As income inequality grows across America, the ability of lower-income individuals and families to afford quality homes remains frustratingly out of reach. “The ownership of a home that is reasonably priced and safe is a fundamental right of every human being,” says Dr. Van Williams, the Founder and Managing Partner of The Proactive Realty Income Fund, LLC.
“Yet, for far too many people, where they live is unsafe, undignified, and prohibitively expensive. Many would like to help but hesitate because they believe that impact-investing in these communities is unprofitable. What I have found, however, is just the opposite: investors can enjoy a 12-16% ROI by investing in class C and distressed B properties. What it takes to achieve these returns includes the careful selection of targeted properties, a good relationship with the community, and a realistic plan for how the properties will be managed. Active and proactive management is a must. At The Proactive Realty Income Fund, we’re proving it can be done, and we’re even doing it without gentrification.”
What Is The Proactive Realty Income Fund?
The Proactive Realty Income Fund is led by Dr. Williams, who works with his team of dedicated housing experts to positively impact the human, financial, and social environment of communities by renovating and managing class B and C buildings and by building manufactured housing for financially distressed families.
“The results have been exciting for both residents and investors,” he reveals. “We have helped single moms, domestic violence victims, homeless persons, veterans, and other less-privileged people enjoy the security of dignified housing. At the same time, we are generating impressive returns for our investors: in 2020 alone, we paid them a 12% return, beating the S&P 500 in a year dominated by COVID. There were zero distribution interruptions, and we obtained 100% rent collection during this period.
All of this, he says, is proving that impact-investing works. “Our investors are enjoying immediate returns even as they help us to make communities more resilient and to undo historical and legacy-based disparities in housing.”
How The Proactive Realty Income Fund Accomplishes Its Mission
To provide 12% return rates for investors and affordable, quality housing for families, Dr. Williams and his team first negotiate the best prices for properties, with no additional financing or leverage. “Investors are then in first position on every asset they buy. We mitigate the risk with A-rated insurers, and we maintain a hands-on, active management of our portfolio,” Dr. Williams says. “This approach produces consistent cash flow and long-term capital appreciation.”
They also adhere to strict social impact metrics and guidelines. Dr. Williams states, “We focus on properties that can generate immediate income so that we can pay our investors quarterly. We remain transparent by using a third party, Impact Fund Administrator, and we employ a strong fiduciary standard.”
The result, he says, is affordable housing for all who rent from The Proactive Realty Income Fund. “They do not have to choose between paying for their groceries or paying for rent. No one has to work 300 hours a month just to pay for housing.
In our manufactured housing communities, our residents can rent to own at only 6% with just $3,500-$8,500 as their down payment. This is all due to our investors, who get the satisfaction of knowing that their money is allowing residents to build their own wealth and social mobility while enjoying more quality time with their families.”
Orangeburg, South Carolina: One of The Proactive Realty Income Fund’s Biggest Successes
Dr. Williams points to Orangeburg, South Carolina, as proof that impact-investing can transform the lives of low-income families. “We targeted this community because its poverty rate was 31.32% and the average household income was roughly half the nationwide average,” he says.
“The 2019 unemployment rate was 133.33%. Can you imagine how difficult it was for them to find good housing? To solve this, we created a manufactured housing community, fixed the roads, added street signs and streetlights, installed cameras all throughout the park, and employed administrative staff to run the property when we couldn’t be there.”
Their efforts, Dr. Williams says, directly led to 98% home ownership for single mothers and other families who never thought they could own their own home.
“Additionally, crime is down. There have been fewer break-ins and less damage done to cars. There’s one woman in particular who is thrilled because she is even able to go to college now. It’s the spiral effect of decent, safe housing: you’re able to do more with your life when you no longer have to worry about where you live or how you will pay for it.”
About the Leaders of The Proactive Realty Income Fund
Dr. Williams has been a passionate force for social change in America’s housing sector for more than 22 years. After witnessing the effects of poverty and gentrification on communities, he used his experience in buying, selling, and repositioning over $30 million in commercial and residential real estate to start The Proactive Realty Income Fund. He holds a PhD in Psychology from Madison University, is a Certified Private Equity Professional, and is a member of the Private Equity Association.
Additionally, Mr. Williams is a Registered Property Manager with the International Real Estate Institute, a Certified Business Mediator with the National Association of Mediators, and holds a Certification in Green Property Advisement from Allied Business. Dr. Williams is currently a licensed Retail Manufactured Home Dealer, a Registered Property Manager through the International Real Estate Institute, and is a designated Green Property Advisor.
Dr. Williams is joined by Michael Zajas, MRED, a real estate investments and acquisitions leader whose expertise is in sourcing, underwriting, developing investment strategies, creating and managing funds, investor relations, raising capital, and optimizing portfolios. Mr. Zajas has worked as a principal with startup ventures and projects to help them to become well-capitalized.
Cora Rogers helps to manage and reposition the properties in The Proactive Realty Income Group’s portfolios. With more than 45 years of active, on-the-ground real estate experience in some of the roughest areas of the nation, the vast knowledge of Ms. Rogers has made an impact on communities. Ms. Rogers began her career in Oakland, California, eventually expanding her portfolio to Fremont and Sacramento.
In Sacramento, Ms. Rogers purchased more than 75 units in the G Parkway Condominiums, known as a hub for violence, drug abuse, gangs, and blight. She quickly remodeled them, placed new renters, and sold the units at a profit. Ms. Rogers then moved her investing empire to Harvey, Illinois, where she purchased over fifty properties. Currently, she manages a rental portfolio in the Chicago, Illinois, metro area.
The Future of The Proactive Realty Income Fund
With his team, Dr. Williams and The Proactive Realty Income Fund are showing that impact-investing can both change lives and generate significant returns for investors. “This is just the start, however,” he says. “By next year, we plan to have at least 2,500 units under management. We also plan to use the $10 million we are raising to fill out the South Carolina manufactured housing park and separate perimeter property. In Memphis, Tennessee, we’d like to open a sixty-room, single room occupancy property and generate up to $55,000 per month. It’s got an attractive return profile. All we need is the capital! As Sam Zell said, ‘When it’s all said and done, the petroleum of the real estate industry is capital.’ Our investors are behind all the success we’re achieving, and 2022 is going to be our breakout year, when even more families move into dignified housing.”
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