Today, The Crexi Podcast examines the student housing sector with Sean Lyons and Ryan Tobias, Founding Partners at Triad Real Estate Partners.
Today, The Crexi Podcast examines the student housing sector with Sean Lyons and Ryan Tobias, Founding Partners at Triad Real Estate Partners.
The Crexi Podcast explores various aspects of commercial real estate in conversation with top industry professionals. In each episode, we feature different guests, tapping into their wealth of expertise and exploring the latest trends in commercial real estate.
In this episode, Crexi's Yannis Papadakis sits down with Lyons and Tobias to discuss the staying power of student housing, strategy plays during recessions, and more fruitful advice.
Their wide-ranging conversation covers:
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Sean Lyons has close to 15 years of experience selling investment real estate in Chicago and throughout the country. Before starting Triad, Lyons was a Senior Associate at Marcus & Millichap. As a Director of its National Multi-Housing Group, he concentrated his efforts on selling apartment properties on the north side of Chicago and throughout The Midwest.
Lyons has brokered the sale of more than $750 million in investment property, in over 160 transactions. These sales include over 4,000 apartment and student housing units. Sean has serviced his clients by diversifying their real estate investment portfolios and helping facilitate their 1031 Exchanges into other product types, including Single-Tenant and Multi-Tenant Retail, Office, and Industrial Investments.
Lyons has a BA from Boston College and is a licensed real estate broker in the States of Illinois and Wisconsin. He enjoys being a dad, writing, traveling, and playing golf.
Ryan Tobias launched his career at Marcus & Millichap, focused on selling multifamily and student housing properties throughout Illinois, including Chicago and the greater Midwest. He went on to work at Binswanger, a global real estate company, where he grew the firm’s multifamily business while working extensively on office and industrial transactions as well.
Tobias has closed over $750 million in real estate transactions across 19 states. Founding Triad Real Estate Partners marks his return to focusing on private client relationships in multifamily and student housing in the smaller markets of Illinois and the Midwest.
Tobias has a BA from the University of Michigan & is a licensed real estate broker in the States of Illinois & Michigan.
Yannis Papadakis: Welcome and thank you all for joining us for this episode of the Crexi podcast, an insider's look at all things, commercial real estate. I'm your host, Yannis Papadakis, business development manager at Crexi. And today we are thrilled to sit down with Sean Lyons and Ryan Tobias, founding partners at Triad Real Estate Partners.
Before we dive in, a little bit about our guests:
Ryan Tobias launched his career at Marcus & Millichap, focused on selling multi-family and student housing projects throughout Illinois, including Chicago and the greater Midwest. He went on to work at Binswanger, a global real estate company where he grew the firm's multifamily business while working extensively on office and industrial transactions as well. Ryan has closed over $750 million in real estate transactions across 19 states. Founding Triad Real Estate Partners marked his return to focusing on private client relationships in multifamily and student housing in the smaller markets of Illinois and the Midwest. Ryan has a BA from the University of Michigan and is a licensed real estate broker in the states of Illinois and Michigan.
Sean Lyons has close to 15 years of experience selling investment real estate in Chicago and throughout the country. Before starting Triad, Sean was a senior associate Marcus & Millichap as a director of its national housing group. He concentrated his efforts on selling apartment properties through the north side of Chicago and throughout the Midwest. Sean has brokered the sale of more than $750 million in investment property in over 160 transactions. These sales include over 4,000 apartment and student housing units.
Sean has serviced his clients by diversifying the real estate investment portfolios and helping facilitate their 1031 exchanges into other product types, including single tenant and multi-tenant retail office and industrial investments. Sean has a BA from Boston college and is a licensed real estate broker in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin. He enjoys being a dad, writing, traveling, and playing golf.
And with that, let's dive in. Gentlemen, thank you so much for making the time to be on the podcast. We know you're busy and really appreciate you coming in to talk to us.
Sean Lyons: Happy to be here. Thanks for having us.
Yannis Papadakis: Sean, I'm curious. What do you what do you enjoy writing?
