We know the vital role passive investors play in real estate syndication. That’s why it is important that the relationship between sponsors and passive investors be truly valued – not only for the financial gains that those relationships bring but also for the meaningful human relations that develop and the ultimate impact they will have on our business. A genuine and sincere connection with our investors is what we want to achieve if we’re aiming for long-term success in syndication.
This was the topic of conversation in one of my podcast interviews featuring Alina Trigub, founder of SAMO Financial and investor relations head at TF Management Group. She talked about treating current and potential investors with mom-like qualities. These include giving unconditional attention, listening attentively, and allowing self-determination. Of equal importance is offering advice to help them arrive at decisions, and highlighting the importance of communication and transparency. I’d like to share some of Alina’s thoughts and ideas in this blog. You may listen to the full conversation here.
So what does caring look like?
Here are five ways you can show investors you care. Do these and you’ll make them feel good about your business:
#1 Give unconditional attention to your investors
“If you’re an attentive parent, you will know that what kids look for is that undivided attention when you talk to them. It’s the same when I’m talking to potential investors. I always give them unconditional attention. I listen attentively. I try to know what they’re looking for, learn their background, where they’re at in their career or their business, what their dreams and goals are,” explains Alina.
Being truly attentive means showing genuine care and concern, and keeping an open mind when we talk to potential investors. We avoid prejudice and jumping to conclusions. Our attitude toward a person does not depend on his or her circumstances. To give unconditional attention means taking someone in as they are, learning the individual’s background and personal sensitivities. It’s about listening to their thoughts and reactions so that you can understand what something means to them.
Alina says that some may think that these conversations are irrelevant to your business, but she reminds us that listening with empathy and understanding often leads to breakthroughs that will potentially become relevant. “It may be something about their background or an imagining of their overall long-term goal or how they perceive management and wealth preservation. I can tell you more about that person in a way that you didn’t expect to hear,” explains Alina, highlighting the value of being caring and open to everyone who comes your way and allowing yourself to embrace different possibilities and opportunities.
#2 Keep your promise
“If you make a promise, keep that promise,” says Alina. Essentially, do what you say you’ll do. “For instance, everyone knows that partnership returns were due March 15th and then personal returns are due on April 15th. Some of the partnerships were not able to complete their returns on March 15th. In that case, it’s highly recommended and important to try to complete the returns as soon as possible to give the investors a chance to complete their personal returns on time,” clarifies Alina.
Keeping promises holds a lot of emotional and social value in personal relationships and it can go a long way in business deals. You may get away with an unfulfilled promise once or twice but the consequences can be deep and enduring if you don’t keep your word regularly. When you break a promise, there is a decline in trust. Consistently honoring promises, no matter how small, will gain you a reputation for dependability, reliability, and trustworthiness. This, in turn, can help you to strengthen and deepen your relationship with investors, which is key to successful syndication.
#3 Keep Investors Informed and Be Transparent
“It’s important to keep investors informed promptly. If you promise to deliver the updates on a monthly or quarterly basis, stick to that. Always offer all of the updates on time and always be fully transparent about what’s going on with the business,” recommends Alina. She adds that it is critical that investors are informed immediately of serious matters concerning the properties they’re invested in.
“Let’s say we had heavy snow that caused some flooding in some units and the damages are significant. I would strongly encourage the deal sponsors to share the update with the investors right away. Not right that minute because they need to take care of the problem. Right after that, send a media recording or send an email or even call your investors personally explaining what happened and share the information about the damages that happened,” suggests Alina.
Investors value transparency from sponsors. Not hiding anything, whether good or bad, allows you to convey information with honesty, openness, and accountability. Transparent organizations don’t try to cover up things when things go wrong but rather are upfront from the get-go which has helped to retain clients and to foster meaningful relationships with them. Constant and transparent communication with investors will strengthen trust so that you will enjoy their support in good times and difficult ones. Your investors know that they can trust you because you will be transparent and upfront with them all along their investing journey.
#4 Spend Time With Investors
After initially signing up investors, comes nurturing and cultivating the relationship. This is crucial if you want to have investors that you can work with long-term and for subsequent projects.
“If they’re local investors, try to meet them for coffee or lunch. Talk to them, ask about their personal life if they’re willing to share. Ask what’s going on in their lives. Some women could be pregnant. Guys could be getting married. Certain things are going on in their lives so always ask. Be transparent about what’s going on in your life, too. It’s not one-way communication. It goes both ways,” suggests Alina.
Nurturing relationships with your investors is an ongoing process, and the subsequent returns are invaluable. Take the lead in arranging for meetings and do it in person if possible, as live face-to-face interactions will foster a strong relationship early on. Video calls, phone calls, or emails may substitute for in-person meetings, but don’t let the conveniences of technology be an excuse for forgoing a person-to-person meeting. Once you establish a healthy and strong connection, you’ll have a group of investors that will have your back for your next deals.
#5 Be Yourself But Try To Stand Out
“You don’t have to play a role. Be natural and be yourself,” advises Alina. She maintains that if you show your true self to the person on the other end, then they’ll treat you better since it’ll be easier for them to talk to you and easier to establish rapport. But how do you make yourself stand out among others? Give more than you take and continue to provide value, says Alina.
“I am offering value first as opposed to asking, “Do you want to invest with me?” I am trying to stand out from the crowd by offering value to the people and letting them determine whether they would like to work with me or someone else,” shares Alina.
The syndication business is a business founded on relationships. Sponsors, co-sponsors, passive investors, brokers, property managers, etc. exist because of mutually beneficial relationships formed with one another. Oftentimes, you have to invest your time, skill, or talent with no expectation of reward to gain access to those relationship doors. Be willing to give in order to show that you’re interested in an ongoing investor relationship, and continue to provide value here and there.
“I’m all about adding value and sharing what I know with others so they’ll be able to learn something new. If I can help them passively invest in real estate, that’s great. If not, there will be other opportunities for us to collaborate. It’s about sharing your strategy, your views, and giving back to the community, giving back to others,” says Alina emphasizing that if people feel that you provided value to them, they’ll be sure to do the same for you.
Well, our message here is simple. Everyone, including our investors, wants to feel valued and appreciated. We’ve listed some concrete ways you can do it but it’s the soft skills — acts of caring, showing empathy, attentive listening, and genuine concern — that matter most to the client experience.
Interested in passive investing? We’re here to help. Get started by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 540-585-4338 to see if LifeBridge Capital’s investments are a fit for you.