Denzity Insights Transcript: Overseas Real Estate Investing & PropTech with Ariel Shtarkman


Overseas Real Estate Investing & PropTech with Ariel Shtarkman

Connect with Ariel:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariel-shtarkman-2850322/

When it comes to investment, information is key, especially when you are looking into investing in a foreign market. Accurate information can definitely help you understand the market better and assist you to make the right choices to have a smooth investing experience. But how do we gather reliable information, to begin with?

In this episode, Ariel Shtarkman talks about networking and technology, the two important factors to take into consideration while investing overseas. She also shares her experience and knowledge regarding the mentioned topic.

  • Why invest in overseas Real Estate?
  • How do you assess the risks involved?
  • Is overseas investing really worth the risk?
  • How do markets vary location wise?
  • Where does technology come into play?

As it can be difficult to catch some minor errors, transcripts may contain a few typos or inaccuracies.

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Terminology: 

Real Estate Private Equity: Real Estate Private Equity (REPE) is a type of real investment firm that takes capital from outside investors and invests mostly in commercial properties such as, hotels or malls and sells them after a certain period of time for a profit.

Structure finance: Much like mortgages or loans, structure finance is also a financial tool or instrument. But, unlike normal loans, structure finance is used by larger corporations, organizations or entities. The requirements vary case to case.

https://www.tradefinanceglobal.com/finance-products/structured-finance/

Due diligence: Simply put, due diligence is the investigation of the financial world. It is when a background or security check is performed on another party before making a transaction.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/duediligence.asp

[Real estate investment] title: Real estate investing is investing in a property or asset, whether in the form of lands or buildings. The investment can include buying, owning or renting a property and using or selling it for profit.

https://www.thebalance.com/different-types-of-real-estate-investments-you-can-make-357986

Uran Land Institute: Urban Land Institute (ULI) is an organization that consists of 40,000 members worldwide, who are involved in any sort of professions related to Real Estate.  ULI members are dedicated to provide free research and education platforms to learn about the responsible use of land.

Alright, let’s get back to the transcript of the show. Enjoy!

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[Transcript]

Darren: Hey Ariel, thanks for coming to the show. 

Ariel: Hi. 

Darren: Hi. So for the audience that don’t know about you, I’ll give you a little bit of an introduction from my side, because I think I met you three years ago. And then there was a talk about the future of Prop tech and you were one of the panelists on it. So I remember I reached out to you and asked you some questions. And somehow we just kept meeting up afterwards, something that is kind of interesting that after so many years, I still ask you questions about what’s going on in the prop tech space and real estate space. So it’s good to have you here.

Ariel: Thank you so much for inviting me, happy to be here.

Darren: Yeah. So for the audience who might not know who you are, would you mind telling them about you and your work?

Ariel: Sure. So My Name Is Ariel Shtarkman and I’m originally from Israel. I’ve been in Hong Kong now for 12 years. I started my career in real estate direction and real estate private equity in New York after graduating from Columbia Business School, and the fund I worked for, transferred me here in 2008 for a very exciting position in real estate, private equity. Of course, we all know what happened at the end of 2008 and 2009. So, a financial crisis happened and I was very fortunate to move to Citibank here in Hong Kong, and in Citibank and at several positions, I helped restructured some of those special situation deals in real estate. And I was involved in the structured finance team arranging primarily debt financing for real estate companies across Asia. 

A few years ago, I wanted to go my own route and always wanted to be an entrepreneur. So I started my own business, actually, several lines of business, if you will, I’m an investor in real estate, and I had a portfolio of assets in Hong Kong, which I actually sold a couple of years ago, and I’m always looking for more interesting opportunities. I have a separate venture in western New York real estate, with Asian family offices. And though those are more club deals, private equity type deals structured into the class of New York. And lastly, in the last, I would say 36 months since women really, I started to get more and more involved in the prop tech space. First, it was very interesting to me to understand how technology and innovation will change our really traditional industry. And as a learned more I realize that the only way to really understand how technology and real estate merge is to become an investor myself. So I’m an angel investor in several prop tech startups. I only focus on Prop tech in all my angel investing VC ventures, and we can talk more about kind of what opportunities I’m looking for. But, um, I would say in the last year, that became a much bigger portion of what I do, whether it’s constantly meeting startups, other investors and understanding the eco system and how we can push for innovation in real estate.

Darren: That’s cool. Because I think that when I’m preparing the material to have this recording with you it’s really a wide range looking at your resume. It’s like you have very vast experiences in the real estate space. And then you decided to digitize like look into this whole space. So this conversation is meant for looking at that because not only do you have those experience, but you actually do a lot of things cross border, you’re from Hong Kong, you’re in Hong Kong now, but you actually have deals from overseas, which is something that is very interesting, because you know, our channel is for overseas investors to find real estate opportunities. So it’s really exciting to have this. So for beginners today-

Ariel: I think, yeah, for your point, it is impossible to do cross border investments now without technology without a platform like yours, because it will be extremely difficult and inefficient really and this is where technology can play a major, major role.

Darren: Yeah, thanks for your shout out because it’s something that, you know, I think a lot of players are trying to do to bridge the gap inbetween of the whole ecosystem. So hopefully, you know, people can have more, understand what’s going on, know what is better, find people they can trust cross border. Well, so for beginners who are not familiar with real estate investing, right, would you mind telling them about why people would invest in oversea real estate market? Because it’s not easy? Because you can always invest somewhere close to you, maybe 20-30 minutes walk away from you, but why would you choose all the way from miles away or have to globe away sometimes?

