Overcoming Capital Raising Challenges: The Role of EMDs in Canadian Real Estate

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In the Canadian real estate market, capital is the lifeblood that fuels development and growth. This market, dynamic and ever-evolving, presents both opportunities and challenges for real estate developers and issuers.

Exempt Market Dealers (EMDs) occupy a unique niche in the capital raising landscape. They are specialised entities that bridge the gap between investors seeking alternative opportunities and issuers in sectors like real estate that might require non-traditional financing solutions. For developers and issuers, the access to capital isn't just about survival; it's about realising project vision and turning blueprints into bricks and mortar.

In this article we dive into the Canadian real estate capital raising ecosystem, including the myriad challenges issuers face, and the role of EMDs in providing solutions – not only facilitating financial inflows but also acting as trusted partners through regulatory mazes and market uncertainties.

Major Challenges to Raising Capital for Real Estate 

In the Canadian market, developers and issuers face a number of challenges that can affect their ability to successfully raise project capital:

Economic and Market Trends

Understanding the impact of the following can make or break a funding initiative:

  • Interest Rates: Their rise and fall directly affect lending criteria and investor interest.
  • Housing Market Status: A robust market can mean plentiful capital, while a downturn can cause a funding drought.
  • National Economic Health: The overall economy can either boost investor confidence or lead to a tightening of purse strings.

Investor Perceptions

Shaping investor sentiment is key, as it involves:

  • Market Sentiment: Investors' past experiences and predictions for the future can significantly sway their willingness to invest.
  • Diversification: Real estate must be pitched not just as a standalone investment but as a strategic component of a diverse portfolio.

Regulatory and Compliance Hurdles

Navigating through complex regulations requires:

  • Understanding Zoning and Land Use: Real estate projects often involve multiple regulatory bodies and compliance with detailed laws.
  • Securities Regulations: Compliance with these laws is non-negotiable and requires thorough due diligence.

Traditional Financing Limitations

The traditional routes to funding are often hampered by:

  • Stringent Lending Criteria: These can limit access to funds, especially for non-conventional projects.
  • Collateral Requirements: High collateral demands can stifle project initiation or expansion.
  • Risk Aversion: Traditional lenders may shy away from projects deemed high-risk, leaving developers seeking alternative sources of funding.

Enter Exempt Market Dealers

An EMD is a licensed financial dealer that operates within the exempt market—a segment of the capital markets for securities that are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as publicly traded securities. They do not require a prospectus (a detailed investment document provided to potential investors), which traditionally means a faster and more efficient path to raising capital. This agility makes EMDs particularly valuable to real estate developers whose projects may be time-sensitive or unconventional in nature.

The role of an EMD is multifaceted. They act as matchmakers, introducing investors to unique opportunities that are typically not available through public markets or standard financial instruments. 

For investors, EMDs offer a window into a world of potential growth and diversification, and for issuers, they provide access to a pool of capital that might otherwise remain out of reach.

The Exempt Market Landscape in Canada

In Canada, the exempt market is a vibrant and essential component of the overall financial ecosystem, especially for real estate ventures. Here, EMDs are not just intermediaries; they are strategic partners who understand the nuances of property development, from commercial and residential projects to large-scale land acquisitions and specialised real estate funds.

EMDs possess the expertise to navigate through the complexities of real estate investment, ensuring compliance with Canadian securities regulations while also understanding market conditions. They can guide issuers through the intricacies of raising capital, offering tailored solutions that resonate with a sophisticated investor base.

One of the main strengths of EMDs lies in their network and knowledge. They can tap into a reservoir of accredited and institutional investors seeking opportunities that provide more than what traditional markets offer.

Some issuers may (and have) opt to get an EMD licence, allowing them to sell exempt market securities. But choosing this route isn’t always feasible considering:

  • Licensing process: Obtaining an EMD licence requires a detailed application that scrutinises financial stability and knowledge of securities laws, often taking months to complete.
  • Cost: There are substantial costs that go beyond the application fee, including legal, compliance, and operational expenses, alongside capital adequacy requirements.
  • Operational complexities: EMDs need a team knowledgeable in both finance and real estate markets. Furthermore, ongoing compliance demands constant vigilance and regular audits, adding to the operational workload.
  • Responsibilities and liabilities: EMDs must conduct thorough due diligence to protect investors, and errors can lead to legal issues, financial penalties, and reputational damage.

As such, many issuers opt to enlist EMD services that open up exempt market opportunities while mitigating the risks and downsides of “DIY”.

The Role of EMDs in Overcoming Real Estate Capital Raising Challenges

It’s not just barriers to licensing that make partnering with an EMD attractive for issuers; EMDs play a crucial role in smoothing the path for real estate capital raising, offering solutions and expertise that are indispensable in today’s market. These include:

Alternative Financing Opportunities

  • Broadening Access to Capital: EMDs unlock doors to alternative financing streams that go beyond traditional bank loans, catering to the unique needs of real estate projects.
  • Creative Financing Structures: They offer creative solutions like private equity, debt financing, and mezzanine funding, which can be tailored to suit the specific requirements of a real estate venture.

Connecting Issuers and Investors

  • Network: EMDs bring a wealth of connections, linking real estate issuers with a diverse pool of investors, from high-net-worth individuals to institutional investors.
  • Tailored Matches: Their expertise lies in matching the right investor with the right project, ensuring a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

  • Navigating the Legal Landscape: EMDs ensure that all investments are compliant with the complex web of securities regulations, reducing legal risks for issuers.
  • Building Investor Confidence: Compliance not only protects the issuer but also builds trust among investors, crucial for the long-term success of any real estate project.

Support and Consultation

  • Guidance for Issuers: EMDs provide invaluable advice on structuring deals, market positioning, and capital raising strategies, guiding issuers through every step of the process.
  • Investor Education: They also play a key role in educating investors on the benefits and risks of real estate investments, aiding in informed decision-making and portfolio diversification.

In addition to these benefits, Parvis’ EMD Solutions offers strategic marketing support for Canadian issuers and developers, encompassing positioning, targeted outreach, and comprehensive visibility plans to target the most suitable investor base and increase success in raising capital.


EMDs, with their deep understanding of the market and regulatory nuances, are not just facilitators but catalysts of success in the Canadian real estate sector. They ensure that developers and issuers navigate the complex terrain of capital raising with ease, opening doors to opportunities that might otherwise remain closed.

Are you a real estate developer or issuer seeking streamlined capital solutions? Discover how Parvis EMD solutions can help. With us, you gain access to tailored capital raising strategies, compliance expertise, unique marketing services and more. Learn more about our EMD solutions here, or book a meeting with a representative below.