Categories
Real Estate

Why You Should Be Thinking About Alternative Investments

All you see in the news nowadays are rising gas prices, inflation, and high interest rates. The stock market isn’t faring any better: Nasdaq 100 has shed more than 33% so far, while the much-vaunted cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has dropped more than 60% of its value.


In uncertain times, financial advisors often encourage investors to turn to low-risk, fixed-income investment options, such as CDs, money market funds, and high-yield savings accounts. They reason that these safe investments will preserve your assets as they provide positive returns. But do they?

Investing in the stock market and receiving a 60% loss is a no-no, so the financial advisors would rather you invest on a 10-year treasury yield, making 3.7%. While it may seem the investment is making you money, you have to consider that the annual inflation rate rose to 8.2% in September 2022. That means you are losing money (-4.5% annually).

While all investment options seem pointless at the moment, one criminally underutilized segment is viable during market downturns. Did you know you can make as much as 12% returns using alternative investing?

According to Prequin’s 2022 Global Alternatives Report, the alternatives AUM concluded at $13 trillion in 2021 and is projected to expand to 11.7% ($23 trillion) by 2026. This is a look at what alternative investing is all about.

What Are Alternative Investments?

Alternative investments have no basis on traditional financial products like stocks, bonds, or cash. Most alternative investments don’t receive as much regulation from the SEC and could be more illiquid.

Types of Alternative Investments

As more and more alternatives become available to retail or individual investors, it pays for investors to have a solid understanding of these options. The following are some examples of alternative investments:

1. Private Equity

Private equity is a term that describes investments in businesses not traded on a public market like the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

The goal of private equity firms is to generate returns for their investors by making strategic investments in private companies with the assumption that the value of those investments will increase by a certain time. You can further break private equity down into these categories:

  • Venture capital
  • Buyouts
  • Growth equity

These asset classes typically require long-term investments of substantial capital, so only institutions and wealthy individuals can participate.

2. Hedge Funds

A hedge fund is a type of pooled investment partnership that trades liquid assets using various investment strategies to generate a high rate of return for its investors. Entrepreneurs can invest in a wider variety of securities, as hedge funds are not subject to the same regulations as mutual funds.

Compared to other alternative investments, hedge funds are notable for their high liquidity ratio. Because they have a higher concentration of liquid securities, you can liquidate the funds in minutes. Due to the high costs and risks involved, only wealthy individuals and institutional investors, like pension funds, typically invest in hedge funds.

3. Structured Products

Structured products are a type of investment that involves pairing a debt instrument (such as a bond or CDs) with one or more derivative instruments tied to an underlying asset class or a collection of assets such as stocks, market indices, currencies, or interest rates.

Despite their complexity and potential for loss, structured products allow investors to create a uniquely tailored portfolio to their needs. Typically, investment banks produce them and offer them to institutional, corporate, and individual clients.

4. Private Debt

Private debt consists of loans from sources other than traditional banks. Businesses often use private debt for expansion, working capital increases, or real estate construction and development. 

Given the historically low returns on government bonds, direct lending to businesses can provide a sizable premium over the cash flows accessible from liquid fixed-income products. Private debt funds, the firms that provide the funding, make money through two main channels: interest payments and the eventual repayment of the loan.

A private debt fund may also focus on senior, junior, or mezzanine debt, among other strategies, such as direct lending, venture debt, and exceptional situations.

5. Real Estate

Many Americans already have a stake in this asset class because they are homeowners, making real estate the most viable alternative investment. Real estate investments can take the form of direct property ownership or indirect investments.

Properties like apartment buildings and shopping centers provide regular rental income to their owners, and they hope for price increases over time.

Investors who want a more hands-off approach might buy shares of private real estate investment trusts (REITs) through a broker. REITs that trade publicly do so through the stock market.

In addition to its diversification benefits, real estate offers investors a hedge against inflation and favorable tax advantages.

6. Commodities

Commodities are tradable items that have both direct and indirect economic uses. Examples of commonly traded commodities include gold, farm animals, precious metals, wool, oil, gas, wood, and uranium.

Given their relative immunity to fluctuations in the public equity market, investors often use commodities as a hedge against inflation. Commodity prices fluctuate based on supply and demand market forces; increased demand will lead to higher prices and greater returns for investors. You can invest in commodities in several ways, including:

  • Futures Contract
  • Stock
  • Physical commodities

7. Collectibles

When you invest in collectibles, you aim to generate a return on your money through long-term appreciation of the items you own. Some of the common types of collectibles include:

  • Books
  • Rare wine
  • Stamps
  • Antiques
  • Trading coins
  • Art
  • Coins
  • Baseball cards
  • Toys

To succeed in this alternative investment strategy, you need an extensive understanding of the sector and the patience to hold on to your investment for a long time. It is not easy to predict how much a work of art, or a collection will increase in value because both can decline in worth or get destroyed. 