Sean Lyons: I enjoy writing a little bit about my travels. We do a fair amount of travel for work. One of the things I find really interesting about the United States is how diverse it is by region. So I'm always observing that as I travel around. And so I like to write and reflect on that experience.
Yannis Papadakis: Awesome. That's great. That's interesting. Imagine! Somebody that works in real estate appreciating the land in different places.
Sean Lyons: Yeah, we're not all robots!
Yannis Papadakis: So I'm curious, how did you first get involved in commercial real estate, particularly in the field of student housing? And I'll leave a to either of you to answer first.
Ryan Tobias: Sure. I started in real estate, right out of college. I wanted to, I fell in love with sort of architecture and real estate development to a certain degree in college and was just looking to get my foot in the door into the industry. Brokerage was that, channel and Sean and our other partner, Sean were working at Marcus & Millichap at the time and they hired me. Right outta college in 2005, we were doing multifamily at the time, mostly city Chicago. Chicago MSA is smaller private client brokerage, which is really the, the bread and butter Marcus & Millichap. And we kinda opportunistically happened among a couple of student housing deals.
We did a deal at Notre Dame. We did one down at Illinois State University. And at the time this is the mid two thousands. It was a pretty nascent industry. And there just wasn't a ton of competition. We felt like multifamily was much more saturated and that there would be an opportunity for us to be experts in that field.
And we jumped in with both feet and did a lot of that in the late two thousands and through the great financial crisis, and then with triad. It's proven to be a great strategy, that space has matured a lot. There is a lot more competition now. It's become more sophisticated. There's more capital providers, but at the time it was it was pretty wide open.
Sean Lyons: Yeah, and I would add to that too. There's obviously the major food groups of real estate that everybody knows: office, industrial, hospitality, retail. What we really liked, coming from multifamily, which is just a massive space- we liked the niche component of student housing and there's a couple different product types that meet that criteria.
There's self storage, there's medical office, these sort of subcategories, if you will, of real estate investment. And we found that, given we were a smaller boutique firm, that we were able to, compete and in business, in a more niche market as opposed to, competing against the world in the larger food groups. And so that's what initially attracted us to student back when we got into it, over a decade ago.
Yannis Papadakis: Nice. And what led you to found your own firm? What were some of the challenges you faced along the way and how did you overcome those challenges?
Sean Lyons: So I'll start here, Ryan.
Ryan Tobias: Yeah. Go ahead.
Sean Lyons: Yeah, I always like to say this: particularly now is I think we're entering a different market coming up here is, our firm was basically born out of failure. So you know, in '08, '09 with the last financial crisis hit, most people in investment just stopped making money overnight, transactions just came to a screeching halt, there was no capital available. And so we kinda looked around and myself and Sean and Ryan. Hey, look, if we're not gonna make any money during this time, there's no reason given where we were at the time working for a larger firm.
And so we kinda said, if there's gonna be a recovery process, that's a good time to start building our own brand and start our own firm. And so we really it rose out of the ashes of the '08, '0 9 credit crisis.
Ryan Tobias: Yeah. That's exactly right. It was backs against the wall.
There wasn't really another... we felt some in some ways it's the worst time and in other ways it's the best time. And as Sean mentioned, it'd be interesting to see here over the next few years, if we enter a new phase of kind of a bear market and a recession that we haven't seen in quite some time.
And there are a lot of people in this business that haven't seen one, if you've only been around the last 10 years or so. But that, it's not a bad time, actually, in my opinion, I wouldn't have changed a thing, I don't think there would've been a better time actually to take your lumps and get started.
We would've been doing that anyway working at a big shop. It ended up working out pretty well.
Yannis Papadakis: Now, what lessons did you learn early on? Or, what mentors worked with you to help you find success as you birthed this, new endeavor together?
Ryan Tobias: Sean and Sean are, they had started in the business a couple years before me and are a few years older than I am. So, for me, those guys were the mentors. They had some-
Sean Lyons: Not that many years older, let's be clear!