Ariel: Sure. I think there are two main reasons really, one is of course portfolio diversification and my sort of network accompasses primarily private investors and family offices. And even in the last year since Hong Kong had been through some turbulence, and then COVID-19 situation, a lot of those investors while no one is planning to leave Hong Kong, but investors are looking to diversify outside. Real estate is something that traditionally Asian investors really love and understand. And I feel that that’s almost a natural segway into diversification, investing in real estate abroad, of course, easier said than done. As I mentioned, it is very, very difficult. But diversification is of course, one main reason. And second, I would say, looking for better returns. Now looking for better returns is tricky because as we know, Hong Kong real estate is very efficient, is very stable and it’s very, very expensive. I mean, even since the events of last year, plus the Covid-19 situation, well, of course, rents have been going down in some parts of the sector. But overall, you don’t see distress, you don’t see the market, significantly correcting, meaning that a lot of the investors think that it’s a little bit too expensive, a little bit too unaffordable, and they’re looking for opportunities and to without better words, to make more money on their real estate. Now, I think that’s a very important component of it, of course, risk. And if you are going to another country, how do you assess the risk of investing there versus investing in Hong Kong for example, where it is familiar mark, that’s 20 minutes from the home probably. But it’s a 2% or 3% capital. And that’s, of course a much bigger discussion. It’s by country, by city, by location, and etc. But I think that more and more investors are willing to take the bet for those stories. Diversification and better returns.

Darren: That’s good. Yeah, I think it’s good to have a overview understanding because a lot of people are always asking us like, why would you need a portal to find real estate oversea real estate investment? I was like, because you never thought of that. There’s a lot more out there that you just have more options as a whole. So, for your experience, right, I’m sure you’re one of the best people to talk to-

[cut off – break in between, removed 1-2 min of small talk] 

So for someone who has your experience right, I’m sure you have a lot of experience with you know, understanding what it takes to invest overseas. So how is it different compared to locally when it comes to the process and what are some things that you should be aware of for investors?

Ariel: Well, of course, in every real estate deal, you need to do pretty significant due diligence. Now, of course, if you live 20-30 minutes an hour away from the asset you will buy, physical due diligence is pretty easy. You just go to the area, and one of the things about real estate which will never go away is that the physical notion, right, a building on the right side of the street might be priced completely different from a building on the left side of the street because of many different reasons, better access, better views, Feng Shui, etc, etc. Right? So being able to see real estate for ourselves is of course, a very important benefit of investing locally. The rest of the due diligence, whether it’s financial due diligence, wonderful converse, models, documents, understanding the title etc, etc. I mean, although trickiest thing, whether you invest in Hong Kong or you invest in somewhere else. And now the really important aspect to take into account, of course, is the actual process and the related taxation. That’s a big thing. When you invest in New York, you’re structuring of taxes for a foreign investor is crucial, because otherwise all your return will be eaten by taxes. It’s not the case in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, the tax structure it’s much more favorable to investor say, and you don’t need to spend so much time figuring out well, what’s the equal thing to use so and of course that goes by geography. I would say the less transparent the geography like say it’s Vietnam, Cambodia and versus investing in Canada, right? You probably need to do much more due diligence not only on the asset itself, but on title, any regulatory issues, you need to be aware of who’s going to manage your assets? That’s another big thing, right? I mean, I invest with a local partner, or I invest in myself. So, you know, those are all many different components that go into investing in real estate. Now, I would say that the process is not dissimilar, whether investing assets in your local market versus outside, but what you’re hoping for is that you will have channels, trust channels. You can get all that information for the asset estimate abroad, because it’s obviously much easier to get access to information in your local market. 

Darren: I think that’s pretty good. I think you do a lot better job than I do when I explain to people the difference between oversea investing and locally so thanks for that, and we’ll copy yours for sure.

Ariel: No problem, any time. That’s why I’m your advisor.

Darren: Exactly, here you go. So you know that this channel, for a lot of people who are watching this a lot of them are Asian investors. And I know that like, you know, there’s a lot of different types of investors, Asian investors, I’ve met one of the many. Through the experience right, can you summarize what the Asian investors are usually like like their appetite and then location wise or certain type of risk and reward that they would like to have?

Ariel: Absolutely. And the thing again, I have a very focused expertise in what they do. So I haven’t covered all the markets. Definitely not globally, but that would give you sort of tidbits of information. So first, Asian investors and I’m talking about private investors family central. They love physical assets, much more than they love structure projects. And I know we’ll get structured products in later questions. What they mean by that they would like to be a part of a deal, investing in hard assets, rather than investing in fun. I mean that vehicles have been a bit popular, more popular in recent years. But I think that from my experience, at least, investors here want access to assets themselves, not to be removed several layers. So that’s number one. I would say in terms of geography I mean I’ve seen here investors who only invest in UK for example, as they pass for diversification. They know UK though obviously Hong Kong and UK have historical ties. They have been in the market for a long time. They don’t need to go to London. It’s not just London, it’s London and secondary cities, their family there. So a lot of people are very comfortable by now, investing in UK, because they just been doing that for a while, have the relationships and understand the tax structure which actually keeps changing but still, again, very comfortable. So they’re not moving from going to other places. Really no matter what the price in the UK is because they just feel it’s a good balance between what they have here and foreigners. There are some investors who prefer much more opportunistic assets, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, have all been kind of the favorite countries in a way for this type of investors. My reservations with that person – again, I’m an investor In real estate on a personal level myself and I run my office, I’m not sure how to quantify the risk, because the rewards is there. I mean, you see if you compare dollar for dollar, and of course, you get the great fortune, right, much better than in an established market. How do you quantify the risk? Again, if I have the right channel, to invest into those economists into those markets, and in all the due diligence I’m doing is, you know, enough or someone, a partner, like a partner on your platform, for example. If I can get that comfort, then I would be much more kin to say, you know, what I would like to allocate a portion of my portfolio in the kind of the more interesting, I would say, countries on the risk reward spectrum. And, of course, the US that was a big theme in the last 10 years, I would say since Global Financial Crisis real estate prices in the US took an unprecedented hit. And of course smart shoe masters saw opportunities, went to the US, the market of more than recovered its until COVID, I would say it’s been doing record absolutely record levels. I’m not sure what will happen now. Because I would say this started grabbing in the last 24 months, Asian investors overall took a break from looking at the US. Again, number of reasons. First of all, I think the US China trade war, sort of, even if it’s not directly affecting real estate, or directly affecting the Hong Kong investors. Some investors get nervous and they want to see how that plays out. Second, pricing again was just too expensive, and then you layer on top the taxation that you have in the US, which is much higher than here in Hong Kong, and it just became too expensive to go halfway around the globe and look for opportunities. And I think we will see how COVID-19 and the fact of real estate will play out. Real estate industry is ___ industry. We haven’t seen it yet. Because for example, retail in the US, took a dramatic hit I mean, just in the last two months with several degrees, all declaring bankruptcy meaning they are going to close shop, meaning you have more vacancies. Now again, retail has been suffering in the US for a while. I think it’s kind of like the last nail in the coffin. Will retail go away forever? Absolutely not. But there will be that restructuring period in the market that I played in New York, again, too early to tell because New York was shut down for two and a half months. And I’m involved in a construction project in New York, which basically construction stopped for almost three months and just now slowly reopened. How will it play out in terms of pricing and opportunities? We’re not sure yet, but it’s a wait and see. But I think to summarize kind of what I just said, again, I cannot touch every country because I don’t have experience in every country. I think that’s when that’s settled, ie., post Covid, I think that individual investors seeking here, whether it’s in Hong Kong or Asia, will be actually more interested to invest in other parts of the world. And whether it’s US whether it’s UK, whether it’s other parts of Europe, Asia, because everyone realized in this crisis, while in this crisis, the diversification is extremely important. And how you diversify in real estate, either you must across asset classes, but probably you need to diversify your job.

