Real Estate Syndication Resourses??

16 Replies

I made my first Syndication Investment with Joe Fairless this year, and got my first return today. It got me to wondering if there is some Website that has a list of many different syndication opportunities.  Something like a Yellow Pages of Syndication Opportunities.  So far, my only source of Apartment Syndication is Bigger Pockets.  I know several folks on here are Syndicators, but I am sure there are many more out there!

@Mike McKinzie there are many out there—but unfortunately there is no centralized repository to locate them.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find them with some good old-fashioned shoe leather.

By far the best way to find great syndicators to invest with is to get recommendations from friends and colleagues who are already investing. This is easy for some people that have lots of friends investing in passive real estate opportunities. But it can be impossible for others who just don’t have those resources. Fortunately, there are many ways to find great syndicators, it just takes a bit of time and effort. This list isn’t exhaustive but includes most of the best ways to find quality firms to partner with.

Conferences. Experienced syndication sponsors are considered experts in the real estate field and are often invited to various investment conferences to speak in keynote presentations and on expert panels. This is a great way to hear their thoughts on markets and strategy and a host of other topics. Sometimes their speakers have trade show booths where you can speak directly with them or they are available before or after their speaking session. You don’t even have to attend some conferences, some will publish a list of their speakers and/or attendees and you could simply reach out directly after researching their firms online. 

Brokers.  Often, brokers of large multifamily properties put out lists of their recent transactions.  Scan those lists in the markets that interest you and look to see who the buyers and sellers are.  Often, those buyers and sellers are syndicators.  Search them online and check out their websites.

Meetups. Similar to conferences but typically on a much smaller scale. Meetups are typically organized by other investors and have invited guests to speak to their group. Syndicators are often sought out to be those speakers. Search online for “real estate meetups” and check their websites for their upcoming speakers.

Networking events. This can range from local real estate clubs all the way up to multifamily specific events such as the National Multi Housing Council’s annual meeting. The most experienced syndicators would be more likely found at the larger events, with newer smaller syndicators found at local clubs.

Real estate websites. Sites such as biggerpockets.com have many syndicators that participate in the forums. Read what they are posting to sort out who is experienced and who is not.

Podcasts. There are dozens of real estate podcasts out there. Go to your favorite podcast app and search for real estate, multifamily, or syndication and you will find many podcasts that talk about those subjects. Many of the podcast hosts are syndicators themselves, and many of the guests on the shows are syndicators. Listen to those podcasts and you can learn a ton about the various players.

Blogs. Syndicators write blogs for their own websites and also for other websites such as BP, Entrepreneur, Forbes, etc. Reading what they have to say in those articles gives you a window to the mind of the syndicator. After a while you’ll develop a knack for figuring out who really knows what they are talking about and who is just full of it.

Company Websites. Nearly all experienced syndication sponsors have a website. Searching online for terms such as “real estate investment firms”, “real estate syndicators”, “real estate private equity” and most likely about a dozen or more other search terms should reveal the websites of many syndication sponsors.

News Articles. Active syndicators are frequently quoted in news articles or have entire articles written about them in trade and mainstream publications. Many will issue press releases when they close on acquisitions, which result in articles in publications like Multi Housing News, GlobeSt, and Multifamily Biz. Watch for the company names or the spokesperson’s names and search those names online to find out more about the firm.

Crowdfunding. No discussion of finding real estate sponsors would be complete without talking about crowdfunding. Crowdfunding portals don’t typically invest directly in real estate. Instead, they invest in syndications, or act as a placement agent for their investors to invest in syndications directly. So yes, crowdfunding platforms are really just middlemen between investors and syndicators. While this is certainly a way to find syndications, it comes at a cost because the crowdfunding portal is a business and has to receive revenue in order to survive.

This revenue can come from the investor or the syndicator, or both. But ultimately, any cost to the syndicator is ultimately a cost to the deal, which means that at the end of the day it costs the investor.

Investors that can find quality sponsors, and do proper due diligence on them, can save an entire layer of cost by investing directly with those carefully selected sponsors versus investing through crowdfunding portals.

Good luck!

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@Mike McKinzie I think you're in the right place to begin locating, interviewing and selecting syndicators and deal sponsors who meet your criteria for 1)markets, 2) asset classes, and so forth. I'd say look at the markets where you want to be and after that, network to find the very best operators in those markets. BP has several good ones. Every market has a lot of options, and many can be found here. 