Ryan Tobias: Few years older, couple, couple, few. And so, that was a big thing. They had some of their own mentors themselves, but for us. A lot of it was, we're a partnership, there's three of us.
And and we've leaned on each other a lot in different ways at different phases of the business. Based on what's going on with our family, different experience levels, different ages and whatnot. And I think that's been our biggest strength in persevering to this point. There's a lot of other important people on the way, but no one more important than the three of us together so far.
Sean Lyons: Yeah. I would certainly agree with that. I would also say, from my personal standpoint, a lot of my mentors, if you will, were not real estate related at all, they were entrepreneurs really. And, by mentors, I didn't necessarily know them, but I read about them and listened to audio books and did all kinds of, research on successful entrepreneurs. Cause at the end of the day, I think when somebody asks me what I do, I say, I'm an entrepreneur that happens to be at real estate. And I think that's very true. When you start in your own business, regardless of what it is, you're an entrepreneur.
And so I've looked to other people who had done that successfully. A couple in real estate, Sam Zell being a big one, but a number of people outside of real estate who I wanted to model our success after. And I found that really helpful. And you asked about, challenges: there's inordinate a number of challenges, particularly in this business, as you're getting going.
Cause you know, nobody knows necessarily who you are and you have to build a brand to compete with some of the largest companies in the world, which is not easy to do. And I think that the word that I always go back to with that, is resilience.
I think the one thing that Ryan and Sean and I have in common is we just don't give up. It's a rollercoaster ride. It ebbs and flows. But we just always said, when we made the commitment to do this together, that, failure wasn't an option. And I think it's really the resilience that has pulled us through to where we are today.
Yannis Papadakis: Awesome. Pivoting a bit, let's explore our topic for today: student housing. Can you give us a brief overview of the fundamentals of the sector? And, explain to me like I've never, I dug into a student housing deal. What do I need to know?
Ryan Tobias: Sure. It's a broad topic, but, in general, and this comes up a fair amount when I tell people what we do, but student housing, the 10,000 foot view is generally speaking, privately owned apartments near universities, that house predominantly students. It tends to be rented by the bedroom versus by the unit. Although it doesn't have to be, a lot of the smaller mom and pops and whatnot still operate by the unit. Tends to be furnished. Although, not always. And it's, a mix of larger, more strong markets. It's usually annual leases, but in smaller markets, it can be just school year leases. Other than that, it looks and feels mainly like an apartment property that you might see anywhere else.
It does have a little bit heavier bed count. Oftentimes, you got traditional multifamily, you got maybe one twos and threes, maybe some studios. In student housing, you're gonna see a lot of four bedroom units often with bed bath parity, which means the same amount of beds to bath en-suite four, bed four bath, three bed, three baths. So on, so forth. It's become a pretty big national industry, when, and it wasn't that long ago, 20 years ago or so, it was pretty much all mom and pop, small private capital, a lot of houses and small apartment buildings, near campus. A lot of you folks probably, lived in one.
I lived in a house owned by one guy, at University of Michigan. When I was there in the mid two thousands, early two thousands, the first true student housing in 50 years was built, and there's been a lot subsequent and that's a case across the country. But again, but the fundamentals are typically more like apartments, little more operationally intensive. You lease up all year long. You do a pre-leasing cycle, little heavier on marketing and payroll typically. But it's proven itself to be a very resilient asset class. There was a minor blip in the beginning of COVID, but even so most campuses fared pretty well. It fared very well in the last recession, and it's holding very strong right now.
Sean Lyons: I think that the main difference that if somebody was new, getting into the student housing, say from coming from multifamily or another product type- what's unique about it as an asset class is there is there's a leasing cycle that is specific to every university where, the kids go out and start to look for where they're gonna live in the next few years, and, if you don't lease up or get to a number where say north of 85% occupied during that window of time then you know, you're gonna be in trouble for the following year. So it's very cyclical on a year to year basis. And it's this race to the finish to get your property leased up before people stop looking.