Some collectors treat their collections as investments on par with their homes or cars, and their collections make up a significant portion of their net worth. Adding collectibles to a portfolio is a great way to diversify your investment base and spread your risk.

Final Word

Many investors are increasingly looking to alternative investments to diversify their portfolios, maximize their returns, and accomplish other financial objectives. That is why it is so important for investors to have a firm grasp of the options they have to adopt alternative investments into their portfolios successfully.

 

By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MB

Categories
Real Estate

How Real Estate Investors can Prepare for Turbulent Economic Future

Investing in the future is the smartest thing you can do now, considering the economy contracted for two consecutive quarters, the typical textbook definition of a recession. Although, the US is still not technically in a recession, as the National Bureau of Economic Research is the only body allowed to make that call (and they haven’t, yet…), the warning signs are there.

What can’t be ignored is that the economy is contracting while productivity is declining, so it’s best to prepare for the harsh economic days ahead. Because of the unpredictable economic behavior, this article will discuss how to invest in your future so you can ride through the hard times.

1. Create an Investment Plan

The first step to building a financially secure future is to create an investment plan. With such a volatile market, you need a guiding star to help you commit to the master plan and avoid panicked decisions. An investment plan lays down a strategy after gauging all the market variables. That way, you can recognize and weigh all the risks when investing, enabling you to fulfill all your obligations still. The plan should help you realize the best investment vehicles.

The key to creating a plan is to be realistic about what you can achieve. Note that creating an entire financial strategy for the future in one sitting isn’t going to work. Instead, break down each piece into smaller steps that are manageable and achievable. Once you’ve figured out the steps, write them down, so they’re easy to refer back to when needed.

2. Diversify your Investments

As is often said, never place all your eggs in one basket. Diversifying is an excellent way to get the most out of your money, even in the most troubling economic slumps. It means spreading the investments across different asset classes so that if one class tanks, another will likely thrive. Markets you can try your hand at include:

a) Invest in REITs

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a great way to invest in real estate without owning any property. They’re publicly traded on stock exchanges and often pay out dividends from their rental income. In a risk-off environment such as the current one, REITs are typically the oasis of hope, and it’s easy to see why. REITs offer relative inflation protection and high dividends but bear a low correlation to the stock market and have low transaction fees.

REITs are excellent investment vehicles for the long term, typically outperforming bonds and stocks in some periods. If anything, REIT’s average yield is over 3%, more than double what you would earn from S&P 500 stocks. What’s more, REITs are liquid, so you can get your cash as soon as the market opens.

b) Home Flipping 

You don’t have to own an entire rental property to reap the benefits of investing in properties. A neat trick to try is home flipping, which involves buying distressed properties at discounts, renovating them, and selling them for a profit.

c) Sandwich Lease

In this arrangement, you enter a rent-to-own agreement with a landlord, then lease it to a tenant. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to enter into real estate, as the tenant will allow you to purchase the property after several years.

3. Concentrate on Marketing

Investing in your marketing strategy is one of the best ways to create a sustainable business. Marketing will boost sales and build your reputation, increase your relevance and demand, and cements your place among customers, creating a loyal customer base.

One of the most potent forms of marketing is digital marketing. The main way of doing this is through search engine optimization (SEO) using keywords. You target a range of words potential clients use when searching for real estate properties for Google to drive traffic to your online sites.

Digital marketing could take many forms, such as email marketing, blogging—which 56% of marketers say is effective, and social media. Posting content on social media is exceptionally effective considering 82% of Americans use social platforms.

Whichever form of marketing you settle on, you should try videos. According to Wyzowl’s research, 86% of marketers said videos helped increase traffic and generate leads, while 81% said they directly helped increase sales.

4. Automate your Savings

Automating savings is a great way to ensure you always have money available for whatever comes up. The best part is you won’t even have to think about it as it works in the background.

It’s also a great way to start investing in the future. You can set up automated transfers from checking to savings and then start saving with every dollar. It’s easy, painless, and will save you money in the long run. 

To automate your savings, use an app like Acorns or Qapital. These apps allow you to set up automatic savings plans, plan, and invest without making withdrawals at specific times as traditional banks do.

