Discovering the key to extraordinary returns in the real estate market is no easy feat. Join us as 2024 conference speaker Anthony Chara unveils the strategy behind achieving a 20% Cash on Cash Return (COCR). In this article, you'll learn the importance of building strong relationships with commercial brokers and how these connections can transform an average deal into a fantastic one. If you're determined to maximize your real estate investments, this is a must-read.
Article by Anthony Chara:
I often receive this question, especially during or just after a presentation where I illustrate an apartment complex with a 'cash on cash' return exceeding 20%. If you were to approach a Commercial Broker and inform them that you are seeking properties with a 20% COCR, they would likely respond in one of two ways: 1) They would express their interest in buying the property themselves if they ever came across one with a 20% COCR, or 2) They might dismiss your inquiry, assuming your expectations are unrealistic.
It is improbable that you will come across an apartment complex openly advertised with a 20% COCR. Just as the broker mentioned, if such an opportunity were to land in their lap, they would seize it. Nevertheless, you can enhance your chances of discovering remarkable deals by adopting a different approach.
To begin with, there are no well-guarded secrets to 'finding' apartment complexes available for sale. Start by employing the same methods that most investors utilize. For instance, you can explore listings on Loopnet.com or visit the websites of major or regional commercial brokerages such as Marcus & Millichap (MarcusMillichap.com), CB Richard Ellis (CBRE.com), or Sperry Van Ness (SVN.com), to name a few. Numerous other options are also available.
You can also examine local newspapers in the region that piques your interest. Keep in mind that not all newspapers are created equal; some may advertise commercial properties in the business section rather than the classifieds. Another overlooked source is the Wall Street Journal, which features both national and local properties available for sale.
Another approach to locate apartments for sale is to consult with Property Managers or Commercial Financiers operating in the area you intend to purchase. Often, they are acquainted with property owners seeking to acquire another property and consequently needing to sell their current one, or they may know someone who is preparing for retirement.
These are just a few of the sources I rely on; I provide more in-depth information during my workshops and boot camps. While the information presented above might set you on the path to discovering great apartment deals, the real key lies in the details below.
As I mentioned earlier, there are no major secrets to uncovering apartment complexes for sale. The pivotal factor is identifying a superb deal, and here's how I go about it. The first decision is selecting the market in which you wish to make a purchase. This decision can be based on various factors, such as economic indicators like job growth or a thriving local economy. It could also be a personal choice if it's a place you'd like to visit frequently.
The subsequent step involves reaching out to at least 3-4 reputable commercial brokers in your chosen market and establishing a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with one or two of them.
Here's my approach and how I utilize my research. Ideally, I aim to find a commercial broker who holds a CCIM designation. CCIM stands for Certified Commercial Investment Member, and most CCIMs indicate this designation in their online and print advertisements. CCIMs undergo extensive training in commercial property and must possess a proven track record of successful transactions or consultations demonstrating their extensive commercial knowledge. They also need to pass a comprehensive examination. I consider a CCIM equivalent to a PHD. Incidentally, you can also locate CCIMs at CCIM.com. It's estimated that only 6% of the roughly 125,000 commercial brokers in the market have a CCIM designation.
After identifying 5-6 brokers in your chosen market, with or without the CCIM designation, make contact with them to introduce yourself. Inquire about market conditions, recent sales in the area, and their personal experience as a commercial broker. It's astonishing how much information you can glean by asking the right questions, and you can also gauge whether you envision a long-term relationship with them.
Once you have a favorable impression of 3-4 of the brokers you've spoken with, share with them the criteria you are seeking in an apartment complex. Your criteria should encompass the number of units, unit mix, minimum Cap Rate, price range, the quality of the complex (A, B, or C), and the area within the city. You might also express your desire for the owner to provide some or all of the financing. Follow up your phone conversations by emailing or faxing your contact information and criteria to the brokers. Then, contact the brokers every 1-2 weeks by phone or email to maintain the connection. Since the brokers are well aware of your specific requirements, it becomes easier for them to locate properties that match your criteria. The brokers who present potential deals are those you should prioritize. Naturally, they receive their commission, but it's the additional gestures, such as sending them a restaurant gift card for a night out or offering tickets to a local sporting event or a bottle of wine, that make a difference. This way, you remain at the forefront of their minds whenever a promising deal crosses their desk.
You've probably heard of the term 'Pocket Listing,' but I aim to be a 'Pocket Client.' When the broker obtains a new listing, I want to be one of the first clients they reach out to, sometimes before disclosing the details to other brokers within their office. This is the key to finding exceptional deals.
If you think about it, everyone has access to the same sources for deals, but it's the individuals who have nurtured and cultivated their relationships with brokers who reap the greatest rewards. These relationships are pivotal in negotiations with the seller, particularly if you seek something beyond a conventional 20%-25% down payment. Your brokers will advocate on your behalf, explaining to the seller why it is financially advantageous for them to offer financing for a portion or the entirety of the purchase price, rather than selling the property outright.
Even in the commercial world, success hinges on relationships. Once you establish these connections, you significantly increase the chances of turning an average deal into a fantastic one. A 10% COC return can evolve into a 20% COC return, effectively doubling your cash flow. What is that worth to you?
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