Investing in real estate can be a great way to generate passive income and build long-term wealth, but it is important to perform due diligence before committing your hard-earned money. Due diligence helps you determine whether a real estate syndicate or fund is a good fit for your financial goals. In this blog post, we will discuss two essential steps for performing due diligence before investing in a real estate syndicate or fund.
What is a Buy Box? Why should you create one?
A common mistake investors make when performing due diligence on an investment deal is straying from their general investment criteria, better known as their ‘buy box’. What types of projects are you willing to invest in? How long can you have their money tied up? Do you need to earn monthly cash flow or can you defer earnings until later? These are all important decisions you must make before investing in any asset. If you stick with your buy box when assessing deals you will become more skilled at analyzing these deals. In other words, you cannot perform very good due diligence on a project you don’t fully understand.
Research the people involved on a real estate deal before getting involved.
Deciding whether you want to invest in a project often comes down to who you’re working with. Who is leading the charge? What is their experience? Do they have successful projects under their belt? Have they had any major losses? Do you want to do business with this person? How do you know? Are they transparent and accessible, allowing you to make an informed decision? It is essential to understand how long they have been in the industry and their track record. How did they handle past investment mistakes and failures? Are they stretched too thin to focus on the project you are investing in? How much of their own money is invested in the deal?
A great project and an excellent property can always be ruined by the wrong operator. If you know the business partnership is not a good fit, move on and invest elsewhere. Make sure you are working with a team you trust and enjoy.
Ask yourself these questions to better understand a project or fund.
Understanding a project requires evaluating the property and business model or strategy. For syndication, this includes understanding what improvements need to be made, the expected timeline for completion, and any potential risks involved. How big is the project? The bigger the project, the bigger the potential risk, so evaluate your risk tolerance. Another challenge to consider is what assumptions are being made, both about the outcome of the project and the market once the project is completed. Are projections being made years into the future? What unforeseen changes might affect this investment? Are you qualified to make the kinds of evaluations necessary to know if the assumptions are correct? For a fund, be sure to understand the preferred returns (pref) and where the money comes from to pay out the pref. Gather a deep understanding of lock-up periods or projected hold periods. When will you begin to see payouts?
Investing intelligently is a skill.
It is worth noting that investing is not the same as saving. Saving money requires no skill, thought, or training. Investing money takes research, training, and knowledge but offers much greater rewards than savings can provide. One important step of intelligent investing is due diligence – taking a close look at investments before committing funds. No matter what your buy box looks like or what sort of syndication, private funds, stocks, options, or other investments you are considering, take the time to be an educated investor who asks all the hard questions.
If you have any questions, contact our team at [email protected].