5. Start Investing in Yourself

Another great way to prepare for the future is by investing in yourself. There are many ways to invest in yourself, such as:

  • Go to class: There are many courses available online or at local community colleges that can help you learn more about real estate and expand your knowledge in readiness for the future. Most of these courses have classes on various aspects of real estate, including how to market yourself, use social media, and manage your finances.
  • Subscribe to emails from industry leaders: By signing up for newsletters from real estate professionals or companies, you’ll stay up-to-date on changes in the industry and what you can do to adjust. 
  • Listen to niche podcasts: Podcasts are another great way to learn about topics related to your industry—not just real estate. There’s a ton of valuable information on marketing, management skills, and more. 

The Bottom Line – Invest in your Future, No One Else has More of an Incentive

Just because the economy is tanking doesn’t mean you must sink with it. Since business is low, now is the best time to invest in the future and realign your business so you can reap big when the market turns hot again.

Some of the best tactics you can employ include concentrating on marketing, investing in your knowledge, diversifying your investment portfolio, and automating your savings. Before you set out, you must create an investment master plan to guide you through turbulent times.


By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MBA

Categories
Real Estate

9 Things Help Investors Thrive During Real Estate Recessions

There is a concern among many investors in real estate about the possibility of a recession in light of recent economic uncertainties and how that will affect the real estate market.

In most economic downturns, people lose jobs, and mortgage rates typically go higher than most can afford, crippling their ability to purchase properties. But that doesn’t always spell doom for real estate, so here’s a look at how a real estate investor can survive, or even thrive, during a recession.

1. Branding and Marketing

The best way to survive a recession is to keep marketing your brand. It’s about building a brand that stands out from the crowd.

Branding isn’t just about getting customers to recognize your business; it’s about getting customers to keep coming back for more business as you have established yourself as a reputable brand. One of the best ways to achieve this is through positive marketing.

While most businesses would understandably cut down on marketing during an economic downturn, that’s the perfect time to rump up your marketing efforts, as it has healthy returns. For instance, the return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is $36 for every $1 spent. Here’s what you stand to benefit from good marketing and branding:

  • Gaining a larger audience
  • Increased cash flow
  • Help you take some of your competitors’ clients

2. Learn More About the Real Estate Market and the Recession

You need to have a working knowledge of the economy and how it will impact the real estate industry to stand a chance of surviving a recession. Get to know the causes of the recession and where the money is headed.

In a recession, not all economic sectors will slump; some might perform better than others. Use this knowledge to pivot your business to cater to those sectors that are doing better during the downturn.

Take the 2020 recession, for instance: while shopping in malls dipped by 70% and the office industry slumped due to work-from-home initiatives, the booming ecommerce industry led to a steep increase in demand for warehouses.

3. Invest in Technology

Investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool during a recession is one of the smartest moves you could make, as it has an average ROI of $8.71 for every dollar spent.

As a real estate brand, you can use CRM to track client information and make follow-ups. A sound CRM system should have features that enable you to access information about potential buyers and sellers easily and communicate with them using various channels. 

Similarly, you can use social media sites and real estate apps to showcase your listings and increase your reach.

Consider technologies such as virtual tours and virtual staging to cut down on costs of staging an open day and staging a listing.

4. Work on Customer Retention of your Current Clientele

Keeping your already existing clients should be a major priority. When you work hard to maintain good relationships with your clients, they’ll appreciate it and return the favor. That makes them feel special goes a long way toward building trust. Try some of these customer service strategies:

  • Maintain a customer feedback loop
  • Provide personalized customer service
  • Start a customer education program
  • Give offers and discounts
  • Provide incentives 

5. Grow your Network

Never underrate the power of networking, as it can help your business stay afloat during recessions. You can build relationships with friends and associates to expand your business’s reach and abilities.

A more extensive network will help in acquiring new business leads, which you can work towards closing to improve sales. Additionally, it will help you keep abreast of the latest trends in the market and identify best practices.

Further, networking will increase your connections and opportunities to explore new markets.

6. Cut Expenses

Tough times call for tough measures. Everyone has to make sacrifices to ensure the firm makes it through an economic downturn, which means cutting costs. Reducing expenses is a brilliant idea even in good times.

Lower your expenditure by eliminating items that don’t offer much to the business, such as a cable subscription in the office. Alternatively, realign your financial spending by reviewing your insurance providers to get a better deal, consolidating bank accounts, and avoiding unnecessary debt.

