Wells Fargo Backs Former NFL Kicker’s Single-Family Rental Firm
Former NFL kicker Doug Brien’s Mynd Property Management raised around $42 million in a funding round led by Wells Fargo & Co.
Brien, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, and New York Jets during his National Football League career, founded Mynd in 2016 with Colin Wiel. Mynd manages rental homes and small apartment buildings for small investors. The funds raised will be used to build up the systems that allow small landlords to operate more efficiently, according to Brien.
These systems include property management tools to let tenants view homes, sign leases, and pay rent without getting physically near the landlord. Virtual maintenance, in which Mynd employees walk tenants through household repairs over video calls, has grown in popularity since the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For anyone who owns real estate these are stressful times,” said Brien. “This is the kind of property management experience that everyone wants.”
Mynd manages properties owned by small investors, rather than acquiring the properties. The business manages around 7,500 homes in 16 markets, charging landlords for leasing homes and providing efficient repair services.
Wall Street has historically ignored rental houses, considering the fragmented property portfolios too difficult to manage. Following the 2008 housing crisis, bargain prices and mobile technology made these assets more appealing to investors.
Single-family rentals continue to gain popularity with investors, despite the coronavirus-induced unemployment crisis. Investors believe the pandemic will not slow the growing demand for single-family rentals. Whereas most apartment real estate investment trusts have declining occupancy, rates have increased for single-family rentals owned by real estate investment trusts, according to Jeffrey Langbaum, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.