CRE Investor Insights From our Head of Investor Relations
We sat down with Jasper's Head of Investor Relations; Mat Harvie, to ask him a few questions around his observations of the current CRE investor market here in New Zealand, and his plans for Jasper and our investors going forward.
1. Given your experience with both New Zealand and International investors in your previous role, what trends do you see emerging in a post-COVID market environment?
Tenant covenant is getting much more focus from investors. In property, location has and always will reign supreme in the post-COVID world. However, investors are placing significant emphasis on the underlying tenant strength and their ability to pay rent. Investors, and retirees in particular, are facing some tough choices - cash in the bank is now providing negative returns when adjusting for tax and inflation, the bond markets are unattractive, and the volatility of the share market is not palatable for many. Commercial property continues to attract capital for those seeking strong, stable cash returns, capital preservation, and capital growth potential.
The team at Jasper are adopting a long term and conservative mentality when sourcing assets for our investors in a post-COVID market environment. We will watch the market patiently for key indicators and opportunities and position ourselves and our investors to take full advantage of the recovery. In my view, 'it's all about time in the market' and not trying to 'time the market', a long-term investment in the asset class has proven to be a prudent and rewarding investment strategy.
2. What are a few key learnings the NZ market can adopt from the global commercial property investment markets?
Education and accessibility spring to mind first. In the context of property as an asset class, far too often, New Zealanders only look at the residential property sector as the 'property' allocation in their portfolios - it's part of NZ's investor DNA. Investors, like businesses, need to focus on cash flow. I often encounter investors with significant portions of their savings aligned to the residential property sector. There are vastly better-suited options available to them that attract higher yields, no outgoings, less maintenance, and less hassle. Cash Flow is king, and investors need to adopt investment strategies that support their needs.
Traditional investing in property is history; disruption, and democratisation of the asset class is the new law of tomorrow. Jasper is on the same page when it comes to providing investors with access to an asset class that has previously been impossible for a majority of investors to enter.
3. What is your vision for Jasper in the near future? And what makes you most excited about joining the team?
In the near term, provide investors with a market-leading, highly transparent, quality investment product, and frictionless investor experience. In simple terms, - Jasper is making things easy for investors to get a stable risk-adjusted return for their hard-earned savings. Jasper is fortunate to be in a position of strength post COVID events with no legacy issues and a pipeline of exciting acquisitions. The level of expertise across the business is quite frankly incredible.
Jasper has and is investing heavily in its technology in order to provide an investor experience like nothing currently available in the market. If our Investors see an investment property or fund of interest, they will be able to view investment highlights, analysis, photos, and DD information in an entirely digitised prospectus, again offering a level of data transparency in this sector that hasn't been seen before. Leveraging heavily on technology will enable us to create operational efficiencies and dramatically lower fees, enhance liquidity, lower investment minimums, and improve investor outcomes.
4. Given your experience in the New Zealand real estate market. What are the most significant opportunities and challenges facing the CRE industry in the coming years?
Opportunity-wise, technology can bring a tremendous amount of value to the sector and enhance the investor experience - take fees, for example. All too often investors find hidden fees and associated costs that make the investment process confusing and fragmented - Jasper's approach is to empower investors with transparency and ensure every dollar invested is working as hard as possible for them.
I am a firm believer in providing investors with diversification - providing investment options whereby investors can make a straightforward investment and gain exposure to multiple buildings, multiple tenants, and ensuring investor risk is spread. In this strategy, cash returns to investors are not beholden to one tenant or building and spread across tailored portfolios designed for income stability regardless of market sentiment. What we are building at Jasper is precisely that - watch this space.
Real estate will continue to be a leading asset class for building long-term, intergenerational wealth. We are fortunate to live in a country with a stable political system, geographic isolation, and substantial natural food resources. To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put clients' best interests first - I am delighted to be a part of a vastly experienced team with this mindset in everything we do.
Please feel free to reach out if you would like to ask any questions, or would like to meet up for a chat with Mat around the exciting investment offerings coming to the Jasper platform in the near future.
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