“Escrow closed! We own the property!… So, are we done?” Nope. There are things to do besides cashing those monthly fee checks. Your investors expect distributions and to know what is going on. Plus, you need to know what is going on to make sure you can do the next deal.
- Investor Communications
Congratulations, your syndication is now in orbit! It’s doing its job right now, which is generating cash or doing construction or just appreciating. So let’s talk about the next job that you’ve got. The number one complaint from investors is not hearing from their syndicators about what’s going on with their investment.
This is a shame. Investors have trusted their syndicator to make money for them. And many times that syndicator is making money for them! They’re doing a great job making money, but they never talk to their investors. Communicating with investors helps them feel like they’re part of the deal and part of building something great. And when it comes time to do another syndication, it could make the difference of whether or not an investor comes on board.
Here’s how to communicate with your investors on an ongoing basis. Every time that you make a distribution, send them an email. They’ll start associating each time you talk to them with making money!
Write exactly what the name of the investment is at the top, especially as over time these investors may own several different investments with you. If there’s an address, put that down too. If you’re making a reference to a year-to-date, mention that. And then the most important element from a relations point of view is a nice photograph of the building; include a different view of that same building for each period. Put dates that the picture was taken. This shows that you are on it, keeping your eyes on their investment.
Give some metrics about general performance, like the cash flow summary. This can include year-to-date gross, year-to-date pass throughs, year-to-date expenses, etc. That way they get a feel for exactly what’s going on on the property.
Then, write an occupancy summary, including current and projected. Talk about reserves, because that’s your investors’ money too. Mention the current dollar amount and then the prior quarter’s, so that they can see if it went up or down.
Explain any notable expenses coming up, any rent delinquencies, and then an investment overview. Include metrics on monthly net income as well as per share. Include the monthly distribution amount.
The last thing to include is a property update. This is a short narrative about everything that’s going on, where we’re doing great, and what’s coming up. This keeps the “why we bought it” answer in front of your investors and they’ll be glad they invested with you!
Finally, close it all off with “If you have any questions or for any reason would like to discuss any of these things with us, please give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to talk about any and all of it with you.”
You want to be very, very available to your investors because these are the people you’re also marketing to for your next investment. Take care of them. Communicate with them. If they feel like they’re being talked to and taken care of, they’re going to invest with you again.