Increase our Impact. Leave a review on iTunes. Here’s a how-to guide.
What happens when three friends and kindred spirits start dedicating their Saturday mornings to the pursuit of more equitable development and democratized finance?
For years, Dutch MacDonald, architect and technologist, Josh McManus, entrepreneur and place-maker, and Eve Picker, urban designer and developer, have been rooting each other on in their respective pursuits. And then the pandemic happened. We traded in time spent on trains and planes for weekly meetings. Over the last year our discussions have led to an emerging consensus regarding the acute need to rethink real estate for the future.
In our respective worlds we have encountered developers, companies, foundations and family offices all looking for counsel. Not an esoteric brand of futurism, but on-the-ground real experience, and solutions to the diverse problems facing anyone who wants to create buildings and places that work for everyone.
And so, Small Change Advisors was born. We’ve an eye on reimagining the way that spaces and places work. And we have a wealth of collective experience amongst us. Just listen in to Josh and Eve in this first of a series of ongoing conversations, and you’ll get the picture.
Insights and Inspirations
- There is a radical transformation of real estate going on right before our eyes, and in a system that hasn’t changed much since this country’s inception.
- We’ve watched the broker model in insurance and the mortgage industry being displaced. Real estate may be next in line.
- The ‘dollars and square foot, for many years at a time’ model for commercial real estate needs to be reimagined.
- We have to stop looking at buildings as ‘warehouses for humans’ and see them as ‘machines for the maximization of human potential.’
- Real estate is a tool for transformation, able to stitch places and communities and cities together.
- We need a broader toolkit of options to expand the lessee/landlord relationship, including a democratization of real estate that can let owners, renters and communities (literally) invest in where they live and work.
Information and Links
- Get some (community, development, impact, crowdfunding, visionary) advice from Small Change Advisors.
Read the podcast transcript here
Eve Picker: [00:00:19] Hi there. Thanks so much for joining me today for the latest episode of Impact Real Estate Investing. What happens when three friends and kindred spirits start dedicating their Saturday mornings to the pursuit of more equitable development and democratized finance? Well, a lot.
Eve: [00:00:44] For years, Dutch MacDonald, architect and technologist, Josh McManus, entrepreneur and placemaker, have been rooting each other, and me, on in their respective pursuits. And then the pandemic happened. We substituted planes and trains with weekly meetings, and over time a picture emerged that there’s an acute need regarding how to tackle real estate in the future. Developers, companies, foundations and family offices are all looking for counsel. Not the esoteric, academic brand of futurism, but real talk, real experience and real solutions to the problems facing people working to build places that work for everyone. And so, Small Change Advisors was born. We’ve an eye on reimagining the way that spaces and places work. And we have a wealth of collective experience amongst us. Just listen in to Josh and I and you’ll get the picture. Be sure to go to EvePicker.com to find out more about our Saturday morning adventure, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can access information about impact real estate investing and get the latest news about the exciting projects on my crowdfunding platform, Small Change.
Eve: [00:02:16] Hey, Josh, thanks so much for joining me today.
Josh McManus: [00:02:19] Hi Eve. Happy to be here.
Eve: [00:02:21] So, you and I talk a lot on Saturday mornings with our friend, Dutch MacDonald.
Josh: [00:02:26] That we do.
Eve: [00:02:27] We started doing that like maybe mid-last year? And what brought us there, why did we decide to do that?
Josh: [00:02:35] I think it was a unique combination of our ongoing realization that we all come to, a very similar set of shared beliefs, but from very different experiences and angles. And, you know, to give away your time on Saturday morning when you have a lot of other things that you could be working on, I think there has to be a lot of serendipity and symbiosis. And we seem to have found that amongst the group, that time always flies by.
Eve: [00:03:05] Yeah, I mean, I remember thinking I’ve known you for quite a long time now, right? Through CEOs for Cities and after that. So, you and I have had a lot of commonalities in the way we think about cities and do things. And Dutch, Dutch was the architect for my real estate portfolio, and then moved on to a slightly different world, business strategy and digital placemaking, I suppose. I don’t know, I have always thought that together the three of us can be better than alone.
