CASE STUDY

Tilden Properties

Benefits
  • 01

    Unparalleled service

    “Juniper Square’s service is top notch. We like and trust our investor services manager, who is able to help us get the most from Juniper Square’s solutions. Working with him makes an already great product even better.”

  • 02

    Strengthens decision making

    “We’re always looking at different lending options, refinancing, and different returning equity and supplemental loans. With 30-plus deals at any given time, we now have a single source for every record. How much outstanding debt do we have? When does that debt mature? When does that interest-only period end? All of those things that we’re constantly looking at are readily available and everyone is using the same information instead of multiple Excel documents. Juniper Square makes it easy for us to make real-time assessments and decisions.”

  • 03

    Lives up to the hype

    When I was evaluating investment management solutions, I spoke to Juniper Square customers and I was impressed by what I learned. It was the kind of feedback you want to hear, especially from people who were familiar with other alternatives. More than one person told me that they could run their business without the other software provider they used, but they wouldn’t be able to operate without Juniper Square. That’s meaningful.”

CUSTOMER OVERVIEW

California-based Tilden Properties (Tilden) was founded by the Tripaldi family in 2008. With more than 100 years of collective experience in multifamily real estate investment and operations, the principals are dedicated to providing diligent stewardship for investors, expert management of owned assets, and creating enhanced returns through focused operations of their 3,500 unit-plus portfolio located throughout Northern California and Nevada.

Challenge

A family-run business, David Tripaldi, Sr. started Tilden Properties along with his three sons, Greg, and Jeff who focus primarily on acquisitions and lending and Dave Jr. who handles construction management, asset management, and dispositions.

Tilden’s biggest priority has always been to find good deals and provide solid returns for their loyal group of investors, made up primarily of friends and family. They’re patient dealmakers, but still very focused on growth. While they don’t aspire to be the nation’s largest multifamily manager, their goal is to add 500 to 1,000 net units per year while keeping headcount low.

Early on, with 500 units, it was relatively easy to manage the portfolio as a family affair. As Tilden grew to 1,000 units, it became slightly more difficult so they added a few non-family members to the mix, including Ryan Crowley who joined the firm in 2010 to help oversee asset and construction management of their expanding property portfolio. As Tilden grew to 3,000-plus units, there were more moving parts, more deals, and more investors to manage.

Crowley, a serial entrepreneur with experience evaluating and implementing software at other companies, knew the answer was technology. “There was some reluctance at the beginning,” Crowley says. “But the reality was, we didn’t have a choice. It didn’t make sense to add significant headcount, but the business was expanding and day-to-day operations were becoming increasingly complex. We also knew our competitors were already adopting digital solutions. To manage growth and remain competitive, we recognized the only way for us to scale efficiently was to leverage technology.”

The Tilden team started a wish list of what they needed and wanted for the firm. “I said technology was something we should really consider,” Crowley says. “We were doing a great job. We were growing. Our investors trusted us. But we needed something to take us to the next level.” The firm, although still somewhat cautious, agreed it was time to look into technology solutions.

Search for a Solution

Crowley took the lead. “I realized that software was not only a great way to modernize our operations, but it also could be a great tool for our investors. My goal was to find a technology solution that was modern, efficient, user friendly, investor focused, and priced right.”

Initially, Crowley didn’t look at Juniper Square. “The first option I looked at seemed to be designed more for institutional investors, and that wasn’t us,” Crowley explained. “The next was a real estate company that also offered software. We’re a real estate company and I don’t think we should be branching out to software, so that firm didn’t make the cut either.“

Price was also an important factor to Tilden, as was longevity. Crowley says, “All of the options I looked at were in the same general price range. But having implemented other software tools at other companies, I didn’t want to do this again. And, if you do your homework, you should not have to.”

To find a firm with staying power, Crowley started talking to industry peers and asking questions like: ‘who’s the investment management software company that’s going to be around in 10 years?’ and ‘who is gaining the most market share versus their competitors?’ “I didn’t want to play games,” Crowley says. “Who was first to market? That’s great to know, but are they still winning or are they falling behind? And what I found was that Juniper Square was gaining the most market share, and there’s a reason for that. Their competitors were losing market share and cutting prices, which was concerning for somebody who’s looking 15 years down the road. I don’t want to have to do this again.”

