Cut to the chase
“We moved more than 60,000 documents, along with information for several hundred investors and thousands of contacts. The Juniper Square team was efficient, kept us organized, and pointed out where they saw gaps or data conflicts.”
“With Juniper Square, documents are tied to accounts; with our previous provider, they were not. Access provisioning was a bit opaque in that system, and it wasn’t easy to audit permissions like it is with Juniper Square. We’re simply more comfortable with the Juniper Square model to ensure the safety of our investors’ data.”
“The ease of use has been key to quick adoption by the firm across their global offices. When you combine the intuitive user interface with the breadth of feature-rich tools, it has been transformational for us. Everyone loves the document collection feature. Once teams realized they no longer had to manually post 40 different capital calls or tax forms in 40 different folders, they were fully bought-in.”
Communities under management
Global markets served
Units/beds managed worldwide
Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing and other types of properties globally. They own, operate, and develop rental housing and adjacent sectors, including traditional multifamily, mixed-use, student and university partnerships, active adult, single family rental, life sciences, and industrial.
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar operates in 215 markets globally. Its 20,000-plus employees are spread across 63 offices throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Greystar currently ranks first among the Top 50 U.S. Apartment Managers according to the 2021 National Multifamily Housing Council, managing more than 754,000 units/beds. Greystar is also the nation’s top developer of U.S. multifamily housing with more than $22 billion in development projects underway.
Since its founding, Greystar has invested more than $24 billion, and its robust institutional investment management platform has approximately $50 billion in gross assets under management.
Previously, data and document sharing at Greystar was done through another industry provider. “When I originally joined the IR team, Greystar was in the early stages of implementing the other system,” Managing Director and Leader of the Global Client Relations Group Rachael Brittingham explained. “While it may have been sufficient when we originally selected it, that was no longer the case. It was a document repository, but there was little other functionality.”
“We were also having issues with our investor portal,” Alexis Sowuleski, CFA, Senior Director, Investor Relations said. “From outages to lost work time, the portal was inefficient and simple functionality around accessing documents had become a problem.”
A longtime user of the Juniper Square CRM platform, Greystar decided it was time to expand the relationship. At first, the plan was to move their investor portal and investment data; however, that scope quickly changed. As they were working through the portal implementation, the Greystar executive team decided to consolidate document sharing for all of its lines of business onto one platform.
“Our leadership team determined that, if we were going to be moving over investment information, they wanted all Greystar teams to be using the same system,” said Brittingham. “We have separate development and investment teams, but there are overlapping investors on both the investment and development sides of our business.
Our leadership team didn’t want to have our largest investors confused or be forced to go different places to get documents. It was important to us that our investors have a holistic view of their investments on one platform. That’s when we decided to migrate everything to Juniper Square.”
The Greystar IR team had to make the case as to why the move to Juniper Square made sense. “We are very sensitive about sending out investor-specific documents, including capital call and distribution notices, partner capital statements, and tax forms,” Sowuleski said. “Given the number of different teams involved in creating, reviewing, and sending investor-level notices, we needed to make sure we didn’t add extra work to any of the processes. Our accounting and tax teams were also very focused on making sure no investor might accidentally see another investor’s documents. With Juniper Square, you really have to try hard to give the wrong people access because there are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening.”
“It took some effort to get everyone on board,” Sowuleski continued. “We had several demos with the Juniper Square team. They provided an overview to show what the future state of our investor reporting could be, followed by teach-ins to see how documents would be loaded and displayed. The Juniper Square team clearly outlined what the process would be to collect and classify documents from our previous provider and move them into the Juniper Square environment. Once all of the Greystar teams saw the thoroughness of this plan and realized Juniper Square would save time once we were fully onboard, they were sold.”
Brittingham added, “The other thing that sealed the deal was the fact that the Juniper Square reporting template can be a one-and-done every quarter. This was a huge selling point for the accounting team because they provide multiple templates every quarter for each fund to satisfy investors, who are all essentially asking for the same data in a slightly different format. Juniper Square could make everyone’s life a little bit easier.”
The decision to consolidate information was good news for Greystar’s investors and promises greater efficiency across the global organization. The biggest challenge was moving development, corporate finance and other data from the other provider before the contract expired. According to Brittingham, “It was a much bigger lift than we anticipated given the number of documents, the breadth of the platforms we were migrating, and the fact that we expanded the number of groups that would be moving over to Juniper Square.”
"Juniper Square provides all the capabilities we want for our investors, across every single investment they have with Greystar."
Managing Director and Leader of the Global Client Relations Group
Before Greystar could get up and running on the platform, they worked with the Juniper Square team to migrate data, configure system settings, and train users. While the onboarding process seemed daunting—especially when moving all the data of a global organization on an expedited timeline—Greystar was thrilled with Juniper Square’s expertise and their proven, phased approach to rollout.
As a global leader, Greystar had many different stakeholders across the world, all with different goals and different timelines. Sowuleski credits Juniper Square with taking charge of the migration and praised the speed of implementation. Brittingham concurred, “It was a very condensed timeline. Development, which wasn’t part of the original scope, ended up having to move data first before their contract with another provider was ending. All this happened during Q4 reporting, so the Development team was busy. Juniper Square stepped up and made it happen. It could have been a massive problem, but the implementation team was flexible, helpful, and kept things moving forward.”
Now that all their data and documents are on Juniper Square, Greystar is already seeing the benefits. “Having all our data in one place is reducing burdens on teams across the organization,” said Sowuleski. “We just launched a data room for a new fund, and it has been much easier to add users and provision access than previous data rooms we have established. With our previous provider, we had to download a few different reports to figure out what was shared with whom across the data room. On the accounting side, our teams like the time saved with the Document Collection functionality, and we’re exploring automating the capital call creation process, which would save them additional time and effort.”
Brittingham noted how Juniper Square has improved their fundraising efforts. “We’re currently raising both closed-end and open-end funds, as well as separate accounts across the globe. It’s important that our teams can focus on that versus spending hours reviewing and sending out documents, uploading information to a data room, or trying to figure out permissioning.
Juniper Square provides tools and functionality that allow everyone to make better use of their time.”
“It’s been a huge time-saver for Investor Relations, too,” Sowuleski said. “For example, sending out capital call notices and confirming that investors received them could take a few hours for just one fund. We’re sending out capital calls for 12 different ventures at any given time, so that adds up. With Juniper Square, it now only takes a few minutes because everything is viewable on one screen. If we can save a little time for each venture—and we’re sending out biweekly capital calls for some of them—it will save our whole team significant time over the long haul. We no longer worry about outages either. Unlike our previous provider, the Juniper Square system is reliable, so we don’t have to waste time wondering whether the system is down or not.”
“The synergies and resulting efficiency were a huge motivating factor for us to move all our data to Juniper Square,” Brittingham added. “Now that we’re using both the CRM and fundraising capabilities, we have our fundraising data rooms in the same place, so as we launch funds, our fundraising is more efficient. In addition, some of our largest LPs use Juniper Square, so instead of completing multiple different questionnaires every quarter, we’re able to respond quickly and provide information directly through Juniper Square.”
Brittingham summed it up by stating, “Juniper Square provides all the capabilities we want for our investors, across every single investment they have with Greystar.”
Metrics as of 5/1/2022