Real Estate Syndication: Breaking Down The Basics With Camilla Jeffs
Syndication in real estate basically involves a group of investors who team up to be able to buy bigger assets. Have you ever noticed those rich houses by the street? You start to think to yourself, "who's the millionaire who bought this?" Chances are the buyer of that house isn't a millionaire at all, but a team of syndicators. Learn the process and life cycle of apartment syndication with Camilla Jeffs, the founder and CEO of Steady Streams Investments. Travis Murphy brings Camilla to the nest to tell us more about the process of multifamily syndication. Believe it or not, it's not as complex as it sounds.
Listen to the podcast here:
Real Estate Syndication: Breaking Down The Basics With Camilla Jeffs
Our guest is going to be Camilla Jeffs with SteadyStreamInvestments.com. She's going to talk to us about real estate syndication. She gives us a great breakdown of what it takes to put together a large commercial investment opportunity or investment. If you're interested in syndications or being on the other side of that with regards to passive investing into syndications, this is an interview you're going to want to read. Before we get into that, I want to remind everyone to please hit the subscribe button. If you haven’t done so already, go leave us a review and rating on Apple Podcasts. It does help us out. It takes ten seconds to go down, give us a five-star review and leave us a quick note.
Follow us on all of our social media, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and we can be found at The Invest Nest. We have a Facebook group page that can be found at Facebook.com/groups/TheInvestNest. Check out TheInvestNest.com. It’s an online community for real estate investors to connect and network. It’s free. There are a lot of new features in the works and I do apologize about the delays, but we want to make sure we get them right and we are getting close. Stay tuned for updates on the launch of the new Invest Nest website. If you prefer to watch these interviews, you can also find us on YouTube and you can watch the full interview by searching The Invest Nest. It’s time to get started with the show.
It’s time to welcome our invest guest, Camilla Jeffs with Steady Stream Investments. She is going to talk to us a little bit about what she does with real estate investing, which I believe is mostly syndications and JV deals. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram @SteadyStreamInvestments or LinkedIn at Camilla Jeffs. Check out her website, SteadyStreamInvestments.com. Camilla, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Travis. I'm so happy to be here.
I’m glad to finally connect with you. We do some circling back to one another but here we are making it happen. I appreciate you taking the time out to join us. How’s everything going so far? Is 2021 off to a good start for you?
It’s off to a fantastic start. I’m very happy about 2021 and how things are going. It’s been very good.
I’m glad to hear. It can’t be worse than 2020. I hope so. Before we go strolling down syndication lane, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and describe to our readers what you do with real estate investing?
I’m in multifamily syndications. Syndication is a fancy word for group investment. I put together groups of people to buy bigger assets. If we think about you’re strolling down the city and you see the apartment complex, I'm sure you’ve wondered, “Some rich guy must own this apartment complex,” but it’s normal people like me and you who grouped together and then we buy it together. That’s what’s super cool about what I do now because I get to affect and impact a lot of people’s lives in real estate rather than simply my own and the one tenant in a single-family, which was what I did before. I love multifamily because of that. I’m one of the general partners in a real estate syndication. In this group investment, you’ll have people that have the money and experience. We bring all of those together to purchase a property at the same time and it’s super cool.
The next time I’m strolling down the street and I look up at a building, I can think to myself, “That’s rich Camilla that owns that building.” That’s why I wanted to have you here to talk to us a little bit more about syndications. In the real estate investing community, everybody talks about house hacking, BRRR-ing, flipping and small multifamilies. It seems almost like there's graduation into the big boy league with the syndication of the large commercial investments. Before we get into your backstory and how you got into all this, can you take that explanation of a syndication a step further and tell our readers what a real estate investment syndication means, and what that structure looks like more or less?
There are two types of partners. There are the ones who are the experts. Think of them as experts in real estate. They've been doing real estate for a long time. They know how to do all the financial analysis and how to manage properties. They know how to interview, negotiate, find properties and get them closed and later sell them in the end. Think about all that work that goes into a property. If you've done your own real estate investing before, you know it's a ton of work that you put into it. The other piece to it is the money. All of those people who are doing the work are called the general partners and they receive a certain percentage of syndication.
Syndication isn't too scary. It's just two sides, the general partners and the passive investors, working together.