@Mike McKinzie 

In addition to the extensive list of resources @Brian Burke gave you there are a couple of sites that I know of, that you may find useful. PM me and I'll share as I don't think I can post them here. 

Even with these sites, it all comes down to doing your own due diligence on the sponsors first, then on the market they are in and the offerings they present to you! So if you have what it takes to conduct such due diligence good, if not, then I suggest to continue educating yourself on the topic by reading not only about syndications, but also about various asset classes you invest in and markets you're planning to invest in (books, podcasts and networking of course are all essential factors for success!)

@Mike McKinzie

The legal aspect of raising money from sophisticated investors does make this a bit more challenging. A lot of the good opportunities that raise retail money will be in that space. As such, there is no way around developing relationships. The good news is that it's likely to work out for you in the long run. This business is built on relationships.

@Mike McKinzie Brian Burke gave you a great answer the only other thing I would add is asking the syndication sponsors you have already invested with. Not all will refer "competitors" but many do and will when asked for alternatives. I have personally referred both Joe Fairless and Brian Burke as great sponsors. 

Hi Mike, there is no website that has all the info you need, but here are some ideas:

Word of Mouth

Reach out to your network and tell them that you are looking to invest with a syndicator and ask for referrals, especially with someone they have been investing with. There is nothing better than having someone you know and trust vet a syndicator. Chances are, if a friend or peer trusts them, you will too. Additionally, you can ask them about their specific experience with their syndicator, in terms of transparency, past performance, etc.

Lastly, I’d highly recommend that you listen to your gut. If you found a syndicator through a podcast, was their personality appealing to you? Does it sound like they are experienced enough? If you met them in person, what was your impression of how they handle themselves? Did a syndicator come highly recommended from a friend? If so, do you trust your friend provided you with strong reasons to go with a syndicator? Listen to your instincts and decide if you can trust they syndicator with your passive investment.

Real Estate Meetups and Conferences

If you are considering investing passively, start attending some local meetups, where you can network with syndicators. I’ve started a meetup in my hometown of Santa Monica called “Santa Monica Passive Investing Club,” where passive investors have the opportunity to meet with me face to face, ask questions and vet me directly. You can find meetups in your area by going to Meetup.com. Another great thing to do is attend real estate conferences, and they are all over the U.S. When attending one or both of these, you can talk in person to the syndicator and determine how comfortable you feel talking with them.

Podcasts

There is so much you can learn about someone from listening to their podcast: from the way they conduct business to certain personality traits. I recommend you find real estate related podcasts and begin following them. Many of the podcast hosts are syndicators. By tuning into the podcast, you should be able to tell pretty quickly if you like them and how experienced they are in the field. 

I am no expert on SEC law, but maybe just a list of Syndicators WITHOUT listing any actual investments.  Without the ability to do the things that Brian listed (I work a 40 hour week), it's tough to network and make relationships!

@Mike McKinzie

Phenomenal list by @Brian Burke

I do know of a website that has a list of sponsors, but its certainly not comprehensive. There are multiple Facebook groups specifically for syndications as well.

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Originally posted by @Mike McKinzie:

I made my first Syndication Investment with Joe Fairless this year, and got my first return today. It got me to wondering if there is some Website that has a list of many different syndication opportunities.  Something like a Yellow Pages of Syndication Opportunities.  So far, my only source of Apartment Syndication is Bigger Pockets.  I know several folks on here are Syndicators, but I am sure there are many more out there!

 Brian Burke pretty much covered all of it above. Personally, I've found Joe Fairless's book to be the most comprehensive, content packed book out there that covers all things syndication. 

@Mike McKinzie congrats on receiving your first check today. Unfortunately there are no resources available in the public market place. You must know someone who’s already in this space and develop a relationship with them. Joe Fairless is def a leader in this space. There are many seminars as well out there that you should attend to build out your network. You’ll meet a ton of syndicators and guys who invest passively as well to create a worthy network. Be sure to do your DD on the operator and understand their business model before diving in. Hope this helps

@Mike McKinzie not much more to be added to the lists above other than patience. Getting into a bad deal with a poor sponsor will leave a bad taste in your mouth for a long time. I would suggest getting on many reputable sponsors lists and then see a deal or two come through before investing with them. You can learn a lot about sponsors when they present the investment via webinar/conference call. Happy Investing!