In May, Stream Realty announced its entry into the multifamily sector with the hiring of former Apartment Realty Advisors (ARA) Principal Jeff Patterson. The plan was to incorporate a traditional investment-sales platform with property, construction, and asset management.
Though brokerage would incorporate about 75 percent of its business, the property, construction and asset management divisions would make Stream a bit of a multifamily trailblazer. Multifamily Executive learned that the plan took further shape this week with the hiring of JPI and ARA-veteran Matt Heininger as senior vice president of multifamily. The firm also hired industry veteran Colleen Grahn as vice president of multifamily operations, as well as seven others.
Grahn, who worked at Gables Residential and oversaw a portfolio in excess of 10,000 units at Alliance Residential, will lead the growth in the third-property management business for the Stream multifamily division.
“The multifamily leadership team has over 30 years' experience in multifamily operations in diverse backgrounds to support the full spectrum of management services [conventional, affordable, mixed use, student, senior, mid-rise, high-rise, garden style and lease-ups],” Grahn says. “This is an exciting time for Stream and presents a unique opportunity for associates for personal and professional growth.”
Patterson expects the relationships that Stream builds with clients to carry over from investment sales into property management.
“A lot of what we do on the business-development side is either with folks that have responsibility for multifamily assets or own them themselves,” he says. “If I have an understanding of an owner and his 10 assets or an asset manager and the assets they oversee, I know them very well whether I’m looking at that from an investment-sales standpoint or property-management standpoint. It allows us to approach an owner with a more robust menu of services.”
Stream, which has a foothold in retail, office, and industrial, is moving into the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi multifamily markets, with anticipation to expand nationwide. Grahn says the property management group will focus initially on the central Texas markets and spread across the other cities in which Stream has a strong presence.
“The priority is the markets where we see the right opportunities,” Patterson says. “The Texas markets are large markets. There is a lot of volume there.”
A New Model
In some ways, the multifamily ecosystem is very segmented. Investment sales companies mainly focus on transactions, while operations is often left to management-specific firms (assuming the owner doesn’t do those services itself, as REITs do). The idea of being a one-stop shop to owners and asset managers, however, isn’t revolutionary in the commercial space.
“I think this is just the multifamily space catching up with the commercial space where it's commonplace for a commercial real estate firm [think CBRE] to offer the full range of services: Investment sales, leasing, property management and construction services,” said Lisa Robinson, COO of ARA in an email.
The all-inclusive business model is an idea whose time has come, others agree.
“The concept of a full service brokerage and management company provides a more seamless transfer of in-depth knowledge of operations for a specific asset,” said Reid Bennett, national council chair of multifamily properties for SVN International, in an email. “This is best accomplished when a company contains specialized teams for brokerage and management that are able to collaborate with each other to provide the best possible service for the client.”
Dave Woodward, president of New York-based CompassRock Real Estate, thinks Stream may have to move past perception issues among apartment owners.
“Owners may view it as, ‘If you’re a great owner, you won’t be a great manager and vice versa,’” he says.
But Woodward admits there’s also an alignment of incentives that makes sense, if Stream brings in seasoned managers.
“If you’re managing it really-really well, you’re increasing the value which only increases your brokerage commission,” he says. “So you have the incentive to manage it well and you can get a good commission as the result.”
Here are some details on the nine recent Stream hirings:
• Matt Heininger, Senior Vice President, Multifamily: As senior vice president, Heininger will support Patterson in the Austin office and will lead the new division operations in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi markets. Heininger joined Stream Realty with more than 17 years of experience in the multifamily industry, nine of which were spent leading an investment sales team for a national multifamily brokerage platform.
• Colleen Grahn, Vice President, Multifamily Operations: Grahn will be based in the Austin office and will lead the growth in the third-property management business for Stream Realty’s multifamily division. She has 25 years of experience in multifamily and previously worked for Gables Residential and Alliance Residential, where she oversaw a portfolio in excess of 10,000 units.
• Max Reinbach, Vice President, Multifamily and Brokerage: Reinbach will be based in the Austin office and responsible for growing the third party fee management platform in Central Texas. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Reinbach worked for Greystar Real Estate Partners, where he served as a director in the Market Principal Group.
• Kelly Witherspoon, Vice President, Multifamily: Witherspoon will be based in the Austin office and specializes in Texas apartment markets, specifically Austin and other secondary markets. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Witherspoon worked with a national multifamily brokerage company as Vice President focusing on business development and transaction advisory services throughout Texas.
• Jonathan Boone, Vice President, Multifamily: Boone will also be based in the Austin office and will focus on research, investment sales and underwriting in Texas apartment markets. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Boone served 10 years at ARA as transaction manager and vice president, and focused on business development and transaction advisory services throughout Texas secondary and tertiary markets.
• Boyce Rigby, Associate, Multifamily: Rigby will be based in the New Orleans, Louisiana office and responsible for transaction management, marketing, underwriting, and business development in Louisiana and Mississippi. He will focus on conventional, student and affordable multifamily assets in these markets. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Rigby worked with a national multifamily brokerage firm and has been involved in multi-million dollar transactions with active involvement in valuations, negotiations, due diligence and closing.
• Chad Rigby, Associate, Multifamily: Rigby serves as transaction manager in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana office and responsible for all aspects of multifamily investment sales and business development through the Class B and Class C assets in the Louisiana and Mississippi markets. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Rigby was an investment sales broker at a boutique commercial real estate firm in Baton Rouge.
• Charles Marrs, Senior Financial Analyst, Multifamily: Marrs will be based in Austin and responsible for market research, underwriting, and financial analysis of projects for the new multifamily division. Prior to joining Stream Realty, Marss fulfilled the same role at a national multifamily brokerage company, focusing on secondary markets in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
• Patty Roberts, Graphic Designer, Multifamily: Roberts will be based in Austin and responsible for supporting the sales and marketing efforts of the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi teams. Roberts has been supporting multifamily property marketing efforts since 2006 at a national multifamily brokerage firm.