You then bring on what we call passive investors or limited partners. You can call them either thing. As a passive investor, you are simply putting your money into the project. You don’t have to put in the time and the work. You don’t have to swing the hammer or take the calls at 2:00 AM from the tenants. You don’t have to hug a toilet. You don’t have to do any of that stuff. I like to compare it to investing in the stock market. In the stock market, you put your money in and if you have a mutual fund or a financial advisor, they manage it for you. It’s hands-off. You don’t have to worry about it. It’s the same thing in a multifamily acquisition. You can take your money.
Instead of putting it in the stock market, you can put the money into a large multifamily investment and you get a lot better returns than you do in the stock market and you can do it that way. Everybody comes together. The passive investors put their money in and if you think about the structure and the splits, the splits often favor that passive investor because they’re putting in the money. We want to make sure that our passive investors are taken care of. One of my specialties is the investor relations part and making sure that our passive investors receive all the communication, all the information and we preserve their capital. As we think about the splits, there are different splits for every deal but sometimes it will be 70/30. That’s 70% goes to passive investors and 30% to general partners or sometimes it’s 80/20.We tweak the numbers to make sure passive investors are getting a great return. That's important to us because otherwise, why would you put your money into a real estate investment if you're not getting a great return? We want to make sure passive investors get that fantastic return, plus all the tax benefits of owning real estate, which is huge. If you need some help with taxes because even though you invest in multifamily syndication as a passive investor, it's a pass-through tax benefit. It's going to come right back to you. Often those paper losses will offset any income plus sum. You get cashflow, tax benefits and you get to participate in the appreciation. When it sells at the end, you will get 70% of the proceeds.
There was a lot there and I think what happens with people is they get a little bit scared off by syndication. We think it's like the big leagues and it's this big complex monster. As you explained, there are two sides to it. You're either the person like the sponsor or the general partner who's more or less putting the deal together. You're out there finding the deals, running the numbers, pulling all the pieces together, putting them in place, and then the other side of that coin is the passive investor. That's the person or maybe somebody who is a high net worth individual or has excess capital that they want to diversify from the stock market with. They want to put some in real estate, but they don’t want to go out and do all the stuff that we talk about on our shows and we read in the books about becoming a real estate investor. They want to park their money and reap the rewards. I don't mean to get off track here but we also often hear real estate investing in passive income in the same sentence, but a lot of us investors out here, unless we're putting money into syndication, it's not truly passive. There is a lot of work that goes into it. You can call it semi-passive, but the way those syndications work, it is a vehicle for truly passive investing for those out there that want to put their money into real estate.
You listed a few of the benefits that come along with that. You also mentioned the capital preservation of your partners. There’s a final step to that too, where it's a return of capital to investors. Can you take us through the life cycle of syndication? What does it look like when it starts? How does it start? What does the process of acquisition look like? Once it's under ownership, the management, which I assume comes from the general partner side, and then the disposition or when you're ready to return that capital to your passive investors either in the form of selling or refinancing. Can you walk us through that scenario of what a real estate syndication looks like?
It starts out with the general partners. The active real estate investors or the pros who are out there spend a lot of time trying to find the best property. I’ll give you an example. This property that my team is working on closing is 100 units in the Oklahoma area. We have evaluated over 100 different properties to get one. It takes a lot of effort and time to be able to find one that makes sense for our investors. Remember, our number one goal here is to have a great return for our investors. It has to pencil out. This market right now is pretty intense. The competition is intense even in the multifamily space as the market heats up. We are being patient and making sure that we're going to get a good deal. It’s tons of effort and work upfront. Once the deal gets under contract, we go through similar due diligence, just like you do with the single-family home where you go, you walk around, you check it and you have an inspection done and you make sure you can get insurance on it and you get lending and all of that. We do all of that work. Once we know that the property is viable and it’s going to be a great deal, then we prepare a package. It’s called an Offering Memorandum. It’s a presentation to send out to passive investors to see who would like to have the opportunity to invest in this deal. Once we send that out, then as a passive investor, you would take a peek at it.
You would look at all the numbers, look at the market, look at the data that’s sent out. It’s extensive. It’s 25 to 30 pages usually of here’s all the information about the market, the deal, the data that you would need to know. We hold a webinar and we invite all passive investors to come to the webinar to ask their questions and to hear from the general partnership team. One of the critical things in investing is knowing who the partners are and trusting those partners because it’s not a small chunk of money that you’re putting into these commercial investments. Your typical minimums are between $50,000 to $100,000. You want to make sure you take your time to vet that sponsor team and make sure they know what they’re doing.
