How To Sell A House In A Difficult Market

By Lex Levinrad

Are you having a hard time selling your house in today’s market? As prices have declined and as sellers have become more desperate to sell it has become increasingly difficult to sell a house for fair market value.

More than 50% of the properties that are listed on the MLS are either bank owned properties or short sales. These properties are already substantially discounted for cash buyers. This fact can make selling your property for fair market value extremely challenging.

So what do you do in this type of environment if you want to sell a house? The first thing you need to do is to think outside of the box. If you are doing what everyone else is doing then you are probably going to find it very difficult to sell your house. Why? The reason is because the strategies that worked in a good real estate market will not work in a difficult market.

If you want to learn how to sell a house quickly then the first thing you need to do is review what everyone is doing and why that is not working. So what is everyone else doing? Most sellers are listing their properties with a realtor on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and are waiting for a buyer. Why does this strategy not work? This doesn’t work because listings at fair market value do not seem like a great deal to buyers and because it is very difficult for buyers to qualify for conventional financing.

The key to selling a house in a slow market is to do something differently. What you need to do is make your listing so unique, so different to all the other listings that it immediately grabs buyer’s attention. How do you do this? Do the following:

  • Price your property very aggressively i.e. way below all other retail sellers
  • Create an instant buying frenzy for your property by listing aggressively
  • Hold an open house on a Saturday and Sunday
  • Hold an auction for your property the following Saturday at 2 p.m.
  • Advertise your auction online and offline and spend some money marketing
  • Stage your property and make it nicer than all of your competitors
  • Offer to pay all closing costs for the buyers
  • Offer to pay 6% commission to buyers agents even if you are a realtor
  • Offer an incentive such as new appliances to buyers
  • Have a mortgage broker ready to pre qualify buyers on all open house days
  • Be prepared to help contribute towards the down payment for FHA buyers
  • Take a video of the property and post your video on You Tube
  • Make a postlet of your property and place the video into your postlet
  • Create a blog and syndicate your video of your property on your blog
  • Syndicate your video on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in etc.
  • Let the world know that there is going to be an auction for this property
  • Create a buying frenzy even before the auction has begun

If you do all of the above steps then you should be able to easily sell your house quickly. If you purchased a house at a good price from the bank and are selling it for a profit then your goal should be to sell it quickly and move on to the next property. Don’t let greed get in the way of common sense. Book a profit and move on to the next deal.

To your success

Lex

Should I buy my own home first, or rent and buy investment homes?

By Adiel Gorel

A classic question I get when talking to a would-be real estate investor is: “Shouldn’t we buy a home to live in first before buying investment homes?”

The answer, of course, depends on where you live.

When considering owning your own residence, there are various layers of reasoning. Some are logic and numbers-based. Some are emotional, traditional and familial.

Owning your own home can be associated with safety, security, having “arrived”, satisfying family members’ aspirations, the stability of having a (hopefully) permanent place to live, and so on.

Of course, everyone has a different set of emotional considerations when it comes to owning a home.

These vary from person to person and, needless to say, are hard to quantify.

In this article I will address the logical, numbers-based approach to the question of whether to buy your own home as your first real estate move, or rent and buy investment homes instead.

The numbers tell the story

If you are considering buying your own home, the price of the home matters, the rent required to rent that same home matters, the local property taxes matter, the mortgage interest rates matter, dwelling insurance rates matter, and even the new 2018 tax law weighs in.

If you live in a market where property taxes are relatively low (say, between 1 and 1.7 percent of the home price per year), and insurance rates are reasonable, then if you are considering buying a home under about $400,000, that should be a “no brainer” as your first step. Between $400,000 and $500,000 would still be a reasonable range to consider buying the home. In such a market, once you step up to the $500,000 range and above, the math may well start to turn as you climb higher in price, in favor of renting a home in the area in which you live, and owning rental homes in more optimal places.

In markets where the property taxes are high (like in Texas and Oregon), and insurance rates are high (Texas again, for example), the “no brainer” number may shrink to $300,000 or so, while the range above which you may consider renting your own home while buying affordable investment homes in other markets, will likely be $400,000 or above. This is because with high expenses for property tax and insurance, (which as a homeowner you would be paying) the overall numbers and logic “turn the corner” faster.

