It’s no secret that the Great Recession of 2008 took a steep toll on numerous families, workers and sectors of the economy. In fact, we’re still experiencing many of the effects as people look to get their footing back and make up for so much lost ground.
However, there are many positive signs of revival and we’ve learned a lot about how to do business differently in the aftermath. Many of these changes began with new practices in real estate finance, of the sort that Patch of Land both practices and preaches. Many are also ideas that are “cross-pollinating” numerous sectors of the economy at once, while some are generational imperatives and business practices that would change the economy, whether there had been a crash or not.
Among the many things we’ve learned since the down days of the mid-2000s, here is a critical trio:
- Transparency Matters
This past spring, a bipartisan “Financial Transparency Act” was introduced in Congress. According to the Data Transparency Coalition, it “aims to transform US financial regulatory reporting from disconnected documents into open, searchable data.” Patch of Land has been doing this online, for its investors, since it started.
In an era where restaurants can be reviewed and rated while you’re still eating in them, and live Twitter-feedback on political speeches and sporting events is now the norm, transparency and participation -- especially for millennials -- is not only expected, it’s how business is done.
Of course, it’s a great antidote to the policies and practices viewed as being the partial cause of the Great Recession. As the Data Transparency Coalition says about the FTA, it “would require Federal financial regulators to adopt consistent data standards for information they collect under the securities, commodities, and banking laws.” Patch of Land and its colleagues in alternate real estate finance have already been adapting these practices for years.
- New Funding Platforms Aren’t “Going Away…”
Tying in aspects of both innovation and the new emphasis on transparency and alternative funding platforms -- whether for real estate, startups or any other aspect of the economy -- aren’t going away. We see that with more accessible peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, and it scales all the way up to real estate finance.
Innovation in the finance sector was further unleashed by the Obama Administration’s passage of the JOBS Act, which allowed companies to directly solicit investment. When Title III of the Act comes online, perhaps as early as next year, it will allow even more investors to participate in funding startups, etc. It’s entirely likely that of these potential investments, real estate will seem more secure, more tangible and more “immediate” to many of these first-time investors, especially if they can see the results of those investments playing out in real-time in their own neighborhoods and cities.
- Parts of the Economy Will Increasingly Be Hitched To Other Parts In Ways They Were Never Connected Before
One of the factors of the previous crash was that areas of the global economy were tied together in ways they previously hadn’t been – for example, bundled subprime mortgages from America were affecting banks in Germany. The world’s economy has only become increasingly hitched together since 2008.
However, this isn’t an entirely bad thing, since we’re not just talking about the moves of traditional financial institutions. All of this allows not only for more innovation, but more resilience. That innovation -- whether from new companies like Patch of Land, or long established ones like General Motors (GM), will no longer be unusual or sporadic, but will continue to “spread the wealth,” to new areas (as companies like Uber and Lyft relocate and expand), new investors and “newly hitched” sectors of the digital economy.
As a result of this transparency, innovation and increased accessibility in real estate finance, we’ve also seen more grassroots involvement in local investment, from non-profit investor co-ops reviving local business districts in Minneapolis, to a neighborhood renaissance in parts of Cleveland.
Patch of Land has similarly helped such rehabbing and revival in areas stretching from Chicago to Newark, Boston to Sacramento, and beyond.
The dynamic combination of innovation, transparency, new oversight and demographic change should help define an economy that is both stronger and more decentralized, in ways not imaginable before 2008.
AdaPia d’Errico is the Chief Marketing Officer at Patch of Land. AdaPia has more than 15 years of marketing experience under her belt and has worn many hats as an entrepreneur, teacher, coach, role model and influential marketing pro. She’s been described by her peers as a natural born connector, career multi-tasker and inventive business person whose track record for successful execution of strategies is both quantitative and comprehensive.
As the CMO at Patch of Land, AdaPia positions the company in the red hot fintech and peer lending industries, guiding strategy on brand, marketing, business development, and partnerships. In her role, she fuses her finance background with her fascination with technology and how it affects our behavior, society and culture. She has a passion for startups, social trends and entrepreneurship, which continues to push Patch of Land to the forefront of the Peer-to-Real Estate (P2RE) industry.
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