For most of his career, Franco led a successful retail franchise operation. He sold his business in 2018 and began a journey of what to do next.
Over the years, Franco gradually made several real estate investments and saw that they performed well. With that experience, he decided that real estate was going to be his next chapter in life. He studied different real estate asset classes, everything from apartment buildings to self-storage units, and finally stumbled upon cohousing.
He realized that cohousing was a growing trend and he liked the business model. With the lack of housing supply in the country, he viewed cohousing as a needed option and also one that could be recession-proof. This was back in 2020 before the pandemic started, and Franco actually got his first coliving house up and running in the summer of 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing.
Even though these early pandemic days were rife with uncertainty, Franco’s first foray into cohousing performed extremely well. He wanted to invest more deeply in the sector, but at the same time, he sought a partner that could minimize some of his day-to-day involvement.
That’s when he found out about PadSplit.
Working with PadSplit gave Franco more flexibility
Franco wasn’t looking to unload all of his responsibilities as a property owner. He still wanted a fair amount of control and to remain involved.
“PadSplit gave me the opportunity to be more hands-off with running day-to-day operations, but at the same time, I still have a lot of visibility and flexibility to manage my properties the way I wanted to. It was the perfect fit for me, and I’m really impressed with how they manage their marketplace,” said Franco.
Franco said his first experiences with PadSplit exceeded expectations. All of his homes were full after only a month, and his returns were greater than he anticipated. Despite the pandemic effects, PadSplit’s members always paid on time and took care of his homes. Many of the residents in his homes were seniors or young people looking to get their financial footing, and both groups seemed to appreciate the “community” that PadSplit offered as well as the financial incentives.
“There are a lot of people who prefer to live alone in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, but there are many other groups, like seniors, who prefer a sense of community. With rents going up so much across the country, PadSplit provides a lot of flexibility and options to folks, whether they are financially motivated or they just want to try something other than living alone.”
With his first two PadSplit homes being a huge success, Franco caught the bug and decided to expand further with PadSplit. He now has 10 homes committed to PadSplit’s marketplace and is in the process of purchasing another 10!
“PadSplit is a great return on investment,” said Franco.
Doing well and doing good is a big driving factor
Seeing strong returns was critically important for Franco, as is the case for all independent, small business owners. But another reason why Franco was attracted to PadSplit’s model was because of their social impact mission.
When he was studying various asset classes and looking into cohousing, he understood the importance of offering affordable housing to people in need.
“What we provide is really important to the community — we’re giving people more options,” said Franco.
The fact that he can do well as a new real estate investor and offer an important social need is a huge driving factor for working with PadSplit specifically. Franco recommends that other real estate investors study PadSplit’s model, and when they do, they’ll see it’s really easy to “make the jump” and get into coliving.