Improving efficiency will also help in cutting down costs as it minimizes wastage. Purchase the right tools, go paperless, and improve time and project management.

7. Stick to your Business Plan

Economic recession is part and parcel of every business cycle. You don’t need to panic and sell everything. Just stick to your original business plan with just a few adjustments. To stay focused on the big picture, make it a point to refer to your long-term objectives and plans regularly.

Moreover, set short-term weekly and monthly goals, and tweak where necessary as long as they tally with the master plan. You may need to restructure the business plan as recessions can be unpredictable.

8. Re-evaluate the Business

A recession is the perfect time to take a step back and take a long hard look at the business. Since there’s plenty of time on your hands, use the time to evaluate the company and find any weak points that need fixing.

Maybe business is low because you’re not marketing right, your pricing doesn’t make sense, or you don’t understand prospects. Go over your data, try to work where problems are, and implement potential solutions.

9. Create a Unique Value Proposition

Creating a unique value proposition is one of the best ways to thrive in any market. In real estate, this means differentiating yourself from the competition. That means providing something the others don’t offer. 

That could mean anything that offers extras to clients, like diversifying your business by partnering with a mortgage broker, so you offer mortgage provision services in-house.

Final Word

One of the key lessons to surviving a recession is never to stop marketing. That will help build your brand as well as bring in new business. Alternatively, create a unique value proposition, invest in technology, and grow your network to improve sales.

On the other hand, save money by cutting back on expenditure, sticking to the business plan, and retaining your current clients. It also helps to keep abreast of the current economic environment to find opportunities you had not considered before. 

Despite the macroeconomic headwinds of recession, your individual economic success could be amazing, as long  as you can navigate and anticipate this crisis.  What outwardly appears to be chaos may be an historic opportunity.

By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MBA

Categories
Real Estate

Real Estate Wealth Doesn’t Disappear; it Transfers

 

The economy is currently enduring a significant downturn, having recorded two consecutive quarters of a decline in the country’s GDP in July 2022 and also demonstrating a significant decline in productivity. The FED is purposely increasing the midterm interest rates to reduce historic inflation, it is not yet actually doing quantitative tightening per se, but is quelling economic by reducing consumer confidence. The FED is unlikely to recover until the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2023. For many, this is the textbook definition of a recession, and the signs are everywhere. There’s a bear market, consumer and small business confidence is in tatters, high inflation, and rising interest rates.

While the National Bureau of Economic Research refuses to call it a recession, many are feeling the heat, and the real estate industry is no exception. The Federal Reserve’s 20-year-high rate hikes have jacked up mortgage rates, putting the skid on a hot market. The last time consumer confidence in the housing market was this low (17%) was in 2011. The annual price appreciation rate dropped from 19.3% to 17.3%.

Two of the biggest real estate companies, Redfin and Compass, laid-off workers, with the Redfin CEO citing a 17% decline in expectations back in May 2022. Even REITs, traditionally investors’ safe haven, are taking a beating, with the S&P REIT index plunging 23% as of July 2022.

While the real estate industry may seem calamitous at the moment, it is often said that wealth, like energy, can’t be destroyed; it transfers. There’s a reason why real estate is touted as having produced 90% of the world’s millionaires. All you have to do is join the dots, follow the money trail, and you will be fine recession/downturn or not. Please keep reading to learn how to go about it.

How to Prepare for a Turbulent Real Estate Market

There is a lot of uncertainty in the markets, so real estate investors need to prepare for anything that comes their way. That means getting your house in order, including:

1. Reduce debt

The average American is $90,460 deep in debt, but that doesn’t mean you have to sink to such depths. Huge debts will dent your credit score, diminish cash reserves you can use to improve your quality of life, eat into your emergency fund, and obliterate your ability to save or invest. Settle debts with higher interest rates and keep away from them. It would be best if you only kept debts with more prolonged and lower interest rate payments. Similarly, only sign up for debt whose investment will yield higher returns.

2. Diversify your investments

If you’ve just started investing in real estate, it is essential to diversify your investments because not all real estate forms perform the same. It means having a mix of hard assets in different industries that will help you weather any storm that may come your way. For instance, don’t just invest exclusively in commercial office blocks. Try malls, single-family units, multifamily units, REITs, or others.

3. If you have the money, try a hedge fund

True, getting into and maintaining a hedge fund is costly, but it is one of the best vehicles during a downturn. Most hedge fund managers will employ different techniques such as derivatives, leveraging, and especially short selling, where you will make a profit if the value of an asset falls, which is perfect during an economic downturn.