As Crowley continued his search, one of the questions he asked technology candidates was ‘who is your main competitor?’—and the response always included Juniper Square.`

At that point, Crowley called Juniper Square. “What I initially liked most about Juniper Square was that it’s a software company that understands real estate. It really was the best alternative for our needs. I wasn’t looking for an institutional matrix. I was looking for a solution that would help us better manage our portfolio and serve our investors. And that’s what you get with Juniper Square.”

Ever-vigilant, Crowley wanted to confirm that Juniper Square was everything it appeared to be so he reached out to a long list of current users. “A few of the people I spoke with had prior experience with some of Juniper Square’s competitors,” Crowley says. “It was clear that those companies didn’t live up to what they promised. The references I spoke with explained why they thought another provider was the best solution at the time, as well as all the things that went wrong that caused them to move to Juniper Square. Even with the hassles of switching, they were without exception glad they made the change. They enthusiastically pointed out all the things that Juniper Square does differently. Those discussions were, for me, what sealed the decision to go with Juniper Square.”

Crowley took his findings to the rest of the team. He explained all the synergies and efficiencies of Juniper Square technology, and the time they would ultimately end up saving. He talked about how their investors were getting younger and expected them to enhance their online presence. He summarized all the options he evaluated, the feedback he’d gathered, and why Juniper Square was the right choice. The response? It was decided that technology just wasn’t a priority at that time.

Fast forward three months, and several of Tilden’s most important investors were in the office. They asked when we were planning to launch some sort of online tool. Crowley jokingly said, “The next thing you know, Dave Senior, the person most reluctant to adopt technology at first, was now its biggest proponent. Suddenly, he was in my office every day asking when we were launching Juniper Square.”

Now I can do my full-time job and leave the deal administration tasks to experts at Juniper Square.

Ryan Crowley

Partner at Tilden Properties

RESULTS

Tilden took time to set up Juniper Square, making sure data was correct and to get as many of their investors familiar with and using the system. They started by providing basic reporting and then migrated to providing more analytics as investors got comfortable with the system. “The response has been extremely positive,” Crowley says. “All the feedback we’ve received is that Juniper Square is a great system. Some of our investors have investments with other real estate investment groups that have different tools, and they tell us that they like ours better. Others had no exposure to tools like Juniper Square before, and they were blown away.”

Tilden has also reaped benefits from using Juniper Square’s ACH feature. “We were cutting 1,500 checks a quarter and doing another 200 wires. It was time consuming and we didn’t have good online records. Now the information is well organized and we’re saving at least a week a quarter on busy work that just went away. And our investors appreciate it— 97% have adopted it.”

Recently, Tilden expanded their relationship with Juniper Square even further. “We don’t have funds so I never thought to ask about Juniper Square’s administration offer and whether we could outsource portal setup, subscriptions, and end-to-end distributions,” Crowley said. “Those types of operational tasks take time and effort and, while I’m probably one of the power users in our office, I will never have the same understanding of the system and its power as someone from Juniper Square.”

Once he learned about Deal Administration, Crowley was quick to sign up. “The Juniper Square software is great, but the new Deal Administration service has been a next-level game changer for us. It frees us up from having to do administrative work, which is time consuming and takes effort. Plus we always have a trusted Juniper Square resource to help with so we can focus on managing assets and finding deals.”

Crowley continued, “It’s satisfying to know that all entities are set up and our records are correct. They manage ACH and NACHA files and handle quarterly distributions and letters. Having someone organize and troubleshoot problems has been invaluable. Things come up and, while it would take us ages to realize that set-up decisions we made two years ago were the wrong ones, it’s a quick fix now. And we know that all our information is right, which is key. The last thing we want is to find out that one of our investors’ data is wrong, and that fear has been eliminated with Deal Administration.”

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