Auction.comhas launched Auction Finance, a new division created to facilitate financing for commercial and residential real estate investors. The new line of business will be led by Executive Vice President Gordon Smith, formerly a managing director with Fortress Investment Group, a leading global investment management firm. Smith will be based in Auction.com’s Silicon Valley office.
“We are pleased to launch Auction Finance as a value-added service to our customers,” said Jeff Frieden, CEO of Auction.com. “This initiative is directly aligned with our core business strategy, as it allows us to increase our audience of potential buyers, improve our ability to get sellers a fair price for their properties, and expand upon our position as the nation’s leading online real estate marketplace.”
Financing options will be provided by Auction.com’s preferred lenders and will count towards a buyer's proof of funds – a requirement for bidding on all properties offered for sale on the Auction.com platform. By increasing buyer liquidity, Auction Finance will allow a much larger audience of potential buyers to participate in the company’s residential and commercial real estate auctions.
“Financing is a core component of most real estate transactions,” added Jake Seid, president of Auction.com. "Our long term goal for Auction Finance is to facilitate on-demand, frictionless financing for assets on the Auction.com platform, which will significantly improve the buying and selling experience.”
"Auction.com is already rewriting the rules for real estate sales, proving to buyers and sellers the benefits of an open, interactive marketplace," added Smith. “With this initiative, for the first time, we’ll make third-party lenders a key constituent of our marketplace.”
Gordon Smith has held significant roles in real estate sales, finance and operations for more than 25 years. He was most recently managing director with Fortress Investment Group, where he was responsible for overseeing several of the company’s real estate and financial services investments. Prior to Fortress, he served as a director for the Global Principal Finance Group at Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) and as director at BlackRock Financial Management.
Smith is a past board member of CW Financial Services, a diversified real estate asset management and lending business, Intrawest, a premier North American mountain resort and adventure company, Abercrombie & Kent, a leading global luxury travel operator, Annington Homes, a $8.5 billion residential real estate company and Mapeley, one of the largest commercial landlords in the United Kingdom. He holds an MBA and a bachelor’s in economics from Santa Clara University in California.