“Delivering insight and responding nimbly to investors demonstrate that these relationships are a high priority. Adaptability has long been one of our core values at Midway, so we saw the value of innovative technology from Juniper Square that creates a seamless experience from fundraising to administration to reporting,” said Brinsden.
“Our process improvement is amazing. Distributions take one tenth of the time they used to. It’s like I’ve grown my staff without adding any headcount,” said Mullin.
Mullin stated, “Eliminating our dependence on spreadsheets for distribution calculations is a huge relief. Now I don’t need to rely on formulas that may have been created five to ten years ago, or links that are out of date. Juniper Square is my single source of truth.”
Midway is a full-service real estate investment, development and management firm based in Houston, Texas. Since its founding in 1968, the company has completed more than 45 million square feet of real estate projects in 23 states, across most major property types, including mixed-use, corporate headquarters, multifamily, single-family, entertainment, hospitality, industrial parks and master-planned communities. Midway raises capital on a deal-by-deal basis, with anywhere from five to 70 investors in each investment.
Given their long operating history and large investor base, Midway had a significant amount of data, but lacked an effective system to manage it. Without a centralized CRM, the company stored investor contact information and preferences in a multitude of spreadsheets. Similarly, investment data for more than 300 private investors across a portfolio of 25 assets was contained in multiple files and systems, making the periodic investor reporting and payments process highly labor intensive. And investor reports were distributed through a homegrown fileshare system, providing a repository of documents to investors, but offering no additional insight.
Christina Mullin, Senior Manager of Investment Management at Midway, knew there had to be a better way to service Midway’s growing investor base. “Since we’re raising capital on a deal-by-deal basis, speed is critical. We wanted something to accelerate fundraising, and to report out to our hundreds of investors more efficiently. And we wanted to provide an investor experience more aligned with Midway’s reputation for quality and innovation.”
INTRODUCTION TO JUNIPER SQUARE
After talking to a number of solutions providers, Midway initially entered into negotiations with its property accounting software vendor. The vendor had an investment management module, and while it offered the benefit of general ledger integration, the Midway team had concerns about product usability for its own staff, and the impact to their brand from investor dissatisfaction due to a hard-to-use system. “It felt very antiquated,” said Mullin, “like it hadn’t been updated in several years.”
Very late in the process, Midway was introduced to Juniper Square. “When we saw Juniper Square, it was exactly the type of modern software we were seeking,” said Mullin. “The manager interface of the product was intuitive and user-friendly, and the investor portal looked very easy to use, which was critical given the wide range of technical ability among our investors.”
Mullin also was impressed by the process automation around fundraising and investor reporting, and was excited by Juniper Square’s CRM capability. “We wanted a robust database to store all of our investor contacts, and the fact that contact records would contain the associated investment history with Midway was a major point of differentiation.”
Midway confirmed its first impression with product demonstrations and discussions with a few Juniper Square customers. The firm ultimately cut off its negotiations with the other vendor and signed with Juniper Square.