Lessons I Learned in 2019 from Running an Apartment Syndication Business

Updated: Mar 7

Not everyone knows what a real estate syndicator does. I’ve learned this from some of the quizzical looks I get when people ask me what I do, and I respond, “I syndicate multifamily properties.” Fortunately, people who are passive investors do know what a real estate syndicator does, and those are some of the people I work with.

As a syndicator, I find multifamily properties (apartment complexes); vet them based on their merits, and then syndicate shares in those properties to people who want to invest in real estate. They’re called “passive investors” because they simply put up their money as an investment, and do not work on putting the deal together or have anything to do with managing the property.

I happen to live in California, but the properties that I invest in and syndicate are in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Those states have high population growth, job growth, and rent growth, and are also called “landlord friendly states.” That simply means there aren’t rent controls in place, and you can legally evict a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent without spending a lot of time, effort, and money.

I’ve been fortunate, as I’ve been running a successful apartment syndication business over the years. My success wasn’t without making some mistakes along the way, but I’ve learned from those mistakes and haven’t made them since. During 2019, I learned some important lessons about investing in multifamily properties, and I’d like to share those lessons with you now.

Lesson # 1: Hire the best people you can and listen to them.

When first starting out in almost any business, you tend to wear a lot of different hats. You have to, as you’re very cost-conscious and concerned about every penny you spend. But as time goes on, you learn to hire the best people available, and you learn how to delegate responsibilities. As everyone in business will attest, you can’t do everything yourself.

However, what you can do after hiring these people is listen to what they have to tell you. If you learn how to let go of doing every job function, you’ll find you can focus your time on the big picture and let others take care of the other aspects of your business. You will grow your business if you do this, and that is the goal of every businessperson.

I began by building a team, working with people that I not only liked, but more importantly trusted. Once I learned to let go I began to see some amazing results. That’s when my business really took off.

I’ll share an example of how this has helped fuel my growth. One of my team members had advocated to utilize social media to share personal pictures and stories, and not only use it as a tool to share professional articles and thoughts about real estate investing. I was reluctant to do so at first, because I was a bit guarded over my personal life and didn’t want to be perceived as “unprofessional”. However, I was committed to listening to the people on my team.

My team member was a social media expert, and to her belief, social media is not just a marketing tool, but one that helps build relationships and authenticity, albeit virtual ones. Once she started sharing my personal pictures and stories on social media, we began to see consistent growth and engagement across all social media platforms. Turned out, people were looking to connect with me on a personal level, before they decided to invest with me. And sharing my personal life on professional social media channels helped them see who I was and what I stood for. That, in turn, increased the number of new investors reaching out to our company, and I also began mentoring applicants who contacted us. Sharing my personal life on professional social media helped improve our overall business growth while presenting new business opportunities.