Letter from the CEO

Feb 15, 2024

Letter from the CEO

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price that all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”  

-Vince Lombardi

With the results of Superbowl LVIII recently booked, I thought it appropriate to quote the late, great Vince Lombardi to kick off this introduction letter (please excuse the football pun).  I’m excited to have stepped into the CEO role late last year, and I think that Coach Lombardi’s leadership and coaching philosophies are a fantastic parallel to my approach and what I plan to focus on here at Verivest.

First off, I want to thank all our existing clients for your business, and I very much look forward to serving all of you.  Verivest’s mission is to “empower real estate GPs to build, launch, and scale their business” and it’s one that I am deeply committed to delivering on.  I also want to thank all our employees, without whom we couldn’t deliver on the high standards that our clients expect.  Hats off to them; they achieved a 93% customer satisfaction rating in 2023!  Finally, I want to thank Verivest’s founder, Matt Burk. He is an inspiration to us all, and in his new role as Chairman, I will continue to value his counsel and guidance immensely.  I truly appreciate the trust and confidence he has placed in me to lead Verivest on the next leg of its journey.  

My own journey has led me to this role.  Fifteen years in the real estate business; I cut my teeth during the Great Financial Crisis and Housing Crash of 2008-2009 doing loan workouts, then moved to the public side as a Sr. Project Manager with the development arm of the City of Portland, and afterwards worked with Matt and the team for 6+ years.  During that time, I’ve held many different positions here, culminating in Chief Operating Officer at Fairway America and Chief Product Officer at Verivest.  My experience has given me both a broad and a deep understanding of Verivest’s clients, their challenges, and the solutions they need… because I used to be a client myself.

Coach Lombardi is famous for saying, “Football is two things. It’s blocking and tackling.  I don’t care about formations or new offenses or tricks on defense.  You block and tackle better than the team you’re playing, you win.”  This is an expression we use often around the office: “blocking and tackling.”  And by that we mean taking care of the basics.  

Prior to my career in real estate, I spent a decade in the US Air Force as a Combat Rescue Officer.  A commander of mine once asked what I would prioritize if he were to place me in charge of a team of elite Pararescumen headed downrange on a combat deployment.  He stared at me intensely, waiting to judge the wisdom of my response.  I wasn’t sure exactly what answer he was looking for, but I told him that’d I’d focus on drilling the basics.  That, in my opinion, it was the basics that would keep them safe during the dangerous missions they’d be asked to undertake; it was the basics that would bring us all home, along with the servicemen and servicewomen we would be tasked with pulling out of harm’s way.  After a long moment, his brow unknit, and his expression relaxed. “That’s exactly what I wanted to hear you say. You’ve got the job Lieutenant.”  I’ve spent much of my life focused on perfecting the basics, and it has always paid me dividends.

In the 10+ years since Verivest began helping real estate managers  launch and scale their businesses, the company has successfully helped hundreds of managers through personalized coaching, thoughtful investment structuring, specialized accounting services, and innovative technology solutions.  The company’s Core Values have guided our team over that time, and in many ways, they are a reflection of my own personal values, because I’m honored to say that I was a key author of their current form:

·      Act with Integrity

·      Prioritize and Execute

·      Team First

·      Deliver Excellence

·      Own the Outcome

As I hope you can see, we have built a strong foundation for achieving great outcomes.  The next step is to set our sights on expanding services beyond your PropCo’s and begin supporting your OpCo’s.  I don’t just want to help you design your investment vehicles, I want to help you design your companies and your business strategies.  We have decades of real estate, marketing, capital raising, and business operations expertise on staff, and I believe we can bring tremendous value to those clients who are looking to take their game to the next level.  After all, every great champion has a great coach standing on the sideline.

I feel incredibly lucky to play this role in guiding Verivest into the future. My commitment is to all real estate managers across the country who are working hard every day to deliver value to your stakeholders.  My priorities will be to focus on the basics of serving your needs, listening to your feedback, practicing our Core Values, and reinvesting in our people, products, and services.  I am excited about the opportunity to work with you, and I look forward to meeting with you. Please feel free to reach out to me or our team with any questions or comments.

Thank you for your trust in Verivest, and I look forward to earning your continued business!

Will Thier

CEO, Verivest