Technology

As A Winners-Take-All Near-Term Shapes Up, Capability Is Key

Amid a competitive scramble to secure timely performance on capital put in place, operational excellence and strong relationships on the ground are not an option.

Together with

Mosaic

Together with

Technology

As A Winners-Take-All Near-Term Shapes Up, Capability Is Key

Amid a competitive scramble to secure timely performance on capital put in place, operational excellence and strong relationships on the ground are not an option.

Together with
June 16th, 2022
As A Winners-Take-All Near-Term Shapes Up, Capability Is Key
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Morgan Housel's Collaborative Fund post led with an aim, "to explain part of why the world seems so crazy these days."

It ended with a punchline that suggests the explanation is both utterly logical and absolutely dissatisfying at the same time. To bring sense to the limits of our understanding of simple proportions and elementary arithmetic at work in why things that are ordinary feel astonishingly extraordinary, Housel concludes:

The world breaks about once every ten years, on average. For your country, state, town, or business, once every one to three years is probably more common.
Sometimes it feels like terrible luck, or that bad news has new momentum. More often it’s just raw math at work. A zillion different things can go wrong, so at least one of them is likely to be causing havoc in any given moment

This conclusion both earth-binds and humanizes our struggles with challenges, and elevates and ennobles ordinary you-and-me people for our overall resilience and ingenuity in the face of what can and does go wrong "in any given moment."

We withstand the feeling of "once in a lifetime" challenges, and rise to meet them, whether the math proves they're indeed rare and horrific, or that they're standard-issue difficulties we should get through without panic.

The answer to much of what can, is, and will continue to go wrong now for those who are vested and invested in making new homes and new communities for people comes under a big relatively rare umbrella: Capability.

Capability is a bridge made of time that connects and provides back-and-forth flow from raw resources, most notably, money and land, to shelter.

When it comes to housing – the multi-trillion-dollar business, livelihood, economics, investment, land, technology, and human endeavor in making and improving of homes and neighborhoods – there's always one constant. Everybody needs shelter. That one constant runs always and forever in direct proportion to people and the households they start and sustain.

Literally every other part of housing is wildly variable. As Housel writes, "a zillion different things can go wrong, so at least one of them is likely to be causing havoc in any given moment."

Historically, Murphy's Law almost always applies on a cyclical basis for big stakes players and personally invested wagerers in housing and real estate. Everybody needs shelter always. If anything else can go wrong – and there's an almost infinite slew of matters that can – one of them can and will cause havoc.

What's not-ever "forever" is money. Capital is only "patient" in highly relative terms for those who extend it. Typically, when it comes to matching the forever need for shelter with never "forever" money, the primary crucible – timing – either melts down the value of money or it works accretively to earn value. A pro forma is a money calculation that stacks investment up with many things – projections and presumptions – that will add value to that money in a given time period.

Fact is, however, timing looms as a large X factor when it comes to investments put in place in a topsy-turvy Wall Street financial markets environment. Capital that gravitates to a "safe haven" – a flight to safety at a time of heightened risk – piles up fast. What better example than the reported $45 billion or more that has spooled up the past 36 months for access into single-family built-to-rent community development.

Check out this note today, on Seeking Alpha:

  • Amid mounting recession worries and a return of heart-stopping market volatility, residential REITs - particularly the traditionally countercyclical single-family rentals - should prove to be a source of relative shelter.
  • Single-Family Rental REITs were born from the last economic crisis when a cascade of foreclosures enabled a new class of institutional rental operators to emerge by buying distressed properties en-masse.
  • Similar distress in the U.S. housing market is highly unlikely given the underlying supply constraints resulting from a decade of underbuilding, and ironically, due to the presence of well-capitalized institutional investors.
  • Persistent inflation is eroding built-up stimulus savings, but given that housing and food are the ultimate "essential" expenses, the slowdown will have to get awfully ugly to see widespread tenant credit issues given the higher-income tenant profile of SFR REITs.
  • SFR REITs enter this uncertain period on solid footing, benefiting from historically favorable Buy vs. Rent economics. Recent updates show double-digit rent growth continuing, and we expect that higher mortgage rates will ultimately fuel accretive portfolio growth opportunities.