Josh: [00:03:37] Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. I think the more, and it’s probably been, I don’t know, 15, 20 years since you and I first crossed paths?
Eve: [00:03:47] Yeh, probably.
Josh: [00:03:48] But the further I go into this work, there’s a very small set of people that I call, you know, at the Ph.D. Level that have been on the, sort of, the front lines of placemaking, community change, this sort of transformational development. And so, it gets harder and harder to find friends that you can have the right conversations with. And so, there’s a certain solace in finding folks that you can talk about any of these problems and issues and opportunities with. But then each of us come at it, you know, you guys have a, very technical training. I have business training. Dutch has been doing a lot of work and consulting in the digital world. And so, I think there’s a lot of magic that’s happened, is collapsing our insights together and turning them into shared action.
Eve: [00:04:35] So, we each have a special superpowers, and I think that’s what’s always fascinated me. And also the thought of working with people who, as you said, think the same way, love the same things, are passionate about cities, want to make a difference. All of those things. It’s hard to find people who really want to do that.
Josh: [00:04:54] Yeah.
Eve: [00:04:55] Anyway, so I’m going to ask you, what’s the one thing you believe about real estate right now that others don’t seem to believe in, yet?
Josh: [00:05:04] I think that we are seeing the radical transformation of real estate right before our eyes and that we should be surprised and amazed by that because it’s a system that hasn’t changed pretty much in the United States since our inception. And the thing that I believe about real estate that I don’t know that others have completely come to terms with yet, is that I don’t think the business model is going to hold. I don’t think that the dollars and square foot, for many years at a time for commercial real estate, is going to be the way that business is done even a dozen years from now. I think there’s going to be a radical imagination of the monetization for commercial spaces. And I think that we’re getting a first look at it through the work of Small Change, and also through some of the work that I’m doing in these post-industrial cities.
Eve: [00:06:02] When you talk about that … are you talking about ‘demand pricing’? Explain a little more.
Josh: [00:06:07] Yeah, I think either brokers with a much broader toolset, or a displacement of the broker, which has happened in the insurance and the mortgage industry, and the toolset then becomes much bigger. So, I mean, demand pricing and pricing, that’s also got the arbitrage for the amount of time that you want the space for. So, right now, it’s really hard for potential tenants to find short-term lease offerings. But, you know, We Work, despite its failure, or despite its setbacks, started to chart that territory. And then you’re seeing a number of other providers following those footsteps. But not just demand pricing. You’re seeing unique revenue share models, a lot of retail, and food and beverage, is shifting much more to revenue share. Food halls are driving a lot of innovation around revenue models where risk and costs are shared by different entities. And so, I just see, you know, the ways that you can and use commercial space turning from a singular, ‘it’s about dollars, square feet and years,’ into a much more broad and varied menu of offerings that are priced accordingly, that are staffed accordingly, and that are, frankly, much more mutually beneficial to both the landlord on the lessee.
Eve: [00:07:29] That’s a really exciting concept. I have to tell you, I was thinking about that 15 years ago when I developed two buildings which had unusually small commercial spaces. Like little studios and spaces that range from about 400 square feet to under 2000 square feet. And I couldn’t find a broker who wanted to take on leasing them. And the reason was, because the broker model is based on commission. And that broker model, really, I don’t want to say it forces greed because that’s a bad way to put it. I mean, people need to put food on their table. So so brokers, right? But it forces them to really pursue the bigger deals because that’s how they get paid. And so, all the little ones get left behind. And yet they’re the ones that are really important for building, you know, the next business, a creative and diverse economy. And I ended up marketing all of those spaces myself for that reason. But it is a very broken system. Very broken.
Josh: [00:08:32] Yeah, well …we’re seeing the radical disruption and displacement … so AirBnB, you know displaced a whole set of brokers. You used to go to the beach and you dealt with a real estate firm that was set up to do short-term rentals. And now AirBnB is …
Eve: [00:08:50] That’s right.
