Cadre CEO Ryan Williams brings commercial real estate investing to the masses

Ryan Williams, CEO of Cadre, on “Leadership Next.”
Courtesy of Cadre

Historically, commercial real estate hasn’t been a playground for individual investors. But that’s changing thanks to the work of Ryan Williams, CEO of Cadre, a platform for individual investors that allows them to participate alongside some of the largest companies in the market.

Says Williams: “The insight for launching Cadre came after I visited my best friend in a predominantly Black part of Atlanta, where he was from, and saw that there are all these foreclosed homes up and down the street; a year after, the street was pretty much immaculate.

“I asked him what was going on. He didn’t know. But he actually said he heard that a lot of people were underwater because of a lot of predatory lending.” So Williams decided to do some research to answer the question: “What were these homes worth?”

But that wasn’t his only bit of visionary work: Today, he’s pushing to democratize wealth in other areas.

Williams joins Fortune’s Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt on this week’s episode of Leadership Next, a podcast about the changing rules of business leadership, to discuss the ways his work is upending the world of commercial real estate.

Now 33, Williams was on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list a few years back.

Also on the show is Fortune’s senior editor-at-large, Shawn Tully, whom Murray describes as our “expert on all things financial, including real estate” and “the soul of Fortune,” to talk about Cadre’s impact on the commercial real estate market.

“They brought a lot of technology to the markets in terms of identifying properties using artificial intelligence,” Tully says. “So it’s really bringing big-time fintech to choosing real estate properties. But in doing so, the second big change that they brought to the market is the ability of individual investors to get into the funds.”

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