This Seattle startup aims to simplify single-family home investing – GeekWire

The Havium team, from left: Co-Founder and CEO Jamie Nacht, Co-Founder Cristin Nacht, and Technical Co-Founder Arash Motamedi. Charlie, a Flat Coated Retriever, sits in front. (Havium photo)

A married couple and a tech veteran plunge into the crowded real estate investing space with a startup that aims to simplify the identification and management of single-family home rentals.

The Seattle-based company, called Havium, offers two services: its software component searches real estate listings for lucrative investment opportunities in a selected region, while its concierge service connects its clients to a property management company that provides tenants and takes care of maintenance.

“Imagine if you could put on glasses and look at any property, or look across Washington state and only see the properties that make sense to buy as an investment,” said CEO and co-founder Jamie Nacht, who previously held a leadership role at JP Morgan.

Nacht co-founded the company with Cristin Nacht, his wife, and their technical co-founder, Arash Motamedi, who currently holds an executive role at Microsoft.

The 5-year-old startup currently manages a portfolio of homes worth more than $16 million spread across various markets in the Pacific Northwest. The company has already generated nearly $2.7 million in fortunes for its clients, according to its website.

A screenshot of Havium’s software interface. (Havium photo)

Havium prepares to scale and receives approvals in both Idaho and Oregon to expand operations. The aim is to finance this growth and expand the range of services by raising outside capital for the first time.

Because the company speeds up the process of identifying and operating an investment property, it has also become an attractive option for those looking to participate in a 1031 exchange, where real estate investors have a limited time frame to trade one investment property for another avoid paying capital gains tax.

“In the past, people would run around like crazy trying to find properties that could draw properly,” said Jamie Nacht. “People come up to us beforehand and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to sell this property and the day it sells is next Thursday.’ And then we just tell our system that next Thursday is the first day we can buy property for that client.”

Havium has a huge market. The company estimates that an average of 6.5 million single-family homes come onto the market in the United States each year

The startup earns its money in a variety of ways. It takes commission on both buying and selling client investments, charges one-time platform onboarding fees, and has recurring monthly revenue from each operating investment property.

The company said it will add several additional revenue streams based on the services its customers have requested.

An example of a statement that Havium makes available to its customers. (Havium photo)

So-called proptech, which includes real estate investment platforms like Havium, has become a crowded space. Several related startups have sprung up, each filling its own niche.

Arrived Homes, for example, allows users to crowdfund a micro real estate mutual fund. Its focus is on lowering the barrier to entry for its users into this asset class. Pacaso offers wealthy investors the opportunity to own part of a luxury home that can range from 2 to 8 owners per property. And LEX, a New York-based investment firm, announced that it plans to open the SOLIS building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the public.

These proptech startups have since been criticized for gobbling up a limited supply of housing, particularly in cities with high housing costs. Pacaso, for example, has faced backlash in communities from Napa Valley to Maui for allegedly raising real estate values.

When asked how Havium fits into this conversation, Jamie Nacht argued that the company operates in markets where single-family home investments do not impact overall prices, such as residential properties. B. Pacific Northwest.

Rising interest rates make it difficult for some prospective buyers to buy their own home. This in turn creates more demand for rental properties.

“If there are more people looking for rental housing – and if you have property during that period – that’s better for you,” he added. “It’s counter-cyclical to house prices.”

One way to describe Havium’s target customer is to put them in the high-income, not-yet-rich category, or a so-called “HENRY.” This could be a technician with a high equity pay or someone recently hired as a surgeon, among other things.

“They want to invest in real estate,” says co-founder Cristin Nacht. “But they don’t have the time or inclination to do all the stuff that comes with it.”

Up to this point, the startup has ramped up its finances and relied solely on word of mouth to market its services. Cristin Nacht said this has allowed the company to refine the way it works and position it to scale effectively into new markets.

Havium plans to raise a combination of seed and debt financing. The founders say the proceeds from the seed funding will be used for software development, hiring and expansion into new market regions, while the credit facility will be available to their customers to fund their real estate investments.

Jamie Nacht said he has already started reaching out to a handful of investment firms and has a “mountain of talks” planned over the next few weeks.

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