image

business forward

Roofstock Buys Great Jones to Help Investors Profit From Real Estate - Business Insider

  • Single-family rental marketplace Roofstock has acquired property management firm Great Jones.
  • Roofstock's CEO said the move will help individual investors buy and manage homes remotely.
  • The company is dominating the single-family rental tech world, seeing 10x growth from last year.

It's about to get easier to invest in real estate without lifting a finger.

Roofstock, the single-family rental marketplace turned one-stop-shop for investors, has acquired Great Jones, an Oakland-based single-family rental property management company, for an undisclosed sum, the company told Insider. 

Roofstock lets investors buy or sell rental properties, or even just shares in rental properties if they can't afford an entire house. The homes usually already have tenants for built-in income. 

Investors can buy a house to rent out through Roofstock, then have Great Jones handle day-to-day tasks, from coordinating with specialists for HVAC or plumbing issues to handling smaller fixes on site. Roofstock's goal is to create "a fully digital retail investing experience typically only available to larger investors," according to a press release. 

In 2018, the company acquired property management firm Streetlane Homes, which catered to large institutional owners. Now Rooftstock can also provide services to individual investors who may only own one or two properties for reliable rent checks. 

"Small investors are less concerned about optimizing for rent," Gary Beasley, CEO and cofounder of Roofstock, told Insider. "Instead they're more likely to say 'Make it easy for me.'"

Before the acquisition, Great Jones — not to be confused with the buzzy cookwear company — had 5,000 homes under management in southern cities like Austin and Raleigh and across much of the super-hot Sun Belt region. It has raised more than $30 million in venture financing from investors like MongoDB and Business Insider cofounder Kevin Ryan.

Beasley said Great Jones can also help pitch Roofstock to more single-family rental investors who could use Roofstock's marketplace to either sell their property — or to buy another, already leased-up property — down the line.

Roofstock, which has raised more than $130 million in funding since it was founded in 2015, has been a major beneficiary of the pandemic-driven single-family rental boom. The company serves both large institutional investors, who have been criticized for crowding the housing market with their extensive holdings, and smaller investors, who may only own one home.

Roofstock said it has surpassed more than $3 billion in transactions and has recorded 10x growth in the dollar value of transactions on its website in the first half of 2021 compared to the pandemic months of the first half of 2020. The deal is Roofstock's second acquisition this year: It took over accounting and asset management firm Stessa in March.

Roofstock is one of the rare single-family rental tech companies that works with both institutions and individual investors. Beasley knows the institutional game well, having co-founded Waypoint Homes, which eventually became part of Invitation Homes, the largest single-family rental landlord.

His fellow Waypoint cofounder is now the CEO and cofounder of Mynd Management, a property management single-family rental firm that recently inked a $5 billion deal buying homes for Invesco. Where Mynd has forged a path by partnering with major investors, Beasley said that Roofstock is designed for every tier of investor.

"What we're building is more like Switzerland," Beasley said. "Lots and lots of clients will use us across many different markets."