Certainly, in expensive areas like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City and others such markets, it is usually far more logical to be a renter, while owning rental properties in affordable markets, where rents are actually quite high as a percentage of the home purchase prices.

Buying homes in expensive markets may not make sense

If you are thinking of buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area for $1,400,000, for example, and if that same home can be rented for about $4,700 per month (quite typical in 2018), the math is in favor of being a renter living in that house. While $4,700 per month appears to be very high (in absolute terms it is), it is actually very low compared to the purchase price of $1,400,000. While renting the house for $4,700 (and not being responsible for property taxes, dwelling insurance or repairs as a tenant), you might, (in this example) use a similar amount as a 20% down payment on the $1,400,000 home (plus closing and loan costs), to buy about SEVEN rental homes in an affordable market, using 20% down on each – all brand new in good areas, for, say, $180,000 each, in a market with low property taxes and low insurance rates.

Each one of these $180,000 homes will fetch a rent of $1,500 per month. Now that is high rent! (as a percentage of $180,000). Seven such rental homes, requiring a similar total down payment as the $1,400,000 which is rented and not bought, will fetch a gross rent of 7*$1,500 per month = $10,500 per month. That is indeed high rent. And these will be brand new homes which are fully under warranty to boot. In addition, the seven new investment homes can be diversified over a larger geographic area or even over more than one metropolitan area.

Sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in purchasing rental homes

Another example could be a potential home purchase of a residence costing $725,000. That property could most likely be rented for about $3,200 per month. For the amount used to put a 20% down payment (plus closing costs), you can rent this home, and buy four brand new rental homes for $180,000 each rented at $1,500 each. Total gross rent: $6,000 per month for the 4 houses, and they can be new, under warranty, in good locations, and paradoxically each may likely be bigger in size and bedrooms than that one $725,000 home, which is also likely substantially older. Again, the four rental homes can also be geographically diversified.

Even the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of home ownership, may be fulfilled by owning four brand new, good sized and well-rented homes in an appropriate market, while paying a relatively low rent in an expensive market. In fact, the higher the home prices in the expensive market, the lower (relatively) the rent gets as a fraction of the home price. Thus, the savvy investor can pay a bit more in rent and get a bigger, more expensive home to live in, while investing in more optimally-priced markets and choosing areas that have not yet boomed, and which can yield higher rental rates.

The 2018 tax plan

Under the new 2018 tax plan, taxpayers who itemize will be able to deduct their state individual income, sales and property taxes up to a limit of $10,000 in total starting in 2018. For expensive homes in states like California, New York, and others, the $10,000 limit will diminish deductions which could be used before, making home ownership even less logical beyond a certain home price. In states with very high property taxes, even less expensive homes will reach that limit and become less attractive tax-wise. I am seeing many smart Silicon Valley high-tech people, and others interested in living in expensive areas, opting to rent their residence, and buy several (or many) investment properties in affordable markets where the rent numbers are good.

The deductions available for rental properties have not been affected by the 2018 tax law, and in fact a new deduction, the “pass through deduction” was added, which could benefit many real estate investors. The logic behind renting your own residence while buying affordable investment homes has been taken further by the new tax law.

People do not have to buy rental homes in the areas in which they happen to live. I myself own rental homes all over the United States, as do thousands of our investors. Since we have a solid support infrastructure in many appropriate real estate markets, investing in another state becomes easier, since the local teams in that market will handle the rentals, maintenance and support for the investor.

Local infrastructure makes it doable

The local infrastructure in the various markets is comprised of property managers, local savvy real estate brokers, maintenance crews, insurance agents, and any other function needed to support the busy investor, who may live far away. We have many foreign investors, who live across the ocean, invest in multiple rental homes in appropriate markets in the United States.

Different colorful houses suit house shape holes of wooden board, 3D illustration.

Our company, ICG, has been holding 1-Day Expos for over 20 years every quarter with market teams, expert speakers, extensive Q&A and networking etc. near the San Francisco airport. During these events I always cover many subjects in detail, including the subject of this article.

You can attend for free by mentioning this article in an email to info@icgre.com, register online (icgre.com/events) using the code FREEREALTY411, or call us at 800-324-3983.

Looking forward to seeing you.