And again that, every market has its own pattern and rhythm to that lease up cycle. But that's really, in my opinion, the critical differentiator of student housing is, at some point, there's an amoutn of kids that are gonna rent beds in a given year. And you know it's not a bunch of new people are gonna show up, out of nowhere. So you really, the sort of marketing and operational as Ryan mentioned, component to, staying full and never being comfortable with the fact that, you're only as good as your last leasing cycle is a really critical component to the student housing business.
Yannis Papadakis: So you said something that I'm interested to dig in on, which is that it's a little more management intensive than traditional multifamily assets. Would you say that in areas around universities, is the return that you're getting from student housing outweighing the multifamily properties that might be just outside of that university zone? Is the juice worth the sweets, to boil it down?
Ryan Tobias: In most communities, the answer is a resounding yes to that. There is some exceptions to that, urban campuses tend to be a little trickier. We're based in Chicago- you got a number of universities right there in the city, but you also have traditional apartments, what we call the shadow market, which is all over the place. So in those markets, things blend together. Let's take your sort of typical, down the middle college town in the US, a Champaign, Illinois, Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Athens, Georgia, the list goes on.
The demographics of the student body, especially at those upper tier university, your top 50 schools or so, you're gonna see significantly higher rent potential from the student body than say the surrounding town. And there's also the by-the-bed premium that you're not gonna get. You have a three bedroom where you're maybe charging as much as 8- 900,000 per bed. Near campus, that same three bedroom might be 1500 a unit off well-off campus to the multi-family market. It differs from market to market, but in maybe all your typical kind of college town settings, it's a pretty significant premium to be near campus and be what we call purpose built student housing.
Sean Lyons: Yeah. That purpose built trend is really not that old compared to a lot of the other asset classes. So when you look at the Class A, walk to campus, high-end student housing that has become the new normal, that didn't really exist, 15 years ago.
When we first got into student, these were just starting to come online and they're basically, I describe it as like a boutique hotel. They're fully amenitized. They have 24/7 gyms and tanning salons and lazy rivers, and you name it. Which is always interesting to me as the father of kids, because it's like, are we setting these kids up for failure?
They're living in this beautiful fully amenitized student housing property, and then they graduate and they get their first job, and then they're living in a crappy studio like most of us did, but that's a separate topic. The point is these newer purpose built student housing properties are high end in terms of what they offer, the spread between what you can get, on a per bed basis compared to what Ryan called the shadow market, like the, the B class, older multi-family is significant. And, it does justify the, the juice has definitely worth the sweets in that case. The challenge is, how many kids at a given school are able to afford that level of of luxury, if you will. And that really varies in like dramatically market to market and state to state.
Yannis Papadakis: Got it. Now, Ryan you'd mentioned, you saw a blip in the market during COVID 19. Let's dig into that a little bit. With many colleges, shutting down, pivoting to online classes and students taking gap years, what happened to the sector during COVID 19?
Ryan Tobias: It's pretty disparate across the country. It just really depended on what university, what state and what the protocols in place were. California, for example, had a very stringent approach to COVID. Longer, more online classes and whatnot, the universities and there, and student housing suffered pretty greatly. That being said, it wasn't as bad as you think because, first of all, there were a lot of kids, even that second year, 2020-2021 school year, that had already signed leases.
And some of those folks just chose to commit, some others even signed leases even when they knew that there wasn't going to be a class, cuz they just didn't wanna live in mom and dad's basement. If I'm taking class on my laptop in my apartment at least, I don't have anyone answer to and I'm around my other friends and there's still a bar down the street, maybe instead of back on the suburbs, back home. So even in those places that went fully, remote, went fully online and definitely suffered, it wasn't as bad as you might think.
As I mentioned, California- obviously one thing opposite on the spectrum, Texas and Florida, and some certain places that had a different approach to COVID 19 really didn't miss a beat.
There were a few examples. Michigan state is one that essentially shut their dorms down. And even those that were open were very densified. And as such the private market flourished there was less on campus housing. So the off-campus housing market actually had stellar years, so really wide range across the spectrum.
But generally speaking the states that had stricter laws, east coast, west coast suffered a little bit more than those that didn't really miss much of a beat.
