At the best of times, making real estate investment decisions and managing a portfolio of properties can be challenging. Awning aims to simplify this process by providing investors with quality insights and a host of brokerage and property management services. Here’s how they’re using ATTOM to help them become the first all-in-one real estate investing platform.
Navigating the challenges of investing the traditional way
Traditionally, successfully investing in real estate requires a lot of research. Before adding a property to their portfolio, investors must determine whether the potential investment makes financial sense. They usually make the decision by looking at a variety of metrics, such as net operating income (NOI), cap rate, and internal rate of return (IRR).
Before launching their company, Shri Ganeshram and his co-founder, Danaus Chang, had plenty of experience evaluating potential rental properties. However, they noticed that the process took a tremendous amount of effort on their part. There was no central resource where they could go to find all the information they needed.
“There’s a huge disconnect between the data available on websites like Zillow and Redfin and the kind of data needed to make a wise investment decision,” explains Ganeshram. “They won’t tell you how much the home will rent for or what the operating expenses will be. We had to keep our own spreadsheets and build our own models to get that information.”
After years of doing the legwork on their own, they sought to create a solution. Together, they formed Awning, a real estate platform that puts investors’ needs first.
Making Real Estate Investing More Accessible
Launched in September of 2021, Awning strives to provide investors with a home base, where they can go to get assistance with all the different aspects of their transaction.
At the beginning of their search process, Awning’s users have access to a host of free tools aimed at helping them find the perfect property. They can browse MLS listings on their own or receive curated property recommendations. Short-term rental investors can also use the site’s proprietary Airbnb Estimator to get a sense of potential rental values in the area.
Then, once they’re ready to take the next step, interested investors can connect with one of the company’s experienced real estate agents. The agents, who all bring investment experience to the table, are tasked with helping their clients to define their investment strategy and navigate their transactions. While it may take a few offers before a client finds their dream investment property, the agent is there to help them negotiate every step of the way,
But, the thing that sets Awning apart from its competition is that its agents’ role in the transaction doesn’t end once the paperwork has been signed and the keys have been exchanged. Instead, the agents are instrumental in helping investors find the best way to manage their properties.
For buy-and-hold real estate, they’ll connect their clients with a trusted property management partner. Short-term rentals, on the other hand, can be managed by the company’s in-house property management team. Plus, they also offer furnishing services for those who want to ensure that their property looks good enough to command a top nightly rate.
“There’s a lot of moving pieces in investing in real estate,” says Ganeshram. “We try to take as much as we can off of our customers’ plates and to streamline the process as much as possible so that they can save time and feel confident moving through the process.”
Teaming up with ATTOM to Provide Customers with the Data they Need
According to Ganeshram, Awning’s primary goal is to provide investors with the insights they need to make informed investment decisions. For that, he and his collaborators knew that they would need the most comprehensive real estate data available. So, they turned to a property data provider they could trust – ATTOM.
Awning currently utilizes ATTOM’s Property Data API, which integrates into local MLS systems and allows Awning’s customers to access real-time property data. Without it, investors would not be able to browse properties or receive listing recommendations from the platform.
For Ganeshram, the ease with which they were able to coordinate with the various MLS systems was what made the decision to partner with ATTOM so simple.
“It just makes it easier. The team at ATTOM has great relationships with those MLSs, which is really helpful. It’s a complex space with lots of different parties and all those parties have different requirements for how to be in compliance with their data policies. It’s challenging to navigate as a new company, so ATTOM’s familiarity made a big difference for us.”
Currently, Awning’s services are available in California, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. However, Ganeshram acknowledges they have plans to expand in the future. When they do, he’s glad to know that ATTOM will be by their side.
“The coverage that [ATTOM’s Property Data] has to offer is great compared to other sources,” he says. “I feel confident that they’ll be able to provide us with the data we need as we grow.”