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/Case Study:
Notch Mountain
Properties
Canterbury Square Apartments
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98.1%
accuracy
of underwriting
budget to hard bid
4 additional
floorplans found
without the need for sitewalks
Customer Overview
Founded by Principal Daniel Rickert, Notch Mountain Properties is an entrepreneurial real estate investment firm focused on delivering value-add returns to investors. The company’s sole focus is the acquisition and repositioning of 50 - 150-unit garden style multifamily assets in the Colorado and Texas Markets. Since its inception in May 2020, Notch Mountain Properties has rapidly grown to $98 MM in AUM across 7 investments and 449 units. Daniel began his real estate career at Northmarq Capital in Dallas, Texas, where he raised over $500,000,000 of senior debt, JV and preferred equity, and mezzanine debt for acquisitions, refinances, and construction projects. During this time, he specialized in raising the equity for value-add multifamily assets focusing on the Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix markets.
Challenge
In late 2021, Notch Mountain Properties began their underwriting process and submitted an offer to purchase the Canterbury Square Apartments. Located immediately west of Denver in the city of Lakewood, Colorado, the 71-unit garden-style apartment complex consisted of one and two-bedroom apartments and spanned 59,950 ft2. Built in 1970, the complex was meticulously maintained but had not seen cosmetic updates in nearly fifty years. “While the major deferred cap ex had been taken care of, I knew there was going to be some heavy lifting ahead with quite a bit of cosmetic improvements needed to reposition the asset,” explained Rickert, founder and principle of Notch Mountain. “Most entrepreneurial firms like mine are forced to hire a dedicated construction manager and an asset manager to handle due diligence, vet and source estimators and interior designers to site-walk and scope the renovation and finally create investor proposals for a larger capital project like this.”
“Scope omissions and change orders can be an ROI killer for the value-add business model. Tailorbird’s trusted data help me and my GC get on the same page and avoid those altogether. It creates a true win-win for everybody.”
Daniel Rickert, Principal at Notch Mountain Properties
Benefits
Scalability
“I felt like Tailorbird is a tool in my kit that nobody else seems to have. I have a new capability to move quicker than my competitors and vet more deals, which feels more important now than ever. It is empowering to have access to an outsourced smart construction solution that goes from a property address to fully-vetted GC hard bids in less than 10 days, without site visits and without compromising details or accuracy.”
Speed and Efficiency
“I think we’re probably a month ahead of schedule on Canterbury Square, plus we’ll be saving time and resources going forward due to avoiding change orders. In this hyper-competitive investment environment, it’s awesome to realize additional ROI purely due to speed and efficiency.”
Search for a Solution
When the seller accepted Notch Mountain’s offer, Rickert began the due diligence process. “I had been working with Camp Construction on a few other projects and they had suggested I reach out to Tailorbird to learn more about speeding up my deal flow process,” noted Rickert. With a background in equity raising, Rickert knew that forming trusting, lasting partnerships would be critical to scaling AUM. Ensuring his extensive in-unit and common area renovation bids were in line with his budgets would help build investor confidence in his vision and strategy. “Timing can either work for you or against you,” said Rickert. “You can either work quickly towards a stabilization or a capital event, or you need to finance on the front end to have a really long-time horizon. Since I’m acquiring assets that have a bit of mileage on them, we need to work as quickly as we can to refinance or sell – so increased speed would take a lot of risk off the table for my investors.”
Results
One week after Rickert submitted Canterbury Square’s property address and rent roll, Tailorbird’s software provided Notch Mountain with a complete pre-construction package containing finish selection, project scope, and dimensionally viable floorplan measurements for their in-unit project.
In less than two weeks, Notch Mountain had their fully leveled hard bid from their preferred contractor.

Tailorbird’s algorithm utilized historic bid data secured from the Denver MSA for like-kind renovation projects in the previous 3 months to bid Canterbury Square project on behalf of the preferred general contractor. Upon submission for approval, Notch Mountain’s contractor approved Tailorbird’s pricing data for the bid within a 98.1% degree of accuracy. The only changes required were for a slight increase in project-specific scope items. The hard bid was in line with the renovation budgets Notch Mountain put forth in their due diligence budgets.
Old Exterior
New Exterior
While Notch Mountain received a complete package containing a hard bid from their preferred general contractor, Tailorbird’s software was able to discover considerable variance in unit square footage and unit layouts put forth by the previous ownership.

“I sensed there were some discrepancies in square footage and unit layouts with the two-bedroom unit floorplans. When we received Tailorbird’s measured drawings, it confirmed there were about four different two-bedroom floorplan variations. Tailorbird’s solution had also discovered in mere hours that 25 one-bedroom units were inaccurately measured by the previous property managers. They were off by 128 ft2,” highlights Rickert.

It was this crucial finding that enabled Tailorbird to earn Rickert’s trust for the long haul. “This would have called for coordinating extensive unit access and multiple days of site walks. This could have been a costly change order during renovation that could have slowed us down and completely altered our renovation budgets.”
Old Corridor
New Corridor
“The bid package produced by Tailorbird was an eye-opener for me. It is so thorough and implements fully vetted industry best practices. It gave me a leg-up in how convincingly I can convey my acquisition strategy to my investors.”
Daniel Rickert, Principal at Notch Mountain Properties
/Case Study:
Notch Mountain Properties
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2 weeks

four fully leveled hard bids

9-month

improvement of pre-construction
timeline

Customer Overview

Catalyst Housing Group’s innovative model provides affordable rental housing to California's essential workforce. During the past two years, Catalyst has acquired more than $2 billion and 4,000 units of premier multifamily rental communities. Catalyst Housing Group lives at the intersection of investment, innovation and impact. The company was founded in 2015 and headquartered in Larkspur, CA.

