How To Start A Real Estate Syndication: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to start a real estate syndication step by step with this comprehensive guide. Understand what real estate syndication is, why it's advantageous, and get insights into market research, legal structures, team building, and more. Maximize your chances of success in real estate syndication.

Leading an investment in real estate can be a lucrative venture, but it often requires substantial capital. Real estate syndication offers a solution by allowing you to pool capital from multiple investors who can invest passively in your deal or properties collectively. 

If you're interested in learning how to start a real estate syndication, you're in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to launch your real estate syndication successfully.

What is Real Estate Syndication?

Real estate syndication is a method of financing and investing in real estate properties, where a group of investors collaborates to purchase and manage the property. 

Typically, one or more individuals, known as syndicators, take the lead in identifying investment opportunities, structuring the deal, and overseeing the property's management.

The appeal of real estate syndication lies in its ability to provide investors with access to larger and potentially more profitable real estate projects than they could undertake on their own. 

Why Start a Real Estate Syndication?

Before we delve into the steps to start a real estate syndication, it's essential to understand why you might consider this investment strategy. Here are some compelling reasons:

  • Access to Larger Deals: Real estate syndication enables you to participate in significant real estate transactions that would typically be beyond your financial capacity as an individual investor.
  • Risk Mitigation: By pooling resources with other investors, you can spread the risk associated with real estate investments. If one project underperforms, it may have a less significant impact on your overall portfolio.
  • Diversification: Syndication allows you to diversify your real estate investments across various properties and locations, reducing exposure to a single market or asset.
  • Expertise Sharing: You can leverage the expertise of experienced syndicators and team members, improving the chances of success.

Investors are looking for syndicators and operators that are simply rinsing and repeating their model and just need more capital to do the same thing, so positioning your firm with a repeatable playbook is key to attracting more and more capital over time.

10 Steps to Start a Real Estate Syndication

Now that you understand the advantages, let's explore the step-by-step process of starting a real estate syndication.

Step 1: Market Research

Before diving into real estate syndication, conduct thorough market research. This involves identifying promising real estate opportunities in your chosen market. Here's what you should do:

  • Determine your market: Real estate is a local game and it's important to know your target markets inside out. It's important to also learn and understand local zoning laws, building codes, and other regulations that may affect your investment.
  • Property Selection: Determine the product type (industrial, self-storage, multifamily, office etc.) and the property class (A, B, C, or D) that you want to invest in.
  • Competitor Analysis: Research your competition, including other syndicators and investors in your target market.

By conducting comprehensive market research, you'll be better equipped to make informed investment decisions before bringing on external capital.

Step 2: Determine your Strategy

Choosing the right strategy is a pivotal decision in real estate syndication. 

Different strategies offer varying levels of risk and return potential.

Real Estate Syndication Strategy

1. Buy and Flip: Lowest Risk

Buy and Flip is a strategy where the primary goal is to acquire properties, make quick improvements, and sell them for a profit within a relatively short period. This strategy is often considered the lowest risk because it involves a shorter investment horizon and less exposure to market fluctuations.

  • Short-Term Investment: Buy and flip typically involves holding the property for a short duration, often less than one year.
  • Profit Through Renovation: Investors aim to increase the property's value through renovations and improvements.
  • Lower Holding Costs: Since the holding period is shorter, there are fewer carrying costs such as property taxes and maintenance expenses.

However, it's important to note that while buy and flip offers a relatively low-risk profile, the potential returns may also be limited compared to longer-term strategies.

2. Buy and Hold: Good Strategy, Hard to Make Millions

Buy and Hold is a long-term strategy where the goal is to acquire income-generating properties and retain ownership over an extended period. While this strategy has potential to provide steady income and long-term wealth accumulation, it's important to manage expectations.

  • Long-Term Wealth: Buy and hold is favored for its ability to generate consistent rental income and build substantial equity over time.
  • Passive Income: Investors can benefit from regular rental income, which can provide financial stability and a source of passive cash flow.
  • Property Appreciation: Over time, properties may appreciate in value, allowing investors to build wealth through both income and equity growth.

While buy and hold can be a reliable strategy, it's essential to understand that it may take years, if not decades, to accumulate significant wealth. Making millions in a short time frame is challenging with this strategy, but it can be a stable and profitable approach.

3. Buy and Reposition: Highest Risk and Return

Buy and Reposition is a strategy that involves acquiring properties in need of significant improvements or repositioning and then adding value through redevelopment or renovations. This strategy carries the highest potential for both risk and return.