About ICG and Adiel Gorel:

ICG (International Capital Group) Real Estate Investments was established in the 1980’s. Adiel Gorel, founder and CEO, has been helping people achieve financial security for over three decades, and in that time worked with investors to purchase over 10,000 homes. Gorel is a real estate broker in several states in the U.S., an international keynote speaker, and notable author of three books: Remote Controlled Retirement Riches – The Busy Person’s Guild to Real Estate Investing, Invest Then Rest – How to Buy Single-Family Rental Properties and Remote Control Retirement Riches – How to Change Your Future with Rental Homes. He has been featured on major television and radio networks across the country and in Fortune Magazine. He has also been featured on Public Television with his show, “Remote Control Retirement Riches with Adiel Gorel.” To invite Adiel Gorel to speak for your group, email info@icgre.com and visit AdielSpeaks.com. For more information on ICG Real Estate Investments visit icgre.com.

Following Up with Motivated Sellers Can Make You Millions

By Kathy Kennebrook (The Marketing Magic Lady)

Let me ask you a question; are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?

There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. If you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them and when it comes time to sell they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.

There are a lot of investors in the market these days, and most of them have a very limited knowledge of how the whole follow-up process works, not to mention the inability to create successful deals. What they don’t realize is that many of the sellers you will be dealing with have a variety of problems they aren’t sure how to solve until they are contacted by you.

Some of those may include divorce situations, estates or health issues where there may be emotions tied to the property. With these sellers it may take a little longer before they make that final decision to sell. Most of your competitors will simply throw these potential deals in the trash when they don’t get the property under contract after the initial contact or offer is made. I have made deals many months after the initial contact with the seller was made simply because I took the time to follow up. Not only did I build credibility with the seller, but now they like me better and trust me more than the next investor who may come along.

These are the types of sellers I will place in my follow-up system and follow up with at least every thirty to sixty days if not more often. I have made thousands of dollars on deals other investors would simply have thrown in the trash because I took the time to follow up with a semi-motivated seller. Probably half of the deals I do in a typical year come from following up with these sellers.

In addition, with the help of a fellow investor who is also a software developer, I now have an incredible software system that does all the work for me. It reminds me when I need to do my direct mail campaigns, it reminds me when to follow up with sellers, it has a section to track potential buyers and build a buyer’s list, and it keeps all the information on the properties stored including a photo.

In fact, once I have followed up and purchased the property, my system will match the property with one of the buyers on my buyer’s list, so now; even that part of my business is automated. And once again, isn’t that the whole point to this business, to automate as many things as you can so you can work with the sellers and make the deals happen. You don’t need software to get started with this type of a system. You can simply use an auto-responder and a folder system to begin following up with motivated sellers.

Here is a recent example from my files- I contacted a seller who had inherited a property in Florida where I live and he lived in Michigan. The home belonged to his aunt who had pretty much raised him his whole life. When she passed away the home was left to him and he just couldn’t bring himself to sell it right away. I actually met with the seller and made an offer on the property. He had initially accepted my offer, and then he decided to hold onto the property for awhile and use it as a vacation home. After a year and a half, he got tired of having to deal with all the maintenance issues on the property and ended up selling the property to me for the initial offer I made because I took the time to follow up with him every thirty days or so.

I actually ended up making even more money on this deal than I would have in the first place because the house had appreciated in value during the period of time that he kept it and he had made improvements to the home. Most investors would have thrown this deal in the trash as soon as the seller said no to their initial offer, but because I took the time to follow up, I purchased the property and made a significant amount of money on this deal. I still get holiday cards from that seller.

I’m sure you’re already aware of how important it is to follow up with sellers. It only takes a few minutes each week to follow up with these sellers if you have a good follow-up system in place. I use my follow-up system to follow up with sellers I have made offers to but who haven’t said yes or no to my offer, and with sellers who own homes in areas where I want to buy. I do this by using both direct mail and e-mail to follow up with these sellers. Sometimes if the situation warrants it, I will call them. My system even reminds me to do the follow up. How much simpler can it be? AND…since the seller has already been getting contact from me for a few weeks, if their situation has changed they are ready to sell to me. This is a pretty typical scenario.