4. Study about returns

Since the market dictates that we watch the pennies, you have to assess the return promised by each deal before making a decision. For instance, you must be smarter in evaluating whether to pay off debt or invest. For example, instead of increasing payments towards offsetting the mortgage, you would be better off investing that money elsewhere, especially if the returns are much higher than the inflation rate.

5. Take advantage of opportunities to sell your home

Median home prices hit a record high of 440,300 in July 2022, the Fed continues to jack up interest rates, leading to higher mortgage rates, and the supply of homes is still lower than expected. Now might be the perfect time to sell your home if you wish to make the most out of the market. Since there’s little supply, there’s little competition, but you have to act fast before the spiraling mortgage rates lock out all potential buyers.

6. Think long-term investment

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a good investment opportunity, but it’s essential to keep things in perspective. You could lose money if you lose your head and make an impulsive decision. Instead, take time to consider all options before making any moves.

7. Curb appeal

If you have a home that needs some work before it’s ready to sell, now is the time to get started. Although home repairs can be costly, they add value to the property.

HomeLight research suggests homes with good landscaping fetch between 5.5% and 12.7% more than poorly landscaped ones. There’s even an instance where a new $20,000 worth of curb appeal returned $200,000 more for a home they had bought a year earlier. It would help if you considered painting the walls in neutral colors, manicuring the lawn, and replacing old and broken stuff and appliances.

8. Build relationships with other realtors

You don’t always have to compete, especially in a low-supply environment. Instead, team up with other realtors to create a network of peers for the common good. That should improve your craft, get referrals, and serve your customers better as you exchange valuable input from each other and find the best deals for your clients.

9. Make use of technology

Instead of requiring clients to make a trip to view the property, you can provide virtual reality tours to help save some money. Additionally, you could use customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to keep track of listings and customers to ensure they get the best service.

There are plenty of real estate platforms and apps that make it easier to market listings to a broader audience. Some even utilize AI to match buyers to their most preferred listings, making it easier to find suitable homes.

Wrap up

Whenever there’s an economic downturn, you should note that wealth doesn’t disappear; it just transfers. It may not be transferring to another visible entity, but may be transferring in time, or it may be transferring in nominal currency (for example, the US$ is increasing in value compared to the Euro, and although US$ denominated Real Estate prices are declining, they are increasing against the Euro). Your job is to follow the trail to ensure you maintain a profitable real estate business.

Some ways you can achieve this include diversifying your real estate portfolio, reducing debt, trying other forms of investments such as hedge funds, making use of technology, and opting for investments that provide the best returns.

 

By Gurpreet Singh Padda, MD, MBA

Categories
Real Estate

Section 8 Multifamily Ownership to Build Wealth

The Section 8 Housing Program offers financial assistance to access low-cost housing, sometimes referred to as the housing choice voucher program. And is one of the most reliable real estate investment opportunities known so far.

Since the government takes care of a large chunk of rent payment, the section 8 multifamily subsidized housing program has a massive advantage over traditional rental contracts. We examine how a shrewd property owner can tap into the program and build wealth.

According to the latest figures, about 2.2 million households by low-income earners receive subsidized rent through the section 8 housing choice voucher program.

What is the Section 8 Program?

Under the program, the government pays a percentage of the tenant’s rent directly to section 8 landlords whose property is in the listing. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Management (HUD) funds the program by paying, on average, 70% of a section 8 tenant’s rent and utility bills. A family must typically earn under 50% of the median income in a given area to qualify for HUD Section 8 relief.

Section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership

Homeownership and maintenance under the program can involve financial support from the HUD. The owners can also access conditional government subsidies when renovating, building new homes, or putting up properties for a mortgage.

The homeowner must set aside units to house the low-income American population under the section 8 housing list.

Section 8 landlord application can be lengthy and costly, involving a lot of paperwork, a waiting period, and property inspection. It can take up to 5 months to get approval.

Multifamily homes are properties with up top units and still qualify as a single residence from lending standards. These can be townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, or apartments with up to four units. Five units and above are multifamily but usually require a commercial mortgage.

Most multifamily dwelling property owners rent them out to residents. They are great for generating a higher monthly rental income with lower maintenance costs, so you can rely on commercial property investment to build wealth over time.

Vouchers under the Section 8 Housing Program

Section 8 includes two types of vouchers for the tenants– The Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Project-Based Voucher. The Housing Choice Voucher program allows tenants to choose any unit within the section 8 program. The Project-Based Voucher ensures that the federal rental assistance stays within the selected housing unit and is often more profitable for the owner.

