Joel Weinberger, CEO
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that real estate is one of the safest investments in the world, usually “purchased with common sense, paid in full, and managed with reasonable care.” This notion still stands relevant in today’s fluctuating marketplace, where a staggering number of investment options rise and fall every day.
Even now, the real estate sector has not wavered from its position of being one of the most fiscally stable industries. However, one facet of the sector that has always stymied the growth of real estate businesses is optimizing the financial management of properties. Owing to the inadequate financial management tools, small and industry-leading real estate firms alike struggle to effectively execute their business vision and grow their operations. Moreover, due to the lack of efficient financial processes, real estate businesses are unable to gain funding from promising investors that consider a healthy, professionally handled financial structure to be a prerequisite for capital ventures.
Driven by these requisites, Terra was established in 2015. Terra began its journey with two employees and an accounts payable service tailored to streamline the financial management of multi-family units. Today, the company has grown over 20 times its former size with more than 50 employees, offering a plethora of financial services including accounts receivable, accounting, purchasing, asset management, and more for better management of multi-family, commercial and industrial real estate. The New Jersey-based financial solutions company aids executives and property managers to maximize their fiscal operations by offering unified back-office services.
According to Joel Weinberger, CEO of Terra, “A lot of business leaders perceive finance and operations as two separate entities, when in fact, they are interrelated; only with a strong back-office can a business have effective front-end and operational capabilities.” Therefore, with this notion at the core of its portfolio, Terra offers visibility into financial operations and assists real estate businesses in achieving a better overall operation.
Optimizing Financial Operations, Driving Business Success
Real estate firms are always looking to expand their businesses. However, without a robust financial structure to endorse the equity of their properties, property owners struggle to attract investors and achieve the desired growth. This is where Terra’s mission statement, “you manage your property, we manage your finances,” outlines how their company is perfectly poised to mitigate real estate firms’ challenges.
Traditionally, real estate organizations had to hire administrative staff to streamline the financial processes of their assets.
In most cases, the recruitment of additional staff did not result in the delivery of desired outcomes. Moreover, without the presence of a robust financial team to handle extensive fiscal entries and review balance sheets, optimizing the overall fiscal operations of properties became an arduous task. With Terra’s all-in-one solution coupled with its team of real estate finance experts, real estate operators can effectively secure and streamline the financial management processes of their assets. Terra’s well-rounded approach to real estate financial management seamlessly helps a company maintain their financial books, and imbue accountability into monetary operations, ensuring smooth performance of financial processes. “Our singular focus on real estate back-office services provides us with a unique ability to track and report on key financial metrics; providing our clients with the tools to maximize the value of their portfolios” says Seema Gruman, CFO at Terra.
Providing Comprehensive Real Estate Financial Management
For growing real estate firms, Terra offers information and recommendations to enhance their financial management, aid them in better articulating the value of their properties, and expand their business. “We deliver a great financial structure on an institutional level and ensure the accuracy of their budget to help real estate startups raise equity and attract investors,” explains Weinberger.
The company’s financial services also include invoice analysis for accounts payable processes. Simultaneously, Terra provides enhanced visibility and control of operations to real estate businesses and owner-operators with its value-added applications that include online and mobile tools for purchasing and rent management. “We utilize intelligent processes and our proprietary software to anticipate and avoid recurring complications in the management of real estate properties,” mentions Weinberger.
Simplifying Convoluted Financial Tasks
In terms of accounts payable, Terra handles all the tax bills, escrows, and insurance policies, thereby offering real estate organizations the ability to review and control the dispersion of funds to prevent overpayment. “We maintain healthy communication with vendors by keeping them up-to-date on the status of their payment to ensure timely compensation for the services,” adds Gruman. From an accounts receivable perspective, the company makes sure that every transaction on a client ledger Is sufficiently backed up and accurate before delivering a monthly financial statement that is tailor-made for every client’s specific needs. Additionally, with the team’s expertise in the financial and real estate industry, Terra effectively analyzes the market data and delivers the most profitable potential investment options to their clients.
“We have developed a benchmark that enables us to convey the reasons behind budget variances and assist our clients in better understanding their financial posture and optimize their strategic goals,” states Weinberger.
Delivering Effective Training Programs
Terra provides comprehensive training to onsite teams (including financial staff and regional managers) and administrative personnel by leveraging its partnership with YARDI, a property management web-based application. Through this collaboration with YARDI, Terra also offers online and live training sessions, along with educational meetings and webinars.
From Financial Management to Business Success
Terra’s emphasis on delivering services that bolster a client’s pursuit of achieving organizational goals is at the heart of its competencies in the real estate industry. A case in point is Terra’s success story with a client that was struggling to maintain their financial books even after hiring a CFO and a dedicated financial operations team. By implementing Terra’s solution, the client was able to triple the size of their portfolio in a short period and raise equity to attract bigger investors.
In another instance, Terra assisted a client in providing financial statements of their property to investors by offering all-inclusive financial management services. Initially, due to the lack of a robust financial back-office, the client was experiencing difficulty in providing the necessary financial checks and balances to their investor. With Terra, the client was able to train their on-site manager and efficiently organize the administrative personnel, thereby attracting bigger investors. “Shortly after the partnership, the client successfully refinanced their property and invested in another large real estate project; going from financial turmoil to hefty investment-led business expansion,” states Gruman.
Developing the Next Generation of Real Estate Success
Today, owing to its extensive clientele in the multi-family and commercial real estate space across the U.S. and ability to carry out various client requisites, Terra has earned the moniker of a trusted real estate financial management provider. The veracity of the company’s robustness can be understood from the wide range of commercial real estate clients Terra caters to.
Looking ahead, Weinberger aims to expand the capabilities of Terra’s solution by incorporating leading-edge technologies, making it more proficient in handling financial books. “We want to continue developing newer processes to streamline real estate financial management, and, in turn, transform Terra into becoming the most preferred partner for real estate financial management,” concludes Weinberger.