With sellers who specifically have properties in areas where I want to buy, I do repeat mailings to a specific list with specific parameters in mind such as out of state owners, quit claim deeds or old sale dates. Each time I do the mailings I continue to clean the list I am using by taking out bad addresses, deals I have purchased or folks who tell me not to mail to them again. The more I mail to these folks, the more credibility I build with them. If you are using a follow up system in your business it is very easy to track these mailings. This is an absolute marketing machine because not only are you doing deals day after day, you are constantly planting seeds for future deals.

If you take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers, you will make more deals and buy more properties with absolutely no competition for these properties whatsoever. It’s a win-win situation for you and the sellers.

For more information on following up with sellers, check out my website at www.marketingmagiclady.com. While you are there be sure and sign up for our free newsletter and get $149.00 in bonuses absolutely FREE.

coaching

Why Hiring a Coach Can Help You Build a Rock Solid Brand Fast

By Sharon Vornholt

Does this sound like you?

You’re always looking for something or someone to help you get over the next hurdle; to help you get to the next level. You know you need a coach, but you might be confused about choosing the right coach for you and how they can actually help you grow your business. You’re wondering if you will you be wasting your hard earned money.

Or maybe you are heading off in a new direction in your business, and you’re not sure how to put all the pieces together when it comes to branding and marketing. You know there is someone out there that can help you streamline the whole process.

If this sounds like you, I can tell you that you are not alone.

Each and every one of us wants to be better at what we do. We are all searching for the next thing we need to do or learn to grow our business. It has been my experience that choosing the right coach to help us master that next “thing” is almost always a game changer for us both personally and professionally.

I can tell you this for sure: you will almost always make more money faster when you hire a coach that can shave years off your learning curve.

Why is that?

The reason is, when we have the right coach to help us take those next steps, suddenly everything becomes easier. The path automatically becomes clearer. The obstacles begin to disappear. And during that process, we generally take a big leap forward in growing our business.

It seems to happen almost magically. That’s because choosing the right coach really can shave years off your learning curve.

What Is the Biggest Thing Holding Most Entrepreneurs Back?

The lack of a rock solid brand, and this is one area where a coach can really help you. Most people either have a weak brand, or they have no brand. What this means is that in most cases you are simply invisible. Who wants to be invisible?

If you look around your field or industry, you probably know someone that is great at what they do, but they are the best kept secret in their industry. No one knows about them.

Or, maybe this sounds like you:

You’ve built a business, and it might even be a great business. However the problem is that people don’t know about it. They don’t know that you are the expert in your field, and that my friend is poor branding.

Let’s Talk about your Brand

People think of colors and logos when they think about branding, and those are the visual components of your brand. What your brand really is though is how people feel about you. It’s also what they say about you when you leave the room. Yikes! What do you suppose they say? Chances are they say “Ben is a nice guy” or “Katie is a great gal”.

But let me ask you this; is this all you want people to say about you? What about your expertise? Where does that shine through? If you haven’t consciously built your brand, it’s probably non-existent. No brand = no shine.

You Need to Change the Conversation

What they should be saying is “Ben is the go to person in ___ (you fill in your field). If you want someone to do that for you, Ben is the expert. He is the person to call.

Or… “Katie is the most knowledgeable real estate person I know. No matter what your needs are, she can make it happen. There is really nothing she doesn’t know about real estate”.

That is what would happen if you had a brand built around your expertise. You have a wide circle of brand awareness and recognition.

Make no mistake about it; building a rock solid brand that shows the world who you are, what you stand for and exactly how you can help your ideal client shows up directly in your checking account.

It’s money in the bank.

Your brand and how it shows up to the world is much more of a determining factor in how much money you make than your actual skills and expertise. Now I want you to think about that for a minute.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t need to good at what you do, because you do. I am merely telling you that in your ideal customer’s mind, it’s all about perception. How you are perceived in the market place directly impacts how much money you make.

Marrying Marketing and Branding – Dollars in Your Bank Account

When you are able to successfully marry your marketing and your branding that’s where the real magic happens.

Remember that marketing is what you do to get leads in the door, and branding is what makes you stand out from the pack so that your ideal client chooses you (rather than your competition). When your marketing is on track and you’ve build a rock solid brand, you will be the obvious choice.

featured

Trust Strategies

By Randy Hughes

After using Land Trusts to hold title to my real estate, contracts and notes for the last 40 years, I have discovered that 99% of the population does not understand the nature of a Land Trust nor the many benefits that can be derived. I consider this good news.