Josh: [00:08:50] Vacasa and others. Yeah. And same thing if you look at under Warren Buffett’s holdings at Berkshire Hathaway, a Geico, like, you know, just used to have your neighborhood insurance man, and you don’t right now. You go direct when you’re going with Geico. I was at Quicken Loans as part of my work with Rock Ventures. That’s a 50 state sales-side operation. So, they’re competing against banks who have brick and mortar locations in neighborhoods, and they have this sustained competitive advantage, in that they don’t have that brick and mortar and they don’t have that whole traditional brokerage model. So, I don’t see any reason why it won’t happen in commercial real estate. You know, it’s in the process of arriving right now.
Eve: [00:09:31] Yeah, at the moment, really, Craigslist is the only option.
Josh: [00:09:35] Yeah, yeah …
Eve: [00:09:36] For those little spaces …
Josh: [00:09:37] … and that’s a sketchy option.
Eve: [00:09:39] It’s a sketchy option. It’s difficult.
Josh: [00:09:41] But I, I think it’ll change quickly.
Eve: [00:09:43] Yeah, that’s exciting. What’s your biggest pet peeve in real estate? Aside from this one?
Josh: [00:09:51] Well, this one is a major pet peeve of mine. There’s a philosophical one that I don’t know if you and I have talked about before, which is, I think that all too often we look at buildings as warehouses for humans instead of as machines for the maximisation of human potential. And what I mean by that is, a lot of folks, when you were doing commoditized-type work, if it was piecework or sales work or light manufacturing, which is, where can we find some space that has basic amenities so that people can do their work inside of them. Now that we’ve moved to a much more knowledge work-based economy, you have to ask yourself, how do I help the people that are inside of those, which are our most valuable asset, be their most productive selves? And so, I still walk into too many spaces and I feel like they’re trying to compete on the warehousing front. So, how many people can we warehouse in here for how many dollars and how many square feet?
Eve: [00:10:49] Right.
Josh: [00:10:49] And they’re not thinking about this is a machine for maximisation of human potential. So, what happens in the public realm? The quality of the food and bev, the quality of the shared spaces, the shared amenities? I always say in the real estate project I work on, you can’t austerity your way to prosperity. And so, I’m constantly peeved when I find people that are trying to do that.
Eve: [00:11:12] Interesting.
Josh: [00:11:14] What about for you, Eve?
Eve: [00:11:15] I’ve got a couple of pet peeves. One is banking. You know, I really and I’m not sure it’s the fault of banks, but I really believe that banks are squashing creative real estate innovation in the way that they lend. Because in order to get a bank loan, you need to get an appraisal. And in order to get an appraisal, there need to be a couple of, like, kind projects. So, this means that some new idea or a first of its kind project in a neighborhood is not going to get traditional bank financing. And I think that’s really holding back remaking places in a meaningful way. I think it’s a really big problem. The second pet peeve I have, I think, is zoning. Same issue. I have a little cottage in this wonderful little place that was, really, a fisherman’s village. It’s a miniature little thing. And sometime in the 19 .. probably in the 1960s or 70s, some wanting the zoning department thought it was a really good idea to overlay a completely suburban zoning rule over that funky little neighborhood. Everything that was there is grandfathered in, but everything that’s being built now looks completely different. It looks suburban with side yards and backyard setbacks that really are a completely suburban model. And I think that’s a horrible shame. But, you know, I think contextual zoning is critical to keep places intact and characterful and interesting and to really maintain the culture of them. But on the other hand, rewriting zoning codes, not zoning law, is immensely expensive. And I really don’t know the answer to that. I mean, small municipalities simply aren’t going to be able to afford to address that. They’re just not.