Darren: I see that’s a pretty good explanation, I actually want to know because like you cover a couple things, right? Like the recession, the virus spread and all that. And then obviously, your skill set is focusing on New York market, actually, would you mind like, giving the audience more detail about your work in New York? And then, you know, like, obviously, you covered some of your opinion on you know, this whole effect so far. So how would you plan to like, you know, defend or change a little bit or even look at different markets because of right now, where we are at the moment?

Ariel: So for me, it’s a little bit too early to say. I think because of what I mentioned we haven’t seen the dust settle. We haven’t seen valuations change in this world that way, we haven’t seen any distress again yet. I think me personally, the big thing for me is absolutely we need diversification. I’m not sure if my next deal in terms of diversification will be in the US actually, probably not. For the reasons I mentioned, I also worry about the trade war, upcoming elections, taxation. It’s tricky. And However, it’s also a question of really the price and where the market is. So I feel like a lot of investors definitely understand that they need to rethink the diversification strategies more than before, but where will it be where those countries, where those next purchases will be? Everyone is sort of looking for and it’s tricky, right? Because you want to get in at the lowest price. Always especially because everyone has been waiting for some cool down of prices. And that’s a thing globally, for a while. The question is, are you going to go in if New York _______, just an example. valuations don’t bite, whatever 10%-15%. And I’m not saying that this will happen, but just as an example, or, you know, Japan and other markets that a lot of investors from Hong Kong particular have been very interested and very active. Many people already have assets there and will we see sort of another surge of investors going to Tokyo, or going to Japan overall, because that is extremely cheap plus you might be able to see opportunities that you haven’t seen 24 months ago. So I know it’s like, I don’t like not responding directly to the question, but the reality I think we are a bit in that wait and see game.

Darren: I think that’s great because like, I think that all the world class investors that I know so far are very blunt about like, “Hey, you know, the world’s huge, you know, there’s a lot of things to look at. And then there’s no point of, you know, saying that you know everything,” and in fact that I think usually the world class investors are the ones that keep learning, understanding that there are things that they keep learning, understanding what stage they are in. So I think that it’s very refreshing to hear from you because it’s obvious with someone who has experienced like you, you will say out loud, “Hey, you know, it’s too early, you know, there are a lot of thing you need to look at, you never know what’s going to happen.” And then that’s why we have these kinds of channels because you know, there’s so much to learn, the more you learn, you realize there’s so much you don’t know. So I’ll shift a little – Sorry, sorry. Keep going.

Ariel: I just one point that I think is actually very relevant to what you do. I think that, you know, will, at least maybe in the prop tech circles, but but really in the real estate circle as well, one knowledge that post COVID-19 Real Estate will have to innovate much more than before. And innovation is across board, whether it’s the way we invest in real estate, the way revealed, the way we manage real estate. So it’s kind of adhering to the standards now, in terms of social distancing, and cleanliness, etc. And, basically, technology is really our friend, not a disruptive technology only will make it better. And I think that this is a big theme. That’s a thinking thing I would say, that investors are looking at. And then of course, consequentially is what are the geographies and asset classes that will be interesting, taken that technological advances. In other words, I mean, if I’m investing now in a market, which is kind of less developed, but what are my options in terms of I mean, others assets be built for the 21st century, or it’s still a little bit backwards? You know, again, I don’t have answers to this question. But I think that this is definitely sort of those big questions that investors in real estate are asking themselves much more than before.

Darren: It’s something that like is very interesting because it seems like a lot of people are also looking into tech right now in real estate, traditional real estate professionals, which is interesting, right? Because you have been really active with groups like, ULI (UrbanLand Institute) and prop tech space, actually what’s the reason behind that, like, how did you get to that realm, you know, from a traditional background like yours before?

Ariel: I think, as I mentioned, I’m a very active member of Ergamind Institute, and I served as a

senior content advisor for Utiliza Pacific. And I sit on the Hong Kong committee and I’ve been involved. Actually, since Business School since I was a student in New York because the organization for real estate, definitely in the US, and then became a premier organization for real estate professionals here in Asia. When I moved to Asia, you know I was just starting here. I helped to start the Young Leaders Group and I was chair for some time, etc. And that’s been going on for I think the last five years. I’ve been through my role as a very active member of life. I’ve been sort of pushing this agenda of innovation. I mean, what’s next real estate? How do we bring those innovative ideas, real estate to our audience, to the network of real estate professionals across the sector, whether it’s investors, developers, brokers, architects, other service providers, right, so, and I think that the knowledge sharing, and the community building is crucial because, as I learned in the VC world, I think the VC world is much more collaborative, in a way than the traditional real estate; traditional real estate world, you know, everyone’s doing deals, and people don’t collaborate. Don’t get me wrong, and you need a lot of people to make a project success, whether it’s your investment professionals, the leasing brokers, the architects, the designers, of course, the owners, developers, the consultants, etc, etc. And so there is definitely a collaboration on the project level. But in this ____ it goes beyond that. It’s really a community of both the startups and the investors, and I’m trying to work together to push those successful ideas forward. And I think it’s really, really important. For me personally, I think, as a real estate professional to stay connected, and I don’t have answers. I don’t know that yet, but this is why you need a lot of interesting people, either in your industry or in sort of like those parallely becoming my industry as well.