After the webinar, then we’ll open up the opportunity to investors. Depending on the deal, this one deal was filled up in three days. We had all of the money committed in three days because it was such a great opportunity and our investors were ready and excited to participate. From that point, we close the deal. The lending comes in and the appraisal comes in, similar to a single-family transaction. We signed the docs, send out a notification to investors like, “We closed. We’re excited. Here’s the business plan. Here’s our plan to make this property from good to great.” We then start executing the plan. Sometimes the plan looks like renovating all the units and after you renovate the units, you can typically raise the rent because tenants are more than happy to pay for a nicer place.
Sometimes the plan includes reducing the expenses. Maybe the expenses are astronomical in this property or maybe there’s poor property management. Sometimes the plan is to put better property management. We look at how we can increase revenue and how we can decrease expenses because, at the end of the day, that property's value is based on what we call Net Operating Income, which is simply whatever rent and income that comes in minus all the expenses. There's a multiplier depending on what market you're in because the Oklahoma market is cheaper than California, for example. The same thing happens in multifamily and single-family as far as markets are concerned. Throughout the deal, multifamily deals typically last around five years, depending on what the sponsor team decides to do with it.
Five years is a pretty good time. It gives us time to complete the business plan so if there are renovations to be done, we’re not going to do 100 units all at once because then we have zero revenue. We’ll do them in five units chunks that will take around two years to get the renovations complete, get all the expenses down. We give it another three years to appreciate and let rents naturally increase. We always say approximately five years because if in five years, it’s a terrible market, we’re not going to sell because then our investors would not get a good return. We will wait and be patient and make sure we have the right loan on the property that we’re not in trouble that we have to sell at year five. We'll put long-term debt on it. When the time comes to sell, then we will put the property up for sale and negotiate with a new buyer. When the buyer says, “I want it,” then we sell the property and at that point, your initial capital is returned to you promptly. A couple of months later, after all the books are closed and expenses come in and everything, you’ll receive is your profits. Sometimes in the middle of that, around year three, we could do a cash-out refinance, the BRRRR method where you get your capital or a portion of your capital returned back to you. This is where the real power of multifamily syndication comes in because if you can get something like that to happen, now you have that capital that you can redeploy in another syndication. You’re doubling up on your investment. That’s super powerful. All along the way, you’re getting a tax document. You’re getting cash distributions, which could be monthly or quarterly, and then yearly, you’re getting your tax documents showing your paper losses. The property won’t go into mega losses but on paper, it will show a loss for you.
Syndication is like the BRRRR and redistributing the capital but on steroids.
This is why I love syndications because there's so much creativity behind them and there are so many different ways to do it like the BRRRR and redistributing the capital but like that on steroids. I could spend all day talking to you about this stuff. Instead of going in and doing a BRRRR and improving the value when we talk about the ARV or the After Repair Value, and then going back to the bank, refi and getting your capital back so you can go do it and holding onto the investment. It’s similar to that concept but just multiplied by a large number of people, which allows you to go take on a much larger investment. You mentioned taking on a property and either raising the rents or increasing the income or minimizing the expenses or ideally both to improve that NOI. What that is the same process of somebody buying a rundown property and fixing it up to realize the improved value in multifamily. It’s called forced appreciation.
I could get into a lot of fun stuff with metrics, but I don’t want to bore all of our readers. You’re talking about the NOI and then calculate or what you use to extrapolate that out to get the value of the property is what we call the cap rate. If you think about it, if you buy a property at whatever the cap rate is, let’s say 7% and it’s based on the net operating of the property at that time, that’s going to give you the purchase price. If you increase the rents and decrease the expenses, you now have improved your Net Operating Income or your NOI. If you use that same cap rate, which is like what we would use an appraisal for in residential because that’s the established thing that is the going rate in that market. You now can take that same cap rate that you purchased the property for, but the property is worth that much more because of the improvement to the NOI. That's where the forced appreciation comes into play and what's so great about syndication because, at that point, there are not too many outside factors.
