Theo has already covered most, if not all of these responsibilities in detail on previous episodes of Syndication School. The purpose for this and tomorrow’s episode is to explain how to divide these responsibilities among your team members and business partners. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Joe Fairless: There needed to be a resource on apartment syndication that not only talked about each aspect of the syndication process, but how to actually do each of the things, and go into it in detail… And we thought “Hey, why not make it free, too?” That’s why we launched Syndication School.
Theo Hicks will go through a particular aspect of apartment syndication on today’s episode, and get into the details of how to do that particular thing. Enjoy this episode, and for more on apartment syndication and how to do things, go to apartmentsyndication.com, or to learn more about the Apartment Syndication School, go to syndicationschool.com, so you can listen to all the previous episodes.
Theo Hicks: Hi, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to another episode of the Syndication School series, a free resource focused on the how-to’s of apartment syndication. As always, I am your host, Theo Hicks.
Twice a week we release the Syndication School episodes on the best real estate investing advice ever show, podcast, as well as in video form on YouTube, so you can watch those either place. Each of these episodes will focus on a specific aspect of the apartment syndication investment strategy. For the majority of these episodes, including this one, we offer some sort of resource for free. These are PowerPoint presentation templates, Excel templates, PDF how-to guides, free resources that accompany what we’ve talked about in the Syndication School podcast and video episode, and of course, as I mentioned, these are free for you to download. You can download these free documents, as well as listen and/or watch the previous Syndication School episodes at SyndicationSchool.com.
This is going to be part one of a two-part series, and we’re gonna call this The 51 Responsibilities of the General Partnership. Before we dive into those responsibilities, we’re gonna talk about probably less than half in this episode, and then in the next episode, part two, we’re gonna talk about the remaining tasks. We’ve talked about all of these tasks before in detail in our previous Syndication School episodes, and we actually have a blog post as well written on this… So if you go to that blog post – which we’ll have in the show notes – you can click on the links. That will direct you to the Syndication School episode or a blog post that goes into more detail on those steps.
So the purpose of this episode is not to go into detail on all 51 steps, because it would be probably a 20 or 30-part series… But we’ve done that already; there are probably 20 to 30+ episodes where we talked about these in the past. Again, SyndicationSchool.com, just search whatever role I’m talking about and you should be able to find the episode on that.
The purpose of this episode is to talk about how to break apart these roles and responsibilities within the general partnership. More than likely, if you are going to pursue the apartment syndication investment strategy, you’re not gonna do everything yourself. You’re going to have one or multiple business partners… And the reason why you’re gonna want multiple business partners is because not every single person, including you, is going to be excellent at all 51 of these various roles and responsibilities… Which is why typically when you have a syndication, you’re gonna have multiple members – probably two being the most common – on the general partnership, and one person does, say, 25 of these roles and responsibilities, and the other person does 26 of these roles and responsibilities.
So the purpose of this episode is to outline all 51 of those roles and responsibilities, give a very brief description of each of those, and then once you know these 51 main responsibilities, you can use the free document, which is the “GP Roles and Responsibilities” document and you can input the names of all the members of the general partnership, and then for each of these different responsibilities you can assign who’s responsible for that. So when we go into these roles and responsibilities, I’ve broken them down into three phases. The pre-contract phase – these are things that are from “Okay, I wanna do apartment syndication” to “I have a deal under contract.” Everything in between that, which is a pretty lengthy process.
The next category are going to be the contract to close. So “I’ve signed the PSA. What are the next steps until I actually sign the closing papers and I actually take over the deal?” And then the third category is going to be the post-closing phase. That is after closing on the deal, to when you actually sell the deal.
So what’s nice about the document we’re providing you with is that it has these 51 main responsibilities, but each of these responsibilities could technically be broken up into maybe two different duties, or maybe 20 different duties. So they’re kind of just general; for example “Select a potential target investment market.” Within that, you can say “Okay, what exactly are we going to do to find these target markets?” And we’ve talked about this in episodes before… But if you want to, you can break apart each of the 51 roles and responsibilities into multiple roles or responsibilities, if in this case for selecting a potential target investment market maybe you’re both gonna be involved in that; maybe one person’s actually going to find the market, the other person is gonna maybe go there, because they live in that area… Maybe one person is gonna look at these four markets, another person is gonna look at these four markets…
Obviously, this is not an all-encompassing, locked-in document. It’s something that is going to be a starting place for you to take and expand, based on specifically what you’re doing for apartment syndications.