Darren: So, you know, like, it’s interesting, because there are so many real estate platforms or property tech companies, you just happen to pop out, you know, kind of like, sprung out of nowhere for past couple years, and especially recently, right, it’s like in Hong Kong, I think just four to five real estate platform coming out this year. And then obviously mine, but you know, like, I just want to know, do you have any insight or ideas of why recently it’s been a big topic in real estate tech because this is something that I thought years before going into industry, I thought that this industry should be innovating years ago. But it’s only around now it’s when the whole industrys really starting, it’s like the little seeds just started sprouting a little bit. Do you have any viewpoints on that?

Ariel: I think particularly for Hong Kong, I think that there are a lot of really innovative people here. But on the real estate side, real estate has been having such a great run until last year. It’s almost that you didn’t need to innovate, I mean, as an owner in collecting rental checks, and everything was as normal. But I think the events of the last sort of 18 months shows that, well, we need to rethink how we look at our real estate. Again, technology, in my opinion, also get a little bit of a bad name with some of the owners or operators because, you know, we work for example, I mean that the builders disrupt of course, we’ll know what happened when we work, but you know, there is a lot of real estate industry that doesn’t like disruption. But technology in real estate doesn’t really bring disruption. It only brings wait for it brings collaboration, it brings ability to actually manage your assets better to understand what you have in your portfolio in a much better way to invest better, to, again, save costs, which is great. As a real estate investor, all I care about is really the bottom line of my asset. And if technology helps me to improve the bottom line, I’m interested. Right, and I think that back to sort of just a bit of a sidetrack to a question, but I think that what’s happened in the last, I’d say 18 months, there’s more and more discussion. In the real estate industry, well, we need to do something. We need to innovate. I think that COVID actually accelerated that on many levels. That’s why I think you see enough people now are doing more interesting things in real estate and trying to sort of figure out what is the next thing? What are the opportunities?

And the thing is you are coming out to talk about it with your platform at the right time, because people will be more willing to diversify. And I think that a lot of investors, I would say five years ago, I don’t think the market overall the Asian market was ready to invest in online platforms. I think that now people are more ready. Again, I cannot guarantee how many will be actually using the platform but you see my point, I think that it’s investor education.

Darren: I see. So you know, like, I know that you’d be working on several things before like Aqua Capital, Adam Assets. And I think that we chatted before, you know, you were thinking about having a prop tech fund or something like that. So how would you think all these tie together in terms of like, you know, moving forward?

Ariel: Well, I think for me, it’s natural progression really, I think that real estate will become more and more of an technology or technology savvy industry because it seems to die in this stage. So for me, you know, I’ve been always very passionate about real estate and about physical assets. And what’s interesting for me is how we make physical assets more compatible in a way with our smartphones, with our tablets, because we live digital lives, right, but how those digital lives connect to the physical space. And we met you know around those opportunites are so for me again I think it’s time for sort of an Asian based platform. It’s a VC platform, ideal platform, investing in startups only focused on prop tech. And there are a couple of platforms already but the thing is we’re still in early stages. It’s sort of an – natural progression how do I combine my personal investment experience really, the physical and the digital and bring them together?

Darren: I think that’s good because I already see that kind of merging together. And then, you know, you can say different businesses but the thing is in one, they’re just different kind of focuses. So what kind of take away would you like the audience to have from this video?

Ariel: Well, I think you know, what you like the audience to take away one of several things, I would say Prop tech and technology in real estate is huge. I think that now is the time to explore all the different options. Again, prop tech is a vast, vast industry. You and I talked about it many times. Yeah. I mean, I think what’s relevant is what are the solutions for the real estate investment development units. It can make them invest better, develop faster. Again, focus on the bottom line. What will help owners, operators, developers matters, and to stay competitive, right. I think another takeaway is that real estate investing in real estate growth is also probably here to stay and this trend will accelerate. Now, what I hope to see from your platform is that it’s a really a way for investors situated in Hong Kong learn about all those different markets that you will have, and seeing you know what, “actually, I’m feeling comfortable for this particular channel, I can do it.” And I feel comfortable, I understand my risks, and my rewards, etc, etc. And I think that again, diversification is a big theme right now, not just in real estate but anywhere in portfolio composition. And because the market overall is predictable.

Darren: So, like, so for people who wants to know more about, you know, obviously, oversea real estate investing, or for example, let’s say an US market that you’re familiar with, and also for prop tech, how would we suggest them to reach out to you and talk to you further more about it.

Ariel: Well, they can – I’m not sure how you’re doing it through a platform and you can always reach out to me, again, through your platform because you have those, the advisor section and I’m always happy to connect with people interested in pretty much anything we talked about. Because again through my experience on the VC side, I think that community is although a bit of an overused word, but a very important word for us to learn from each other. Especially in this day and age.

Darren: Yeah, for sure. And obviously I’ll include all your contact information in the show notes, people can reach out to you and then I want to say thanks a lot and you play a really key part for how Denzity is becoming what it is today and then continuously I really hope that I keep learning from you because you know, a lot of times I’m not in my basement and then working a lot and asking you about advice about real estate investing overseas, and about the pin point that investors have to go through, more important thing how to innovate personally, I want to say thank you through this medium because I never really properly thanked you for that.

Ariel: No, thank you so much for that. And I mean, I’m excited for you guys. You know, you and I’ve been talking for a while. As I said five years ago, might be too early. Now, I think it’s exactly the right time. So you just need to capture the market properly.

Darren: Yeah, for sure. And then so yeah, I actually want to do a second part next time. We want to have a longer form to dive deeper about your experience because I think a lot of people that not only the audience’s, but also in terms of like myself and others I know always talk about how they want to know what it takes to be one of the best real estate investors. Obviously, you are one of the very well known investors and you’re really humble about it. So thanks a lot again for your time. And let’s do this another time. 

