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Cadre Hits Gas Pedal With New Offerings, Hires and A Commitment To Minority Investments

Cadre co-founder and CEO Ryan Williams

Cadre founder and CEO Ryan Williams says that his investment platform is "back in growth-and-offense mode," despite the coronavirus pandemic that is still gripping the world.

The online commercial real estate marketplace has now launched an offering called Cadre Cash, which allows members who have already invested in real estate on Cadre's platform to establish a savings account, for which Cadre is guaranteeing a 3% return, CNN reports.

With the Federal Reserve's interest rates at all-time lows and likely to stay there for some time, 3% is a much higher rate than any standard savings account at a bank can offer, Williams told CNN. His confidence in delivering such a return likely comes from how Cadre is performing amid difficult circumstances.

As the economy shut down in early spring at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, Cadre circled its wagons and focused on fortifying the positions it already held, CNN reports. Williams said that his company did not wind up selling any properties and declared Cadre to be "in the strongest position our business has ever been in." Williams claims that Cadre's multifamily and office assets remain 97% and 94% occupied, respectively.

As Cadre resumes seeking deals, it will focus on industries that have proven more resilient during the challenges of 2020: multifamily and urban industrial real estate. Though Williams expressed interest in suburban offices that could potentially fulfill social distancing mandates, he also told CNN that Cadre will avoid retail and urban office properties rather than attempt to make plays for distressed assets.

One bit of Cadre business that was interrupted by the pandemic: the divestiture of initial investor Jared Kushner, which CNN reports has been put on hold. Williams co-founded Cadre with Joshua Kushner, Jared's brother.

Cadre launched in 2015 as a platform for investors with at least $100K to invest in commercial real estate, in a fashion typically reserved for major companies. Over time, it has brought the minimum investment lower and opened up a secondary market to allow investors more liquidity, thus responding better to the more volatile finances of an individual rather than a publicly owned company or private equity powerhouse.

Increasing access to real estate investing has been Williams' stated goal with Cadre from the beginning, and it is a principle that has found a more urgent context in light of the ongoing protests against systemic racial inequality and police brutality this year. Williams pledged to CNN that Cadre will deposit at least 10% of its cash reserves at Black-owned financial institutions.