So overall, the entire point of this series is going to be to explain to you the main responsibilities of the general partnership, so that you can determine which roles you are capable of fulfilling, and then once you’ve got those roles filled out, the remaining roles will need to be fulfilled by someone else (or someone else) and at that point you can go out and find that right business partner. So this is something that you’re gonna do upfront, before you even begin to look for deals, put your team together… You need to figure out who’s gonna do what before you do any of that. So that is the time in the process where this document is going to come into play.
With all that being said, let’s jump into the 51 main responsibilities of the general partnership. We’re gonna go over as many as we can in this episode, and then in the next episode we’re going to finish it off, and then we’ll kind of close out this series. And again, this document is available to download for free at SyndicationSchool.com or in the show notes of this episode… But you don’t necessarily need to have this document open during this episode for it to make sense, because it’s really just a list of all the roles and responsibilities, and then a column that allows you to put in the person responsible for it. And I think there’s also a dropdown menu, so you put in “Okay, this is Jim and Bob, and Theo and Joe are the GP membership”, so each of those 51 roles, there’s a dropdown menu where you can put Jim, Bob, and Joe and Theo.
So first is the pre-contract phase. Again, this is from “Okay, I wanna do an apartment syndication” to “We’ve got a deal under contract.” These are all the steps that are required to actually set up an apartment syndication business, and then find and put that first deal under contract. So the first three roles and responsibilities are kind of wrapped into one. They are technically distinct, but they’re all focused on finding the market to invest in. This is a starting point, so at this point you’re educated on apartment syndications, you’ve met the requirements to become an apartment syndicator, so you’ve got a real estate background, experience background, and you’re actually starting to launch your business. The first thing you’re gonna wanna do is find out where you’re gonna invest.
Number one is to select potential target investment markets. So you’re gonna wanna find five, ten, twenty, however many markets you want to have in your initial analysis, places that you’re interested in investing, and places that you know really well, places you’ve lived before, places you’ve visited, and that’s gonna be your initial list of places to invest in. So someone needs to come up with this list. Who’s responsible for coming up with the markets we’re gonna evaluate?
And then number two, evaluate these potential target investment markets. Once they’re selected, who’s responsible for doing the evaluation process? Who’s responsible for doing the online, detailed research on each of these markets, pulling the relevant demographic economic data on those target markets, visiting those markets in person, driving around and learning the specific neighborhoods in these markets… And then once you’ve gotten that research process done, number three is selecting one or two of these to be the markets you actually start looking at deals and building your team in.
So who’s responsible for picking where to invest? Is it the person who did all the evaluation? Is it an agreement between all the general partners, or is one person going to be the decider in that situation?
Number four is creating a website. This is going to be the foundation of your brand. Every other aspect of your brand is going to direct to your company website… So who is responsible for creating the website? Who’s responsible for hiring the person to create the website? Who’s responsible for deciding what goes on the website? And again, for all of these we have Syndication School episodes on in the past, so we’re not gonna go into detail on the answer to those questions. What you should have on your website, how to create the website… We’ve already talked about that. Again, the point here is who’s actually going to do that stuff?
Number five is create a company presentation. The company presentation is going to talk about who you are, who the people in your company are, and what type of apartment syndication are you doing. why should I invest in an apartment syndication? This is gonna be an introduction to your company and your business plan. So again, who is responsible for creating this company presentation, who’s responsible for using this company presentation to present to various team members, passive investors in the future?
Number six is define a target audience for a thought leadership platform. Again, we’ve talked about on this show before, and the fact that you’re listening to this show – this show IS a thought leadership platform – who is responsible for deciding who you’re going to target? What is the demographic of the person that you’re trying to target? Obviously, it’s going to be passive investors, but more specifically, what is the economic situation of the passive investor? How are you determining who you target, and then again, who is that target audience actually going to be?