Sean Lyons: Yeah. I think Ryan mentioned it earlier in the beginning. How student housing has really proven itself as an asset class that has staying power at this point.
It's been through, couple iterations and comes out strong every time. And what we saw during COVID, obviously when it first came down, everybody was expecting the worst, across the board. But particularly in student housing, because these kids are, as they're shutting down schools, thinking well, everybody's just gonna try to break their lease and leave and go home and the opposite turned out to be true.
Most parents who co-sign on the lease, they're personally guaranteed on it. So I think a lot of parents took the approach that, we made this commitment and we're signed up for it, and if you're gonna taking online classes, then you know, you might as well do it from school and least to get some experience of what it's like being on campus.
Cause obviously those kids really got robbed at that, as a result of the shutdown. And occupancies during COVID pretty much nationally remained in the, mid eighties to upper eighties. And, we were all expecting, everybody in the space was expecting, sort of the absolute worst case scenario where, these things are all empty.
And it really proved to kinda hold up against the challenges of COVID, and I think that's gonna really speak to the asset class going forward because the fact that we were able to get through this on the other side, pretty much fully intact speaks volumes.
Yannis Papadakis: Speaking of moving forward, what are you seeing now? And, what does your crystal ball say about what's coming down the pipe for student housing? I see you recently attended a student housing conference in Austin. Can you share, what was your most impactful takeaways from that?
Ryan Tobias: Sean can speak to the, to interface conference in Austin. He was down there this year. I didn't make the trip, but it's a tough question right now. I think we're all trying to figure out, which way is up a little bit. Obviously interest rates have jumped quickly.
They're likely to continue to climb. We seem to be headed toward a recession and again, usually student housing holds up well in that, but obviously when rates go up, cap rates tend to follow. We, we have in the last, I don't know if this will continue or not. In the last nine to 12 months, we saw a lot of people that had been in multifamily coming over to students- some that had been in student before and others that others that hadn't. Just because the kind of the delta between returns in multifamily versus student housing had widened to a point where it got interesting. And that's largely just because multifamily went berserk for such a long time there.
But I think student housing, looks attractive. It's proven itself to be recession resistant. Cap rates are not so ridiculous that they can't- they'll go up a bit, but they can weather higher interest rates a little bit better. We didn't see cap rates in the below threes in student with, very few exceptions.
I think it'll hold up well, but we're all curious to see what the capital flows look like in a new world here of interest rates in the fives again.
Sean Lyons: Yeah I think, out of the conference, the two biggest takeaways were flight to quality and consolidation.
And I'll explain both. So flight to quality is really... obviously there's different tiers of universities, right? There's tier two, tier three, and then the markets that they're in are also, kinda tiered. Triad has traditionally done a lot of business in what we would call the secondary, tertiary markets.
So the Eastern Illinois of the world and the sort of state schools that are not necessarily the brand name schools. And what I've noticed- this has been an ongoing trend- is that larger money, the institutional money all just wants flight to quality, so they're willing to pay more significantly more for the security of a University of Michigan or University of Wisconsin or University of Texas.
Cause those schools aren't going anywhere, ever. And there's always going to be a very high demand for those types of schools. Some of the secondary and tertiary schools, when you look at, enrollment trends and even population growth and the number of kids applying to schools projected over the next decade. There's a lot of speculation that a number of these schools, might just go away. A lot of people think, a lot of experts or quote, unquote experts think that we have way too many colleges and universities in the US compared to what the actual demand is.
And I do think that's gonna impact things going forward. And that's the consolidation point, both consolidation in terms of where people want to invest and then consolidation in terms of the investor profile. There are fewer buyers buying a lot more property than there has been in the past, so it's gotten institutional it's really grown up to be an institutional-level asset class, and, as opposed to a really fragmented market, it's becoming a lot more consolidated in terms of who the major players are. And I think you're gonna see eventually, maybe, a dozen or more, 20 groups own the overwhelming majority of student housing around the country.
It feels like that's the direction we're going. I don't know if you agree that, but that's my opinion.