Ariel: No problem. Thank you Darren.

Darren: Yeah, have a great day. Thank you.

Ariel: Bye, thank you everyone.

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Darren :嗨,Ariel,謝謝你來參加。

Ariel:嗨。

Darren :嗨。所以,對於不認識你的觀眾,我會從我這邊給你做一點介紹,因為我想我三年前認識你。然後有人談論房地產科技的未來,而你也是其中會議分享人。所以我記得我聯系過你問了你一些問題。不知怎麼的,後來我們一直見面,有點有趣很多年來,我還是會問你一些關於道具房地產科技領域和房地產領域的問題。有你在這裡真好。

Ariel: 非常感謝你邀請我,很高興來到這裡。

Darren :是的。所以對於那些可能不知道你是誰的觀眾,你介意告訴他們你和你的作品嗎?

Ariel:當然。所以我叫Ariel Shtarkman,我來自以色列。我在香港已經12年了。我的職業生涯始於紐約的房地產方向和房地產私募股權哥倫比亞商學院(Columbia Business School)畢業後,我所在的基金於2008年將我調到這裡,在房地產、私募股權領域獲得了一個非常令人興奮的職位。當然,我們都是知道2008年底和2009年底發生了什麼。所以,一場金融危機發生了我非常幸運,我來到香港的花旗銀行,在花旗銀行和一些職位上,我幫助重組了一些特殊情况房地產交易。我參與了結構性融資團隊,主要為亞洲各地的房地產公司安排債務融資。幾年前,我想走自己的路,一直想成為一名企業家。所以我自己創業了,實際上,有幾項業務,如果你願意的話,我是房地產投資者,我在香港有一個資產組合,實際上幾年前就賣了,我一直在尋找更有趣的機會。我在紐約西部的房地產有一家獨立的公司,在那裡有亞洲家族理財辦公室。儘管這些交易更多的是緊密俱樂部投資,但私募股權類型的交易屬於紐約類別。最後,在過去的36個月裏,我真的開始越來越多地參與到房地產科技領域。首先,我很有興趣瞭解科技和創新將如何改變我們真正的傳統產業。作為一個學識淵博的人我意識到要真正理解科技和房地產是如何融合的,唯一的辦法就是自己成為一名投資者。所以我是幾家公司的天使投資人房地產科技創業公司。在我所有的天使投資風險投資中,我只關注房地產科技,我們可以更多地討論我是什麼樣的機會正在尋找。但是,嗯,我想說,在過去的一年裏,這已經成為我所做工作的一個更大的部分,不管是不是經常會見初創企業、其他投資者,瞭解生態系統以及我們如何推動房地產創新。

Darren :那很酷。因為我覺得當我準備材料準備這段錄音的時候,簡現你的簡歷。就像你在房地產領域有著豐富的經驗。然後你决定數位化就像看整個空間一樣。所以這次談話是這是因為你不僅有這些經驗,而且實際上你做了很多跨境的事情,你來自香港,現在在香港,但實際上你有來自海外的交易,這是一個非常有趣的事情,因為你知道,我們的專注是為海外投資者尋找房地產機會。所以這真的很令人興奮。今天對初學者來說-

Ariel:我認為,對你來說,沒有你這樣的平臺,現在沒有科技是不可能進行跨境投資的,因為這將是非常困難和低效的,而這正是科技可以發揮主要作用的地方。

Darren :是的,謝謝你的呼喊,因為這是一件,]你知道,我認為很多玩家都在努力彌合整個生態系統之間的鴻溝。所以希望人們能有更多,明白發生了什麼,知道什麼更好,找到他們可以信任跨境人員專家。對那些不熟悉房地產投資的初學者來說,對吧你能告訴他們為什麼人們會投資海外房地產市場嗎?因為這不容易?因為你總是可以在離你很近的地方投資,也許步行20-30分鐘離你很遠,但為什麼你要選擇一路從幾英里以外的地方,或者有時不得不離開地球?

Ariel:當然。我認為有兩個主要原因,一個當然是投資組合多元化,我的網絡主要是私人投資者和家族理財辦公室。以及即使在過去的一年中,香港經歷了一些動盪,然後出現了COVID-19的情况,很多投資者同時也沒有人打算離開香港,但投資者正在尋求多元化投資。房地產是傳統上亞洲投資者真正喜歡和理解的東西。我覺得這幾乎是進入多元化的自然過程,在國外投資房地產,說起來容易做起來難。就像我提到的,非常困難。但多元化當然是一個主要原因。第二,我想說,尋找更好的返回。現在尋找更好的回報是很棘手的,因為我們知道,香港房地產非常高效,非常穩定,而且非常非常昂貴。我是說,自從去年的事件,再加上Covid-19的情况,當然,租金一直在上漲在部分地區。但總的來說,你看不到困境,也看不到市場,大幅修正,這意味著投資者認為這有點太貴了,有點買不起,他們在尋找機會,也在尋找機會更好的話,在他們的房地產上賺更多的錢。現在,我認為這是一個非常重要的組成部分,當然,風險。如果你要去在另一個國家,你如何評估在那裡投資的風險與在香港投資的風險?例如,在熟悉的地方,landmark是20離家大概幾分鐘。但這是2%或3%的資本。當然,這是一個更大的討論。按國家,按都市,根據位置等等。但我認為越來越多投資者願意為這些故事下注。多樣化和更好的回報。

Darren :那很好。是的,我認為有一個全面的瞭解是很好的,因為很多人總是問我們,為什麼你需要一個平台來尋找房地產海外投資?我想,因為你從沒想過。總的來說,你有更多的選擇。所以,從你的經驗來看,對吧,我相信你是最好的談話對象之一-

所以對於一個有你經驗的人來說,我相信你對你有很多的經驗,知道在海外投資需要什麼。那麼,在這個過程中,與當地相比,它有什麼不同之處?你應該注意哪些方面的投資者?