Number seven is to create and grow a thought leadership platform. So who’s responsible for creating the podcast, or the YouTube channel, or the blog that you’re going to use to position yourself as an expert in the apartment syndication industry? And then who’s responsible for growing that thought leadership platform? Who’s responsible for making sure that you are consistently putting out content? Who’s gonna be booking interviews if you’re doing interviews? Who’s responsible for posting these? Who’s responsible for tracking the analytics on these? Who’s going to be basically the branding person in your company? And then whoever that branding person is is obviously responsible for creating and growing the thought leadership platform.
The next two things are also related to the brand and the thought leadership platform. Number eight is creating an in-person meetup group. So who’s responsible for creating the in-person meetup group? Who’s responsible for deciding what the format of the meetup group is going to be? Who’s responsible for actually going to the meetup group and hosting it? Who’s responsible for finding out the venue? How often are gonna do that meetup group? Who’s scheduling the meetup group?
I think at this point it’s good to pause, because you’re asking “Why do I need a meetup group to be an apartment syndicator?” Of course, you don’t need to have a thought leadership platform either; you don’t need to have a business partner. But these are all things that are going to help you be more successful as an apartment syndicator. You don’t have to do these things. Every single thing I list is not gonna be done by every single apartment syndicator. The point is that if you wanna be successful, these are the types of things you should be doing.
Similarly, number nine is to create a Facebook page or group. Again, who’s gonna create the page and who’s responsible for managing the page? This could be something that’s tied into your meetup group, so it could be a Facebook group specific for the meetup group, and you could also create another Facebook page for apartment syndicators; it can be a place for passive investors to come and ask questions… So who decides what this Facebook page is going to be, and then who’s responsible for making sure that people are engaging in the Facebook group? Things like that.
So those five – create a website, create a presentation, selecting a target audience, creating a thought leadership platform, in-person meetup group and the Facebook page (I guess that’s six), that’s all in the category of branding. So most likely one person is gonna be responsible for branding. That’s the most efficient way to do it. That individual is gonna be assigned these roles and responsibilities. But maybe the person that is branding isn’t gonna create a website, or isn’t gonna create a company presentation. Or maybe all members of the general partnership are gonna decide who the target audience is, or be involved in the creation of the thought leadership platform. So again, it all depends on what you wanna do, and it all depends on the skillsets and experiences of the various members of the general partnership.
Now, these next responsibilities are about creating your team. So number ten, find, interview and select a property management company. Who’s responsible for finding the property management company? Same with commercial real estate brokers, number 11 – who’s responsible for finding the brokers, for setting up the interviews, for meeting with them or calling them, for qualifying them? Ultimately, deciding which ones you’re gonna move forward with and which ones you aren’t gonna move forward with – who is responsible for this?
Same with commercial mortgage brokers or lenders. Are you gonna use a lender or a commercial broker, and who decides which one you’re going to use? If you go with the commercial mortgage broker, which commercial mortgage broker are you gonna move forward with? Who’s responsible for finding the mortgage brokers, for interviewing them, for qualifying them? Who’s responsible for deciding what type of loans you wanna get on your deals?
Most likely, someone has more experience in this realm, and they’re gonna have to come to the ultimate decision of who to move forward with based off of their background on financing deals.
Number 13 is finding a business partner. This is not necessarily a role that’s given to someone, because everyone is responsible for finding a business partner if that’s the route you decide to go… So if I’m creating this list, I’m responsible for finding a business partner.
Number 14, find an accountant who specializes in apartment syndications. Again, similarly, Who’s responsible for qualifying the accountant?
Number 15 and 16 are find a real estate attorney and find a securities attorney. Same thing, I’m not gonna keep repeating myself. And then 17 is a loan guarantor.
So if the members of the general partnership don’t have the liquidity or the net worth requirement to qualify for financing on the particular type of deals they’re pursuing, then they’re gonna need to find someone who is going to sign on the loan. So who is gonna find that person?
Number 18, define the roles and responsibility of each member of the GP. This is kind of referencing the entire purpose of this entire thing, which is who decides who does what?
Number 19 is set investment criteria for deals. This is huge. What types of apartment deals are you going to syndicated? Are you gonna do value-add, are you gonna do distressed, are you gonna do turnkey? A combination of one of those? Who decides this?