Yannis Papadakis: It's interesting you mentioned that. I'm curious, drilling down, aside from the flight to quality, what should let's say, investors entering this space now be focused on looking at acquisitions, let's say within a primary market, what are some, green flags to look for in terms of what you want as an investor? Especially right now in the marketplace?
Ryan Tobias: I guess it depends on your overall strategy a little bit. Obviously there are folks out there with more of a core plus strategy or value add type strategy, but generally speaking, you're looking for positive demographic trends which is to say enrollment growth, application growth. And, I really like to look for, is it a university that has a national reputation and can continue to pull nationally? And if not, is it then in an area of a country that has positive demographic tailwinds? Southeast, mountain west parts of the country like that, that if you're gonna draw regionally, you want that regional pie to be growing, that's the macro type of stuff.
And then on a deal level, we always say, I walk to class where you can, that's less important in certain markets that are a little more commuter-focused, but I think always being close to campus is best, and I really advise people to look at barriers to entry. So demographics are the big one.
I think it's the huge item that people miss on sometimes. And then, and in various to entry because, it's like investing in multifamily in a one factory town, okay? And so if the university, even if the university's growing, if there's too much building going on, the supply demand balance can be sent outta whack pretty quickly. When you're talking about a driver of 20- 30,000 kids, or even if it's a big school of 50- 60,000. Looking at that and understanding what that future competition looks like and what it takes to develop there, I think is also pretty critical.
Sean Lyons: Yeah, the supply demand is key. One of the things that we saw happening probably about five or six years ago now, we're in the middle of this rush to build new product. Now that the market had seen how well it was being received and what kind of rents people were getting, they basically built a lot of new product very quickly in a number of these larger markets.
Two that come to mind are Champaign, where we've done a lot of business in, University of Arkansas- selling a property there right now. And, they sort of had a lot of inventory that was delivered all around the same time. So they get this scarlet letter for a period of time of this market, quote unquote overbuilt. But then what ends up happening is it ends up, through a cycle or two, it ends up getting absorbed and because it had the reputation of being overbuilt, people stopped building there. And so eventually these sort of the supply demand metrics work themselves out in a lot of these markets.
And we've seen, a number of them that, three, four years ago were considered, to be overbuilt with new product are now, 90 to 95% occupied and that all that new inventory has been absorbed. So I think that, we put out these research reports that probably have, on a specific market. Take east Lansing, and there's probably a dozen different data points to determine whether we would give a thumb or a thumbs down on a market in terms of whether it's a now is a good time to invest there. And if now is not a good time, it could be two years from now when some of the new inventory is absorbed.
Yannis Papadakis: So for anyone listening, tap into that data.
Sean Lyons: That was a plug for our analyst team.
Yannis Papadakis: For anybody that's interested in entering the space, you want as much information as possible before you jump into the pool and as many swim instructors as you can get. You gotta get 'em, right? You don't wanna drown out there. You want Michael Phelps, on the sideline cheering you on. You've got two of them here at Triad.
Sean Lyons: If I could add to that too, because we're very thoughtful about how we approach this because the information on our website- there's no research tab.
They're three page reports, but they have a ton of data from disparate sources that we spend a lot of time and effort pulling together and organizing in a fashion where it's very easy to understand. And, we put that out for free, right? Like we send that to every owner in the market and, cause one, we want people, obviously to be educated, but we also want them to look at us as market experts. And we feel like when we gather all of this information together and put it together in a way that doesn't exist out there, we just give it away where we've seen people charge for that kinda stuff- we feel like that gives us a lot of credibility in terms of understanding the dynamics of one market compared to another. And honestly, like that's probably been one of our best marketing tools because we get a lot of phone calls from people saying, "Hey, I saw your report on Iowa city. I wanna learn more." And so it's like a, get what you give approach to putting information out there that we know is beneficial to investors.
Yannis Papadakis: Information is power and Triad is giving away power for free, especially if you're looking into this space.