Because of their low profile, Land Trusts are very useful for (off the radar) real estate transactions. The following ideas are merely suggestions that you might consider. Be careful to think through all the ramifications before engaging in these concepts.

If you want to borrow money conventionally and you will use a deed to real estate as collateral for the loan, you will have to give the lender the full deed. In other words, you cannot divide a deed up into pieces no matter how much you are borrowing. For example, if you owned a parcel of real estate in your own personal name (your name is on the deed), with $100,000 of equity and you wanted to borrow only $20,000, you would have to collateralize that deed in full. In other words, you would have to give $100,000 of equity to secure only a $10,000 loan.

The Land Trust can be used to solve the problem of over-collateralizing a loan. The beneficial interest of a Land Trust can be divided into unlimited shares. Therefore, a Land Trust holding a piece of real estate with $100,000 of equity could use some of its shares (but not all of its shares as is required by a personally held deed) as collateral for a $10,000 loan. With a share value of $1,000 there would be 100 shares.

The beneficiary of the Land Trust could “temporarily assign” 10 shares for a $10,000 loan. This would leave 90 shares unencumbered that could be used for future financing. The flexibility of using a Land Trust far exceeds the standard method of title holding.

In another scenario, assume that two real estate investors have owned their properties (of similar current market value) inside Land Trusts for 30 years. Both investors are “out” of depreciation. Neither investor wants to conventionally sell their properties and incur huge capital gains.

Once again, the Land Trust trots in for the rescue. Each investor (beneficiary of the land trust) sells the beneficial interest to the other on an installment sales agreement. The terms are nothing down, interest only (no capital gain to report) and a ten-year balloon (enough time to figure out what to do next).

What this transaction accomplishes is a new amortization schedule for each investor (new basis). The deal is private and flies under the assessor’s radar (no reassessment upon the “sale”) and no transfer tax is triggered. If the parties involved so desire they can hold options to buy the beneficial interests back after (or during) the ten years has lapsed.

If you don’t think this will work, look up and read the tax court decisions on; Weaver, 71 TC No. 42. 1978; Rushing CA-5, 441 F.2d 593, 1971 and Pityo, 70 TC No. 21 1978.

The key to taking advantage of these creative ideas is finding someone who will “play.” Of course, my mind wonders to people who have studied my Land Trusts Made Simple® home study course or taken one of my live seminars. It is those who understand how the “game is played” that benefit you the most. I encourage you to seek out other “players” like yourself…it will benefit you greatly.

There are many other similar structures that I discuss in detail in my Land Trusts Made Simple® home study courses. Please go to: www.landtrustsmadesimple.com for more information. Or, if you would like to attend one of my FREE Land Trust Webinars, go to: www.landtrustwebinar.com/411 Also, feel free to call me with any questions. I actually answer my phone! 1-866-696-7347

 

may10

Garage Sale Real Estate – Make Money in Real Estate and be Dead Broke Doing It!

By Jimmy V. Reed

Folks are always telling me I would love to make money in real estate but “I’m just too broke” And I would respond every time, so was I. Back in the late 80’s I started reading books on how to make money in real estate. Every time they kept telling me you find a good deal, then you go get a loan and buy it, fix it, sell it or hold it. That’s when I would say to myself well it sounded too good to be true.

Later I learned it is too good to be true. I learned how to Wholesale Properties. I learned what I would say was the greatest technique in real estate. How to buy a house without actually buying the house. Now let me tell you how that works. I compare it to when I would go garage selling with my wife on the weekends. We would drive around looking for SIGNS! You know Garage Sale Signs. We would find a sale and then look for a deal, and we always seem to find at least 1 deal. However once we started making offers and negotiating, By the way I have taught thousands of students whose number one fear is to make an offer. But the second you put them in a garage sell they start making offers so low it was like kicking the seller in the knee cap. Any way we would finally agree upon a price. And many times realize we didn’t have enough money on us to purchase the item. So we would ask the Seller to hold it until we came back with the money. And wahlah Garage Sale Real Estate!

I know you’re thinking what? Well let me tell you the secret to this. At the garage sale we would run to the ATM get the money come back and pay. Now take this principal a little deeper as we teach in our Wholesale Classes. Tell the seller to hold it, how? A simple Purchase Contract. That’s when you tie up the property until you have the money. I know I know you’re broke! That’s ok because while it is under contract we contact other investors who are looking for deals! That’s right we are deal finders finding deals for our customers. These investors have CASH! Now we just assign the contract to them for a fee. And now you just got Paid!

