Peter Vekselman has been working in the real estate industry for almost 20 years and completed more than 3,500 deals. With offices in Georgia, Florida and California, Vekselman has seen first hand the hurdles and difficulties that can come along with real estate investing and connecting the right financiers with the right investors. Vekselman started We Lend in order help real estate investors secure funding faster than through traditional resources.
Q: What sort of problems were you experiencing when it came to financing real estate projects?
The problem is that behind the scenes the money is handled by hedge funds. At the hedge fund level, it is very unorganized and not coordinated. All of the hedge funds on Wall Street do their own thing and no one knows who they are. So what happens is you have a potential investor and the first problem for them is finding the financing. But no one knows about these hedge funds or, if you know any, you only know one or two. Then you have to fit that one perfect project that they want to fund. Sometimes you match up, but it is a disorganized way of doing it.
Q: How exactly does We Lend work, and how does it help solve some of the problems previously mentioned?
I’ve consolidated and cut deals to put all the hedge funds under one roof, so now investors don’t have to go through this huge undertaking to find the funds. They can came to us, and we can underwrite them and then figure out on the back end the best match.
It’s like LendingTree for the investor world.
Q: Why did you want to start We Lend?
I’ve done over 3,500 deals, so I know this industry. But the average individual would have no idea who the hedge funds are or where to go for funding. I’ve learned who they are, and I’ve used a lot of them. I care about the investors, and I wanted to make the process more clear-cut than that.
Q: What types of projects and people does We Lend work with?
It’s an individual type of a business; they are not necessarily companies. We work with small developers or a mom-and-pop builder that does five properties a year. And we mainly work with residential properties only because there are more residential opportunities than anything else.
In terms of price points, we try to stay as low as $50,000 per project. There isn’t a real limit on the high end, but we stay toward the low end.
Q: What advice would you give investors who are just getting started?
They need to know what they’re doing. There’s no barrier to entry, so anyone can jump in without knowing what they are doing, but it is a very expensive business. That’s why most investors don’t make money. They jump in and lose time and health and money. They have to understand what they’re doing out there in order to be successful.