So I encourage anybody that's interested to go and take advantage of those resources. Finally, our last topic, what advice would you give to fellow brokers working or looking to get involved in the student housing space? And what advice would you give to your clients?
Ryan Tobias: It's crowded here, man. Stay out of our space.
Yannis Papadakis: You'd be surprised how much, how often I hear that every space is crowded.
Ryan Tobias: No, for brokers, I don't know. It's a great space. I think it's a great asset class. There's a lot of great asset classes and I think you could make money in just about any of them. And most of the lessons are the same. Make yourself an expert in your particular markets, in your asset class. Obviously become an expert in student, but I always highly recommend that folks stick to a footprint, a relatively small footprint to start and know it inside and out. If you're just cold calling across college campuses across the country and you don't know anything about them. It's gonna come back to bite you a little bit. I recommend, going deep in, a select market or number of markets and starting with that. And that, but that's just general advice to all, brokers that I give all the time.
And it applies just as much as student as it does to anything else. I don't know, Sean, if you've got some broker wisdom.
Sean Lyons: Oh, I have tons of wisdom, man.
I would say, I mentioned this earlier, but it's back to that its a niche industry.
I think is very helpful because it's a lot easier to get your arms around. And so there's a number of these, there's the big event every year in Austin. There's a number of offshoot events. I probably go to four or five housing conferences a year at different parts of the country and stay in front of people.
So, if you asked anybody in student housing who Triad is, they're gonna know, or at least I would hope they would know at this point. And that's because we're out there, in front of people and the way that the industry is set up is, there's a ton of money.
There's a $10 billion plus market that trades hands in a given year. But there's not necessarily a ton of players compared to a lot of the other product types. And you gotta make yourself visible and be in front of the active groups who are out there and really, just like any other business, but particularly in brokerage, like it's very relationship-driven, so a lot of our business today comes from repeat clients who we've done, multiple transactions with, and they own large portfolios of student housing property. And they like working with us and we like working with them, and they come back to us, again and again, because they know what to expect.
And so you gotta build up that trust and credibility just like anywhere else. And then you asked about, from a customer standpoint or from an investor standpoint, I think that once all the dust settles on the world, be normal again in a post COVID reality, that student housing has really proven to be able to pretty much weather . Any storm that it's been thrown its way since it's its conception.
And everybody in the industry always says this: we're bullish on the fact it's here to stay and it's been accepted and embraced in the current form. And that, I think there's gonna continue to be a lot of interest, particularly from an institutional level.
The analogy I always use is like, when we got into it, it was a toddler and now it's grown up to be a full, adult. The industry has matured to the point where, significant foreign capital and institutional investors wanna be involved. So I think that's a really good sign coming forward. We all gotta, we all gotta grow up at some point. Yes.
Yannis Papadakis: Not if I can help it. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us. It's always great to hear your insights, especially on such timely and important topics. We really appreciate your time today. I know you're very busy, so thank you for taking the time this morning to sit down with us.
Sean Lyons: Yep. And you guys, I just, before you sign off, you guys do a great job with everything you do. We use your platform for a number of reasons. We put properties up there that have been listed. So thank you for what you guys have brought to the industry. And in relatively short period of time, it's very impressive what you've done.
Yannis Papadakis: Thank you. Thank you for that. And where can people, if they want to get in touch, where can they find you online? Social media, email, share with us where we can get in touch and see that report.
Ryan Tobias: Yeah, triadrepartners.com is the best way. Go to our website. Triad RE like real estate partners.com.
And feel free to drop a note, Sean or myself, anytime on email. Even if it's just to grab a few minutes of time to chat like this about student housing, we're always happy to do. Or if you're young, I'm looking to break into the business or anything like that, we're here.
Yannis Papadakis: Tremendous. Thank you gentlemen. And thanks to everyone who tuned in today. If you enjoyed this episode, do not miss the next one. Visit go crexi.com/podcast and sign up to get the next episode delivered straight to your inbox. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Crexi podcast on your favorite podcast app and check out our YouTube channel for video recordings of each episode.
Take care and be sure to tune in next time.