Arlington Street Investments

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How to communicate with investors and why

By: The ASI Team

Published: April 21, 2016

Ever since Frank Lonardelli formed his real estate investment firm, Arlington Street Investments, he has not been shy in explaining what he and his team value in real estate investment.  More specifically, when speaking with Mr. Lonardelli or reading up on any of Arlington Street literature, one will discover quickly that the relationship he and Arlington Street have with their investors is one of their most valued assets.  Moreover, one will notice that Arlington Street’s ability to provide return on investments for his investors and its ability to keep their investors informed of their latest business developments is considered by the company a real barometer for their level of success.  Frank Lonardelli and Arlington Street even have a motto that encompasses the exact kind of relationship they strive for with their investors – that motto is “Frankly Speaking”.

You can see this tagline on Arlington Street’s website; you can see it ending the blog posts that Frank regularly writes to his investors; and you can see its influence in the abundant investor literature and videos that Arlington Street produces for each one of its development projects.

But, the question remains – one that will undoubtedly enter the minds of those unfamiliar with Arlington Street – and that question is – what does “Frankly Speaking” mean?  And how does it relate to Frank Lonardelli’s model for leading a successful commercial real estate investment firm?

“A common sense approach to real estate investment combined with investment intelligence”.  That’s how Frank Lonardelli describes it.  He continues on, “Our motto at Arlington Street – ‘Frankly Speaking’ – really means one thing: it means that I want my investors to understand what they’re investing their hard earned capital into.  When they come to Arlington Street and choose to invest their capital with us, I don’t want them to have to face any ambiguities or obscurities as to what they are investing in which includes both the opportunities and the risks associated with that opportunity.  I want to give them clear information and precise updates on our development projects.  It’s always been to me, a really simple equation which is twofold: Firstly, don’t assume that an investor knows the details that affect him or her just because you are living it every day. Secondly, an educated investor is significantly more meaningful to the long term best interests of the company.  These two fundamental principles of investor engagement directly serve the best interests of both the company and all of our valued investors.”

Frank Lonardelli then adds, “That’s why I value so highly the literature, annual shareholders meetings, and consistent updates that my team produces, which describe in detail the latest in our development projects.”

Indeed, taking a look at Arlington Street’s website, arlingtonstreet.ca with its multiple project pages and investor education pages, one can see just how much the company values keeping their investors informed of the latest company news and milestones.

One article of investment material, produced by Frank Lonardelli and his team, demonstrates a simple example of how Arlington communicates the meaning of “Frankly Speaking”. It is a short video featured on their website shot for their 8th Avenue Limited project.  In less than 20 minutes, the video discusses in pretty clear detail, the full gamut of the development of the project from the asset selection process to project management and construction, innovative design features that create value to the project and subsequently to its investors, leasing, financial modeling, return on investment and investment structure and the transactions between all of these.

The video is indeed a real example of a C.E.O. of a company who understands how important his investors are and who is more than willing to take the time to directly communicate to them.

“Shooting that video was tremendously exciting,” Frank Lonardelli adds.  “And more importantly, it proved to be very informative for our investors.  It doesn’t take a lot to communicate and I’ve always been somewhat blown away by how most investment companies seem to never want to get into the real meaningful aspects of an investment as opposed to just the flashy sales and marketing brochures.”

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