Roofstock is coming to Memphis

25 Replies

Interesting article, thanks for sharing!

I can't imagine this would cause a major change to the market for an average investor as it seems like it's just a connection platform.  I could see it resulting in more out of town buyers connecting with out of town sellers and eliminating some of the local people that make money in the middle of a transaction, but probably not enough to make anybody sweat.

Seems like a good opportunity for local PM companies to get additional business by getting on their PM company list.

I am always very pessimistic about individuals/outfits who can evaluate a market from a computer program, especially in a place like Memphis where you can be standing in a $650 rental home, walk out the front yard, tee up a golf ball and with your 3 Iron, hit a $500,000 home. Perfect example is a house we manage at 2885 Walker that rents for $1,095 a month. With my 3 iron, I can hit a house that rents for $595 to the South and to the North, hit a house that recently sold for $227,500. The main problem I see here is I have a wicked hook. With that 3 iron shot, if my normal hook comes into play, I could easily hit another house that rents for $650 that would sell for $50,000. However, if I drink a couple of beers and relax, I normally don't hook it, but tend to get ahead of myself and push the ball right.  If I do that, the irony is, that my golf ball may land the on golf course of the Memphis Country Club, possibly even land in the hole. Sounds good right?, Well wrong, they would not let me on the property because even if I did want to drop $50,000 a year to be a member, they would not let me in because I am not part of the Memphis "elite socialite" families.

Point is, that is just one example of a really nice home (2885 Walker) surrounded by very different neighborhoods all within a very (a street or 2) distance.  I can't see how a computer program can account for that, especially if there are not a lot of recent sales to pick up on the variation within the area.

So I browsed their site. They are not selling their own properties, rather acting as a middleman. They are going to hook up buyers and sellers and I seriously doubt, other then a phone call and maybe on in person meeting, they have no track record with their sellers. Way to many snakes out there.  BTW, they swung and missed on a few analysis of their Memphis offerings. They listed a property really right on the border of Frayser as future appreciation.  They will lose credibility selling homes in these areas. Perfect example of a swing and miss as a "market expert with proprietary computer programs." 

@Alex Craig -  maybe they know something about Frazier that we don't!  Next Cooper-Young maybe?!?...

@Elizabeth Wilson , this will not be much of a market mover if any at all.  It is simply another online portal to list your houses and hope a buyer on the other end buys.  I would agree with @Alex Craig after looking at the houses that the site is always going to have credibility issues.

Doesn't mean that some people will not buy.  It will be the most vulnerable investor though that will get hurt.  The ones from high-tech industries in high-tech areas that put all of their faith in technology.  Investors who take time to do proper due diligence and build personal relationships, which is what really makes a successful passive investor, will never use a program like this to buy houses. In my opinion..... 

Elizabeth, that would be great, but I think we have better chances of the Titans moving to Memphis. 

@Alex Craig I think you make a very good point about the difficulties of evaluating a property just from a computer. It's a big reason why we have people on the ground in every market. We are blending technology with on the ground expertise. You are correct that we are not selling our own properties.  Every property on our site is an exclusive listing of Roofstock and every property has gone through our Certification Process. Our founding team as well as my self come from the institutional single family world. I personally used to be the investment director at Waypoint Homes (currently publicly traded as Colony/Starwood) and oversaw the purchase of more than 1,500 single family homes across multiple states.  It's this experience as well as our high level of transparency that allows us to build credibility with both buyers and sellers. I would happy to speak over the phone and answer any further questions.

@Chris Clothier Of course you are allowed your opinion. Roofstock is not an online portal. We are a curated marketplace. Every listing our site is exclusively listed by Roofstock and has gone through the Roofstock Certification Process. 

@Zach Evanish maybe it would help if you post the vetting process of the local experts, property managers and the Roofstock Certification Process.  How would this process eliminate houses in borderline areas.  Take for example the house on Whitney in Memphis.  That is on the border of a part of town called Frayser, which can be a challenging area to own property.  A lot of out of state investors like it because of the #'s, but only the most experienced investors locally will touch that area due to the risk. These out of state investors have no idea how economically depressing the area can be.  Literally, the only places to eat is Fast Food because the area can't sustain a true dine in restaurant.  How would those investors know what is really going on and the higher risk they face in a property like that. Frayser did make the news a couple of years ago, when 90 girls at Frayser High were pregnant, a stagger 11% of the student body population. Part of that 11% includes guys who obviously can't get pregnant. Overall, not the place for most out of state investors.  The appreciation # is off.