Safe haven, of course, is relative. Since it's money with a time-stamp on it, it's far from a sure bet. Double-digit rent growth continuing is fair to assume only if a current set of household growth and income assumptions are able to weather a bumpy economy.

The race now to match the forever need for shelter with shaken and stirred, shocked and stressed capital liquidity and its bulging, teeming urge for yield in a channel that's got scarcity, capacity constraint, and a big, growing "forever" need among people for shelter.

In back-half 2022 and for the immediate future, capability is the one thing that stands between a lot of money and havoc that can come if and when reality doesn't match up to the pro forma.

Here's what capability means in today's market – knowing that every one of these bullet points represents an area that's stood out as a source of capacity constraint, delays, cost overruns, confused construction schedules, etc.:

  • Navigation and progression of community development to entitlement, zoning, and permitting.
  • Horizontal development resources
  • Local "builder of preference" reputation and the ability to activate deep local scale advantages in securing skilled trades, materials, project progress inspections, and construction cycle weather-tight and finish stages within business plan horizons and on budget.
  • Buildable, durable, well-specced product that fits the market need

It's with this focus on capability that we draw attention to the expansion of capability and scaling platform, Mosaic, into the hyper-active Texas marketplace, where single-family-built to rent investors have been doubling down in the past three years, given the surge of household demand and relatively lower hurdles on the local regulatory policy and zoning front.

Mosaic's "capability-in-a-box" technology and management platform offers an antidote to one of residential construction's most urgent risks of the moment, not making pro forma. Mosaic’s construction services give both for-sale and BTR developers, builders, and investors looking to build BTR communities access to a highly skilled team of forward planners and construction experts who manage the critical pre-development workflow, to get projects off the pro forma spreadsheets and onto the ground. Services include:

  • Site selection analysis and reporting;
  • Conceptual design and land planning;
  • Pre-development project management;
  • Initial construction budgeting / scheduling;
  • Constructability analysis / value engineering; and
  • Final construction budgeting / scheduling and trade subcontracting

Mosaic has hired Kyle AuBuchon to manage the company’s expansion, into Texas.

I’m proud to join Mosaic — as one of the most exciting construction technology startups in the residential development industry, Mosaic plays a leading role in homebuilding technology innovation.” said AuBuchon. “I really admire the experienced team they’ve built and their commitment to empowering homebuilders and developers to rapidly scale their business and deliver even higher-quality communities. I’m excited to start this next chapter of my career growing Mosaic’s presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

AuBuchon joins Mosaic as their Regional Director of Operations in Texas, where he is responsible for the management and oversight of the build-out process for new and existing communities within the Dallas-Fort Worth market, including overseeing customer and trade partner relationships; managing horizontal and vertical scheduling for development sites; and leading key performance indicators such as cost, quality, production schedule, and employee and trade partner performance.

Kyle’s in-depth BTR development and construction experience will set him up for success as he leads our Texas expansion,” said Ron Gonski, VP of Growth at Mosaic. “He has a proven ability to identify and solve the upstream challenges of residential construction, then bring high-value communities to life. We’re proud to have him join our team during this pivotal growth phase.”

Mosaic’s research shows that BTR communities experience lease rates up to five times faster than Class A multi-family apartment projects in the urban core in cities such as Phoenix, where they recently hired BTR expert Rod Horn as Regional Director of Operations. Last year, more than 6,700 new build-to-rent homes were constructed, according to YardiMatrix data. In 2022, developers are expected to bring more than 16,000 units to market for lease-up. The largest builder of these projects, NexMetro Communities, has delivered over 5,000 rental units across the country through Q3 2020, with many more in the pipeline.

With all that can go wrong, Mosaic's capability platform can mean the difference between getting the timing right or not.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

ABOUT

Residential construction made easy. As a tech-enabled general contractor for the residential development industry, Mosaic focuses on production-scale projects of all types, from single-family homes to horizontal apartments to other build-to-rent product types.

Website

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John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.

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Residential construction made easy. As a tech-enabled general contractor for the residential development industry, Mosaic focuses on production-scale projects of all types, from single-family homes to horizontal apartments to other build-to-rent product types.

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