Just a few short years ago I had not heard of the concept of real estate syndication. I had been working and investing in real estate for more than a decade and a half but had no clue how to syndicate real estate. With all these years in real estate, I was still under the false notion that the avenue of wealth building in real estate for those not born into wealth was through single-family fix-and-flip and eventually buy and hold for rental income. Then, over several years of these endeavors eventually develop a path to financial independence.
In hindsight, I can now look back and only wish that I had not let my self-deprecating and limiting self-image inhibit my abilities to reach out to others. Within my circle were people who already knew how to build wealth and achieve financial freedom through the scalability of real estate syndication. Not only did they know how to syndicate commercial real estate but they were also willing and ready to share their knowledge and expertise. Opening the doors to this community and creating connections with the real estate syndicators in the community is one of the primary goals for Creek Side Chats with Enlightened Real Estate Investors.
Before going into the top 5 benefits of real estate syndication that are important to me, let’s first explore a little about my story. Creek Side Chats with Enlightened Real Estate Investors is a show about the stories of the people who form the backbone of the real estate syndication community of investors. Being that in each interview, our guests do their best to share their authentic personal stories, it is only fair that I as the host am also transparent and honest with my own story. This introductory podcast to Creek Side Chats with Enlightened Real Estate Investors is my sincere attempt to honestly share with authenticity a portion of my life story as well as share the personal benefits I have found in real estate syndication.
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In 2007, I was at the pinnacle of my career in higher education. I didn’t know this at the time. As at the time, I expected to continue advancing and growing in my profession. I was a middle-level administrator in higher education and a professor of graduate studies in college student personnel at a university that I appreciated and respected.
I was fulfilled with what I was doing. My part-time gig if you want to call it that, teaching graduate students who were themselves up and coming higher education professionals was invigorating and rewarding. My “day job”, serving as the director of student academic success provided daily contact with professionals who were also inspired to encourage and motivate learners to achieve and become the best of who they were meant to be.
While doing work that fulfilled and inspired, I was also investing in real estate. I had house hacked two single family homes, converting both to very functional and attractive triplex rentals. The salary from my W-2 job was the best salary I’d ever had and I enjoyed a sense of prosperity I’d never know before.
Not only was I earning more than ever but because of the real estate tax advantages, I was keeping more because I wasn’t paying a dime in federal and state income taxes. The tenants were paying my mortgages, thus reducing my principles while increasing my equity. Through real estate market appreciation my properties were further appreciating and growing even more equity.
In many respects I felt like I had the world on a string and I was sittin’ on a rainbow. There was a problem though. Even with so much seemingly going my way, I was frustrated and depressed.
I was frustrated with the glacial pace of change on the broader institutional levels. It had taken several years to bring about what were minor and easily implemented changes that had huge positive overall impact. Higher education is bound by age-old traditions and layers of bureaucracies that are fairly rigid. Not only was I frustrated with institutional stagnation as I looked at my real estate investments, I judged my portfolio as inadequate. On top of these two frustrations was the belief that this was all due to the fact that I was not good enough. The conclusion was that if I were better, stronger, smarter, or whatever I would automatically be where I wanted to be in life.
For some time, I had not only been exploring my own personal issues through counseling and other forms of personal growth and development but I had also been studying the subjects of counseling and psychology for a little more than a decade and a half. As I look back to those times I can see that during that decade and a half, I had made tremendous strides. At the time there was a part of me that was aware of these personal achievements but there was another voice inside that was perhaps even stronger that continued to play older more embedded messages from my formative years. Repressed from my conscious awareness the old message kept repeating, “You just don’t have what it takes.”
I couldn’t see it at the time but my growing frustration was showing more than I was aware. As the frustrations and depression diminished my effectiveness and usefulness, I was let go. The magnitude of the shock and disappointment was massive. Nevertheless, I pushed forward.
In December of that year after being let go, I joined with a partner to purchase a property to fix-and-flip. The renovation rejuvenated a ram shackled house into a beautiful home. The problem was that by February of 2008, there were no buyers for any kind of home.
By offering owner financing we sold the home. Through the note payments, my partner bought me out and continued to hold the deed and rent the home. From my narrow perspective, I saw no other opportunities on the horizon. My downward spiral continued gaining momentum. Rather than reaching out to make productive connections, I regressed and withdrew into a shell that grew into a prison of depression and hopelessness that locked the world out.
This wasn’t an unfamiliar prison. I had spent my formative years and early adulthood locked in this self-constructed prison. If I had unlocked the prison doors and presented authentically to the world, I’d have discovered years before I did, the benefits of real estate syndication. Rather than having spent years in depression, I could have, as I’m now doing, developed a successful real estate syndication organization.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. As the saying goes, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Of course, for it to be 20/20, we have to learn from that history. That is a process that is easier said than done.
