Mission-Driven Private Equity Real Estate: Improving Lives Through Real Estate

Post by 
Dan Croce

Birgo Capital’s private equity real estate funds offer accredited investors the opportunity to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through income, appreciation, and the retirement of debt over time. We typically discuss the various aspects of real estate investment strategies on this blog – cap rates, investment product types, interest rate movements, and collections updates are typical areas of analysis. However, we less frequently consider the question of the deeper “why” that motivates our business strategy. In today’s analysis, we’ll approach things from a different perspective: Birgo’s core purpose of “improving lives through real estate.”  

As a vertically integrated owner/operator of workforce housing assets in the Rust Belt, we have a unique interaction point with a variety of stakeholders. In addition to stewarding capital on behalf of our investors, we provide shelter for residents of our properties, a career path and work context for employees, and a visible impact on the physical infrastructure in the communities in which we invest. How does the investment activity of Birgo Capital impact the wellbeing of this diverse array of stakeholders?

Improving the Lives of Our Investors

It goes without saying that the stewardship of investor capital is of the utmost importance to us. Our investors are the primary customers of Birgo Capital, and we are determined to ensure that we have a positive impact on them. To Birgo, this means that we execute on the investment strategy that was articulated to our investors when they committed to us. We make investment decisions with wisdom and the utmost care, and then we oversee those investments with rigor and excellence. External factors notwithstanding, this generally results in consistent performance that aligns with the expectations that were established from the outset of the relationship. 

While financial execution is of obvious importance, we believe we can contribute to the wellbeing of our investors by continually building upon the trust we have with them. To us, this means transparent, consistent, and engaging communication, timely reporting and compliance, and a smooth user experience. And let’s not forget – to Birgo Capital, improving the lives of our investors also means that we encourage a fun investor experience! Through annual events, property tours, or happy hour meetups, building healthy relationships that contribute to better quality of life for our investors is something that we don’t take lightly. 

Birgo Capital Principals Andrew Reichert and Dan Croce discuss private equity real estate investment strategy.

Improving the Lives of Our Tenants

The vertical integration component of Birgo’s business strategy puts us in the unique position of being able to impact the residents of our properties in a meaningful way. For those individuals who call a Birgo property “home,” the way that we interact with them has a significant bearing on their day-to-day lives. We are careful to handle these relationships with great care, to ensure that we provide a dignifying resident experience at all of our properties. To Birgo, this means keeping a formal steady pulse on tenant satisfaction through disciplined monitoring of inbound call response rates, soliciting tenant feedback through maintenance surveys and move-in surveys and tracking performance on these over time, and care-filled, humble follow-up on any subpar reviews. 

It also means investing significant time and energy into ensuring that our team members embody our core values in how they interact with tenants on a daily basis. Embracing a customer-first mentality is a requirement for our property management employees to excel in their roles. We believe that, in a world where property management companies at affordable properties often carry a bad reputation, steady investment into maintaining highly respectful relationships with tenants will continue to distinguish Birgo as a different type of landlord. 

Fallowfield Apartments in Beechview, just south of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Improving the Lives of Our Employees

Another key stakeholder that is impacted by Birgo Capital’s investment activities is our employees. The Birgo team does not consist only of investment professionals; rather, it includes over 50 individuals ranging from property managers and maintenance technicians to administrative staff and investment analysts. For each individual that is “on the bus,” we dedicate significant time and energy to their personal and professional development. We believe that if our employees are thriving and demonstrating our core values, it will ultimately result in a better return on investment that we achieve for our investors.  

To us, this means quarterly social outings, weekly “Fridays are For Winners” happy hours, and detailed professional development roadmaps for each individual. Most recently, given the challenges that accompany the adjustment to remote work, it has meant encouraging our staff to focus on self-care with company-wide facilitated Mental Health Days. Our conviction is that even if the real estate market is booming, our investment outcomes will be suboptimal if our people are not thriving. So, we invest into improving the lives of our employees by operating in a values-driven culture that consistently recognizes team members for their contributions.  

Birgo Realty and Birgo Capital team members work together to improve lives through real estate through property management and private equity real estate funds.

Improving the Lives of Citizens Within Our Communities

As property owners in a variety of different communities within our investment footprint, it is important to Birgo that we be good citizens and contribute to the betterment of the neighborhoods in which we invest. This not only improves the value of the properties in our portfolio by making the neighborhoods more attractive, but it also improves the lives of our neighbors. Sometimes this takes the form of a simple landscaping project that beautifies the exterior of a highly visible property. Other times it means spending time getting to know the governmental administrators in a particular jurisdiction, so we can be sure we understand the relevant codes and regulations in a particular municipality. It can also take the form of our quarterly volunteer days in which our team members get out in the communities where we invest and come alongside various non-profit organizations to help support their mission. 

It is important to Birgo Capital to cultivate an awareness that as a property owner, we have an impact, for better or worse, on the communities in which we invest. We believe that committing to make that impact a positive one will pay dividends.

Conclusion

While it’s true that we are a private equity real estate investment company that is ultimately held accountable based on how our funds perform for our investors, we do what we do because we believe it can contribute meaningfully to improving the lives of all of our stakeholders. At Birgo, this is the “fire in the belly” for our investors, tenants, employees, and communities day in and day out, and we’re committed to executing on it to the very best of our ability. If you are an accredited investor that would like to learn more about investment opportunities with Birgo Capital, please reach out to us. 


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