Understanding a Real Estate Syndication Deal and How It Works


Syndications in real estate are a great opportunity for investors like yourself to invest in capital-intensive properties you otherwise couldn’t singly afford on your own. This way, you could realistically look forward to a much greater windfall on your investment.

If you’d get into a syndication though, it’s imperative you factor in the cumulative experience of the managing group before making your decision.

Stick on to learn all you need to know about real estate syndicates and how you can find real estate syndication deals.

What Is Syndication in Real Estate?

Fundamentally, a real estate syndication is a group investment. You could think of them as mutual funds for real estate. As an investor under a real estate syndication, you get to combine your resources with others to invest in larger properties you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford on your own.

We ought to point out that even though you might not take much of an active role in the syndicate, it’s still regarded as a “security” under US property laws necessitating its regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

How Is a Real Estate Syndication Deal Structured?

A syndication deal is typically composed of investors and syndicators. Usually, the dual factions establish a limited partnership with the syndicator serving as the sole active member and the investors being more passive and serving as limited partners.

At times, ownership is equally distributed among all contributing investors with the syndicator receiving a larger portion of the equity. Revenue generated from rentals and property sales are shared among the investors in proportion to their ownership percentage

It’s not unusual to find deal structures with clauses necessitating set returns for investors. However, the property return must hit a base mark before the syndicator receives their share. This guarantees some degree of security to the investors as it sets milestones for the syndicator to achieve before they get compensated.

Advantages of a Syndication Deal

Regardless of the role you play – be it as a syndicator or an investor – there are huge benefits to be gained as a partaker in syndication deals. Some pros are:

  • Cost-Effectiveness (for the Syndicator) 

Serving as the syndicator for any syndication deal guarantees that you would be able to profit from a real estate investment syndicate without risking any of your own capital.

  • Passive Investment

In typical real estate syndication deals, the actual responsibility of getting a suitable property to invest in and managing the property lies with the syndicator. As the investor, you need only put down your capital and watch it grow.

  • Greater ROI

Pooling your resources together with other investors guarantees that you can purchase larger properties with significantly larger ROI than you all could individually.

Cons of Real Estate Syndications

As you would ordinarily expect, there are some inherent downsides to investing with a syndicate. We urge that you review these before deciding whether or not to sign your contract papers.

  1. Demands a Great Deal of Knowledge and Experience

Syndicates are trickier to manage than the everyday sole proprietor ventures. A simple misstep could lead to tremendous project delays alongside reduced profits and higher management risks. As such, it’s vitally important that you invest alongside trusted partners as well as a versatile and knowledgeable syndicator.  

  1. Less Control Compared to Owning Individually 

As with any group project, it’s a bit difficult to have affairs sway your way especially when other investors do not share your view. This might be a bit of a hamper especially if you ever feel the syndicate is overlooking some opportunities you feel might be worth a look.

We hasten to point out that in spite of this, a syndicate affords you greater benefits you ordinarily wouldn’t enjoy as an individual owner. 

  1. Difficulty in Raising Adequate Set-up Funds

Most times it’s a bit difficult for syndicates to put up the requisite funds they need without exceeding their preferred number of investors. This usually implies a reduced percentage of ownership equity for individual members when this happens.

Tips for Entering a Real Estate Syndication Deal

If you currently want to find real estate syndication deals, best you keep the following tips in mind before deciding on any particular group: 

  • Decide on Which Role Best Suits You

You might fare better as a syndicate manager than an investor in the world of real estate syndicate investing. It’s up to you to examine your skillset, net worth and available assets to decide on which role you are best suited for.

  • Connect With Trustworthy Partners

If you intend to find real estate syndication deals, you need to be on the lookout for competent and trustworthy partners. They are an answered prayer when setting out as an investor. 

Before you all decide on a syndicator, make adequate research and select only the candidate with a reliable track record in property management.

  • Insert Protective Clauses In the Contract 

When you and the other investors decide to sign agreements as a bunch, a nice hack would be to insert clauses in the contract that look out for your collective interests.

  • Always Factor In Your Risk Level

Whether as a real estate investor or a syndicate manager, be cautious when deciding on what properties to invest in. Granted, your liability might be limited to the amount you invested but even at that, it’s only proper you decide on an investment only after doing due research.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of whether you are recently starting out on the real estate scene or you are something of a knowing old coaster, it’s imperative you keep up to speed with the pros and cons of syndications and likewise how they are structured. Doing this ensures you get to ask the syndicate the proper questions and assure yourself whether or not you are about to get involved with an experienced and capable group. 

It’s a no-brainer that you can only make significant gains on your investment with competent hands on deck.