Josh: [00:13:15] Yeah, yeah. I see a regular friction with this, especially in post-industrial cities that have draconian old zoning laws, and they also don’t have the municipal finance to even start thinking about how they decrease these barriers. There’s an exciting piece of these pink zones or innovation zones, or they’re sort of peeling back zoning temporarily to see what happens. And I hope that that leads to some mass scale changes. But it seems to me in general, you know, when a lot of this was laid out, you know, heavy industry was big and dirty and that’s not even the case anymore. And so, all of the things that were being accounted for and attempted to be prevented, not to mention the things that were attempted to be prevented that were terribly racist classist or something else -ist, but I don’t think it’s the looming threat that it was when a lot of this came about. So, I’m hopeful that some of these innovation programs will chip away at it.
Eve: [00:14:14] Yeah, things like that have happened recently, like zoning overlay districts in the entire state of Oregon and California to permit accessory dwelling units. They’re really good. Planners need to just go for it a little bit more.
Josh: [00:14:29] So you have this incredibly rich experience where you’ve worked on a lot of projects. And I’m curious to know of all these projects that you’ve worked on, and you’ve taken on some of the hardest to figure out buildings in some of the most needed urban places of all of them that you’ve ever done. Like what’s your favorite project and why?
Eve: [00:14:50] This is like picking your favorite child. It’s very difficult to do. Oh, favourites, that’s really hard. So, They all have the pros and cons. But I would say … I think the most challenging for me were the most fun. I don’t know if I would call them my favorite, but that tiny house that I built in Garfield, 250 square feet of it, was the most challenging project I ever took on, by far. And it was challenging because it challenged zoning codes, building codes, financing. I mean, there were things I discovered along the way that we just never anticipated. I couldn’t get an appraisal for it because it was the first tiny house on a foundation in the tristate region. Therefore, I crowdfunded the debt, because I was not going to get a bank loan. It was extremely challenging, and I enjoy that. It’s solving an enormous puzzle and along the way you discover the pieces of it that you really need to address. I think I’m a design snob. I love great design and I love wonderful and beautiful buildings and places. But for me, I think the projects I’m proudest of are the ones that just didn’t look like they would ever work. And I, I got them to work through sheer tenacity. Many of my projects have design features that people point out, which really are not design features. I live in a loft with a polished concrete floor because we couldn’t afford to cover it with anything, you know. Three of the walls are concrete block for the same reason. Dutch helped me with these projects. So, he was an integral part of this. We used the raw materials that we knew we couldn’t get away from, to turn them into design features because that’s what the budget dictated. So, I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I think that’s my favorite part of building is really making something wonderful happen with the resources you have. Does that make sense?
Josh: [00:16:58] Yeah, absolutely. And that willingness to let the problem dictate the solution, in some ways flies in the face of probably some of the real estate advice you’ve been given along the way.
Eve: [00:17:11] Oh, yeah, that encapsulates it really well. That’s what I really enjoy.
Josh: [00:17:16] So, what other real estate advice have you been given, or have heard other people giving, that you don’t agree with? Because I love this contrarian line of thought.
Eve: [00:17:25] Real estate advice that I’ve discarded. I think probably the biggest one, and this may be a problem for me is that I fall in love with the buildings I buy. I really, I really love architecture and I love buildings. And so I become passionately entwined in my projects, which, you know, every big developer tells you never to do, you know? Be ready to walk away from a project if it doesn’t work. That is really hard for me. I can’t walk away. I spend a lot of time kind of pressing the challenge, trying to make it work. So, I think that’s probably the biggest advice I’ve ignored. Don’t become passionately involved in the buildings you choose to develop. For me, it matters. If I’m going to spend time on redeveloping a property, or building a new one, or maintaining it afterwards, managing it. I’ve got to love it. I really don’t want to be doing that, you know, with a Microtel in a suburb. That would be painful for me.
Josh: [00:18:28] Sure. Yeah. That relates to the piece of advice that I’ve been given that I just, sort of, fundamentally reject, which is that, you know, often times I’m working with large organizations, you know, companies, sometimes entire communities, sometimes foundations, sometimes family offices, and there’s still people who come to me and say, well, you have to understand that within that, real estate is a unique discipline. The buildings work differently and only developers understand how buildings work. And for me, again, a building is a machine for the maximization of human potential.
Eve: [00:19:04] I think that’s right.