As I now look back to those times I can see that there were a number of issues that I was not addressing. One recent discovery came as I revisited the personality theories of the Enneagram. I was reminded that the unhealthy aspect of my personality type naturally lives out of my story even when the story may no longer be true. As I write this, I’m made more aware of how the processes of personality and psychology relate to the successful establishment of real estate syndication operations. When viewing both with open and honest eyes and acting authentically both function at very high levels.
As a child, I constructed a story of a loner who was different and set apart. I was a child who lived in a vivid world of fantasy but had no initiative to attain the world dreamed of. I just went along and followed the path of least resistance. I had no friends and with no effort in school got by as an average student. Based upon the results of achievement tests my high school counselor advised that I pursue a trade rather than attempt university and a professional career. To encourage students, I often tell them this story, ending by stating, “And, now I hold a Ph.D.”
This can be and is a story of inspiration as it is a story of triumph over lackadaisical discouragement. The inspirational part of the story, the triumph, is the story I could have returned to in my time of discouragement and despair but did not. Rather, I returned to the story of the lost child set apart and dis-empowered.
This was a well-rehearsed story. I played out this story for the first 38 years of my life. Then one day the unimaginable happened. My wife had had enough and she abruptly left.
What a world of fantasy and self-deceit I lived all those years. In my story, the marriage was a perfect relationship that would end only in death. As I came to discover over the months and years that followed the end of the marriage, the day that I thought was the worst day of my life, came to be the best day of my life. The marriage coming to an end cracked open the false and inauthentic narrative that had guided my life up to that point. It was the narrative of a story that had sabotaged my success.
Everything I’ve accomplished in this world came about from that devastating moment. For the first time in my life, I took a journey inside and really looked at what was there. Through the help of a competent counselor, I looked honestly at the good, the bad, and the ugly. I emerged much more authentic with a strong drive, an expectation of massive accomplishment, and a purpose-driven commitment to make the world a better place by helping others live out of authenticity rather than false narratives.
This brings me to the other lesson learned as I’ve looked back to the devastating days of 2007. On the day I lost my job, I didn’t just lose a job and a reliable income. What I lost but wasn’t aware of, was an identity.
I realize now that this was once again a false narrative. At the time, though, without the identity of a university administrator and professor the story I had lived for a decade and a half had suddenly and unexpectedly lost its main character. Without the main character, there was no plot to carry the story forward. I lost my way for many years.
As I began to look into commercial investing and discovered how to syndicate real estate, I began to reconnect with the authentic and much-loved identity of a character who possesses many valuable competencies with a strong will to achieve and flourish abundantly. All the qualities that the successful university administrator and professor possessed are still there. All that was needed to carry on the story was some re-purposing of the main character’s strengths.
Reinvigorating my story was challenging. Nevertheless, with the forced effort, I began to reestablish relationships with people I had completely withdrawn from. Challenging the false story of a dis-empowered and lost child was terrifying and the first tentative steps towards liberation from the self-imposed prison were awkward and uncomfortable.
Each step forward felt like it was followed by two steps backward. I started listening to real estate syndication podcasts. As I tuned into more and more podcasts, not only did I begin to learn of the benefits of real estate syndication, I also started to learn how to syndicate real estate. More importantly, I was reconnecting with the authenticity of a competent and capable man ready to do what is necessary to achieve.
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Let’s get to know one-another
A Podcast Is Born
One of the first lessons learned regarding real estate syndication is that it is a relationship business. Guest after guest after guest would reinforce the importance of networking and building relationships. Over and over they would emphasize that their success in real estate syndication rested upon the authentic and honest relationships they developed.
Having the good fortune to live in rural Appalachia is a blessing I’m eternally grateful for. However, rural life anywhere in the country doesn’t present a lot of opportunities to network with real estate syndicators who tend to be clustered in metropolitan areas. As I contemplated this dilemma, the obvious solution seemed to be a podcast of my own and thus was born the seminal idea that soon blossomed into Creek Side Chats.
As I contemplated the development of a program format, I started with the most basic questions. “How can I be my most authentic while being a podcast host?” One thing about the healthy aspect of my personality type is a natural ability to encourage others to not only look into their own stories but at the same time help them to share their stories with authenticity.
Reflecting upon this natural ability that has been enhanced through formal training in counseling it became clear to me that the podcast would be focused on personal stories rather than on real estate syndication accolades or how to syndicate real estate. Not only was my most authentic self guiding the format direction of the podcast but as stated earlier, real estate syndication is a relationship business. These two realizations, my natural personality traits and the fact that real estate syndication is a relationship business, are two of the pillars that the design of the show rests on.
