Investment insights with Poyan Katebi

Propstreet investment insights

Social infrastructure, an insider’s viewpoint

Poyan Katebi, CEO at Samfastigheter

Tell us about you and why you started to work in the CRE industry

I have worked as a dedicated public servant for much of my lifetime. As a public servant my different roles varied from legal advisor to financial controller. Naturally these experiences and competences made me into the ideal CEO for Samfastigheter. Here I can play a part in solving the lack of long-term care facilities in Sweden.

My journey at Samfastigheter started when I understood that my values and vision were aligned with the company’s. Our mission is to become the foremost challenger in the field of social infrastructure. The data has shown that our combined excellence makes us the obvious choice for municipalities and private companies who want an established and experienced real estate partner.

What are your company´s preferred markets and segments?

The Swedish social infrastructure market with a focus on care homes.

What are your competitive advantages in the market?

Our passion is to be a highly specialized company focusing on social infrastructure with an emphasis on people with disabilities. CRE is a very competitive market and we have focused on segments that have a robust legislation and a stable demographic. Our combination of knowledge about the legislature regarding people with disabilities and the strong partnership we have with our tenants gives us a distinct advantage in comparison to our competitors.

What is the most inspiring part of being a real estate investor?

For me personally the most inspiring part is working in an environment with supremely talented colleagues and an opportunity to create real change in the social infrastructure segments. In our chosen market we have the incentive of also assisting the municipalities.

How do you become a successful investor?

Knowledge, financial strength and a large network. Very few people have this from the start consequently it is crucial to identify which parts of the trifecta are missing and reinforce the weak link. The easiest way is to surround yourself with people that complement you and your skillset.

Most interesting market trends right now?

The increasing interest towards social infrastructure and how the market will progress post-pandemic. I forecast an increased focus in the market with a widening of the definition of social infrastructure. After every big crisis there will always be new stakeholders that enters the market, I am very eager to see how the influx will affect the CRE as a whole and what spillover effects that will have on the social infrastructure segment.

How does technology change the investment landscape?

The real estate industry is brimming full of potential since it is long been a very low-tech market. From our perspective the biggest challenge will be to add useful technology (digitalization) that adds value without invading of our tenant’s privacy. There are many start-ups that have developed remarkable products, but I think the winner will be the company that will be able to gather and collect the best start-ups under one umbrella and unleash their true potential, the best example I can think of is Hydda Group.

Much of today’s technology is only focused on the benefits of the property owners. For there to be real change and a shift towards prop-tech, the technology used in CRE have to have a more holistic approach. It will be essential to create value for the entire ecosystem. A company that are trailblazers in this field are Botello with their tenants first approach.

What advice would you give to a first-time buyer?

There is nothing that beats experience, find out what is the best standard practice in your preferred market. Try to learn from experts and find out how they started their journey in the field.

One last piece of advice would be to look for deals that the larger real estate companies have ignored because of the size or difficulty.