Sometimes we even use a double close to close on the property because the profit margin is so large. That one is a lot of fun. Well hopefully by now you at least can see a glimpse as to how so many investors can make money in real estate without having money. Did you know when you go to a car lot, or even Wal-Mart, the items you purchase from them has most likely not even been paid for by them yet. That’s right Wholesaling has been going on in most business forever. Now the question is are you up for some Garage Selling? Well it’s all up to you, but if you need a little help look us up, we’ve been teaching Wholesale to investors since 1991.

may8

IS A REAL ESTATE FUND INVESTMENT RIGHT FOR YOU?

By Fuquan Bilal

Is investing in a real estate fund the right financial move for you? Who is it for? Who isn’t it for?

Real estate funds have been proving to be both attractive and profitable vehicles for many investors. For many sophisticated investors, family offices and even larger and broader funds and endowments, they are now one of the main staples in their portfolios. More recently they have become one of the most important and vital parts of a well diversified, sound and high performing financial plan.

Some people though, haven’t hit the gas pedal on these investments yet. Real estate funds may be a new concept. Or perhaps they just haven’t taken the time to dig in and really figure out the advantages and why others love them so much.

ALL ABOUT THE YIELD

I’ve met a lot of people over the years. Of those that do make alternative investments, the choice becomes really about the type of yield that gets them excited. The sophisticated, passive and strategic investors intelligently spread their risks. They may have some investments that ‘promise’ the chance of higher returns which are riskier. Others are more conservative and are happy with lower yields – and may choose a solid fund with a 7% to 9% return to help keep them in that target performance circle.

DIVERSIFICATION & STABILIZATION

Funds are frequently a stabilization and diversification play for strategic investors. They may have turnkey rentals, do some private lending and hold some notes. They know they can be very exposed with these investments. Funds give them much deeper and broader diversification, which in turn lower risk and keep cash flow consistent.

Let me explain. By investing in a fund, individuals may have 100, 500 or more assets collateralizing and protecting their investment. That’s versus the one or few assets that flippers, landlords or hard money lenders have. Would you rather put $150k or $500k into a single asset and cross your fingers as insurance that nothing goes wrong, or have a $5M or $25M or even larger pool of assets protecting that investment?

ARBITRAGE

The smartest investors know they aren’t going to be as successful as they could be by themselves. This not only applies to building a strong inhouse team, but looking at all options. Some are great at playing the arbitrage game. They may be great at raising capital at 6% returns. Then they just delegate that capital and invest in a fund for higher yields. The fund does all the hard work of sourcing and managing the assets. The arbitrage investor gets cash flow on a platter to pay out returns to their investors.

Is a fund investment a good fit for your portfolio? If the yields are right, the diversification is a good match, and passive investing is a priority, then this could be the piece of the puzzle you’ve been missing…

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to NNG Capital Fund.

may6

10 Things to Look for When Comparing Real Estate Syndications

The increase in popularity of real estate investment syndications in the last few years has presented huge opportunities to investors looking to invest in commercial, multifamily, or industrial properties in a passive way.  As a review, syndications are a way to pool money from multiple investors to accomplish a common investment goal.  In real estate, this typically involves pooling equity to purchase a property with the intention of improving or holding it for appreciation and cash flow.

With opportunity, however, comes the need to know what to look for when comparing opportunities.  I have compiled 10 of the most important factors to look for in a syndication when evaluating them in order to make the most informed investments possible.

1)    Qualifications.  Check and see if the syndication deal requires you to be a sophisticated or accredited investor. Syndications structured under SEC Regulation D, exemption 506(c), require investors to be independently accredited via a CPA or 3rd party service.  This confirms an investor meets minimum net worth and/or income requirements in order to legally take part.  506(b) offerings, on the other hand, simply require an investor to be sophisticated which is simply a broad definition meaning an investor possesses sound financial education.

2)    Track Record. Syndications are passive, so it is extremely important that the sponsors have a proven track record and knowledge of the industries and areas they are choosing to invest in.  Good syndication sponsors will partner will experts when bringing new category deals to their investor pools.  Due diligence is key, and sponsors should be able to clearly articulate why they like a deal and what sort of risk mitigation exists.

