In spite of initial fears to the contrary, the pandemic environment turned out to be a great time to invest in commercial real estate, particularly multifamily and industrial properties. Many funds have been launched to pursue various segments of the real estate universe, from those focusing on affordable housing to those pursuing new sub-types of logistics facilities to those with a social equity vision. But how are real estate firms behind these funds raising equity in an environment in which many capital sources might be nervous about what the outlook is for both the near- and long-term and when in-person meetings might still be challenging?
Over the past year, we've talked to multiple commercial real estate insiders who were raising money for or already deploying such funds to gain insight into how the process has been changing as a result of both the COVID-19 pandemic and new technologies for reaching potential investors. Our sources ranged from Blackfin Real Estate Investors, a Virginia-based firm that focuses on value-add plays, to Los Angeles-based Cottonwood Group, which goes after diversified, larger scale projects, to Martin Muoto, whose firm SoLa Impact puts an emphasis on a social equity compoment.
In the following gallery, we talk to 12 investment firms about their pandemic era equity-raising efforts, as well as the strategies they are pursuing for investing in commercial real estate.