Not trying to bust your chops, but that is sort of what Bigger Pockets is for. I am TK provider here on Bigger Pockets and we get our chops busted all the time. I can make a post and get put under the microscope for having 2 first names. 

@Alex Craig The Roofstock Certification Process involves the certification of the home, the tenant, the lease and local property managers. This is all done before a home hits our site. The details are all on our site. 

In order to help buyers access a property we have neighborhood level school scores & neighborhood scores and feedback/input from LOCAL property managers. These are property managers that do not own the properties they are selling and thus their is no misalignment in interest. We are focused on providing a highly transparent marketplace where investors can purchase tenant occupied rental properties.  Feel free to pm me directly if you want to discuss further. I feel strongly that BiggerPockets should be a place for real estate investors to learn. I am not interested in a back and forth on whether you agree with our business model but again more than happy to talk directly. 

@Zach Evanish , you may not perceive it that way, but I am trying to help you by bringing up objections and giving you a platform to talk about your company. The more successful investors we have in Memphis, it helps all of us.

@Zach Evanish

Looks like a pretty cool site which is another way to connect out of state investors with passive cash flowing single family homes..  They already have partnered with several of the Top Turnkey providers/Property Management Companies(Marathon Property Management which is connected with Memphis Cash Flow) and @Douglas Skipworth   (Super GREAT GUY and Active BP member and co owns Crestcore Realty).

Most of the homes are in VERY desirable areas zip codes like 38134, 38125, 38141, 38119, 38016, 38018, 38060, 38135 are really good for investors looking for B+ - A+ no one in Memphis can deny those Zip Codes. There is nothing C grade in those areas in my eyes.

Now on the other hand 38127, 38118, 38115, 38116, 38128, 38126 these can be a little sketchy areas if not on the right street as @Alex Craig stated above about the area of Frayser things do change drastically just crossing the street in those 6 zip codes... Plenty B, C, D in these areas in my eyes.. 

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this company (Roofstock) so please do your own due diligence if you decide to invest with them as you should do with any company. Zip Codes ratings/Areas are only my opinions and not represented to be the opinions of others.

Roofstock looks like a cool site but there are already much bigger online marketplaces to buy investment properties. Roofstocks's Global Alexa ranking comes in at 347,338

BiggerPockets is 11,514 & even bigger than BP is Loopnet at 5,358

Exciting activity in Memphis, TN - our team is growing daily and investors are visiting to see what all the buzz is about! I have an investor in town this week from Wisconsin and 3 more groups headed in from the west coast this week! 

@Chris Clothier @Alex Craig   Hey guys just curious who do these companies that are middle men get paid are they licensed to sell RE in your state.  or are they charging a fee to list.. kind of like a loopnet or something.

Who knows?  Are they using licensed people?  What are they charging?  Don't know for sure, the only thing I could find was a 2.5% fee or a flat fee of $2500. It is based on a $100,000 sales so its hard to tell if its a fee or a percentage charged to sell a property.

@Jay Hinrichs @Chris Clothier  Roofstock is a licensed brokerage in every state we operate in. All the listings on our site are our exclusive listings. We charge sellers 2.5% which is paid through escrow/title at close. 

We are much different than Loopnet. Loopnet is an advertising site/portal. is a curated online marketplace exclusively for single family rental properties providing investors with cash flow day one. Roofstock was built built by an extremely experienced team. Our CEO Gary Beasley used to run Zip Realty as well as Starwood/Waypoint and Joie de Vivre Hotels. Together we have purchased and manged thousands of single family homes across the United States.

@Zach Evanish   cool that's good to know you probably know much of your competition in this space is unlicensed.. although I see some start to get licenses these days.. but many still hide behind consulting fees on the hud..  I know I see them often on my deals..

good luck with it..

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@Vivek Khoche   well I love my Tesla auto drive function in bumper to bumper its sheer genius I get to play on BP while stuck going 5 miles an hour for 45 minutes.. full internet right on the front screen .. read ESPN.. do e mails... car drives itself.. this is the real deal and where transporation will be in 10 years.