3)    Preferred Returns.  Many stabilized properties are generating revenue via rents collected from tenants, and the sponsors of these syndications will structure a preferred return to investors.  This return represents an annual return on the principal amount invested by the investor (i.e. 8% returns on a $100,000 investment would represent $8000/year).  This return accrues at a predetermined rate, and must be paid before any sort of profit-sharing takes place upon the sale of the property.  Some deals will have a set preferred return pegged to an investor’s initial investment, while others will establish this return as a percentage of actual net cash flow received.

4)    Dividends.  Often confused with preferred returns, dividends differ in that they are the actual payments made during the hold period of a deal.  These are often paid out monthly or quarterly.  Certain value-add deals that require increasing occupancy or rehab work may delay paying dividends until cash flow of a property is sufficient to cover these payments.  Dividends are ultimately paid at the discretion of a sponsor, and can be interrupted due to unexpected expenses or vacancies that arise during the course of the holding period.

5)    Taxes.  Good sponsors will actively work to reduce the amount of taxable income received from real estate deals.  Dividends are tax reported on a K-1, which has the advantage of reducing the amount of taxable income due to the depreciation of the property.  Good sponsors will perform cost segmentation studies, where they bring on a 3rd party to accelerate depreciation, further mitigating taxable obligation on dividends paid out.

6)    Reporting Periods.  Many sponsors elect to provide progress reports on the status and management of the property during the course of the investment.  Some provide extremely detailed tenant by tenant accounting, and others simply provide a cash flow or overview of the property.  It is helpful to ask a sponsor for previous reports to see what kind of reports they typically provide.  Most of the time these are provided at the same interval as the dividends being paid (monthly or quarterly).

7)    Profit Split.  A common feature in syndication deals is for the net profits upon sale to be split with a portion going to the sponsors and the balance to the investors.  These profits are what is left over after closing costs and fees are paid, preferred returns are paid, and original investor principal is returned.  The percent of profits that get split among investors can vary significantly on a deal, based on risk, sponsor involvement, and overall return structure.

8)    Sponsor Fees.  Syndication sponsors get paid through three main ways, and investors should be aware of these when evaluating deals.  Sponsors may derive compensation from one or more of these categories.

a.     Upfront Fees.  These fees are built into the amount of money raised and help compensate sponsors for time and money invested to get the deal secured and put together.  There is no formal terminology, but this money is commonly called sponsor fees, acquisition fees, or due diligence fees.  These are separate from 3rd party fees from entities such as lenders, attorneys, title companies, and inspectors.

b.     Asset Management Fees.  During the hold, some sponsors will take compensation for management time and costs incurred to keep the property running successfully.  These are typically a percentage of rents collected or net cash flow that the syndication receives and are paid at the same time as dividends to investors.

c.     Profit Splits.   Typically, most of the value of a property is derived at the time of sale.  A successful syndicator is incentivized by a percentage of net profits to help close a deal out and maximize profits.  These will vary by deal, but should be high enough such that a sponsor is motivated to invest time and effort throughout the entire hold period to maximize returns.

9)    Exit Plan.  Syndications are illiquid and passive investments, meaning sponsors retain the final decision of when to sell the property.  A good sponsor will have an exit plan that has a projected hold period or range of years, contingent on market forces and occupancy being favorable for a property sale.  Most value-add deals will be shorter in length due to most of the value being created in early years.  Many stabilized property deals will be longer in order to take advantage of increasing rents, equity build up through debt payoff, and stabilized cash flow.

10) Voting Rights.  Most syndications are structured through an LLC.  The LLC buys and sells the property with the sponsors being Class B managers.  The Class A investors will be formally included in the company/operating agreement of the LLC that outlines their portion.  Some LLCs will give members voting rights as well, which can be used for large decisions such as changing management, restructuring returns, or dealing with death or transfer of existing members. It is important to understand the type of rights you have as an investor and what types of transferability, if any, your shares have.

These are just a sampling of the many differing components of a real estate syndication savvy investors should be educated on when evaluating opportunities.  Knowing how syndications are set up will allow you to make smart investment choices in the future.

