Due to the nature of commercial real estate syndications and the SEC rules under which many syndicators operate, it can be challenging to know where to start your search for a syndicator. There are primarily two SEC rules under which most syndicators operate. One rule allows for public marketing and the other does not. So, how do accredited investors begin their search for someone that aligns with their goals? Below are five ways to track down syndicators.
1. Know What to Google
Even for the syndicators that are not allowed to publicly market their deals, they are allowed to market themselves and their expertise. Key terms that many people use include “real estate syndication,” “passive income,” “mailbox money,” “passive investors,” and “syndication structures.”
Beyond these direct online searches, if you use online search to learn more, many of the knowledge pieces written are authored by industry professionals that work for private investment groups. When you click the author bio on these articles, it will often lead you to the author’s company website to learn more about investing with these groups.
2. Talk to Your Friends and Coworkers
Real estate has only continued to grow in popularity among investors. As such, there is a high likelihood your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or even your financial advisor are involved in real estate or have at least heard of syndicators through their networks. This also has the added benefit of gaining unfiltered experiences, if your friend has direct experience with the syndicator. Independent financial advisors are also frequently marketed to by syndicators.
3. Use Online Forums
Nearly all investment forums will have real estate threads within them. There are even online forums exclusively servicing commercial real estate investors. Similar to asking a friend, searching the forums for keywords like “syndicators” or “real estate operators” will likely yield many results and reviews. Posing a question on popular forums will not only elicit reviews from investors and experts, but it will also likely elicit responses from many syndicators themselves.
4. Listen to Podcasts
Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing information channels out there, and many syndicators have taken notice. Searching for podcasts using the same online search terms above will yield countless episodes in the results. Both the hosts and the guests are often active in real estate, and many of them represent syndicators. When you search for the guest and/or the host online, you will likely end up at their company’s website to learn more about investing with them.
5. Search for the Apartment
When I drive past a piece of real estate that catches my eye, either locally or as I travel, I will make a quick note in my phone of the name and street. When I get back to my computer, I will search “owner of [property name] on [street name]”. While this specific search will yield mixed results, it will often get me to a website. In the site’s footer, I can do a couple more clicks to find the company that owns it.
Once you are on the company site, you can quickly find out if the company is an active syndicator, because they have an “Invest Now” or “Learn More” link on their header. From time to time, if there is no such link, I will use the “Contact Us” form to ask if they raise money from private investors.
I hope you find these tips useful. As noted in the title, these are just some tips I have used to find syndicators. Some groups are very active with their marketing and easy to find, while other syndicators either don’t or can’t market their offerings. This article does not begin to venture into the nuances of vetting a syndicator or deal.
About the Author:
Evan is the Investor Relations Manager for Ashcroft Capital. As such, he spends his days working with investors to better understand their investment goals and background. With over 14 years in real estate, he has seen all sides of real estate from acquisitions to capital raising on the equity and debt side, to operations, and actively invests himself. Please feel free to connect with Evan here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.