The third pillar that Creek Side Chats is built upon is the power of personal stories of successful people to inspire. Everyone who becomes a part of the Creek Side Chat Enlightened Investor circle is a part of a circle of successful investors that come together to inspire. We not only hear the stories of our successful guests but we become part of the story as we relate to the struggles and victories as they are part of a broader human experience that we all share in common.
Personal Benefits of Real Estate Syndication
Over the last several months as I’ve interviewed over 100 successful real estate syndicators, real estate syndication has become even closer to my heart than I first imagined that it would. As I contemplate the top 5 benefits of real estate syndication I’ve been somewhat surprised by what I’ve discovered. Certainly, and not unexpectedly, among the top 5 benefits of real estate syndication are the numerous financial wealth-building benefits.
The financial benefits of real estate syndication are certainly not to be taken for granted. My podcast guests frequently express their gratitude for the wealth-building opportunities and state wealth-building as the initial motivation and goal for entering into real estate investment. In other articles I’ve articulated many of these financial benefits. Nevertheless, I and my guests have gained so much more than financial wealth by entering into this world of real estate syndication.
Relationships are important to just about any kind of real estate endeavor. Real estate syndication, though, is unique in that it provides the opportunity to connect with the highest quality of operators. Through Creek Side Chats I’ve made meaningful connections with the cream of the crop. I’ve interviewed and through the format based on personal stories have been privileged to come to know the most accomplished and highest performing operators in the real estate syndication business. I count the ability to connect with the highest quality of operators as the top of the list of the top 5 benefits of real estate syndication. This isn’t a privilege granted only to me as the podcast host. All of you who are part of the Creek Side Chat circle of investors is through each podcast connected with these high-performing operators and are likewise inspired by their stories.
Close on the heels of being associated with high performers is being associated with people who authentically care about the wellbeing of others. Every guest I’ve interviewed lives a purpose-driven life that is focused in a personally authentic way on contributing to the wellbeing of our world. Out of the 100s of interviews conducted, I’ve consistently finished the interview inspired to be better and do better. This is a benefit of real estate syndication that surpasses the price tag.
Another of the top five benefits of real estate syndication is flexibility. There are countless ways to invest in real estate syndication. Anyone interested in investing can find a way to successfully use real estate syndication as a tool in their investment portfolio. From the most passive of investment options to the most actively involved investment options, real estate syndication has the flexibility to offer investment opportunities to fit anyone’s investment criteria and to fit within the comfort levels of any personality type and personal situation.
Finally, but not necessarily last in the list of the top 5 benefits of real estate syndication is scalability. I’ve interviewed real estate syndicators who have portfolios of 20,000 doors and still growing. I’ve interviewed others who have a few hundred doors who are satisfied with the lifestyle provided and have no desire to expand further because of other priorities. The beauty of real estate syndication is the flexibility that provides each and every investor with the ability to scale their investment activities and portfolios to whatever level they desire.
As long as we are blessed with the ability to breathe, feel, think, and function, we can continue our journey of growth and development.
Creek Side Chats with Successful Real Estate Investors is here to inspire all of us to be our own genuine genius, to be the best that we can be. The stories that our guests share are everyone’s stories. We’ve all had set-backs and disappointments and all of us have had triumphs. Our stories connect us one to another and stories of success inspire all of us.
Though each guest has found a measure of success through real estate syndication, they are also seekers. They continue to challenge themselves to grow and to be more tomorrow than today. Nietzsche once stated and I paraphrase:
Each human is a rope stretched between the animal and the superhuman — A rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking — back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in humanity is that each one of us is a bridge. . . And I add — a bridge to a journey not a destination towards a continuously evolving self actualization of the superhuman hero within.
The stories that our Creek Side Chats guests share with us, the totality of their set-backs and triumphs, are stories that inspire all of us to be superhuman. All of you tuning in are part of the Creek Side Chats Circle of Enlightened Investors. We all come together in every episode to be inspired to be the superhuman that we were put here to be. My goal for Creek Side Chats with Successful Enlightened Real Estate Investors is that all of us use the development of financial wealth available through real estate syndication to make the world a better place where all of us can flourish abundantly in all areas of life.
With all the options it is easy to be overwhelmed. For free information, coaching, and advice on passive investing in real estate syndication join our Enlightened Investors Circle. It’s free and there is no obligation to buy or invest in anything. There is no up-selling. Our Enlightened Investor Circle is a place to grow, learn and share.
Best of all, Enlightened Investors are the first to know when new real estate syndication investment opportunities become available.
About the Author — Dr. Allen Lomax
With careers in academia, podcasting, and real estate investing, Dr. Allen Lomax inspires us to break open our minds’ secrets to discover individual and universal well-being. Through passive real estate investments, he helps enlightened investors create time freedom to live abundantly in all life’s areas.