Originally posted by @Zach Evanish :

@Jay Hinrichs @Chris Clothier Roofstock is a licensed brokerage in every state we operate in. All the listings on our site are our exclusive listings. We charge sellers 2.5% which is paid through escrow/title at close. 

We are much different than Loopnet. Loopnet is an advertising site/portal. is a curated online marketplace exclusively for single family rental properties providing investors with cash flow day one. Roofstock was built built by an extremely experienced team. Our CEO Gary Beasley used to run Zip Realty as well as Starwood/Waypoint and Joie de Vivre Hotels. Together we have purchased and manged thousands of single family homes across the United States.

 You have to remember that this is a 2-dimensional conversation.  Tone and intent are always hard to judge so hopefully you don't take offense to questions and suggestions and even hard questions and doubts.  If you do, BiggerPockets is going to be a hard place to navigate.  

I had never heard of rootstock before Elizabeth posted this here.  We are not in competition, as an investor interested in your value proposition is not going to be interested in mine and vice-versa.  So you're not going to hurt my business and I am sure you will find plenty of traction.

It looks to me that this is a model for institutional buyers to become sellers and offload properties.  IBased on the cities you operate, they are the cities that were heavily invested in by institutional buyers. Given that your entire team looks to have connections to that industry, it would make sense.  I'm not saying that is the only reason for RS, but was that where the idea was born?   

Quick question for you.  It looks like a buyer wanting to put a property under contract gets charged a non-refundable fee of $543 whether they buy it or not.   That fee is to basically remove a property from the site and not allow other investors to buy it?  It also looks like that fee does not go toward the purchase price or cost of the home.  If that is the case, @Jay Hinrichs, that is another revenue stream for RS.  It also looks like you guys discourage 3rd party home-inspections?  It looks like you do this because you state that your company already has this process covered?

Just trying to understand that part.  And the process you mentioned earlier for selecting properties.  Does that mean that some houses are rejected from your site?  I am assuming they all have to be occupied, but is there a lit of requirements a house has to meet otherwise?  What about permits and licensing of the people on the ground in the cities?  Is the person on the ground making those decisions  licensed or just an employee of RS?

These are things that have been thorns in the side of other companies similar to Rootstock and they are all legitimate questions that you will get asked here on BP.  None are meant as gotcha questions, they are all meant to help investors understand where the real value of rootstock lies.

Again, the team page on your site is impressive.  I recognize several of your teams members.  Guys like Jay, Alex and myself were in this space long before it become a fashionable, wall-street investment and we are very familiar with what you re trying to do.  So, none of these posts are attacks.  None of us is in competition.     

@Zach Evanish ,

I had the privilege of speaking at IMN (East) this week and got the pleasure of spending an hour with Andy Boyum and Tom Schneider of roofstock during the conference.  As you know, they are first rate individuals, and roofstock appears to be a top notch company.  Roofstock's CEO Gary Beasley also moderated a session at IMN and did a great job.

I'm probably simplifying things too much, but I almost see roofstock as a private MLS. They've got certified, exclusive listings that any investor can buy. And, as a real estate investor, I think it's awesome to have as many places to view properties as possible. From what I can tell, roofstock's certification process separates it from other marketplaces.

Best wishes to you and the rest of the roofstock team!

@Douglas Skipworth Thanks for the kind words about the team! Both Andy and Tom have been in the industry a long time and are both very high character individuals. Looking forward to working with you and your team!

@Zach Evanish @Elizabeth Wilson  Hi, I wanted to add to this thread as I think it would be helpful to hear from someone that has actually bought properties from Roofstock.  I started working with Zach, Lizzy and their amazing team back in October.  Living in NYC, it is very difficult for me to find the returns I am looking for in this market.  With the introduction of Roofstock, they have made my real estate investing so much easier.  They have an excellent portal where you can: see the properties listed, review pro-forma financials, access a due diligence portal that has appraisals,  inspection reports and insurance quotes and so much more.  In addition, they offer an excellent team of professions from TruMortgage (for your loan), insurance brokers and a team of Property Managers.  All have been thoroughly vetted and approved (I verified).  I was able to close all my properties within 30-45 days which is basically unheard of.  As a new real estate investor , I have been nothing short of impressed with the ease of purchase provided by Roofstock.  I am more than happy to talk to anyone about my personal experience with this company but I am confident that they will not go into a market (Memphis included) without thorough research and review.  

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