Building wealth with real estate syndications

Building wealth with real estate syndications

One of the best kept secrets to building wealth and creating passive income.

Real estate has long been heralded as a steady and lucrative investment avenue, but within this realm lies a lesser-known path — real estate syndications. Often considered one of the best-kept secrets to building wealth and creating passive income, real estate syndications offer investors a unique “hands off” approach to property investment. Real estate syndications can help investors achieve the benefits of owning an investment property (cash flow, appreciation, tax breaks) without the work or stress of being a landlord themselves.

What is a real estate syndication?

At its core, a real estate syndication is when a group of investors pool together their capital to jointly purchase a large commercial property. One of the key benefits of real estate syndication is the ability to leverage the expertise of experienced professionals. Typically, a syndication is led by a sponsor or syndicator who takes on the responsibility of sourcing, acquiring and managing the investment. The syndicator’s role is to execute the business plan and deliver strong returns to the passive investors in the real estate syndication.

This collaborative model provides individuals with the opportunity to invest in larger and potentially more lucrative real estate projects that might be out of reach for an individual investor as the minimum to invest in these opportunities are typically in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. The synergy created through pooling funds and the expertise of the syndicator enhances the overall potential for success.

Diversification through syndication

One of the primary advantages of real estate syndications is the ability to diversify investments. In traditional real estate ventures, an individual might invest in a single property, exposing him or her 100% to the risks associated with that specific asset. In contrast, syndications allow investors to spread their capital across various asset classes (apartments, express carwashes, self-storage units, etc.) and geographies, while reducing risk and increasing the potential for stable returns.

Real estate syndication benefits

Investors benefit from regular passive income distributions that are typically paid out either monthly or quarterly, by holding a stake in the real estate syndication. Additionally, they realize returns on their investment when the property is sold, all the while enjoying advantages such as equity pay down, appreciation and tax benefits associated with real estate ownership.

Once an investment is made, investors can sit back and reap the benefits of property ownership without the day-to-day responsibilities that typically accompany it. This passive income can be especially appealing to busy working professionals or those looking to supplement their existing income streams.

Before participating in real estate syndications, investors must meet specific eligibility criteria. Participation in a real estate syndication requires being categorized as either an accredited or sophisticated investor.

Eligibility criteria to invest in real estate syndications

Most investors need to be considered an “accredited investor” to participate in these types of syndicated offerings. Accredited investor status is attained by meeting certain financial thresholds. This includes having an annual income of at least $200,000, or $300,000 combined with a spouse. Alternatively, possessing a net worth exceeding $1,000,000 also qualifies an individual as accredited. Depending on the real estate syndication offering set forth by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), certain real estate syndications may only be offered to accredited investors, such as a 506(c) offering.

Due diligence is crucial when considering real estate syndications. Investors should thoroughly research the track record and experience of the syndication sponsor, who is typically responsible for identifying, acquiring and managing the properties. Understanding the sponsor’s expertise, previous performance and alignment with the investor’s goals is paramount to making informed investment decisions.

How to find the right syndicator

Wondering how to embark on the journey of finding the ideal real estate syndication deal? There are several steps you can take to uncover the perfect opportunity.

Firstly, it’s beneficial to actively network with fellow investors, particularly those who share an interest in similar asset classes. Establishing connections with like-minded investors can lead to recommendations for reputable real estate syndication firms with strong track records in the industry. Attending meetups organized through platforms like Meetup.com, participating in Facebook groups, and attending real estate conferences are effective ways to expand your network, gain valuable insights, and eventually discover your inaugural deal.

As previously mentioned, the bulk of the work in real estate syndication — from identifying opportunities to structuring deals and implementing business plans — is typically handled by the syndicator. As a passive investor, your primary responsibility is to pinpoint trustworthy syndicators to partner with and ensure their credentials are legitimate and to find an opportunity that aligns with your goals and objectives.

Moreover, investors should carefully review the investment structure and terms outlined in the syndication agreement. This includes the distribution of profits, the duration of the investment and any potential exit strategies. Clear communication and transparency between syndication sponsors and investors are essential to fostering trust and ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership.

Understanding the risks

As with any investment strategy, there are risks associated with real estate syndications. Market fluctuations, unforeseen challenges in property management and economic downturns can impact the performance of syndicated projects. However, the collaborative nature of syndications can help mitigate these risks by diversifying investments across various properties and markets.

The tax advantages of real estate investments further sweeten the deal for syndication participants. Investors may benefit from deductions related to property depreciation, mortgage interest and operating expenses. These tax incentives can contribute to the overall return on investment, providing an additional layer of financial advantage.

Real estate syndications stand as a compelling, yet often unknown, avenue for building wealth and generating passive income. The collaborative nature, diversification opportunities and potential for accelerated wealth creation make syndications an attractive option for investors seeking to harness the power of real estate.

However, it’s crucial for potential investors to conduct thorough due diligence, understand the terms of the syndication agreement and align themselves with reputable syndication sponsors. With careful consideration and strategic planning, real estate syndications can unlock a path to financial prosperity and serve as a key element in a well-rounded investment portfolio.

Ryan McKenna is the CEO and founder of McKenna Capital, a private equity real estate investment firm focused on building passive income and equity for its investors through real estate syndications. Our joint venture partnerships allow investors to invest alongside us and our strategic operating partners who have a proven track record of delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns. As a co-general partner, McKenna Capital has acquired 15,000-plus units with a combined transaction value over $2 billion. Ryan oversees all acquisitions, capital sourcing, investor relations and strategic partnerships for his firm.

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