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Putting Purchasing Power to Work

Pangea Real Estate is growing by leaps and bounds, and a good procurement process has been critical to its expansion. 

In the nearly seven years since Pangea Real Estate was born, it has acquired and rehabbed more than 11,000 apartment and townhome rental units in Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Key to the company’s steady growth has been a streamlined procurement process.

In its three geographic areas, Pangea purchases distressed properties, rehabilitates them as workforce housing, rents them at market rates and manages the communities. Peter Martay, Pangea’s chief acquisition officer from company’s start in 2009, is charged with ensuring that all of Pangea’s communities get the quality products they need — from building materials during rehabilitation to maintenance supplies during management.

From the beginning, Pangea has worked with The Home Depot, which has allowed Pangea to purchase at scale for the right price — and schedule on-time delivery and installation, Martay says. “Home Depot is able to deliver quality on time to each of our geographic areas. If, and when, there are issues, they are certainly there to attack them and address them for us quickly.”

Generally, Pangea purchases a large number of appliances when it rehabs a property. “In virtually all of our properties, when we reposition them, they are getting new refrigerators, new stoves, and, in some cases, dishwashers and air conditioning units,” Martay says. “We’ve been trying to do what most people do when they renovate — make it look good and provide a high-quality apartment at affordable prices.”

Martay tries to purchase the same appliances in each community. He says consistency is more important than chasing the deal of the moment. “That way, if, and when, we do have repairs, [the maintenance staff] is capable and confident,” he says. “They know exactly what it is they are going in to repair. From a maintenance standpoint, it certainly simplifies our life.”

Pangea is taking advantage of Home Depot’s Pro Direct appliance program for competitive pricing and free delivery. A dedicated, full-time pro account sales specialist coordinates delivery and answers questions on all appliance orders. 

In late 2014, Pangea started Motus, a third-party construction company, which has rehabilitated rental properties, from three to 50 units, for building owners in Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. 

“Over the last five years we’ve probably done over $140 million worth of construction on our own projects and developed significant capability and expertise,” Martay says about the rationale behind starting Motus. “There was demand for what we were able to deliver, and the speed at which we were able to deliver it, as a third-party contractor in the communities in which we operate. We’ve been able to do projects consistent with what we do, and scaling up to higher-end properties.” 

This means that Martay’s procurement duties have grown and his product purchases have diversified. But that hasn’t been a problem. “With the specialized projects we are doing for other people, we’ve been able to use the knowledge we’ve developed from the help Home Depot’s given us over the years to guide us in the right direction for what we should be purchasing and why,” he says.

As Pangea continues to grow, Martay is well positioned to get the products he needs when he needs them — a win for both the company and its residents. “We’ve been able to use our purchasing power to make sure our residents are getting the amenities they deserve,” he says.

Learn more about Home Depot and the Open Door program.