  • Value Enhancement: The goal is to substantially increase a property's value through strategic improvements and repositioning.
  • Higher Risk: Properties in need of major renovations or in declining areas can be riskier investments.
  • Potential for High Returns: Successful repositioning can lead to substantial profit upon resale or increased rental income.

Investors pursuing the buy and reposition strategy should have a high tolerance for risk and a strong understanding of property redevelopment. This strategy can offer substantial returns, but it requires careful planning and execution.

Selecting the appropriate strategy for your real estate syndication project depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and market conditions. It's important to conduct a thorough analysis of each strategy's pros and cons and align them with your syndication's objectives.

Step 3: Legal Structure

Once you have the market and strategy in place, you’ll be better positioned to finalize the legal structure of your real estate syndication. 

Common options include Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and Limited Partnerships (LPs). Each structure has its pros and cons, so consult with legal professionals to determine the most suitable option for your syndication.

  • LLC: An LLC offers liability protection and flexibility in management. Members (investors) are protected from personal liability, and the management structure can be tailored to suit your needs.
  • LP: An LP consists of general partners (syndicators) and limited partners (investors). General partners have management authority but bear more liability, while limited partners have limited liability but less control.

Your choice of legal structure will impact how you raise capital, allocate profits, and manage the syndication.

Step 4: Team Building

Building the right team is essential for the success of your real estate syndication. It’s a team sport and you’ll need lots of players in different aspects to successfully grow your business.

Real Estate Broker

A real estate broker is a vital part of your team when it comes to sourcing and acquiring properties. They have in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and can help you find the best investment opportunities. The broker's role includes:

  • Identifying potential properties that align with your investment criteria.
  • Negotiating purchase terms with sellers to secure favorable deals.
  • Providing market insights and trends to inform your investment decisions.
  • Assisting in due diligence by coordinating property inspections and assessments.

Property Management Team

A competent property management team is essential for the ongoing operations of your real estate investment. They are responsible for ensuring the property is well-maintained, tenants are satisfied, and rental income flows smoothly. The property management team's responsibilities include:

  • Tenant leasing and screening, ensuring that suitable tenants are selected.
  • Rent collection and handling lease agreements.
  • Routine property maintenance and repairs to preserve asset value.
  • Handling tenant concerns and inquiries.
  • Preparing financial reports for investors.
  • Enforcing compliance with local regulations and lease agreements.

Bankers and Lenders

Bankers and lenders are critical for securing financing for your real estate syndication projects. They can provide both debt and equity financing options, and their role includes:

  • Assessing your financing needs and offering suitable loan products.
  • Conducting financial due diligence on the project.
  • Determining the terms and conditions of loans, such as interest rates and repayment schedules.
  • Facilitating the loan application and approval process.


A real estate attorney is essential for navigating the legal complexities of real estate syndication. They play a pivotal role in structuring your syndication entity and ensuring regulatory compliance. The attorney's responsibilities include:

  • Structuring the legal entity for the syndication (e.g., LLC, LP).
  • Drafting and reviewing legal agreements, including operating agreements and subscription agreements.
  • Ensuring compliance with federal and state securities laws.
  • Providing guidance on property acquisition and disposition.


An appraiser assesses the value of the property, which is crucial for determining its market worth and securing financing. The appraiser's role includes:

  • Conducting a thorough appraisal of the property to determine its current market value.
  • Providing a detailed appraisal report that can be used for loan applications and investor communication.
  • Ensuring that the property's value aligns with the investment strategy.

Property Inspector

A property inspector assesses the condition of the property to identify any potential issues or necessary repairs. Their role includes:

  • Conducting a comprehensive inspection of the property's physical condition, including structural, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
  • Providing a detailed inspection report highlighting any deficiencies or maintenance requirements.
  • Assisting in negotiating purchase terms based on the inspection findings.

Insurance Agent

An insurance agent helps you secure the appropriate insurance coverage for your real estate investment. Their role includes:

  • Assessing the property's insurance needs, including property and liability coverage.
  • Providing insurance quotes and options for your consideration.
  • Ensuring that you have the necessary insurance coverage in place to protect your investment and mitigate risks.

Building a well-rounded team with these key members will significantly enhance the success and efficiency of your real estate syndication projects. Collaborating with professionals who specialize in their respective areas ensures that you're well-equipped to navigate the complexities of real estate investment and provide a secure and profitable opportunity for your investors.