Next is setting the GP compensation structure. Number 20 and 21, setting the limited partner compensation structure. So this is about how the people involved in the deal get paid. So how are you going to come to the decision of how the various members of the general partnership are gonna make money? What are the ownership percentages going to be? This is most likely gonna be based on the final filled out version of this document, that allows you to assign the roles and responsibilities to everyone. And again, we’ve got a Syndication School series about how to structure the GP compensation structure based on who does what. But ultimately, someone’s got to decide if that structure is what you’re gonna move forward with. Again, it’s most likely going to be a combination of everyone involved, because everyone’s gonna have to agree on the compensation structure… But that is a duty that needs to be fulfilled before you can move forward with doing deals.
Similarly, with the LP compensation structure – who decides and how are you gonna decide how the passive investors get paid?
Number 22 is create a list of investor emails in MailChimp or whatever mass email sending service you plan on using. Basically, setting up an account where you can collect all of your passive investors’ emails and send them the new deals, send them recap emails, things like that, without having to send out individual emails.
So who’s responsible for creating the account? Who’s responsible for inputting new investor emails? Who’s responsible for creating these emails? Things like that.
Number 23, finding passive investors. Who is going to be the investor relations person?
Number 24, build relationships with commercial real estate brokers. So you don’t just want to find a broker and then that’s it. You wanna build a relationship with them, with the purpose of getting them to send you off market opportunities. Who’s responsible for networking and relationship-building with these commercial real estate brokers?
Number 25, subscribe to commercial real estate brokers on market email lists. Brokers will typically allow you to subscribe to some sort of automated mailing list, that whenever they list a new deal, it automatically gets sent to your email inbox. So who are these deals going to be sent to? And as you can begin to see, a lot of these responsibilities are tied to other responsibilities. For example, the person that is subscribed to the commercial real estate broker’s on-market email list is probably gonna be the person who’s underwriting the deals. It doesn’t make sense for, for example me, to get all these deals from brokers, to network with brokers, but then once a deal comes, they are transitioned to meeting with Joe to underwrite the deals, to tour the deals, and things like that.
So most likely, the person who’s responsible for maintaining relationships with brokers is also gonna be the person who’s getting the deals from the brokers and who’s also underwriting the deals that the brokers send it. Or at least responsible for managing underwriters.
So there’s a few more to finish up the first phase, the pre-contract phase, and then we’re gonna close out this particular episode and finish up the remaining responsibilities tomorrow… Or if you’re listening to this in the future, the next episode.
The next one is to implement marketing strategies to generate off market deals. Who’s responsible for the direct mailing campaigns, or whatever off market lead generation strategy you want to implement to find off market deals – who’s responsible for that?
And then 27 – underwrite the deals. So who’s underwriting, who’s managing the entire underwriting process? Who’s touring the deals? Who’s asking the brokers questions? Who’s talking with lenders to get preliminary financing terms? Who’s doing the rental comp analysis?
And then lastly, 28, who is submitting the letter of intents and negotiating the PSA? So who’s responsible for submitting these LOIs to brokers, being involved in the back-and-forth process? Who is going to be responsible for the best and final seller calls? Who’s responsible for negotiating the PSA and ultimately executing the PSA?
Those are the 28 pre-contract phase responsibilities of the general partnership. Again, at this point you would have your document and you would say “Okay, number one – select potential target investment markets. Theo is responsible for that. Theo is also responsible for evaluating these potential target investment markets, and for selecting 1-2 potential target markets… But also, we’re all gonna look at Theo’s research and determine which ones we’re gonna use…”, so that’d be everyone.
Then Bill is gonna create the website, and then John is gonna create the company presentation, Rob is gonna define a target audience for the thought leadership platform… So you do that for every single item on this list, so that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do.
So tomorrow, or again in the next episode, we’re gonna talk about 29 through 51, the contract to close phase, and then the post-closing phase, and then wrap up these series. Until then, make sure you check out some of the other Syndication School series we have. Download our previous free documents, download this free document… All that is available at SyndicationSchool.com. Thank you for listening and I will talk to you tomorrow.