The gig economy has reached the real estate industry. The informal job market, which has long provided extra income for low-skilled workers such as drivers and laborers, is now expanding to include skilled professionals.
StealthForce, which promises “curated real estate talent on demand,” is a freelance consultant network that includes lawyers, construction managers and architects.
According to Poonam Mathis, the firm’s founder, the network has about 500 consultants on standby. Many of the workers already have years of experience in their fields.
“Currently, half of our consultants are employed full-time (consulting only for non-conflicting projects in their spare rime), while the other half are between jobs, independent consultants, semi-retired, or going back to school for an MBA and seeking additional income,” she said. The service works as a sort of match-making service for consultants and projects.
When a StealthForce client launches a request, consultants that fit the job description receive an invitation to apply for consideration. Part of the opt-in process is providing availability dates and confirming that participation would not violate any legal agreements such as non-compete clauses.
StealthForce’s consultants are vetted. The service requires proof of licensing and conducts background checks. They are also bound by a confidentiality clause.
Parker Atkins, a valuation and investment professional from Texas, works as a consultant for StealthForce. One of the projects he worked on was a church project in Lubbock, Texas. The commercial broker for the site was having trouble finding a buyer. Atkins provided the broker with an optimal use study, which is a cross between a marketing plan and a highest-and-best-use study. The three-page plan contained deal history for the site and related investment opportunities, helping the broker find further options for the site.
“I’ve done feasibility and development for a long time, so this was in my wheelhouse – but having StealthForce deliver the project to my inbox, with the boundaries, compensation and deliverable pre-defined, just streamlined my experience as a consultant,” Atkins said.
StealthForce allows companies to look beyond the skills required for the project. According to Mathis, employers can look for consultants that are currently unemployed. Joining the service is free for consultants. The service makes money by taking a cut of the salary paid to the worker.
The company’s clients include shopping center landlord Chase Properties, residential developer Cogswell Realty and accounting firm EisnerAmper. Mathis said that they are set to raise funds through a seed round.