Cut to the chase
“Prior to the multifamily market catching on fire, we knew there would be a lull and an investment opportunity, and we wanted to have funds available to make acquisitions during that lull. We had an incredibly active year because we recognized the opportunity, pivoted quickly, and relied on our experience and contacts to capitalize on the temporary market dislocation.”
“I’d say that communication is equally as important as returns. The ability to communicate with investors, whether it’s good news or bad, is paramount. And with Juniper Square, we can provide in-depth communication quickly, accurately and efficiently.”
“Be brave. Bravery takes a lot of different forms. For me, I love when our employees and our partners are brave enough to come to me and say, "I think there is a better way to do this.” Juniper Square paves the path for timely communications from our clients and investors, it serves to facilitate our goal of constantly improving the way we conduct business."
in cumulative real estate experience
raised for Fund IV in 10 months
in assets acquired by ApexOne
ApexOne Investment Partners is a privately held real estate investment firm and fund manager that invests in multifamily real estate across the United States. The guiding principles of the firm — honesty, integrity, innovation, and competitive excellence — are deeply rooted in a commitment to deliver value to our investment partners. ApexOne identifies assets where a combination of physical enhancements and focused asset management will have a positive influence on community residents, resulting in maximizing investor returns and mitigating investment risk.
The multifamily housing market – ApexOne’s specialty – took off post-pandemic. With a team of 13 professionals on staff, the team’s primary focus was identifying potential investments and efficiently operating those assets. They were seeking an administrative solution that met the same high standards with which they operated the company. Things like staying in regular touch with investors and marketing the company were taking valuable time and effort away from raising capital, closing transactions and operating properties.
“I have some friends whose companies built their own CRM software, but I didn’t see the value in that undertaking. It seems that they spent a lot of time on software rather than real estate. It's like the old saying, ‘I just want to know what time it is; don't tell me how to build the watch.’”
Partner and Executive Managing Director
Fed up with software vendors that over-promised and under-delivered on what they could provide, the team kept searching for the right investor relations platform. They finally found Juniper Square, which they credit in part for their banner year in 2021.
“I think the reason we were so successful in 2021 is that we did a hard stop in 2020 at the outbreak of COVID-19 to ask, ‘Okay, what the heck is going on here?’,” said Ernest Johnson, Partner and Executive Managing Director. “No one really knew. So, we looked at what we did know – and that was that whenever there's been a recession in the United States, multifamily apartments were always the last to suffer occupancy and value declines, but were the first to rebound during the ensuing economic recovery. There is a strong corollary between job growth and occupancy. When job growth slows down, occupancy tends to decline. But when jobs are being created, occupancy increases. We came to the conclusion that there were going to be opportunities to acquire high quality properties from distressed owners.”
Ernest met with his team of economic advisors and key brokers to get their take on whether this theory was correct. They agreed, and the ApexOne Multifamily Special Situation Fund IV was formed. “The fund focused on distressed sellers, not distressed properties,” Ernest explained. “While other firms focused on office, retail, hospitality, and sectors which really took a beating because of the COVID lockdown, we found opportunities in the multifamily space. Of the 18 properties we acquired, 17 were true off-market or negotiated transactions where sellers with limited time to close were willing to sell at a discount to relieve the project of their personal financial stress. Word got out to the investment community and, instead of our $200 million goal, we raised $355 million. That’s about three times more than we raised for our previous funds, and we did it in a third of the time.”
Meanwhile, Ernest said, ApexOne had properties in other funds that had matured in the holding cycle that were ready to take to the market. All told, the firm completed 25 transactions in 2021.
We had an incredibly active year because we recognized the opportunity, pivoted quickly, and relied on our experience to capitalize on the temporary market dislocation. And hats off to Juniper Square – we probably couldn't have done it without them. Juniper Square facilitated our processes so that we were able to get information out, bring investors in, and keep them informed, which was critical to our success.”
Partner and Executive Managing Director
Although 2021 is over, the successful roll ApexOne has been on is far from it. “For our next fund, we're again discussing where the opportunities lie,” said Ernest. “We think there may be an opportunity to explore the development side of the business.” One of the byproducts of ApexOne's Special Situation Fund, Ernest said, was that they met a lot of developers that had distressed situations and they were able to bail them out – in a gentlemanly and gentlewomanly way. “We didn't try to take advantage of their situation. We knew the return expectation that we wanted to hit for our investors. We knew the situation the developers were in. We reached agreements that worked for both parties. Several of the sellers have come back to us now and asked, ‘Would you all like to be my new equity partner in development projects?’ and we said: Yes!”
For ApexOne’s fifth fund, Ernest and his team have set a tentative goal between $350 million and $500 million. They will be working with some of the best developers in the country, and they currently have several projects they’re underwriting, and a few under contract or letter-of-intent.
ApexOne was listed as one of top fundraisers in 2021 using Juniper Square's Digital Subscriptions feature. Check out more winners here.