Advantages of Section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership

1. Easy Bank Financing

For real estate investors with a record of handling rental assets, the bank can use the projected rental income from the units to finance down payment programs for multifamily homeownership.

2. Certainty of Rental Income

Upon qualifying for the Section 8 program, the HUD agrees with the property owner on the expected rental income, per the Fair Market Rate. The landlord will receive monthly payments from the government, even when there’s a recession.

3. Occasionally Higher Rental Rates

As an incentive, the government often includes an annual 5 to 8% incremental increase on rent payments. The rate could translate to a better deal than what they would get from the open market.

4. Increased Occupancy Rate

Qualified and listed property multifamily homeowners get access to a vast pool of would-be tenants on the waiting list. The list can have 2 million or more Americans at any given time. That means minimal vacancy issues, reducing your marketing budget significantly.

5. Stability of Rental Income

The federal subsidies make multifamily homes in the Section 8 program suitable for long-term tenancy, as the tenants are likely to stay longer in the units.

Source: Morning Invest(Youtube Channel)

Building Wealth through section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership

Among several real estate investment opportunities one can look for investing in several multifamily homes as a remarkable way to achieve long-term cumulative wealth. Here are some tips to consider when investing in section 8 multifamily homeownership:

a) Choose and manage tenants wisely

While renting out the multifamily units under Section 8, you pay off your mortgage from the tenants’ rent. Hence, liabilities go down, while in almost every instance, the property’s value goes up.

In this case, there comes a time when the mortgage is zero, and the income is primarily profit. Therefore, you can obtain more multifamily property, which you can scale to millions of dollars in wealth.

b) Ready Investors

The multifamily concept is more investor-friendly as compared to single-family units. In this case, when you need financing, you bring the deal to the table while investors bring the money on board. Later, the profits get split as agreed.

c) House ‘hacking’

When you own a multifamily home, you can live in one of the units while renting out the rest. The tenants’ rent caters to your housing expenses, and you can save up over time.

d) Add more rooms

A sure-fire way to increase your rental income is to follow the BRRRR (buy, renovate, rent, refinance, repeat) strategy. Additionally, it would be best if you thought about increasing the number of rooms.

There’s a healthy market for multifamily homes with more than four bedrooms, but a chronic shortage for them:

For example, a single home will make you $150 in profit per month, but a duplex will rake in $300, while four-unit multifamily will fetch $600 within the same timeframe.

Bottom Line

Scaling up wealth from multifamily units has a longer time horizon, is not entirely problem-free but is assured, especially when listed in the Section 8 program, whereby there is the assurance of monthly government payments. It gets better over time as you can hire property managers from top commercial real estate investment companies that also offer a few tax benefits like 1031 exchange process to run it on your behalf, and you can adjust rental prices upwards after periodic renovations.

Categories
Real Estate

10 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Large Multifamily Property

Now is one of the best times to become a multifamily landlord because apartment vacancies and interest rates remain low compared to a few years back. Private equity investors can also access a pool of lucrative debt capital.

What’s more, the White House notes that there’s a thirst for decent housing coupled with a chronic undersupply, leading to skyrocketing housing prices, as seen in the table below:

Statistics show that investors should expect a 6% net increase in their income for the coming year. All this signals that multifamily properties are a lucrative investment ripe for purchasing.

Suppose you are new to Commercial Property Investment and do not understand why you should invest in multifamily property. In that case, these are the reasons why this kind of property must be a part of your investment portfolio.

1. Increased Cash Flow

A higher cash flow is one of the biggest reasons to invest in multifamily property. Such properties are always in demand by rookies and seasoned investors alike.

You can expect a high occupancy rate if your property is in a strategic location. With time, this leads to increased monthly revenue.

One way to ensure you rake in good profits is to invest in different geographical locations. Doing so allows you to have multiple income streams from the same type of investment.

2. Easy to Manage

Managing 12 units in one multifamily property is more manageable than 12 single-family units spread out across the city. With the former, you can manage it or hire a property manager instead.

It is impractical and costly to hire 12 managers to manage single-family units. On the other hand, hiring a manager for a multifamily property makes sense because of the number of tenants you are dealing with under one roof.

3. Enjoy Tax Breaks

A multifamily property makes you eligible to enjoy tax breaks as a reward from the government for providing housing for city residents. The kind of tax breaks you enjoy depends on the property classification.