Ariel: 當然,在每一宗房地產交易中,你都需要做相當重要的盡職調查。當然,現在,如果你住的地方離你將要購買的資產20-30分鐘的路程,實體盡職調查就相當容易了。你只要去一個地方,關於房地產的一個永遠不會消失的東西就是,一個實體概念,對吧,一個建築街道右側的價格可能與街道左側的建築完全不同,因為有許多不同的原因,更好的通道,更好的視野,風水等等,對嗎?囙此,能够親眼看到房地產當然是一個非常重要的好處本地投資。其餘的盡職調查,不管是財務盡職調查,檔案、理解產權等等。我的意思是,儘管最棘手的是,你是否在香港投資或者你投資其他地方。現在要考慮的真正重要的方面,當然是實際的過程和相關的稅收。這是件大事。當你在紐約投資時,你對外國投資者的稅收結構是至關重要的,因為否則你所有的回報都會被稅收吃掉。香港不是這樣。在香港,稅收結構對投資者更有利好吧,你不需要花那麼多時間去弄清楚,什麼東西是可以使用的,當然還有地理位置。我想說的是,地理上的透明度越低,比如說越南、柬埔寨和投資加拿大,對嗎?你可能需要做更多的盡職調查,不僅對資產本身,而且標題,任何監管問題,您都需要知道誰來管理您的資產?這又是一件大事,對吧?我意思是,我和當地合夥人投資,或者我自己投資。所以,你知道,這些都是投資於房地產。現在,我要說的是,這個過程並沒有什麼不同,無論是在本地市場投資資產還是在外部投資,但需要有可信的通路,信任通路。你可以得到資產評估的所有資訊在國外,因為在本地市場獲取資訊顯然要容易得多。

Darren :我覺得很不錯。當我向人們解釋海外投資和本地投資的區別時,我認為你做的比我做的好得多,所以謝謝你的幫助,我們一定會照搬你的。

Ariel:沒問題,隨時都可以。所以我才是你的顧問。

Darren :沒錯,給你。所以你知道這個頻道,對很多看這個節目的人來說,很多人都是亞洲投資者。我知道,就像,你知道,有很多不同類型的投資者,亞洲投資者,我見過其中一個。根據你的經驗,你能總結一下亞洲投資者通常喜歡什麼樣的偏好,然後從地理位置或他們希望擁有的某種類型的風險和回報嗎?

Ariel:當然。再說一次,我對他們的需求有著非常專注的專業知識。所以我沒有涵蓋所有的市場。當然不是全球範圍的,但這會給你一些小道消息。首先,亞洲投資者和我說的是私人投資者家庭基金。他們熱愛實物資產,遠勝於他們對結構工程的熱愛項目。我知道我們會在後面的問題中得到結構化產品。他們想成為交易的一部分,投資於硬資產,而不是投資於基金。我的意思是投資工具有點流行,近年來更受歡迎。但是我認為,根據我的經驗,至少這裡的投資者希望獲得資產本身,而不是移除了幾層。所以這是第一位。我想說的是,從地理位置來看,我在這裡見過只在英國投資的投資者例如,當他們通過多元化。他們知道英國,雖然很明顯香港和英國有歷史淵源。它們在市場上已經有很長時間了。他們不需要去倫敦。不僅僅是倫敦,還有倫敦和二級都市,還有他們的家人。所以現在很多人對在英國投資感到非常舒服,因為他們在英國投資已經有一段時間了,有了關係瞭解稅收結構,它實際上一直在變化,但仍然非常舒適。所以他們不會放棄其他地方。不管英國的價格是多少,因為他們只是覺得這裡的東西和外國人之間有很好的平衡。有些投資者更喜歡投機資產,越南、馬來西亞、印尼都很喜歡的國家。我保留-再說一次,我是房地產投資者就個人層面而言,我和我的辦公室,我不知道如何量化風險,因為回報在那裡。我的意思是,你看,如果你比較一美元,當然,你會得到巨大的財富,對吧,比在一個成熟的市場。如何量化風險?再說一次,如果我有正確的通路,投資於那些經濟學進入這些市場,以及所有的市場我所做的盡職調查是,你知道的,足够或者某人,一個合夥人,就像你平臺上的一個合夥人,為了示例。如果我能得到這樣的安慰,那麼我會更親地說,你知道,我想把我的投資組合的一部分分配給什麼我想說,更有趣的是,處於風險回報範圍的國家。當然,美國是過去10年的一個大主題,我想說的是全球金融危機美國房地產價格遭受了前所未有的打擊。當然,聰明的投資者也看到了機會,去了美國,市場的復蘇超過了它,直到COVID,我想說它一直在做記錄記錄級別。我不知道現在會發生什麼。因為我想說這開始吸引了從亞洲投資者的角度來看,過去24個月時間裏,亞洲投資者停止在美國尋找(投資)。同樣,原因很多。首先,我認為美中貿易戰,有點,即使這不會直接影響房地產,也不會直接影響香港投資者。一些投資者緊張,他們想看看結果如何。第二,定價又太貴了,然後你就一層一層往上爬你們在美國的稅收,比香港高出很多,只是變得太貴了環遊全球尋找機會。我認為我們將看到COVID-19和房地產的事實將如何發揮作用。房地產業就是產業。我們還沒看到。因為例如,美國的零售業遭受了巨大的打擊,我是說,就在過去兩個月裏,都宣佈破產意味著他們要關門了,這意味著你們還有更多的空缺。現在,美國的零售業也遭受了一段時間的打擊。我覺得這有點像棺材上的最後一顆釘子。零售業會永遠消失嗎?絕對不是。但市場會有我所扮演的重組期在紐約,還是太早了,因為紐約被關閉了兩個半月。我參與了紐約的一個建築項目,基本上停建了將近三個月,現在才慢慢重新開放。它將如何在定價和機會?我們還不確定,但這只是觀望。但我想總結一下我剛才所說的話,我不能觸及每個國家,因為我不是每個國家都有經驗。我想這就是解决問題的時候了,也就是說,COVID後,我認為個人投資者在這裡尋求投資,無論是在香港還是亞洲,實際上都會對投資世界其他地區更感興趣。不管是我們,不管是英國,還是歐洲其他地區,亞洲,因為每個人都意識到,在這場危機中,當本次危機,多元化極為重要。以及如何在房地產領域實現多元化,要麼你必須跨資產類別,但可能需要[00:20:10]使你的工作多樣化。

Darren :我知道這是一個很好的解釋,我其實想知道,因為就像你說的一樣,有幾件事,對吧?就像經濟衰退一樣,病毒在蔓延。很明顯,你的技能集中在紐約市場,實際上,你介意給觀眾更多關於你在紐約工作的細節嗎?然後,你知道,很明顯,你提到了你的一些觀點,到目前為止,整個效果。那麼,你會怎麼想,你知道,捍衛或改變一點,甚至看看不同的市場,因為現在,我們現時的情况?

