There are a great deal of factors that play into success. For us, the leap from $1.5 billion to $2 billion in assets under management has everything to do with a clear focus, a relentless pursuit of strategic opportunity, and a diverse team that brings experience and efficiency to every undertaking.
“This is a significant milestone for our organization,” says Anthony Giuffre, Founder and CEO of Avenue Living. “We have created a robust and sustainable platform, and we have shown that we have the systems and processes to thrive during market fluctuations.”
We have grown by over $450 million in assets year over year, an increase of 30 per cent. Giuffre credits the strength of Avenue Living’s vertically integrated platform, its investment in a team with diverse expertise, and its strategic, data-driven approach to investing for its ability to continue forward during what is possibly the most challenging time in a generation.
“The depth and breadth of our platform allows us to pivot and adapt as necessary,” says Giuffre. We operate on a vertically integrated platform which gives our investment funds access to best-in-class legal, accounting, property management, marketing, logistical and customer service expertise. “But we’ve also achieved this milestone because we have five unique funds that have a competitive, sustainable advantage and allow us to pool together individuals who have incredible amounts of talent and expertise.” Currently, our platform includes five investment funds, with over 10,000 class B and C multi-family units, 400,000 square feet of commercial space, over 42,000 acres of agricultural land and 550,000 square feet of self-storage. Class B and C multi-family housing is a segment of the market that is often overlooked but has proven stable in the face of market volatility. This class of housing often serves essential workers, who make up almost 40 per cent of Canada’s population and have often been labeled the “backbone of the economy” during the pandemic.
In the past year, we have expanded our focus to invest in workforce housing in the United States, as well as self-storage in Canada. These funds all invest in what we refer to as “the everyday,” assets and businesses that serve the majority of the workforce.
“What has changed between reaching $1.5 billion AUM and $2 billion AUM is that we’ve publicly and profoundly identified our ‘why,’” says Jason Jogia, Chief Investment Officer. “Investing in the everyday has proven to be tenacious through the ups and downs of three economic cycles and now the pandemic. It’s really been an affirmation that our investment philosophy and our ‘why’ work, and it’s the right business to be developing.”
Avenue Living was founded in 2006, with the purchase of 24 rental units in Brooks, Alberta for $3 million. Today, we employ over 520 people, whose expertise includes customer service, strategic investment, marketing, legal services, logistics, and asset management.
“Our focus has allowed us to speak to all of our stakeholders with a unified voice, and we continue to be in command and control of our company,” says Giuffre. “The business environment that surrounds us is ever-evolving, from the geopolitical climate to the credit markets. We continue to take the temperature of all of our stakeholders and adapt, as necessary.”
Throughout the pandemic, our platform has allowed us to meet the expectations of our stakeholders — including employees, residents, investors, vendors, and the financial community.
“We’ve been able to meet our investors’ expectations, as well as those of the financial community,” says Jogia. “We’re a net-positive employer, and we continue to offer training and benefits to our employees. For our residents, we’ve continued our commitment to 72-hour work orders and made sure their homes are safe and secure. And we’ve been able to honour commitments to our vendors, right from our Yardi implementation and our partnerships with Home Depot and the Disney Institute to the smaller businesses in our community.”
Looking ahead, we will continue to capitalize on real estate opportunities, expanding beyond the 24 markets we currently operate in across western Canada and the United States. “The platform has set the stage for future growth,” says Giuffre. “We have created the internal framework that will allow us to achieve the next milestone.”
This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.