Origin Investments is a real estate investment firm that owns and operates commercial properties. Origin invests in 11 of the fastest-growing U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix, and Raleigh.
Origin Investments was founded in 2007 and is based in Chicago with regional offices in Charlotte, Denver, and Nashville. It has completed more than $1 billion in transactions. Origin was in business well before the JOBS Act of 2011 came into effect. Until then, its commercial real estate funds were limited to private placements with no more than 100 investors.
But the JOBS Act opened another door for Origin. Through the use of technology and crowdfunding strategies, the platform has been successful at attracting more investors. Origin expanded its investor base from personal ultra-high-net-worth relationships to accredited investors across the country, enabling the company to raise $151 million for its recent growth fund, Origin Fund III. The company is currently accepting new investors for its new offerings, the Origin IncomePlus Fund and the Origin QOZ Fund.
Origin is not really a real estate crowdfunding company. Rather, it is a private real estate investment company that now uses crowdfunding and platform technology to allow more investors to participate.
Origin’s strategy for the IncomePlus Fund is to acquire income-generating real estate with the opportunity to force property appreciation through renovations and capital improvements. The primary focus is on multi-family properties that range in size from $25 million to $75 million. This is a segment of the asset class that’s under-trafficked by large institutions and pension funds. Plus, the fund invests in preferred equity opportunities which enjoys protections similar to those of a senior lender but provides returns equivalent to an equity position.
Origin’s strategy for the QOZ Fund is to construct a diversified portfolio of ground-up, multi-family development projects located within Qualified Opportunity Zones. The QOZ program was created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to incentivize investment in targeted communities in need of economic development, the QOZ’s. There are significant tax advantages to investors who roll over their capital gains from other investments into a fund that invests in a QOZ.
Origin provides the opportunity to invest in two funds that are diversified across multiple properties. Origin shows the individual properties that comprise the funds, but you’re not buying a specific property. You’re buying a fund that owns a mix of the properties.
Origin’s two co-founders, David Scherer and Michael Episcope use Origin as their primary investment vehicle. This is unique to Origin’s crowdfunding business model. To date, they are the largest investors at Origin, with over $56 million committed alongside investors ensuring alignment of interest. And the team’s compensation is based largely on fund performance, not acquisition volume.
And the team’s compensation is based largely on fund performance, not acquisition volume. According to Ben Harris, head of investor relations, “We don’t believe in paying people to sell our products, so our funds are not offered by commission-based advisors.”