About Box Equities
Established in 2020, New York-based Box Equities comes from a background in retail, apparel, and logistics. Box maintained lasting relations with top decision-makers across multiple industries, providing a smooth flow of information across organizations that yields faster feedback with each presented deal.
Box specializes in industrial property investments within secondary and tertiary locations for strong labor pockets, focused on fulfilling tenant needs. The company also established private/public partnerships with local economic development authorities in charge of redeveloping properties or rechanneling funds to other projects.
The company amassed 3 million square feet of property investments across a 16-month process and aimed to double the assets by the end of the year. Box aims to achieve its goal through strong ties with partners that include high net worth individuals, private equities, and banks. Box aims to enhance lives by creating a stable long-term labor flow through its projects.
Challenges and Objectives
Box turned to readily available tech solutions at the inception of its operations. These tools lacked the capabilities of speaking with each other, including programs like Excel, Outlook, and OneDrive. The scattered process resulted in lots of friction during communication and affected the efficiency of investor engagement.
Upon closing their third investment, Box wanted a more comprehensive platform that matched the increasing velocity of new deals and investors.
Specifically, the Box team realized the importance of having a one-stop shop where they can create an efficient operational environment that enables faster back-office operations and a comprehensive investor portal that will impress investors and look highly professional.
Box sought to avoid the hassle of clicking through multiple documents, manually working with scattered data, and risking information loss and human error.
Box searched for a reliable real estate investment management software to provide investors with a user-friendly and foolproof experience. They wanted a platform that provided more granular control and flexibility, serving as a central hub for assessing future and current investors with minimal implementation issues.
How Agora Enabled Box Equities' Growth
Box began its search for an advanced investment management platform around five to six months upon inception, scanning the market for alternatives to their tedious, manual process. They performed due diligence in considering several solutions, but each seemed to offer flat out-of-the-box features that lacked the customization that Box sought for its quality investors.
They eventually discovered Agora through a mutual network acquaintance who scheduled a demo call. Box enjoyed the elegant, scalable, and flexible solutions offered by the platform that went the extra mile to provide Box with all the tools it needed to fulfill any task at any scale.
Box felt that Agora exceeded the offering of a secure investor portal. Specifically, Agora offered nimble capabilities that supported decision-making processes, serving as a program specifically designed for real estate firms like Box.
These specialized advantages included automating conventionally manual processes, such as investor distributions, schedule K1s creation in a click, and automated fundraising. Agora's built-in data room and document center provided Box with a secure channel for managing sensitive investor and fundraising information, eliminating the risk and inefficiencies of standard email practices.
Also, Agora provided Box with one-stop management for operational methods, communications, and data storage, driving seamless and trackable processes aimed at helping the firm further its portfolio goals.
Brad Farber, Director of Asset Management in at Box Equities described the process with reference to K1 distributions, "The process would have taken a few hours if we used an alternative solution that was not Agora. Something that took four to five hours was done in two minutes."
Brad added, “There is one person at Box that is able to complete that task, whereas if we didn't have a solution like Agora, we'd have to have at least one or two more people. And that leads to increased payroll, overheads, benefits, etc.”
Implementing the solution paved the way for long-term cost and time savings in every aspect of Box's back-office operations and investor relations.
Box’s team no longer needs to make their investment management software "work harder" in response to evolving industry challenges and new deals or investors. Instead, Agora provides Box with the ability to flexibly manage different types of investors, classes, positions, and assets from the same user-friendly interface.
Brad shared, "For Box, the utilization of technology to scale is something that is super important to us. And having a system like Agora gives us the capability to scale.The software doesn't need to work any harder if it is ten cheques versus one cheque or vice versa.”
What Mac Dabah Had to Say
Mac shared that he appreciated the collaboration with Agora, and the platform felt integral in operating the business. We highlight some of his top quotes from the recent interview:
"Being a startup and working with a startup felt like the right choice for our future."
"Our investors can log in to our portal, and on the login screen, there were pictures of our properties. And that was important for it to be on-brand... So the investor didn't feel like they were logging into Agora. They felt like they were logging into Box."