Step 5: Identify and secure the property

Before securing financing for your real estate syndication, it's crucial to secure the property itself. This involves a series of steps to ensure you're acquiring the right asset at the right terms.

Real Estate Syndication Process

1. Analyze the Deals

Begin by thoroughly analyzing potential real estate deals. Assess various properties based on criteria such as location, type, size, and potential for income generation. Evaluate market conditions, competition, and long-term growth prospects.

2. Create the Letter of Intent (LOI)

Once you've identified a promising property, create a Letter of Intent (LOI). This document outlines your intention to purchase the property and includes key terms and conditions of the deal, such as the purchase price, financing contingencies, and the proposed closing timeline.

3. Negotiate the Deal

Engage in negotiations with the property seller. Be prepared to discuss and refine the terms outlined in the LOI. Negotiate aspects such as purchase price, earnest money deposit, seller concessions, and any conditions precedent to closing.

4. Create and Sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA)

Once negotiations are complete, create the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) and have both parties sign it. The PSA is a legally binding contract that formalizes the terms of the deal. Ensure that the PSA provides an adequate timeline for the due diligence process and closing.

It's common to request a 45-day due diligence period to thoroughly assess the property and secure financing. Additionally, request a 45-day closing period to allow sufficient time for financing arrangements.

5. Do Your Due Diligence

The due diligence period is critical for evaluating the property's condition and financial viability. During this phase, conduct a comprehensive assessment that includes:

  • Financial Statements: Review the property's financial statements, including income, expenses, and historical performance. Ensure these align with your investment assumptions.
  • Engage Engineers and Inspectors: Hire professionals, such as engineers and property inspectors, to assess the physical condition of the property. This includes structural integrity, systems (e.g., HVAC, plumbing, electrical), and any needed repairs or upgrades.

Thorough due diligence helps you identify any potential issues, verify the property's financial health, and assess the feasibility of your investment strategy.

Securing the property through these steps positions you to move forward confidently with financing arrangements for your real estate syndication project.

Step 6: Formulate the Business Plan

In real estate syndication, creating value is at the heart of your investment strategy. A property's Net Operating Income (NOI) is a crucial factor in determining its value. Here, we'll explore why NOI should be your number one focus and three key ways to improve it:

NOI: The Key Driver of Valuation

Net Operating Income (NOI) is a fundamental metric in real estate investment. It represents the property's income after deducting operating expenses but before accounting for financing costs, taxes, or capital expenditures. NOI is a vital component in the valuation of income-producing properties.

Why is NOI so important?

  • Valuation: The value of a property is often directly tied to its NOI. In general, the higher the NOI, the greater the property's value.
  • Investor Returns: NOI plays a significant role in determining the potential returns for investors, including cash flow and overall profitability.
  • Financing: Lenders often consider NOI when assessing the property's ability to generate income and cover debt service.

Three Ways to Improve NOI

1. Increase Quantity of NOI

One way to enhance NOI is by increasing the quantity of income generated by the property. Here are strategies to achieve this:

  • Rent Increases: Regularly review market rents and implement rent increases when justified by market conditions.
  • Occupancy Optimization: Minimize vacancies by maintaining a robust marketing and tenant retention strategy.
  • Additional Revenue Streams: Explore opportunities for additional income, such as parking fees, laundry facilities, or vending services.
2. Increase Quality of NOI

Improving the quality of NOI involves enhancing the revenue generated by the property. Here's how to achieve this:

  • Property Upgrades: Invest in property upgrades and improvements that justify higher rental rates or attract higher-paying tenants.
  • Value-Add Amenities: Consider adding amenities that can command premium rents, such as fitness centers, co-working spaces, or upgraded appliances.
  • Tenant Quality: Target higher-quality tenants with better credit profiles, reducing the risk of payment defaults.
3. Increase Durability of NOI

Increasing the durability of NOI means ensuring that income remains consistent and predictable over the long term. Strategies for achieving this include:

  • Lease Structuring: Implement lease structures that provide stability, such as long-term leases or lease escalations tied to inflation.
  • Diversification: Diversify your tenant base to reduce reliance on a single tenant or industry, reducing the risk of income disruption.
  • Maintenance and Preservation: Regularly maintain the property to extend its useful life and reduce unexpected repair costs.