That’s because you can write off expenses from taxable income. In short, you can deduct repair, maintenance, and management expenses from the taxable income produced by the multifamily property.

4. Lower Investment Risk

This is not to say that multifamily properties do not come with risks–they carry some risks like any other investment. The only difference is that the risks associated with this kind of property are lower than single-family units, as the table below illustrates:

One of the risks you may encounter is the vacancy rate. Because you are dealing with several tenants at a time, the possibility of 0% occupancy is slim to none.

Suppose you have a well-maintained property with fair rental rates. In that case, a low occupancy is something you will rarely worry about.

Also, ensure you research the property beforehand, choose a good location, and market it well. Doing this will guarantee you a high occupancy rate.

5. Short-Term Leases are Advantageous

Five years and more is the standard term for most commercial and retail leases. If the market changes, you are stuck with properties whose rent you cannot increase. With multifamily properties, the leases are shorter, typically lasting a year.

This means that you can raise rents quickly depending on market conditions and inflation. Shorter leases ensure your property stays lucrative in the long run.

6. Quickly Build an Investment Portfolio

If you want to delve into real estate full-time, this is one of the best ways to boost a portfolio quickly. Multifamily properties offer the chance to invest in multiple units without the hassle of managing several separate housing units.

Think about all the research, planning, permits, and cost it takes to invest in one property. Now multiply that by several units, and you know why a multifamily property is the best option.

Moreover, you’ll find it easier to purchase a multifamily property than buying a single-family unit.

7. Strong Rental Demand from Millennials

Data from the U.S Census Bureau shows that renting is the most common form of housing for millennials. Currently, the millennial generation is the largest in the U.S.

One reason why they find leasing a favourable option is the increasing cost of median home prices. This places homeownership out of reach for many. Also, millennials value flexibility and mobility over owning property.

Combined, all these reasons make millennials more likely to rent than own, spelling good news for multifamily property investors.

8. High Appreciation Rate/Value Retention

Multifamily properties continue to hold value even if you do not get immediate cash flow. The general rule for real estate is that it appreciates over time. With multifamily property, the appreciation rate is higher.

Sure, this is not set in stone. But the best way to ensure the property retains its value is to maintain and repair it often. Check for broken or damaged areas, mold, and more issues between tenants, and it will hold its value with time.

9. Better Financing Options

Data shows that multifamily investments have better funding terms overall than other real estate types. Understand that this investment type costs more initially, but it is easier to maintain than other property types.

Expect lower interest rates if you opt for a mortgage loan for a multifamily property. This is a relatively risk-free investment for first-time investors. Because of the high occupancy rates, financing institutes view multifamily properties as having lower risk.

10. Insurance Simplicity

Buying insurance for a multifamily property is relatively easy. Like financing, getting insurance is a simple process compared to other real estate types. Several factors affect how much a policy will cost.

However, the number of units in the building, amenities like a pool or rooftop terrace will raise the insurance cost. This is because tenants or visitors are more likely to injure themselves on the property. It would help if you also understood that insurance premiums for multifamily homes are rising.

Despite this, most insurance companies know how to cover multifamily properties in a way that favors you. Further, if you have several such properties, some insurance companies will grant you a “blanket” cover, insuring all the properties under one provider.

Final Word

Investing in a multifamily property is one of the best decisions you can make today. You can look forward to better cash flow, lowered risk, tax breaks, easier management, and a higher appreciation rate. Taking help of a property investment company can prove to be of greater help in terms of huge capital gains to fill up your pockets. Despite stiff competition and an initial high investment cost, a multifamily property is still an excellent investment opportunity.

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Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Investments: Understand the Risk and Reward

Commercial Real Estate Investments: Understand the Risk and Reward

Every seasoned commercial real estate investor knows that all investments are prone to risks. While real estate investing is not as risky as penny stocks, options, and futures, the sheer amounts involved mean that if things go belly up, you stand to lose a lot.

That’s why it pays to identify the kind of risks attached to each real estate investment vehicle before you ink a deal. Industry leaders created categorization labels to help investors identify the amount of risk each investment poses.

According to Tal Peri, head of U.S. East Coast and Latin America for Germany’s largest open-ended fund, Union Investment Real Estate, these labels help him focus on the losses spectrum that matches parameters for the fund he is deploying capital.

If you’re a new investor to the game, you might want to pay attention to the labels—they indicate under what category an investment falls. That might be the difference between scoring a great deal and losing money.

As usual, the higher the risk, the higher the investors’ returns. This article helps you understand the risk and returns involved in Commercial Real Estate Investments (CREIs).

