30th we demonstrated to one of our clients that being isolated does not mean being disconnected. Working with Terra Firma Capital Corporation, a TSVX listed real estate finance company that provides customized debt and equity solutions to the real estate industry, we organized a webinar to deliver meaningful and timely advice on matters relevant to the investor base. Among its slate of undertakings, structuring successful financial opportunities in the US real estate market for Canadian investors is a key driver of its business.

With a majority of its investors marooned at home we engineered the webinar How Real Estate Lenders & Investors Can Navigate the US Markets Amidst Unprecedented Times to hit on the key issues Canadian investors in US real estate are grappling with in this time of COVID. Terra Firma’s Chair Dov Meyer and its CEO Glenn Watchorn introduced leading US expert advisor Greg Vogel of the Land Advisors Organization.

The webinar was successful. We pulled 160 expressions of interest that morphed into 87 attendees with which we were exceedingly pleased. Ordinarily only 35% to 40% of registrants actually convert to attendees. Not only did the topic prove timely, but the format allowed everyone to participate from the safety of their home!

Land Advisors key observation was that though COVID has been highly disruptive, there is strong evidence that it will be short lived. Unlike 2008, there is no housing glut – in fact, in growth markets throughout the US the opposite is true. House sales prior to COVID were very strong; since commencing recovery, house sales have improved week to week. A key takeaway is that transactions are not being canceled; they are simply being delayed. Yes, the second quarter will be a disaster, but expect strong recovery on the horizon. Interest rates are going to remain low and construction costs may fall. Very much unlike 2008 where housing was one of the leading causes of the “great correction”, Land Advisors suggested housing may very well be the way out of any recession consequent of COVID.

Land Advisors was bullish on several fronts including: Build-for-rent, lending, new home building and lot and land banking (an expert niche for Terra Firma). Following a dynamic Q&A curated by Fundscraper’s Luan Ha the webinar wound up with Dov Meyer reminding all to ready themselves for a time of opportunity.

Living up to the quote with which Greg Vogel began, the seminar reminded us that “Nothing is as good or as bad as it seems; somewhere in between lies reality”.

Fundscraper is pleased to make the seminar available to all here:

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Terra Firma, Land Advisors or Fundscaper, please feel free to reach out to Luan Ha

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gregory Colford
Gregory Colford

PRINCIPAL BROKER, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT & CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER

Gregory Colford, JD, CIM, was a senior partner at Heenan Blaikie LLP, once one of Canada’s ten largest law firms. Over his 12 years at Heenan Blaikie LLP, he headed the Toronto Securities Department, the Corporate Services Department, the Precedent Committee, the Legal Opinion Precedent Committee, and was the Toronto representative on the firm’s Stock Trading Committee. Through the course of his practice, he brought many companies to the public capital markets and advised extensively on corporate governance, board integrity, and market compliance.  He was also the co-founder of Carlisle Capital Structures Corporation and helped the company grow to over $1 billion CAD in AUM of mortgage securities on behalf of a top tier Ontario pension fund.