Multifamily Syndications are all the rage.
You don’t have to wander very far out into the digital wilderness to find somebody shouting at the top of their lungs about the benefits of this powerful business model and how easy it is to get started.
If you’re new to multifamily investing, syndications are relatively simple:
A group of investors pool their time, experience, and capital to acquire large assets the individuals probably couldn’t manage to take down on their own.
Every deal requires three things: Time, Knowledge, Capital.
Two types of partners participate in a syndication, the General Partners and the Limited Partners.
General Partners bring the time and experience. Limited Partners bring the capital.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably most interested in being a General Partner (that is, you want to be the guy or gal acquiring and managing the deal). If you’ve already done a few multifamily deals (either on your own or as a Joint Venture) then you might be ready for the next step.
The next question is: How do I do this?
How do I find other experienced operators to partner with?
How do I find investors willing to fund my deals?
The answer to both is simple: Build a Thought Leadership Platform.
To succeed in syndication, people need to know, like, and trust you. That’s hard to do when you’re new to the game and don’t have a public track record to point to.
Here are two common capital raising myths.
Myth #1: Find the deal and the money will follow.
I’m sorry, but this isn’t the Field of Dreams. You could come to my front door with the literal Golden Goose clutched between your arms, and a basket full of golden eggs, and if I don’t know you, you ain’t getting in the door. If I don’t like you, you’re also not getting in the door. If I don’t trust you, I might let you in the foyer, but I’m most certainly not giving you any money.
That’s the truth. Anybody telling you otherwise is setting you up for failure when you go out to raise capital for your first deal.
Check out this video with Gino explaining the four phases of financial freedom:
Myth #2: Start by raising money from your friends and family.
This advice makes sense. Who is more likely to know, like, and trust you than your friends and family?
I’m not saying these people won’t fund your deal (they probably will). The problem is, most people only scale so much off the back of their close network.
Unless you’re coming from an industry filled with high net worth individuals (like a doctor or a lawyer), chances are your close network isn’t comprised of the tier of investors necessary to take down deals of any substantial size.
To scale (which is the name of the game where syndications are concerned), and build a network of investors and potential partners, you have to build a presence within the multifamily space.
Which brings us to the point of this article: How to build out a thought leadership platform.
There are three ways to find investors and partners: Hunting, Fishing, Farming.
When hunting, we’re pounding the pavement, making cold calls, attending networking events, and generally hustling to go out and get the leads.
Fishing, on the other hand, is about putting out the bait and letting the quarry come to you. That is, putting out valuable content (writing articles, hosting podcasts, recording videos, speaking at conferences) and then attracting the investors/partners to seek you out.
And finally, when we’re Farming we’re cultivating and nurturing those relationships we’ve created through Hunting and Fishing.
We’re fortunate to be living through this very moment in history. Never before has it been easier to get in front of like-minded people by way of the Internet, social media, or cell phones. The difficulty comes in standing out from the noise so people can actually hear what you’re saying.
For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on Fishing and talk 4 specific tactics for building out a robust thought-leadership platform to rise above the noise.
The Internet is a vast landscape of digital real estate. You need to have your own address.
Your website is the foundation to everything you do online. At every turn, you should be thinking, “How can I drive traffic back to my website?”
It goes without saying that your website should look nice. There are plenty of do-it-yourself website builders out there (WIX, WordPress, SquareSpace) and they all work well enough, if you know what you’re doing. Most people don’t know how to build a website that actually converts.
Here’s an article I wrote on how to design a homepage that converts: 3 Tips to Creating a Homepage That Converts
Next, you need to fill your website with quality content. Create a free resource (an ebook, pdf, video, whatever) that people can get in exchange for signing up for your email newsletter. This is the most critical function of your website: Building Your List.
For an idea of a freebie that converts well for us at Invictus Capital, check out The Quickstart Guide to Passive Investing In Multifamily
Don’t bother driving traffic to your website until you actually have something there for them. To that end, write blog articles, post videos or pictures, and make a practice of consistently posting value-oriented content.
104 million people listened to a podcast last month. The amount of people listening at any given moment is absolutely massive. Considering how easy it is to create your own podcast, there’s absolutely no reason not to have your own.
“But, Anthony, aren’t there like a gazillion other podcasts? Why would anybody listen to mine?”
First, even if nobody ever finds your podcast organically, it’s still good to have one because it’s an authority signal. You instantly become more credible in the minds of would-be investors if they stumble upon your podcast while vetting you.
Second, you’ll be surprised at how much traction you get from a podcast despite how saturated the market already seems.
Third, all new investors have the same questions. It’s powerful to have a resource you can point them towards where you’ve already dove deep into a topic rather than rehashing it one-on-one every single time.
That’s why we initially launched Multifamily Investing Made Simple. The first 15 or so episodes were solely geared towards educating the new passive investor.
3) Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)
If you aren’t on social media, you’re missing a treasure-trove of opportunity. The difficulty most people have are twofold. One, they struggle to post consistently and two, they struggle to post valuable content contextual to the platform they are utilizing.
Simply put, LinkedIn isn’t the place for cat-pictures and Instagram isn’t the place for long blog articles.
No one social platform is better than the others. They all have their unique strengths and weaknesses. As you begin building out your thought leadership platform, simply focus on one site.
Get really good at that one platform and post consistently (that means DAILY, if not more). It’s going to feel like your screaming into the void for a long time. It takes awhile to gain traction. The key is to be consistent and persistent.
5) Hosting Meetups
You want to build a reputation locally as an expert in what you do. The quickest and easiest way to do that is by starting a local meetup.
Go over to MeetUp.com, create a group, find a venue, and (if you’re not comfortable speaking yourself) find somebody to present on a topic. Mix in a little happy hour and networking and you have a recipe for success without putting in a ton of effort.
Why is this so effective?
Because the host of a party automatically becomes the coolest person in the room. Okay, maybe not the coolest person, but at minimum, you’ll be the person at the party everybody wants to meet.
Small, Daily Actions Win Big Battles
Okay, so these are all effective strategies for building out your thought leadership platform, and you might look at the list and feel slightly overwhelmed.
Start small, focus on one thing at a time, and take daily action. Remember, the key to building anything is to consistently show up everyday and add at least another brick.
Do that long enough and I guarantee you’ll have built yourself a pretty awesome platform to stand on.