Risk vs. Return

Before discussing the different categories of CREI’s, it’s first necessary to define what risk and return are and their relationship to each other in building an investment portfolio.
Risk refers to the possibility of financial loss or some other adverse outcome. It’s wise as an investor to put strategies in place to help you recognize and manage risk better.
Return is the amount of income or profit made on an investment. In real estate, returns usually come in rental income, property appreciation, beneficial tax treatment, or some combination of all three.

As mentioned above, the relationship between risk and return is the higher the risk an investment poses, the higher the potential profits. The reverse is also true.

Risk-Reward Categories for Commercial Real Estate Investments

There are four categories for real estate investment strategies as highlighted in the diagram. These contain the factors to consider when investing in real estate:

Strategy 1: Investing in Core Real Estate Assets

Many consider this a low risk real estate investment, and it rightfully takes its place near the low risk-low return spectrum.
Core real estate assets investment often consists of established high-rise office towers and apartment buildings. You will find them downtown in major cities like New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Tenants in this category have excellent credits and commit to long-term leases. As a result, investors are guaranteed reliable cash flow, making it a risk-free investment.
The characteristics of core investments are:

● The buildings are relatively new, efficient, and well-maintained.
● Bears attractive and functional design.
● Has top-quality building finishes.
● The property is in an accessible and highly desirable location.
● Relatively low degree of leverage since they might range from 0-50% of the asset’s value, but rarely higher.
● Properties are fully or mostly leased (close to 90% occupation).

Suppose your primary investment objective is to protect your assets from a decrease in purchasing power while at the same time securing long-term wealth for your family. In that case, this is the investment strategy for your needs.

Core investments have a low risk of principal loss and generally provide returns in the 4% to 8% range. However, that also means they have a low chance for significant price appreciation.
In addition, the major reward to such investments is that a slowdown in economic activities won’t affect them since their tenants are financially stable and unlikely to face unemployment.

Strategy 2: Investing in Core-Plus Real Estate Assets

Think of core-plus as those in the second place, a step higher than core assets, in the risk ladder. That means it’s slightly riskier but offers better returns.
There’s increased opportunity since investors can renovate the properties and, in turn, hike the rent. However, there may be a risk and opportunity since the property may be in the suburbs and not fully leased.
The characteristics of such projects are:

● Historic building rather than new construction.
● Building in relatively poor condition.
● It faces a dip in tenant credit.
● The property is in a not-so-great location.
● There’s a slender opportunity for price growth.

Annualized leveraged returns on these assets generally range from 10% – 14%.

Strategy 3: Investing in Value-Add Real Estate Assets

Value investments pose a mid-level risk since they generally have a problem that needs fixing.

Value-add real estate projects incur a higher level of risk alongside the greater potential for driving operating revenue growth and capital value appreciation.

The potential for rental growth in such assets could be discovered by:

● doing moderate renovations to attract higher-paying tenants
● higher rental rates in the immediate neighborhood
● brilliant business plan to reposition the anchor space/tenant
● adding additional square footage
● upgrading building systems
● improved finishes and installing new amenities
● changing of property managers

Remember, the goal is to give the property a refreshed look and, in turn, attract quality tenants who would afford higher rent rates.

Since you put in more effort to execute this business plan successfully, these investments typically provide leveraged returns between 15–19%.

Leverage with value-add: 65% – 85% of asset value/cost. Unleveraged returns on value-add assets are high enough to entice further use of leverage to enhance leveraged returns further.

Strategy 4: Investing in Opportunistic Real Estate Assets

It’s the riskiest investment strategy. Most of the projects in this category are new developments that you have to build from the ground up. In other instances, it necessitates a total turnaround.

These projects can include significant design, engineering, construction costs, legal fees to navigate repositioning and obtain entitlements, and brokerage fees to market and lease space or sell units.

In addition, the major downside to opportunistic real estate assets is that investors could go months or years before receiving any income.

However, opportunistic investments offer more than 20% in returns due to the value-addition renovations or new constructions to a vacant lot.

Conclusion

Investors need to understand the risk and return relationship when scrutinizing a potential real estate purchase. The level of the return should be proportional to the amount of risk taken.

If you’re a risk-taker, and investing in commercial real estate makes you tick, it’s advisable to implement these investment strategies labels.

According to real estate gurus like Tal Peri, you should actively mark all potential investments using the labels to alleviate risk. Thankfully, the label strategies real estate investment risk analysis doesn’t require experience, expertise, and full-time focus to accomplish.