Commercial real estate is mostly based on finances. It's not what that apartment down the street is sold for like it is in residential. You have a lot more control over the investment not only from a creativity standpoint but also from an execution standpoint. That can be safer in a lot of regards. Once you get to that point, if you have executed and delivered, then you have the options to either refi and distribute capital back or as much of the capital back to your partners to go make additional investments or sell and reap the gain right then and there. You have those options typically around that five-year point. Is that because a lot of the commercial loans are with a five-year arm and the rate’s going to reset after that point or is five years usually what is needed to improve the property and realize that forced appreciation?
Typically, we like to say five years because that gives us enough time to realize that appreciation and for things to grow and for the market to mature a little bit. That’s why we say five years but there’s been many that sell within 2 or 3 years. It depends on how the market goes and the business plan, but we like to set the expectation of five years in case we need for it to go that long in order to realize the right things.
That’s the thing on the general member side. You have control over it, so you make the decision. If you picked up a bunch of appreciation that looks like you can cash in, it’s up to the general partners to make that decision. In this syndication, is there a fiduciary responsibility to your passive investors to make sure you’re doing what’s in the best interest of them and their money before yourselves?
Absolutely. We build that into our numbers. I haven’t even talked about what we call a preferred return. We typically offer our passive investors a preferred return, which means you’ll get money before any of the general partners get anything. That first and sometimes it’s typically between 6% to 8% of profit right off the top go straight to passive investors. General partners will get nothing unless we’ve achieved higher than that as the return potential.
It's almost like an operating expense of the property. This is where I could spend a ton of time with you on because setting it up and structuring, that's where it also starts to get a lot more complex. You start talking about promotes and waterfalls and things like that. You correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic concept of it or the simple version is once the asset is performing and you’ve got the tenants and then you’re improving the rents and so on and so forth, the money comes in. All of the operating expenses and the cost of owning that property get taken care of first. What’s left-over is what you would call profit or net operating income or whatever.
That then gets split up in the syndication agreement. You can set that up if you want to put the advantage into the passive investors’ court where before it gets split up based on equity splits, they're going to ensure they're getting a return first before it then gets split up amongst all the equity partners. As a follow-up, I would have assumed that there are capital reserves that get met first. All the business operational expenses get paid first, then you make sure all your reserve accounts are filled to the limit. I guess that's where that waterfall comes into place. Everything that’s left-over spills over into the next pond, which if you do have preferred returns, gets distributed out to the passive investors then to the last pond. That’s where the last distribution would occur of equity splits out to people either monthly or quarterly. Is that how it works?
Yeah, that’s very similar and what you described is a very conservative approach, which is what we do. When you talk about the reserves, if you bought a rental property on your own and you use all your money to buy it and renovate it, and then you put a tenant in it. Now you got your one tenant who paid you $1,000 and all of a sudden, the garage broke. You have to replace a garage door. You have no money to do that. Now you’re at risk. You’re putting your investment at risk. We try to reduce the risk as much as possible. Number one to us is don’t ever lose money. If you’ve heard Warren Buffett, he says, “Number one rule, don’t ever lose money. Number two rule, refer to number one.” That’s super important, don’t lose money. We always have a buffer in our accounts and we do have a threshold for that buffer to make sure that if anything goes wrong, we can cover it without having to say, “Sorry, investors. You don’t get anything or investors, we need more money. Can you guys please give us more money because we have this big problem?”
As much as humanly possible, because we don’t have a crystal ball, we try to think about what could happen in the future and make sure there are enough reserves around to keep the property. You’ll have to reduce the risk on the property. For me, a multifamily investment, although it’s a multimillion-dollar asset, it feels less risky than a single-family property just by nature of the revenue and expenses. If someone moves out of my single-family home, my revenue drops to zero, nothing. If someone moves out of my 100-unit or even ten people move out of my 100-unit, my revenue does not take a significant hit. There’s that safety in numbers.
That comes back to where you have almost more control over a larger syndication deal. The biggest difference between what a lot of smaller investors do is that in commercial investing and syndication, you have some control over the appreciation component of the equation. Regular investors or small multifamily, three units or somebody that's investing in single-families. They can run the numbers and plug everything in to make sure their acquisition cost, holding cost and their operating costs are all covered by the cashflow. If they want, they can even take it a step further and factor in what you're going to get with the principal paid down and look at what you’re going to be saving on taxes.