Best regards to you and your investing,
Tom Wilson
CEO and Founder of
Wilson Investment Properties

may03

MANHATTAN’S LOSS IS NEW JERSEY’S GAIN

By Fuquan Bilal

Manhattan has fallen. For over a year the heart of the Big Apple has been battling a real estate correction. While it may not be fun for NYC homeowners, it makes other markets like New Jersey look really appealing to investors.

THE FALL OF MANHATTAN

Manhattan’s real estate market has been beaten up, beat down and stomped on over the last year. We’re already seeing the beginning of what could be a much deeper decline.

Overbuilding, overpricing, and often a complete lack of product-market fit has left some developers with 1,000 plus empty units they can’t sell. Even despite offering upgrades and paying years of condo dues on behalf of buyers.

Retail units are going vacant, inventory in general is rising, and higher property taxes are adding to the crunch. According to Zillow, the median home price in Manhattan is now over $1.5M. That represents a price per square foot of almost $1,500. Almost 10% of properties are in negative equity positions again, and over 13% of sellers cut their asking prices again last month. Rents are averaging $3,395 per month.

Zillow says home prices have fallen over 5% in the last 12 months and will keep declining through 2019. One recent condo sale shows a 24% cut from asking price.

That makes it very hard to justify investing for both the professional and retail home buyer. Although there may be new sales records set by the most skilled developers, such as the recent $238M condo purchase, these will be the exception and mostly born out of wealthy execs and family offices looking to hide money in the safety of real estate during the new recession.

NJ: IT’S GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER

While it might feel like King Kong has been unleashed on the Manhattan real estate market, it’s quite a different story across the water in New Jersey.

Obviously, all real estate is local, and NJ has many submarkets. Yet, most places you look you’ll find quite stark contrasts to what’s going on in Manhattan, NY.

Clifton, NJ is still in great proximity to Manhattan for all the fun and business you want. Yet, the median home sales price here is just $341,100. Median price per square foot is only $238. The average rent is $2,100 a month. Zillow forecasts home values in Clifton to rise another almost 6% in 2019.

Then there is Trenton, NJ. Trenton boasts an average price per square foot of just $51. The median list price is just $69,950. Rents average $1,200 a month, providing a far superior price to rent ratio than you’ll ever dream of finding in Manhattan.

Investing in distressed markets presents a great opportunity, though there is a time for it. The numbers still have to make sense and be profitable within your strategy. Where will you be investing this year?

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to http://nngcapitalfund.com/

may1

ARBITRAGE: THE INTELLIGENT STRATEGY FOR MAKING MORE, WHILE DOING LESS

By Fuquan Bilal

Arbitrage is both a very basic concept and a high level strategy deployed by sophisticated investors and entrepreneurs. It’s used for efficiently creating great profits, with a lot less hassle and stress. So, how does it work? Who is using it? How can you apply it?

Who Uses Arbitrage to Supersize their Potential & Paychecks?

  • Google with its ad services
  • Governments at all levels, with taxes and funding
  • The biggest financial institutions and brokers
  • Banks and funds
  • Amazon and Walmart
  • The Concept

According to the dictionary definition, arbitrage is:

“The simultaneous buying and selling of securities, currency, or commodities in different markets or in derivative forms in order to take advantage of differing prices for the same asset.”

The Cracks in the Market

Those leveraging arbitrage are those that see the gaps in the market. Gaps in the supply and demand chain.

Today so many have fallen into the temptation to try and do it all. Most just don’t do it very well. At least not nearly as efficiently or profitably as they could. They stunt their potential and under serve by trying to do too much, without being experts or having the time or hiring pros in all the different areas and roles involved.

What’s Better…

Know what you’re best at. What you love. Outsource the rest to someone you can trust.

Maybe you are great at finding assets, rehabbing, or selling houses. That’s great. Let someone else pick up the other parts. You’ll enjoy what you are doing more. You’ll do a lot better at what you are focusing on. You can go a lot bigger.

Financial Arbitrage

In this space it means, you raise the money, and you put it to work with someone like us. For example; you may be great at raising money at 4%, we might pay out double that. You get the difference. All with NONE of the work. Network, meet investors, collect checks, put it to work, get checks back. Done.

Find out about our latest fund and how you can participate and use arbitrage to make more while doing less, and enjoying it a whole lot more.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to NNG Capital Fund