Josh: [00:19:06] And so, if I’m advising a company to say, well, let’s not worry about what the lease is on this space, if you have 20 million dollars of payroll sitting in this building and the building could make those people 10 percent more productive, that will eclipse whatever the dollars in square foot price was at the bottom of the development deal.
Eve: [00:19:29] Right. It’s about change making, right?
Josh: [00:19:32] Real estate is a tool for transformation. Yep. It is not a warehouse for human beings. It is a tool for transformation. And if you look at what companies and communities and foundations and family offices are willing to spend on other tools for transformation, to then walk up to real estate and say, well, we should use the 300 year old model about competitive, you know, commodity prices per square feet. I think that’s just patently ridiculous.
Eve: [00:20:00] Well, you know, I think I bring that same thinking to small change the crowdfunding platform. I venture to say I’d be a lot further along with that business if I were willing to raise funds for any old project that came along. But I’m not. I’ve made it harder for myself, but also much more gratifying by insisting that Small Change is going to help transform places. And so, the projects we raise funds for really need to be making some change in some way, in the place they’re in. I really hope that takes hold. I believe there are lots of people who think about it, but it’s certainly not as many, and there’s not as many big dollars invested as your everyday, you know, development that you see pop up everywhere that all look the same over and over again. There’s far more money in those than these challenging little enterprises, right?
Josh: [00:20:59] Yeah. Yeah. Well, this might be leading the witness a little bit, but I’m curious, based upon that, if you had a magic wand and you could change anything about the development industry, overall, what is it that you would change? I’m sure it relates somehow to the projects that are getting done.
Eve: [00:21:18] Yeah, I mean, I think it goes back to the real estate industry. I think the zoning and financing are the key pieces for me. I wish there were a pool of funds, a bank, a group of banks that would support creative, ground-up projects that really offer the opportunity to stitch places and communities and cities together, and I wish they weren’t so much money being spent on the wrong type of projects in suburban places where you have to drive to them, which causes further pollution, where they really don’t face the street, that don’t add anything to the community there … as you said, warehouses for people. So, that’s what I would like to see change. How about you? What’s your magic wand? What would you like to see?
Josh: [00:22:11] For me on the magic wand, I feel like there is just a missing toolbox that fits between the landlord and the lessee. And so right now there’s a very traditional leasing model that sits between most landlords and lessees. And there’s about dollars and square feet and years. And I would create a much broader toolkit of options that says no matter what you need right now, here is a tool that might be able to help you as the entrepreneur and also benefit the landlord. And so, part of my background is working in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems. And so, I’ve worked with so many small businesses of so many sizes and stages of development, I know that most of them do one of two things. They either sign up for the wrong space and that becomes a particular detriment to them, or they avoid getting space for far too long. And that stunts their growth. And it’s because they’re terrified of, you know, they just got started five weeks ago and they’re asked to sign a five year lease and they don’t know what business is going to be like in, you know, five months, much less five years.
Eve: [00:23:26] Yes, I know.
Josh: [00:23:27] So, creating a much broader toolkit that allows you to nurture an ecosystem of tenants through the maximization of their potential. And I believe that tenants will pay for the arbitrage, like they’ll pay for you to direct them. And we’ve seen this with the We Works and Industrious’ of the world. They’re realizing, like, people will pay for optionality and therefore the landlord can be made whole, and sometimes above whole. But I’m super excited for that toolkit. If I had the magic wand then I would accelerate that toolkit to where there was a whole suite of services available to every potential lessee from every landlord. And then it wouldn’t be necessarily cumbersome or it wouldn’t be, like, finding a unicorn when you’re in a city trying to get a business off the ground.
Eve: [00:24:19] But then, you know, you’d have to work with me on my magic wand, because as the landlord, when I go to the bank with the building and I want to refinance it, the first thing they look at is the length of the lease. The leases that we have on the building. And so, if I have a building providing optionality and I’ve been in this position, even if I have a history with that bank and have never missed a payment, they probably won’t come to the table with a loan. This is why I think, you know, some of these boring things like banking are really critical. So, if we were to develop that toolkit, I’d be right there looking for banks that would support it.