The one thing that you can't account for is the appreciation of regular residential investing. We can assume and we can put a 2% appreciation rate in or something like that. It might be less than six months but we all of a sudden, get a big kick of appreciation but you can’t control any of that stuff. As opposed to the larger investments or commercial investing or syndication, back to the net operating income and the cap rate, you do have control of that. The value of the investment is based on the revenue and the expenses or the income of the property. That’s what you have control over. If you improve the revenue and the net operating income, then you’re improving the value. You can pencil it out in much more detail.
The thing that’s cool about it is now when you’re looking at an investment, you analyze 100 deals before you land on one. You pencil all this stuff out and you model it out. Some deals look better than others, some have a better opportunity than others, but you can take it a step further and adjust how that deal is structured to make it a better return or a more appealing return to your passive investors. What I mean by that is you can adjust those equity splits. If you're only giving up 70% to your investors, their rate of return on their investment is going to be lower than if you give up a higher percentage of equity. You can make that deal look better and more appealing to your investors by giving up more equity and making those types of adjustments. At the end of the day, it is allowing you as the general members and the sponsors of the deal and putting it together to get into it and take down another property and add to your portfolio.
It's like this big engine that keeps going and I love it, but it's not easy though. It sounds simple in concept, I don't want to go on and on now, but I've talked in the past about my partners and me, how we attempted to get into mid-sized multifamily. We sold a bunch of our rental properties, all to one investor and we were going to 1031 exchange. We were looking for a 20 or 30-unit. It was going to be our first stab at it. We had already been looking and we were ready to pull the trigger. As soon as we had our money in the 1031 intermediary, the market was dry and competitive. We're previously looking at all these opportunities out there, analyzing them and seeing all these great returns. All of a sudden, when you do start penciling it out and it's in this competitive landscape, people are paying uber with the list price is and the list price is already high. When you're measuring, it's compressing the cap rate because everything's based on the cap rate. The higher the purchase price, the lower the cap rate is. At the end of the day, it made it very difficult. We had all these pieces in place and it's what we wanted to do and we were ready to do it, but it doesn't mean it's going to happen. That's where the hard work and the experience come into play. For people that want to try to do what you're doing, what would you say to them, not necessarily a recommendation but how to go about getting into this type of stuff? What do you think they should know about it before they begin?
My first piece of advice is to always invest passively yourself first. That's what I did. I invested passively into multifamily syndication, so I could learn while my money was making more money. I wanted to learn from experienced people about how to do that. I also knew that it was important for me to understand the journey of a passive investor so I could speak to them much more easily. I was there in your shoes, making that decision and trying to figure out what do I need to know to do this. I was feeling terrified the first time I was going to transfer that $50,000 to someone and be like, "I hope this goes well." The emotional journey that happens as a passive investor, especially your first time, is real. That's what I like to focus on first-time passive investors and helping them. The second step for me to get to where I am now was to change my mindset around partnerships. Prior to this, I’ve been an investor for many years. All of it has been on my own with my family and I had never explored partnering with another person to be able to buy something bigger. I had never bought anything big. The biggest I had gone up until this point was a fourplex. I had done lots of single-families and fourplexes. I was thinking about how to scale and scaling means partnering with other people. It’s figuring out who you can partner with, not necessarily the how. As I was thinking about this, I’ve got to change my mindset around that. I got to be okay and comfortable with partnering.
I always think about like in school and you get a group project and I hated group projects because I knew I would be the one doing all the work. These other kids would be like, “Camilla’s on my team. I don’t have to do anything,” because grades were important to me. I thought this is crazy because now I have to trust other partners and then I also have to be a reliable partner and make sure I don’t let anybody else down. Whereas before, it was on my own. Partnering and networking are crucial. The next step in there is to figure out which part of the partnership are you good at? What’s your superpower? What can you bring to the team? If you talk to people and be like, “I want to do multifamily,” my very first question to you would be, “What can you add to our team? Where do you fit?” I think about it in four different jobs. You have the acquisition specialist. This is the person that loves to talk to brokers. They’re out there pounding the doors and talking to brokers, doing the negotiations, figuring out the lending. Once their property is under contract, getting it to close. That’s your acquisition specialist. You have your underwriter. An underwriter is simply a financial analyst, someone who loves spreadsheets. You love to get into spreadsheets and play with them and manipulate them and you’re okay doing that 100 times before you get paid. That’s the underwriter.