Ariel: 所以對我來說,現在說還為時過早。我想因為我提到的事情,我們還沒有看到解決。我們還沒有看到這個世界的估值會發生這樣的變化,我們也沒有再看到任何危機。我個人認為,對我來說,最重要的是我們絕對需要多樣化。我不確定我在多元化方面的下一筆交易是否會在美國進行,可能不會。出於我提到的原因,我還擔心貿易戰、即將到來的選舉、稅收。這很棘手。然而,這也是一個真正的價格和市場在哪裡的問題。所以我覺得很多投資者肯定明白,他們比以前更需要重新思考多元化戰略,但這些國家會在哪裡,下一步的購買會在哪裡?每個人都在尋找,這很棘手,對吧?因為你想以最低的價格進入。尤其是因為每個人都在等待價格的降溫。這是一個全球性的問題,一段時間。問題是,你會去紐約嗎,只是個例子。不管10%-15%,估值都不會有什麼影響。我並不是說這種情況會發生,只是作為一個例子,或者,你知道,日本和其他市場,香港的很多投資者都非常感興趣,非常活躍。很多人已經在那裡擁有了資產,我們會看到另一批投資者湧向東京,或者整體上去日本,因為這非常便宜,再加上你可能會看到24個月前沒有看到的機會。所以我知道,我不喜歡不直接回答這個問題,但事實上,我認為我們有點處於觀望狀態。

Darren :我覺得這很好,因為我認為,我所認識的所有世界級投資者都很直截了當地說,“嘿,你知道,世界是巨大的,你知道,有很多事情要看。然後,你知道,說你什麼都知道“事實上,我認為通常世界級的投資者是那些不斷學習的人,明白他們在不斷學習的東西,瞭解他們所處的階段。所以我覺得聽到你的消息很讓人耳目一新,因為很明顯,對於像你這樣有經驗的人來說,你會大聲說,“嘿,你知道,現在還太早,你知道,有很多事情你需要看,你永遠不知道會發生什麼。”這就是為什麼我們有這樣的通路,因為你知道,有這麼多要學的東西多,學的越多,你就會意識到還有很多你不知道的。所以我會稍微改變一下-對不起,對不起。繼續前進。

Ariel:我只想說一點,我認為這一點與你所做的非常相關。我認為,你知道,威爾,至少可能在房地產科技界,但實際上在房地產界,一個知識,後COVID-19房地產將必須比以前更創新。創新是全方位的,無論是我們投資房地產的管道,披露的管道,還是我們管理房地產的管道。所以,它現在是在遵守標準,在社會距離,清潔度等方面。而且,基本上,科技是我們的朋友,而不是破壞性的科技只會使它變得更好。我認為這是一個大主題。我想說的是,投資者正在關注這一點。當然,隨著技術進步,地理位置和資產類別會變得有趣。換言之,我的意思是,如果我現在投資的是一個市場,這個市場有點不發達,但我有什麼選擇呢?我的意思是,其他資產是為21世紀而建的,還是有點落後?你知道嗎,我對這個問題沒有答案。但我認為,這肯定是房地產投資者比以前更多地問自己的大問題。

Darren :這是一件非常有趣的事情,因為現在似乎很多人也在研究房地產領域的科技,傳統的房地產專業人士,這很有趣,對吧?因為你在ULI(UrbanLand Institute)和房地產科技界組織非常活躍,實際上,背後的原因是什麼,比如,怎麼做到的你知道嗎,你是從你以前的傳統背景進入這個領域的?

Ariel:我想,正如我所提到的,我是Urban Land Institute的一名非常活躍的成員,我擔任LI高級內容顧問。我是香港委員會的成員,我也參與其中。實際上,自從我在紐約讀商學院的時候,因為房地產組織,肯定是在美國,而且隨後成為亞洲房地產專業人士的首選機构。當我搬到亞洲的時候,你知道我剛從這裡開始。我幫助培養了年輕的領導者集團和我曾擔任過一段時間的主席,等等。我想這已經持續了五年了。我經歷了我的角色生活中非常活躍的一員。我一直在推動這個創新議程。我是說,下一個房地產是什麼?我們怎麼帶這些創新理念,向我們的觀眾,向整個行業的房地產專業人士網絡,無論是投資者還是開發商,經紀人、建築師、其他服務提供者,對,所以,我認為知識共享和社區建設至關重要,因為,正如我在創投界學到的,我認為創投界比傳統的房地產界更具合作性;傳統的房地產界,你知道,每個人都在做交易,人們不合作。別誤會我,你需要很多人才能使項目成功,無論是您的投資專家、租賃經紀人、建築師、設計師,當然還有業主、開發商、顧問,等等,所以在項目層面上肯定有合作。但在這件事上,它不止於此。這真是一個社區無論是創業公司還是投資者,我都在努力合作,把這些成功的想法推向前進。我認為這非常非常重要。就我個人而言,我認為,作為一個房地產專業人士,要保持聯系,而我沒有所有答案。但這就是為什麼你需要很多有趣的人,無論是在你的行業或類似的類似的成為我的行業。

Darren :所以,你知道,比如,這很有趣,因為有太多的房地產平臺或房地產科技公司,碰巧突然冒出來,你知道,有點像,在過去的幾年裏,尤其是最近,對吧,就像在香港一樣,我想今年推出四到五個房地產平臺。當然有我的(平臺),但是你知道,就像,我只想知道,你對為什麼最近它成為房地產科技領域的一個大話題有什麼見解或想法,因為這是我在進入行業之前的幾年裏,我認為這個行業應該在幾年前進行創新。但只有現在才是整個行業真正開始的時候就像小種子剛開始發芽一樣。你對此有什麼看法嗎?

