Go from Finding to Attracting Partners: Tips to Partnering to Buy Large Apartments Buildings
Updated: May 11
You can have everything you want in life if you’ll just help enough people get what they want. -Zig Ziglar
In my last two articles, I discussed starting smaller to eventually go big and how to right-size your first deal. This article follows in suit and helps navigate the partnership piece that's essential to building a thriving apartment investing business.
I’ve read dozens of articles about finding the perfect business partner and I’m sure you’ve all heard the advice they give:
Find someone with a shared vision
Look for someone with complementary skills
Find someone you can trust
Look for shared values
…and the list goes on.
While I believe that’s all good advice, wouldn’t it be better if potential partners came to you?
Additionally, the conventional advice given in all these articles misses a crucial crucial piece in finding a business partner, which is the other half of the partnership: YOU.
I want to shift the narrative from “finding” partners to “ATTRACTING” partners, and do that, you have to become someone that others WANT to partner with. You should aim to be like the magnet that draws objects toward you. You want people to raise their hands and say: “Pick Me!”
I give you a two-step process that will enable you to pick and choose those with whom you’ll partner and never be lacking. You should continually improve your own abilities and seek to add value to others.
Process for Attracting Partners
Improve your Abilities
We all want to find extremely talented people with complementary skills and a shared vision. To do so, we need a skill set (or two or three) that such a person would desire in their partner. We can and should consistently work to develop our abilities as apartment investors no matter what. Let me suggest a few skills that are very valuable in this business along with some tips on taking value to the next level:
Finding Investment Opportunities
A large part of finding good investment opportunities is building relationships with brokers - we all know that. What’s truly valuable to potential partners is to have a steady stream of deals coming across your desk, and to do this you have to be organized and responsive. When a broker sends you a potential opportunity, you need a system to be able track the opportunity and ensure that you’ve made an appropriate response to the broker in a timely manner, whether it’s a few follow-on questions or submitting an LOI.
Analyzing Prospective Deals
This is one of the most crucial steps in the process - you have to KNOW when you see a good deal. Analyzing deals means you need to be thorough with your research and realistic with your projections, but one thing that is often overlooked, you also need to be FAST. You can’t let deals die on the vine because it took you a week to open the email and another week to finish your analysis. Creating a system for analyzing will speed up the process and keeping track of previous deals you’ve analyzed will allow you to save time when doing research.
Raising Private Equity
It’s one thing to be likable and have a lot of friends, but that’s often not enough to bring serious dollars to the table. Once again, you should strive to systematize your capital raising so you can bring a steady stream of capital for multiple deals. Build a list of potential investors, start a drip campaign, and get organized so you don’t let any investor fall through the cracks. Personally, I use ActiveCampaign to manage my contact list and email marketing and it’s amazing (check it out here for more info: https://www.activecampaign.com/ ). I also teach a course in raising private capital for real estate in my Tribe of Titans community - click here to preview for free for 30 days.
Admittedly, this is the least useful skill before you actually have a deal under contract, but once you do, it’s vital. Both due diligence and asset management need a strong project manager, so if you have related experience in management, keep your skills sharp and research what it takes to apply your skills to apartment investing.
Strong Personal Finances
In addition to the above skills, your net worth and liquidity can go a long way. You’ll be a much more attractive partner if you can pay the earnest money deposit, contribute significantly to the team’s net worth, provide post-close liquidity, or invest in the deal.
Seek to Add Value
“Adding value” is a term that is probably overused, so I’ll define exactly what I mean in this context. Adding value is contributing an asset or skill set to a team or individual that increases their ability to act or reduces the friction in doing so.
When seeking to add value, you should focus your efforts on people and in places where you’re most likely to find what you’re looking for.
Participate in Forums and Groups
There is a well-known rule of thumb in internet forums called the 90/9/1 rule. It means 90 percent of people on forums will lurk and rarely add anything of value; 9 percent of people will contribute periodically; 1 percent will account for a disproportionate amount of the content.
Find groups of multifamily investors and do everything you can to add value to the group - become part of the 10% and strive to be the 1%. If you’re consistently adding value, people will start noticing you. Over time as you improve your ability and add value, your stock will rise and partnership opportunities will present themselves.
If you’re looking for another group to join that is hyper-focused on apartment investing, I’ve created one that’s pretty awesome - it’s called the Tribe of Titans. If you’re interested in learning more, reply to this email to set up a call or click this link to preview free for 30 days (it’s only $40/month after that): The Tribe of Titans
Attend Networking Events
“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity”. -Keith Ferrazzi
Networking events are a great place to meet new people - I mean, that’s their purpose. They’re also a good way to learn how you can add value to others. For example, when you meet someone new, after getting to know them a bit, you can ask them about their needs and pain points. At first, their answers will give you an idea of where you can fit into this industry. As you improve your abilities and meet more people, eventually you’ll find someone to whom you can add significant value.
Work for Free
If you find an experienced investor that you want to potentially work with in the future, offer to work for free. For example, if you ask them about their pain points and they mention that they get so many deals that they can’t even underwrite them all, you could offer to help out for free, no strings attached. By working for free, you will learn and gain experience, but you’ll also increase your chances at potential partnership.
Last thing, depending on where you’re starting, it may take months or even years to find a partner or a team that you can work with. Don’t stop. One note I’ll make, it’s much easier for an aspiring apartment investor to link up with others that are also looking for their first deal than it is to find experienced partners. Turns out, you will need to have someone experienced on your team to qualify for most loans.
My next article will discuss how to become attractive to experienced investors.