“Being able to oversee our whole investment management operation with one solution that offers software and administration was incredibly important. There was nothing else out there that’s comparable—that’s what really drew us to choose Juniper Square.”
“Before Juniper Square, we were tracking investors and the amounts they wanted to contribute on Excel spreadsheets for each new equity raise. It would get messy because there were three of us raising funds. We knew we needed a better solution, and Juniper Square delivered.”
“Juniper Square has become an extension of the FSO team. Our main contact is an accounting whiz. He’s incredibly sharp and he knows the software in and out. He’s quickly become an invaluable part of our business.”
Founded in 2019, FSO Capital Partners (FSO) is a real estate private equity firm that focuses on identifying and acquiring undervalued assets and driving operational excellence. To do this, they employ a disciplined acquisition approach with strict investment criteria.
As of March 2022, FSO has assembled a portfolio of 850 units in Arizona spread across more than 700,000 square feet and worth an estimated $200-plus million.
Their focus on the Arizona market and deep relationships with brokers, property managers, and owners around the state allow them to consistently source and more efficiently manage unique assets with a hands-on approach creating better outcomes for their investors.
Like many lean and growing CRE firms, FSO Principal and Co-Founder John Falkner and his partners wanted help staying on top of all the work it requires to run a successful business. “There’s so much that goes into it—finding new investors, managing distributions, raising capital, finding new deals, overseeing the subscription process, getting investors to execute documents in a timely manner—that you really need to focus your efforts,” says Falkner.
He continues, “At FSO, we were tracking everything on Excel spreadsheets and handling our communications via email, all while trying to maintain and grow relationships with a large group of investors. Almost everything was done manually and we knew that, in order to scale efficiently, we were either going to have to hire several finance and IR professionals or find a partner that could manage some of the accounting and more administrative tasks.”
FSO had a good idea of what they needed. “We wanted help with the subscription process, which without automation was really burdensome. Another important criteria for us was waterfall distributions. We also wanted a user-friendly way to store all our investor and investment data on a platform that was readily accessible to all our investors,” Falkner says.
They elected to bring in third-party experts. Falkner explains, “We decided that hiring a reputable administrator was a great way to scale without hiring multiple employees and bringing on too much overhead. It was a matter of scaling our operations so we could continue to accommodate rapid growth. We quickly went from 20 to 200-plus investors, so it would have been a real challenge to do what we’re doing without a solution like Juniper Square. But it would be equally beneficial if we only had 50 investors.”
SEARCH FOR A SOLUTION
John originally heard about Juniper Square from Chris Powers at Fort Capital. Falkner says, “We had been evaluating some of Juniper Square’s competitors, but none of them offered what we needed—investor-focused administration backed by technology. Chris suggested we look at Juniper Square and, when we spoke to a few more firms in the industry, we heard overwhelmingly that Juniper Square was the way to go.”
FSO took the evaluation process seriously. “Our software costs were minimal so we were very thorough in the research that we did leading up to selecting Juniper Square. In some ways, it’s a leap of faith. You can watch demos and spend time with the sales people, but you don’t really know how seamless that transition is going to be until you do it. We did as much research as we could, and then we took the leap—and we’re really happy we did.”