Ariel:我覺得特別是在香港,我覺得這裡有很多真正有創新精神的人才。但在房地產方面,直到去年,房地產一直有大運行。你幾乎不需要創新,我的意思是,作為一個業主收取租金支票,一切正常。但我認為過去18個月的事件表明,我們需要重新思考如何看待我們的房地產。再次,在我看來,科技在一些業主或運營商那裡也有一點不好的名聲,因為,你知道,我們的工作,當然是改變建築商,我們在工作時知道,有很多房地產行業不喜歡改變。但是科技房地產行業並不會真正帶來混亂。它只帶來合作機會,它帶來了更好地管理您的資產的能力以更好的管道瞭解您的投資組合,以便更好地投資,再次節省成本,這很好。作為一個房地產投資者,我只關心是我資產的底線。如果科技能幫助我提高底線,我很感興趣。是的,我認為回到一個有點偏激的問題上,但我認為過去18個月發生的事情,會有越來越多的討論。在房地產行業,我們需要做點什麼。我們需要創新。我認為COVID實際上在很多方面加速了這一行程。就是為什麼我認為現在有足够多的人在房地產領域做更有趣的事情,並試圖想想下一件事是什麼?機會是什麼?問題是你會在合適的時候與你的平臺討論這個問題,因為人們會更願意多元化。我認為很多投資者,我想說,五年前,我不認為整個亞洲市場已經準備好投資線上平臺。我認為現在人們已經準備好了。同樣,我不能保證有多少人會真正使用這個平臺,但你明白我的意思,我認為這是投資者教育。

Darren :我明白了。所以你知道,比如,我知道你之前會做一些事情,比如Atom Capital,Atom Assets。我想我們之前聊過,你知道,你在考慮建立一個房地產科技基金之類的。你會怎麼想你們都知道嗎?

Ariel:嗯,我覺得對我來說,這是自然的發展,我認為房地產將越來越成為一個科技或科技敏感的行業所以對我來說,你知道,我一直對房地產和實物資產很有熱情。我感興趣的是,我們如何使實物資產與智能手機、平板電腦更加相容,因為我們生活在數字生活中,對吧,但這些數字生活是如何與物理空間相連的。我們認識你知道,這些機會對我來說又是一次機會,我想是時候建立一個基於亞洲的平臺了。這是一個創投平臺,理想的平臺,投資創業公司只專注於房地產科技。現在已經有幾個平臺了,但問題是我們還處於早期階段。這是一種自然的發展,我如何結合我的個人投資經驗,物理和數位,並把它們結合起來?

Darren :我覺得這很好,因為我已經看到了這種融合。然後,你知道,你可以說不同的業務,但事情是在一個,他們只是不同的重點。那麼你希望觀眾從這段視頻中得到什麼樣的收穫呢?

Ariel:嗯,我想你知道,你喜歡觀眾採取的幾樣東西中的一件,我想說房地產科技是巨大的會說道具科技在房地產是巨大的。我認為現在是時候探索所有不同的選擇了。再一次,房地產科技是一個龐大的產業。你和我談了很多次。是啊。我的意思是,我認為最重要的是如何解决房地產投資問題開發組織。它能使他們更好地投資,更快地發展。再次,關注底線。什麼能幫助業主、運營商、開發商,並保持競爭力,對吧。我想另一個外賣是房地產投資對房地產的增長也可能會持續下去,而且這種趨勢將加速。現在,我希望從你們的平臺上看到,這是一個真正適合香港投資者的管道瞭解您將擁有的所有不同的市場,然後看到您知道,“實際上,我對這個特定的頻道感到很舒服,我我能做到。”我感覺很舒服,我瞭解我的風險,我的回報等等,我又這麼想,多元化現在是一個大主題,不僅在房地產領域,而且在投資組合的任何地方。因為市場總體是可預測的。

Darren :對那些想瞭解更多的人來說,很明顯,你知道,海外房地產投資,或者舉個例子,比如說,你熟悉的美國市場,以及prop-tech,我們會如何建議他們聯系你,和你進一步談這個問題。

Ariel:嗯,他們可以-我不知道你是如何通過一個平臺做到這一點的,你總是可以通過你的平臺聯系我,再次,通過你的平臺,因為你有那些,顧問部分,我總是很樂意與那些對我們談論的任何事情感興趣的人聯系。因為再次通過我在創投方面的經驗,我認為社區雖然是一個有點被過度使用的詞,但是一個非常重要的詞,我們可以互相學習。尤其是在這個時代。

Darren :是的,當然。很明顯我會把你們的聯繫方式都寫在節目記錄裏,各位我可以聯系您,然後我想說非常感謝您,您是一個非常關鍵的角色,它是如何成為今天的Denzity,然後持續我真的希望我不斷向你學習,因為你知道,很多時候我不在地下室工作,經常向你諮詢有關房地產投資的建議在海外,關於投資者必須經歷的關鍵點,更重要的是如何進行個人創新,我想通過這個媒介向您表示感謝,因為我從來沒有真正感謝過您。

Ariel: 不,非常感謝你。我是說,我為你們感到興奮。你知道嗎,你和我已經談了一段時間了。就像我五年前說的,可能為時過早。現在,我想是時候了。所以你只需要正確把握市場。

Darren :是的,當然。所以,是的,我真的想下一次做第二部分。我們想用一個更長的表格來深入瞭解你的經歷,因為我認為很多人不僅是觀眾的,而且像我和我認識的其他人一樣,總是在談論他們想知道成為一個最好的房地產投資者需要什麼。顯然,你是一個非常有名的投資者,你真的很謙虛。再次感謝您抽出時間。我們下次再來吧。

Ariel:沒問題。謝謝你,Darren 。

Darren :是啊,祝你今天愉快。謝謝您。

Ariel: 再見,謝謝大家。

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