The Future of Investor Communication: Why Investment Management Companies Need an Investor Portal

By Mike Sebastian November 16 2023 min read
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In today’s digital age, investors expect seamless access to their investment information and a transparent, efficient communication channel with their investment managers. Investor portals are on the rise and highly sought after by investors when it comes to choosing an investment management company. According to the 2023 AppFolio Real Estate Investor Report, 75% of investors leverage an investor portal, compared to 66% in 2021. However, many management companies are not meeting their needs and still rely on paper-based or limited systems and can’t provide the instant access and visibility investors want with an investor portal.

In this article, we will explore what an investor portal is, how it works, and why investment management companies should embrace this technology. We will also discuss the benefits of an investor portal and provide guidance on what to look for when searching for investment management software.

What is an investor portal?

An investor portal is a secure online platform that allows investment management companies to provide their investors with access to important investment information, documents, and communication channels. It serves as a centralized place where investors can stay informed about their investments, track performance, and engage with their investment managers.

How an investor portal works

Let’s dive into the details of how these portals function and the benefits they provide to investors and your team. Investor portals typically offer features such as:

Investment portfolio overview

Investors can access a comprehensive view of their investment portfolio, including details on current and past investments, capital invested, and distributions received.

Asset details

We found out that 64% of investors want to see individual asset updates.* Investor portals meet this expectation in that they allow investors to explore in-depth information about each investment, including property descriptions, photos, location maps, asset valuation details, and construction/renovation updates.

Document management

Along with seeing their asset details, 60% of investors want to access their tax documents.* Important investment documents such as reports, tax forms, and operating agreements are securely stored and easily accessible in an investor portal. Investors can also share documents with their financial managers and CPAs.

Real-time performance tracking

72% of investors want to check the performance of their investments.* With an investor portal, investors can monitor the performance of their investments through real-time performance metrics, financial data, and historical performance summaries.

New investment opportunities

64% of investors want to receive new investment opportunities from their investment management companies.* Investment managers can notify investors about new potential offerings, allowing them to express interest, review property information, and sign agreements directly through an investor portal.

Source: *2023 AppFolio Real Estate Investor Report

Why you should adopt software with an investor portal

Adopting software with an investor portal can enhance the investor experience and provide a competitive advantage. Let’s explore the benefits in more detail and understand why incorporating an investor portal is a valuable decision for investment management companies.

Enhanced investor experience

An investor portal provides investors with 24/7 access to their investment information, promoting transparency and fostering trust. It allows investors to stay informed and engaged, leading to a more satisfying and rewarding investment experience.

Streamlined communication

We know that 71% of investors rank transparency as the most important aspect when choosing an investment management company, and 75% of investors prefer to receive digital communications from their real estate investment management company.* An investor portal serves as a single source of truth for communication between investment managers and investors. It enables seamless and secure communication, ensuring that investors receive timely updates, performance reports, and important announcements.

Increased efficiency

By digitizing and automating processes, an investor portal eliminates manual tasks such as distributing documents, calculating distributions, and managing spreadsheets. This streamlines operations, saves time, and reduces the risk of errors.

Improved security

Investor portals prioritize data security, offering multiple layers of protection to safeguard sensitive information. Features like two-factor authentication, encrypted data transmission, and secure document storage ensure that investor data remains confidential and protected.

Competitive advantage

Embracing technology and providing an investor portal sets investment management companies apart from their competitors. It demonstrates a commitment to innovation, modernization, and meeting the expectations of investors.

Source: *2023 AppFolio Real Estate Investor Report

What should you look for in an investor portal?

When choosing investment management software with an investor portal, there are several things to consider. By prioritizing the following features, you can select a solution that meets your specific needs and enhances your investment management processes.

  • User-friendly interface: The software should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is easy for both investment managers and investors to navigate.
  • Customization options: Look for software that allows you to customize the portal to align with your branding and provide a personalized experience for your investors.
  • Mobile app: Investors’ use of mobile phones has increased since 2021.* The software should have a mobile app that includes an investor portal where investors can reference data directly from their phones.
  • Integration capabilities: Ensure that the software can integrate with your existing systems and workflows, such as accounting software and CRM platforms, to streamline operations.
  • Security measures: Verify that the software has robust security features, such as data encryption, secure document storage, and user authentication protocols.
  • Reporting and analytics: Look for software that offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to track investor engagement, performance metrics, and other key data points.

Source: *2023 AppFolio Real Estate Investor Report

Wow your investors with a top-notch experience

Investment management companies can greatly benefit from embracing an investor portal as part of their technology ecosystem. By providing investors with a centralized space for information, communication, and document management, investment managers can enhance the investor experience, streamline operations, and gain a competitive edge.

The AppFolio Investor Portal, for example, offers a range of features that empower investors with 24/7 access to their investment information, real-time visibility into their portfolios, and seamless communication with investment managers. With the ability to track progress, make informed decisions, and securely share documents, investors can have a more satisfying and rewarding investment experience. Brooke Herman and her team at Pacific Apartment Homes have greatly benefited since adopting AppFolio Investment Manager:

“We’ve grown from a handful of investors to a sizable amount, and that’s where the AppFolio Investor Portal comes into play. It’s been a huge differentiator for us. We have a few investors that are extremely meticulous and tie out every single penny every quarter, and they really enjoy being able to see all their data in one place.”

Embrace the power of an investor portal and unlock the full potential of your investment management business. To learn more about the latest insights into investor preferences and expectations, download the 2023 AppFolio Real Estate Investor Report.