A Saskatchewan native is making real estate more affordable for everyone through a new website called Willow.ca
CEO and Founder of the site, Logan Yergens was born in Estevan and provides details on his new online venture.
"So Willow.ca is an online platform that allows everybody to get into real estate regardless of wealth. Our smallest amount currently with our first couple of properties is less than $13 and someone can get started, it's democratizing real estate to make it accessible to everybody."
Yergens adds that everyone knows real estate is one of the best investment vehicles of all time, imparticular commercial real estate but this has become more and more exclusive. Williow.ca makes those investment vehicles accessible to everyone and it only takes about five minutes to get started and own your first piece of property.
According to Yergens, real estate in its traditional form is 100% or nothing. A person either owns 100% of it or they buy a pool of properties through what's called a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The issue with this is that investors don't get to pick which asset they are buying, they are subject to market blows and the returns are averaged across hundreds of properties along with a lack of choice/awareness about which properties you own.
In a press release from Yergens, he states "Willow.ca purchases and manages thriving commercial buildings, passing along monthly profits from rental income, plus appreciation on the buildings themselves. And you can sell your shares whenever you want."
Yergens provides some insight into the benefits of his company.
"If you can break down the ownership into a small enougth piece that allows everybody to participate, I think that is a great thing to do. Then when you are doing that you need to also do it in a very simple, intuitive way that you don't have to be the landlord, you can pick and choose which properties you're investing in, and you don't have to be stuck in those investments for long periods of time and you don't have to pay realtor fees when you want to sell out."
Yergens grew up on a farm just west of Estevan Saskatchewan and his mother was a financial advisor so he had always been exposed to people and their investments. After doing his undergraduate degree at a university in Montreal, he moved to Toronto where he worked in traditional finance and started working for a blockchain company where he was exposed to new ways of investment vehicles or ideas of how to coordinate/design these vehicles. Yergens says that Willow.ca is allowing him to bring his knowledge and experience to a real-world application accessible to everyone.
In regards to the current state of real estate, Yergens says that at the age of any city, ownership of the property within the city becomes more and more consolidated so he feels as though that is what we are currently seeing around the world where fewer and fewer people are able to own homes/real estate. Ultimately he says this is not good for society and just creates a further and further divide across the population.
Yergens feels that breaking ownership from own or not to fractional so that anyone can own a piece of property and buy more every month or two weeks or whatever they wish to do changes the paradigm and allows everyone to participate regardless of wealth and this a guiding principle behind the company.