When investing, rule number 1 is don't ever lose money. Rule number 2, refer to rule number 1.
The third is your capital raiser/investor relations person. This is the person who can go out and talk to people and bring money to a deal. You can't get a deal without money. You can't buy it without money and we're talking a significant amount. The last raise we did was $2.5 million. We’ve got to go out and we’ve got to help investors feel comfortable with the opportunity and get them involved in the deal. After the deal closes, we're communicating with them and making sure that they are on the journey with us and they have full transparency into what’s happening in the deal. The fourth job is your asset manager. This is the person who knows how to manage the property manager. Now we have always put professional property management into our properties because they’re 100 units so they’re onsite property managers, but the asset manager needs to execute the business plan. They develop and execute the business plan, manage the property, address challenges as they come up and keep things going smoothly for the partnership.If you think about those four roles, which one would you naturally gravitate toward and which hole could you fill? Once you’ve understood yourself, for me, it was capital raiser and investor relations. That was my wheelhouse because I’m an educator at heart. I love to educate people and help them understand it thoroughly before they invest and so that’s where I fell in. Now I have to find someone who is an acquisition specialist. I got to find out a great underwriter and I’ve got to find a good asset manager. At the same time, I need to know enough to be dangerous in all of those too. I’m not coming in as a blind partner and can only do one thing, one-trick pony. My suggestion is to start understanding the roles, start learning the lingo, listen to podcasts and try to figure out where you would land and how you could contribute to putting together a big deal like this.
That was a great breakdown of what it looks like from the team's perspective. That helps draw clear lines for somebody that gets excited about syndications and wants to attempt to put together the roles that are needed and what has to take place. Even the asset manager, people automatically start to think of the property manager, but you said, “No, the property manager manages just that. They’re managing the property.” The asset manager is managing the asset or the business plan and the execution behind it, and delivering all that you laid out at the outset and trying to get those returns back to your passive investors. One thing I would add to that is if you don’t find that you fit any of those roles, maybe you belong on the other side.
If you have some money, you need to throw some money into the pot, but the thing that’s great about partnerships, sometimes we have a hard time. We think we’re giving something up by partnering, but no, even on a small deal. I want to use the example of the syndication since we’re talking about it. It’s about leveraging each other. You and your team have the expertise, the experience, the knowledge and the ability to do these investments. Other people don't have the time to even attempt to learn that or even want to, but they might have money. By joining and leveraging one another, everyone's able to reap the rewards. We didn't even get into leverage and debt some of the benefits. We talked about how these can be less risky and almost to an extent, I don’t want to use the word easy because they’re not, but they’re more clearly defined.
That applies to lending as well. There's non-recourse agency debt out there that's set up for these types of investments. If you meet the criteria, you're pretty much going to get funded. That goes back to taking another example of partners and how you can leverage different aspects of the members, whether it’s their net worth or their existing portfolio or what have you. It allows you to go and put these packages together and finance them and then repeat the process. Unfortunately, we’re not going to have time to get into all of that, but this has been a great breakdown of a syndication deal. You’ve done an excellent job of explaining it. Before I let you go, it is time for our segment, advice from our invest guests. I ask the same three questions of our guests each episode and I’m going to start with question number one. What is one thing you can recommend to anyone out there reading this episode that has not started investing in real estate yet that they could do to help get them on the way?
One thing I would recommend is to find a meetup and start attending right away because you’ve got to get to know what other people are doing. The more you can be inspired by other people’s stories and talk to them and ask questions. I found the real estate investor community to be amazingly helpful and it's something that I made a mistake in my investing journey. In my first fifteen years of investing, I was all alone and I didn't talk to anybody about it. I thought I was the only woman doing it in the US and I've come to learn that that’s simply not true. I have found thousands of other women like me who are investing in real estate and that’s because I chose to step out. I stepped outside of myself and started attending these meetups. Even if you’ve never invested before or you haven't gotten one property, go to the meetups. The people there are so happy to help newbies. I am. If you have never invested before and you're interested in multifamily, I would love to talk to you and help you understand the benefits and what you need to know but start going to meetups.