Josh: [00:24:57] I think the toolkit requires a new capital class, and that’s the conundrum of it.
Eve: [00:25:02] That’s right.
Josh: [00:25:03] But if we can make that clear, I actually do believe that there are capital providers that would be interested in that capital class. If you look at the impact funders that want to see the stagnation of small business development in the United States offset, this would be one of the ways to do that. Because you could better incubate small businesses if they had the appropriate arrangements and services in order to grow.
Eve: [00:25:29] Yeah, I think it’s right. I think you just they’re all so intertwined. It’s not a small problem.
Josh: [00:25:36] No.
Eve: [00:25:37] But I have to ask you, like, we’re forming this company, Small Change Advisors, the three of us together. What roles would you love to be involved in as a Small Change Advisor? How do you think we can help people?
Josh: [00:25:50] Yeah, well, I guess we kind of buried the lede from the audio side of things, which is we’ve been working together on Saturday mornings and we finally got to a point where we were like, hey, enough people are asking for these services that we’ve got to do something about it.
Eve: [00:26:04] That’s right.
Josh: [00:26:05] So, we said, OK, well, the easiest thing to do is extend off from the Small Change platform and all the success that you’ve already created there, and the deals that you’ve helped people get done, and form Small Change Advisors. Because we are seeing these companies, these communities, these foundations and these family offices that are trying to figure this out. So, my life mission is to strengthen the humanity immune system. And what I mean by that is I believe the more people that are equipped and empowered to be agents of change, the better off the world will be. And I don’t just mean individual people organizing in their neighborhoods. That’s important. But I think that companies, communities, like entire communities, again these these family offices, these foundations can be equipped to be agents of change. And so what I hope we can do with Small Change Advisors is accelerate the amount of people that are thinking about real estate in these ways that you and I have been looking at it for the last 10, 15, 20 years, the same way that Dutch looks at it, which is, as a tool for transformation for communities, you know, as a great benefit both to the organizations that are doing them, but also to the communities that surround them. And as a overarchingly source of abundance for, you know, a lot of post-industrial places that we work in that have forgotten what abundance looks like.
Eve: [00:27:33] So what is a dream project? Look like them? Like an example of one?
Josh: [00:27:38] Yeah. So, I’m super lucky in that I get to work on a couple of dream projects right now. And the one that’s public facing that I get to help out with is Ford Motor Company’s work on Michigan Central and Detroit. And Michigan Central is a development that’s anchored by Michigan Central Station, which is the Beaux Arts station that’s been abandoned for about 30 years that is designed by the same folks who designed Grand Central Station in New York. And Ford is turning that into a mobility innovation district and a place of discovery for the future of mobility. And so, working to support a company and a community like Detroit, a neighborhood like Corktown, and to think about how you create new products and services, how you create jobs for a community, how you create a place that’s more dynamic and attractive, like that’s the sort of dream project. And so, I got to work in Downtown Detroit on similar stuff. I was at Rock Ventures and we worked on the acquisition and the transformation of over 10 million square feet. But that sort of size and scale is what I’m super fascinated with, because I’m seeing non-traditional actors in the real estate world intervene and say we’re going to make our places better. We have to, it’s table stakes for retaining and attracting the best employees. And it’s also the right thing to do for the communities that we call home. And so, those are sort of dream projects that I get to work on now. I’m interested in that same question for you as well. And then I’ve got another question behind that.
Eve: [00:29:19] I’ve got a variety of dream projects. One of my big dream projects is that someone approaches Small Change who gets that it is a tool for them, to really remake an entire place. That they can raise a bunch of small raises with people from the neighborhood investing in a variety of buildings, maybe even, you know, your project in Michigan. You know, you open the door for neighborhood investors in each project that is built. But you can also do much larger raises and let much larger investors in as well. So, that over time the people who live there can enjoy the increased value of that asset. I would love someone to come along with something that scale and sort of realize the potential of how we can help to generate wealth over a long period of time. I’d also love to create a Small Change fund. So far we’ve been working on individual project basis, but there are some securities tools out there, Regulation A in particular, that I think could really be used to create a large fund which lets everyone over the age of 18 invest, and really puts our theories to work on where investments should be made, where they’re not being made right now, to sort of build community. I think those are probably my two top picks. I have like little dream projects for real estate as well. But we won’t talk about those.