Challenges

In April 2021, Catalyst Housing Group purchased the Creekwood Apartments from Bridge Investment Group and paid $128,750,000, or $416,666 per unit. Situated in the East Bay community of Hayward, CA, the 309-unit complex spans 257,000 square feet and features several pools, a gym and a clubhouse.

Previously, extensive site access was needed to measure and scope a renovation that included units, exteriors, amenities and common areas. Next, Catalyst would typically source an interior designer who would site-walk, re-design and specify FF&E for the clubhouse, gym, lobbies and hallways on four floors. A sizable portion of the 500+ man-hours needed pre-construction would require Construction Operations to compile design packages for RFPs, gather and finally level-set multiple contractor bids. Multiple new hires would be required to manage a renovation of this scale. If any takeoffs were discovered to be inaccurate mid-project, costly change orders, rework loops and rebidding would be required to move forward.

“Normally, the timeline from when you close to when you have detailed hard bids is six months or more.”

Dave Denslow, Construction Operations - Catalyst Housing Group

Benefits

Scalability


“Tailorbird offered us a nine-month improvement over time compared to projects I’ve seen that are similar in scope,” says Dave Denslow, Construction Ops, Catalyst Housing Group

“We couldn’t do what we’re doing without Tailorbird given the number of acquisitions we’re working through. There’s just no way,” highlights Laine Gomez, Asset Management, Catalyst Housing Group

Transparent Transactions

“We’re seeing reduced changed orders to even no change orders because of how well Tailorbird coped out the project ahead of time. It is head and shoulders above anything else out there,” notes Dave Denslow.

“Tailorbird offers us visibility of the construction process in a way where we’re not running into hiccups like costly rework loops and rebidding,” explains Tobi Wray, Owner at Design Well Spent Co.

Results

Four weeks prior to close of acquisition, Catalyst Housing Group received four sets of fully leveled hard bids without requiring a single site walk. The fully-leveled hard bids arrived within two weeks of property address and rent roll submission.

One week after rent roll and property address submission in the Tailorbird portal, Catalyst was provided with dimensionalized floorplans, an RFP and takeoffs without the need for site walks. This trusted data became the single source of truth for the lightning bid and subsequent leveled bidding template used by all bidding contractors.

Concurrently, Design Well Spent Co. partnered with Tailorbird to manage all the conceptual designs and specifications for the complex’s clubhouse, gym, hallways, and lobby renovations.


Before Clubhouse
After Clubhouse

Results

Within 9 days of property address and rent roll submission, Tailorbird’s solution provided Bascom with a smart RFP containing dimensionally viable floor plans and four fully leveled hard bids without the need for site walks. The cost summary demonstrated the potential of 6.5-8% savings on interior renovations based on the four solicited bids.

“Knowing we can go to Tailorbird with any new acquisition and ask to have interiors bid out to four reputable groups this quickly is simply an option we’ve never had before at Bascom,” shared Ferrell.

JT Houston, Senior National Account Executive at ReNu Inc was happy to participate in the RFP for the Enclave at Lake Ellenor given his experience using the Tailorbird solution on Greystar, Starwood and Cortland RFP’s. He highlighted, “Tailorbird’s bidding process allowed us to bid more efficiently. We didn’t have to be there. That saves us quite a bit of time because we didn’t have to schedule a trip and walk all the units.

Typically, this could take us anywhere from four to seven days.” Houston and English described their eagerness to be a part of Tailorbird’s network of contractors. English detailed, “Frequently, the expectation of national contractors with local footprints is that we’ll have a larger price tag because we’re a big machine. It’s simply untrue. Tailorbird offers us the opportunity to challenge the misconception of what it means to be a national company and allow us to rightly be recognized as having a meaningful local presence in the markets we bid in.” Ferrell sensed deep potential in the deployment of the
Tailorbird solution. “Our first project with Tailorbird was enormously beneficial to us, especially because we determined we could produce time and cost savings while we were still in pre-acquisition.” Looking beyond the scope of his first project, Ferrell envisioned what full deployment could mean for Bascom. “Knowing we now have a go-to solution like Tailorbird offers us new comfort and empowers us to be more competitive in every market, on every acquisition.”

Before Lobby
After Lobby

Wray has since partnered with Catalyst Housing Group on multiple multifamily renovations. She continues, “working with Catalyst has been exciting for us [...] we’re looking ahead together and systematizing the scoping and construction process to avoid rework and rebidding. A huge part of that is due to working with Tailorbird.”

In 2021, Catalyst Housing Group was the biggest buyer in the San Francisco metropolitan area, paying a combined $663 million for five assets encompassing 1,226 units. With Tailorbird’s 98.5% accurate measurements and takeoffs, it’s easier for Catalyst to accelerate their velocity of multifamily acquisitions.

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