Benzinga is proud to introduce the Benzinga Women's Wealth Forum, a space where women can learn how to empower themselves through financial technology and be inspired by the stories of powerful women in finance.
Ahead of the March 21 event, we're highlighting the stories of our speakers, all of whom are leading women in the financial services industry.
Our next installment is an interview with Joy Schofler, Chief Strategy Officer at real estate investment firm Casoro Capital.
Schoffler is a long-time investor who, prior to joining Casoro, was the founder of Leverage PR, which provided marketing and communications to financial services, technology, real estate, and professional services sectors before it was acquired by Caliber Corporate Advisers in 2017.
Additionally, Schoffler has served as director of acquisitions for The PPA Group (Casoro’s parent company) and has also provided active leadership in the fintech community, sitting on several advisory boards including SXSW Accelerator, AARP’s FinTech Accelerator and FinTech Professionals as well as acting as advisor to Yodlee’s fintech incubator.
First, congratulations on your new role at Casoro and your entrepreneurial success. After finding a successful exit from your own projects, what made you want to come back to building financial products? What made this your next step?
I was kind of looking at what I wanted to do next, and one of the things that kept drawing me back was the ability to work with a really strong team where I would learn a lot and really have the opportunity to help people fulfill their dreams. As corny as it sounds, being an entrepreneur and being an investor, I know that the only way you can truy accomplish your dreams in life is through having multiple streams of income, and passive income is kind of the king of that.
I’ve been part of helping launch dozen of fintech companies over the years. From a strategy perspective, I was pretty ingrained in their product development and how to position it and how to message it. I had team members execute the media part of it but a lot of what I’ve been a part of at Leverage over the years has been kind of on the strategic side. I’ve gotten to play a little of that role but being able to find all of the best tech out there, to put together to build something that is absolutely phenomenal, it's really exciting.
What specifically drew you to Casoro?
I loved their model. Not only are they doing deals with the PPA Group and managing money through their family office, they're also partnering with other family offices and institutional investors on their deals.
Say there’s a multi-family deal that needs $10 million in equity. The family office may take down $5 million in equity because, for whatever reason, they don't want to put in the whole $10 million. There’s a network out there of these family offices and key firms that do deals together. What I love about what they’re doing is not only do they kind of bring the best deals in the market that they’re offering, but now they’re working with this amazing network of family offices and institutions, so the quality of the deal flow is just phenomenal.
Right now, I'm really enjoying helping them develop a new fintech product that will be launching probably the beginning of March, end of February.
Could you elaborate on that a little?
It’s kind of a non-traded REIT in multi-family, senior and student housing located across the country. Before we only allowed other institutional investors or really high-net-worth investors to work with us, but they're opening the product up to people with as small as $2,000 investment increments. So unlike some of the other platforms out there who are paid to put up whatever deal and they get a fee from it, we're actually curating the best investment products as a vertically integrated investment firm that has been in business for 15 years doing over a billion in transactions. And we’re partnering on the best fields that are around, allowing other people to get into them
It’s really exciting because I can help other people benefit from this and this in any way and I get to stay in my love of fintech as well as my investor relations passion.
Finally, do you have any thoughts about the activity you're seeing in the fintech space right now?
I think it speaks to a bigger trend of established investment firms really going out and communicating differently to their investor bases these days. We’ve kind of seen a little bit of that with how these emerging fintechs are speaking to both retail as well as the accredited investors. But what we're actually starting to see as the tip of the iceberg in the market is now big established firms that are starting to get into the mix and offer their own products, sometimes to retail investors, sometimes they’re still only working with accredited investors. But they’re changing the way they communicate and operate because everybody is insisting on a fintech solution.
It’s no longer okay as an investment firm to do things the old way. It’s really about adapting and becoming more.
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