Waypoint Reinventing Single Family Home Rental

By George Foster, David Hoyt
2013 | Case No. E467 | Length 26 pgs.
In early 2009, following the collapse of the housing market, Doug Brien and Colin Wiel began buying single family homes (SFH) to renovate and rent. SFH rental had previously been a mom-and-pop business due to scaling difficulties—buying and managing large properties such as apartment complexes was well suited to institutional investors, but no one had solved the problem of buying and managing large numbers of relatively inexpensive SFHs. Brien and Wiel raised a series of funds from high-net-worth individuals, and the success of their company, Waypoint Homes, eventually attracted institutional investors as well as competition from large private equity firms. The case discusses Waypoint’s growth to the end of 2012, at which point it owned more than 3,000 homes. The case also describes the changing economic and competitive environment, and asks about how the company can adapt to these changes going forward.

Learning Objective

This case was designed for a course on entrepreneurship. It illustrates how entrepreneurs identified a business opportunity and overcame potential obstacles to success. It also shows changes in the business environment that potentially impact future strategy. It can also be used for a course on real estate. Waypoint pioneered a new class of institutional investing, SFH rental, which presented substantial scaling challenges.
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