Anyone out and about in public these days has probably noticed a change in his/her respective community. More homes are sporting for rent or for sale signs, restaurants are practically empty, and even malls and shopping centers are much for vacant than in more recent years. The economy is definitely in a pinch and we are all feeling it.
The real estate market is also experiencing many changes due to this economical recession. Investors are turning to more creative ways of financing than the traditional bank loan. One such method is syndication. A real estate syndicate is formed in order to create, sell, and operate a specific real estate investment. This type of union can be established in different ways. It may be in the form of a corporation or a limited partnership, the latter of the two being the most common. Whereas most syndicates are formed to purchase selected properties, others are set up without a specific property in mind. These types of partnerships are known as blind pools. They are primarily based on the trust and successful track record of the general partners.
A syndicate is basically a group of people, and in many cases, a group of firms that organize for a particular investment. A limited partnership is an inactive partner that only contributes money to an investment and liability of this inactive partner is limited to his/her investment. This limited partner has the advantages of not having to deal with landlord and management situations and tax shelter aspects, but is also not allowed the benefit of utilizing any tax loss on an investment.
Syndication gives the borrower several benefits on a variety of levels. It offers assistance in the obtaining of greater capital, and this can be done in a more efficient manner. Obtaining greater capital allows for higher quality investments to me made. A syndicated loan also allows an investor the insurance of project profitability due to more conservative debt loads. Investors are more capable of offering buildings with superior states of repair and doing so allows for the offering of space or property that with more competitive lease rates. The result of such competitive lease rates is lower vacancy rates even during such times of a recessive economy. By sharing the capital requirements and risks, the project indebtedness is much lower and the cash flow is more positive.
A limited partnership usually also incorporates a goal of dissolution within a specified time period. This is put in place so that investors will hopefully not only gain the return of their investment but also a capital gain. The drawback to this type of partnership is due to the fact that there is less of a market for limited partnerships. If a particular property must be sold, the interest might have to be discounted less than the value applicable to the interest if the partnership is dissolved.
After two or more individuals or firms have decided to move forward with syndication, a limited partnership, usually in the form of a private corporation is established. A formal agreement is then made. It is best if an attorney draws up the papers and outlines the guidelines of the agreement. It is vital that the terms of this partnership are both well understood and agreeable to any and all parties involved. The attorney can also offer information on any state regulations and securities laws governing syndicates. Once this agreement has been established, and the partners have agreed to the said terms, a company is formed and its bank account is funded for the purchase of capital protection.
As with any investment, a partnership offers both benefits and risks to an investor. There is always the possibility that the partnership will go sour. Problems with the investment, difficulties and disagreements among the partners should be also be factored into the equation.
In any case, the possibility of potential risk need not be a deterrent to any investor. Investors are offered protection through such organizations as the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA). This nonprofit organization is dedicated to the promotion and orderly development of a fair and efficient trading market. It provides for the more liquid and professional trading of corporate loans originated by commercial banks and other private lenders. The LSTA also encourages the cooperation and facilitation of just and equitable market policies and practices with firms in respect to loan transactions and related claims.
Whether an investor is financing for working capital, an expansion project, or a property acquisition, syndication offers an alternative method of financing. Syndications are an important tool for a variety of professional and institutional investors.