“It all started with the onset of COVID.”
So said Fergus Campbell, a managing principal at SomeraRoad, explaining how the firm leveled up its business in just the last two years, and giving truth to the old adage that fortune favors the bold.
“A lot of people took a step back with all the uncertainty that arose and what it meant for real estate markets — and everything else in our lives,” said Campbell. “But we took that opportunity to put our heads down, evaluate everything we were doing, and expand our business.”
“And, we’re only getting started,” said Ian Ross, the company’s founder.
Numbers talk, and over the past two years alone SomeraRoad has closed $850 million of new transactions and more than $1 billion of new financings; it sold $300 million of stabilized deals; its net-lease business went from zero to $900 million; it built out a pipeline of $1.5 billion in new construction (with $300 million of new developments breaking ground in the past 90 days alone); and it hired 26 new employees.
Today, its 43 professionals are spread across seven offices. Nashville and New York are the firm’s two joint headquarters, with outposts in Austin, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Cleveland. The firm invests across asset types and geographies.
What’s been key to SomeraRoad’s success and growth in this crisis is its laser focus on hiring the best human capital out there, Ross said. During the global financial crisis “we were just buying bonds —which is easier, and needs less people.” During the COVID-19 crisis, by comparison, SomeraRoad launched a distressed debt business, a net-lease business and a development business, and also formalized its investment niche focusing on micro-neighborhoods.