It's important to note that older properties can still be lucrative investments, but they may require more extensive due diligence, renovation efforts, and careful consideration of their potential risks and rewards.

By focusing on NOI and considering the three ways to improve it, as well as strategically evaluating newer properties, you can maximize the value of your real estate syndication investments and enhance the potential returns for both you and your investors.

Step 7: Organize the Debt Financing

One of the best parties about real estate is it being a tangible asset with many lending options assuming an appropriate strategy.

Securing debt financing is a critical step in starting a real estate syndication. To present your project effectively to lenders and investors, you'll need to prepare a comprehensive loan package. This package should include the following key components:

1. Resume

Include a detailed resume that highlights your experience and qualifications in real estate investment and syndication. Emphasize any relevant education, certifications, past successes, and leadership roles within your syndication team.

2. Description of Deal

Provide a clear and concise description of the investment opportunity. Outline the property type, location, size, and any unique features or advantages that make the deal attractive. Highlight the potential for income generation and value appreciation.

3. Key Dates

Outline the important dates related to the project, including the acquisition date, renovation or development timelines, and projected exit strategy. Clear timelines demonstrate your commitment and planning.

4. Business Plan

A well-structured business plan is essential. It should detail your investment strategy, market analysis, target audience, and competitive positioning. Explain how you intend to create value and achieve the desired return on investment. Include contingency plans for potential challenges.

5. Financials

Provide a comprehensive financial analysis that includes projected income statements, cash flow projections, and a breakdown of expected expenses. Offer a clear picture of the property's financial performance over time, including anticipated rent growth and expense control.

6. Rent Roll

Include a rent roll that provides an overview of current and expected rental income. This document should list all tenants, their lease terms, and rental rates. Highlight any lease expirations, vacancies, or opportunities for rent increases.

A well-prepared loan package demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to lenders and investors. It helps build confidence in your syndication project and increases the likelihood of securing the necessary financing to move your real estate syndication forward.

Step 8: Equity Financing and Capital Raising

Raising capital is a pivotal step in starting a real estate syndication. Here's how to do it effectively:

  • Create an Investment Proposal: Develop a compelling investment proposal that outlines the project, financial projections, and expected returns.
  • Networking: Build relationships with potential investors through networking events, real estate forums, and industry conferences.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Comply with securities laws and regulations when soliciting investments. Consider working with a securities attorney to ensure legal compliance.
  • Capital Structure: Determine how much equity and debt capital you need for the project and outline the terms of investment.
  • Due Diligence: Provide potential investors with comprehensive due diligence documents, including property appraisals, inspection reports, and financial statements.

Effective capital raising requires transparency, trust, and a persuasive pitch that highlights the potential returns and benefits for investors.

Step 9: Management and Operations

Once you've acquired the property, effective management and operations are key to realizing the investment's potential. Here's what you should do:

  • Property Management: Oversee day-to-day operations, including tenant leasing, rent collection, and maintenance.
  • Financial Management: Maintain detailed financial records and budgets, ensuring that expenses are controlled, and profits are maximized.
  • Regular Reporting: Keep investors informed through regular reports on property performance, financial statements, and distributions.
  • Risk Mitigation: Implement strategies to mitigate risks, such as property insurance and contingency plans.

Effective management not only preserves the property's value but also ensures that investors receive their expected returns.

Step 10: Investor Relations and Reporting

Finally, maintaining strong investor relations is essential for long-term success. 

Here's how to do it:

  • Transparency: Be transparent and open in your communication with investors. Share both positive and negative updates.
  • Regular Updates: Provide regular reports on property performance, financial results, and any changes to the investment strategy.
  • Address Concerns: Be responsive to investor inquiries and concerns, addressing them promptly and professionally.
  • Distribution of Profits: Ensure that profits are distributed to investors in accordance with the terms of the syndication agreement.

By maintaining a positive relationship with your investors, you can build trust and credibility for future syndications.


Starting a real estate syndication can be a rewarding endeavor, offering the potential for significant financial returns and risk mitigation through diversification. 

By following these steps and seeking professional guidance where necessary, you can successfully launch and manage your real estate syndication. 

Remember that real estate syndication requires careful planning, dedication, and ongoing commitment to investor relations. With the right approach and a well-executed strategy, you can unlock the benefits of real estate syndication for yourself and your investors.

About the Author

Andy Crebar

Andy Crebar is the Co-Founder & CEO of GP Flow which is on a mission to unlock the potential of commercial real estate.

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