I think with the power of social media, our community has grown, The Invest Nest community. It’s so large and people are out there. They love to talk, they love to help. People like to talk about themselves and what they’re doing, so don’t feel intimidated to reach out to people. I guarantee you, if you haven’t explored social media or The Invest Nest, there’s a large conversation going on about real estate investing, every aspect of it at all times. Go get involved if you have not yet already and I always recommend to go find a local meetup group as well. That way, you can start getting some contacts and get into the networks within your own market. Question number two, looking back, is there one thing you might do differently along your investing journey if you were to go back and start over again?
I would partner earlier because I spent fifteen years, and I don’t want to say that it was wasted years because they’ve taught me a lot of things and I’m very happy with the pace and sequence of my investing career. I think had I partnered earlier or at least started exploring partnerships, then I could have been further along than I am right now.
I hear get started earlier a lot as the answer to that question, but partnering earlier, that’s a good one because if you’re looking to scale and grow, partnerships are key. I have to agree with you there. Question number three, do you have a book recommendation for our readers that would like to learn more about syndications and all the things you’re talking about here?
I feel like I’m singing the same song, but I’m going to recommend the book, Who Not How. If you think about that, even asking yourself that question like, “I’d like to buy a twenty-unit,” don’t think about, "How do I buy it." Think about who can help you buy it. If you keep that perspective in mind, you will be able to scale faster with that partnership, so that’s a great book to help you in your investment journey.
I have not read that, but I’ve heard others recommend that book, so I’ll have to check it out. Great recommendation. Camilla, this has been a ton of fun. For our nesters out there that are reading and want to learn more about you and more about syndications in general, how can they reach out to you and find out more about this style of investing?
I’ve created a course on my website and you can grab it right there on the front page, SteadyStreamInvestments.com. It’s called Passive Investing Made Easy. It’s videos that I come in. They drip into your email. It has a full ten-year plan in it where if you invest passively for ten years and you do one investment per year for ten years, what would that look like? Where would you be in ten years? I’m not going to give it away, but I promise that it’ll blow your mind where you could be in ten years. That course is on there, Passive Investing Made Easy. I’m happy to share that with anyone. It’s free and you can find it there.
Is that your free masterclass that I saw on the website?
Before you start in syndication, start investing passively yourself first.
Everybody, go check it out, SteadyStreamInvestments.com. Camilla has a free masterclass on there. I did want to touch on 1 or 2 things before I let you go. How many units are you up to? It doesn’t have to be exact, but what range are you up to?
About 250 units as an active investor and 100 as a passive investor.
You said you were working on one now that was around 100 units?
Where about in the process are you guys?
We’re closing in a few weeks so we're very excited.
Good luck with that and maybe down the road, once you guys acquire and start executing the game plan, maybe we can get you back on and give us an update.
That would be perfect. I’d love to.
Camilla, this has been a lot of fun. I do appreciate you joining us here on the show and talking to us about real estate syndications. It’s been a pleasure. I wish you the best of luck in 2021 and beyond. Hopefully, we get to have you back sometime.
Thanks, Travis. I appreciate it.
I also want to thank all of our readers. I hope you all enjoyed that interview with Camilla as much as I did. That was a ton of information on syndications, which I am a big fan of. I have not done one yet, but I’ve done a lot of research on them. If you haven’t and that stuff interests you, I suggest you go check out Camilla. She’s got a lot of great information and free resources. I also want to thank you all for joining me. As always, we have our show every Wednesday morning with a weekly invest guest that talks to us about their investing journey and their investing style. If you don't want to miss out on any of our upcoming shows, be sure to hit the subscribe button and check us out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @TheInvestNest. Don't forget about TheInvestNest.com.
- Apple Podcasts – The Invest Nest
- Instagram – The Invest Nest
- Facebook – The Invest Nest
- Twitter – The Invest Nest
- YouTube – The Invest Nest
- Facebook – Camilla Jeffs
- @SteadyStreamInvestments – Instagram
- Who Not How
About Camilla Jeffs
As a busy HR tech professional and Mom of 5, I find great joy in supporting and guiding others' dreams, goals, and ambitions.
I partner with leaders to provide coaching, training, team building, strategic vision, and organizational design all in the tech space. My specialty is building tech cultures within companies looking to digitally transform.
I also educate other busy professionals how to invest in real estate to secure their financial future. With 18 years of experience in a diverse array of real estate, I am uniquely positioned to coach and guide you to scale and diversify your investments.