Josh: [00:30:51] Yeah, yeah. Those are super exciting and I think we’re lucky to be working on the projects we already are. And I can see these new things on the horizon. Beyond those projects they inform a larger, more audacious goal. And so much of what has attracted me to spend the time with you and Dutch every Saturday morning, and to want to be a part of Small Change, and that’s a broader democratization. So, you referenced it that there and community participation. But could you talk a little bit more about that big audacious goal, what you’d like to see for real estate and investment overall? If we could fly back down in 100 years and look at the world, how would it be different because Small Change has been around?
Eve: [00:31:38] Well, I mean, Small Change is sort of tackling, we’re right at the beginning of tackling the democratization of investment. And until these new securities laws were written in 2016, regulation crowdfunding, unaccredited investors could, or non-accredited investors could not invest. Investment in real estate was only for the elite, for the three percent that have a minimum net worth of one million dollars without their primary residence, or 200,000 dollars a year in income. And even then, that elite would have to know someone in the real estate business to be able to invest. So, the places where money was coming from was altogether very limited. And what I learned in my work in Pittsburgh is that people have a palpable need, a desire, to be part of improving their city and they look for ways to do that. I mean, this is one of the key things I learnt in Pittsburgh. It’s extremely powerful. And I really believe that giving them an opportunity to invest at some small level is the right thing to do. In the long run, it will benefit the city and make it a stronger, more tightly-knit place. Does that make sense?
Josh: [00:33:00] Yes, absolutely.
Eve: [00:33:03] That’s one, what the hopes are, that somehow Small Change can become a community banking system of sorts and fill in where financial institutions just don’t want to go right now. Or can’t go right now, for whatever reason. It’s a big, hairy, audacious goal.
Josh: [00:33:21] Yeh, and it’s also such a beautiful dream. And so I’m grateful to you for inviting Dutch and I into the fold. I’m super excited about us forming Small Change Advisors. And I do know from my days in fundraising that you don’t get anything that you don’t ask for. So, I guess as we sort of wrap up this first session, and I made a bunch of notes. It feels like we’ve got a lot more things to talk about. We should say to the folks that are listening, if you are a company, a community, a foundation or a family office, and you’re trying to figure out a project that aligns with this dream of democratizing real estate finance and building better places through these progressive real estate projects, we’d love to talk to you. And also, if you are somebody that has built a tool, created a solution that you think may help along this goal, too, or you’re interested in what we’re going to do as a team, as Small Change Advisors reach out to us as well. Because this is a mission that about a lot more than a traditional company would have. And so we’re going to need all the help we can get along the way.
Eve: [00:34:29] And I would say a final thing is if you have something that you’d like us to talk about, let us know. We plan a couple of conversations like this, and one of you out there may have an idea that hadn’t occurred to us. So, please be in touch.
Josh: [00:34:44] Yeah. Yeah. So, on the horizon, space as a product versus space as a service, continuously variable financing, monetizing public amenities, and the specifics of involving the crowd in the finance stack are all things that are on my notes for additional discussion. So, again, thank you for the invitation to talk.
Eve: [00:35:07] Oh, thank you very much. I’m looking forward to the next one.
Josh: [00:35:10] Thank you.
Eve: [00:35:25] You can find out more about impact real estate investing and access the show notes for today’s episode at my website, EvePicker.com. While you’re there, sign up for my newsletter to find out more about how to make money in real estate while building better cities. Thank you so much for spending your time with Josh and I today. There’ll be more to come soon. We’ll talk again soon. But for now, this is Eve Picker signing off to go make some change.
Images courtesy of For Purpose and Small Change Advisors.