Commercial Real Estate Pro Network

Commercial Real Estate Professionals who work with Investors, Buyers and Sellers of Commercial Real Estate. We discuss todays opportunities, problems & solutions in Commercial Real Estate.
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Now displaying: Category: Real Estate
Oct 11, 2018

The Letter of Intent and the Purchase Sale Agreement are significant steps towards closing your multifamily purchase.  

When you find a multifamily property, you run the numbers.  If the numbers show promise, it’s time to engage the seller to see if you can put the deal together.  The initial non binding offer used by buyers is a Letter of Intent. If you and the Seller find agreement in principle, you will formalize the offer with a Purchase Sale Agreement.


FREE Sample Letter of Intent & Cover Letter

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent is a non binding presentation to the seller that spells out the framework of your offer, your intent to purchase the Seller’s apartment building.  This should be addressed to the selling broker, not the Seller. To see a sample Cover Letter & LOI used by Vinney, click here.


The Cover letter should summarize your intentions.  It should also include any relevant experience you or your team has closing on Multifamily Properties, to give the buyer confidence you will close if they accept your offer.  


The Letter of Intent is not binding, so it does not require legal review, but should contain::

  • Property details, address, number of units.
  • Identify that your offer is based off of the numbers provided by the selling broker.
  • General terms & conditions to purchase by your company or assign:
    • Purchase Price
    • Estimated requirement for Capital Expenses
    • Earnest money, Vinney recommends at least 1% of the sale price.
  • Timeline to complete the purchase:
    • Due Diligence timeline
    • Inspection Period
    • Extensions if needed and conditions to extend
    • Closing period
  • Financing period:
    • Lender approval letter
    • Down payment funds
  • Readiness of Property, including occupancy percentage required.
  • Inspection documents required from the Seller:
    • Financials
    • Rental Agreements
    • Survey
    • Phase I Environmental Assessment


Because you will be offering less than selling price offered, it is to be expected that the Seller will either reject or counter your initial Letter of Intent. After some back and forth, if you are able to reach agreement in principle with the Seller, you need to put the property under contract.  This is accomplished using a Purchase Sale Agreement.

Purchase Sale Agreement

The Purchase Sale Agreement is a legal, binding agreement.   The PSA includes all of the items in the LOI and spells out all the legal performance requirements for both you and the Seller.  Each property is unique and requires that you have your attorney prepare and review to protect you.


Vinney advises that you communicate early and often with the Seller during the Due Diligence period to avoid any surprises.  He suggest that your compose a Repair Letter as soon as you know the condition and any additional capital expenses that you were not aware of prior to your offer.  


Similar communication regarding the financing should be made to keep the Seller in the loop.  When you do this, the Seller is more likely to credit you additional funds to fix the problem, or accommodate the time needed to obtain financing to keep the sale on track to close.  


For more, go to:

Text: SYNDICATION to 474747

Multifamily Investment Syndication


Prior CREPN Radio Multifamily Syndication episodes with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #145 - Why Multifamily Real Estate Investing with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #149 - Why Multifamily Syndication is a Great Option for Real Estate Investors

CREPN #153 - Building Your Multifamily Syndication Team with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #157 - How to Attract Capital & Communicate with Investors with Vinney Chopra

CREPN #161 - Multifamily Underwriting with Vinney Chopra

Oct 4, 2018

Environmental Risk assessment needs to be part of your real estate investing due diligence.

Mike O’Connor is the Pincipal at Assessment Associates, Inc, an environmental consulting firm that specializes in working with real estate transactions.

Why Test?

The reasons to test range from: “it’s a good idea” to “lender requirement’.  If you don’t need to borrow money, and you elect to forgo the assessment, you could end up with the liability and cost associated with any cleanup.  However, if you are borrowing more than $1M, the lender will require a Phase I Environmental Assessment for a clean bill of health, guaranteed.

Potential Environmental Risk

The primary risk comes from leaky underground storage tanks, but you would be wrong to think that you don’t need to be concerned unless you are buying a gas station. 

Why your ask?  Do your know what's going on on at the neighbors property? Is there a leaky underground heating oil tank? Each of these can create plenty of problems for you.  

To learn how to DIY the initial Environmental Assessment  

and know what to look for, get your

Free Tips and Tricks Guide.  

Degrees of Environmental Assessment

A Phase I Environmental Assessment consists of a visual inspection at the property and a review of all available public records.  The consultant will visit the site, interview the seller, neighbors, etc to assess the historical use and potential for an environmental problem.  If evidence suggest a potential problem may exist, the Phase I recommendation will call for a Phase II Environmental Assessment.

A Phase II Environmental Assessment involves sampling the soil beneath the surface.  It can start with a Geophysical survey to identify inconsistencies below the surface.  The results will identify where further looking should occur.

Then actual soli samples are puled to test the soil for toxins.  This is accomplished by using a well drilling like rig that pulls cylinders of soil to the surface for visual inspection. The samples that look suspicious will be sent to a lab for testing.  If results are positive, the site will need to be cleaned before going forward with the transaction.

For more go to:

Sep 27, 2018

Conquer your fears so you can leave your W2 job and have success investing in Real Estate.

The investors journey is full of hurdles, road blocks, growth opportunities, and setbacks.  

Dan Handford with Handford Capital is a serial entrepreneur.  He has faced the fear, made a plan and acted with relentless intention and achieved.  When he sets a goal, he runs forward full throttle with relentless intention towards accomplishing his goal. All the while he keeps his eyes open for the next opportunity.

Because, when you reach a goal, you’re not done.  Instead, you have to take the next step In order to continue your growth.  Sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards before you can go forward.

Fear of the Unknown

Fear can be paralyzing.  If your goal is to escape what you know, the W2 job that provides for your family to become a full time Real Estate Investor, what’s holding you back?

For most of us, it’s the fear of change.  

To reach your destination, you have to be willing to leave your driveway and accept that you will make mistakes.  So get comfortable with that.

You don't have to act with blind faith. But sometimes, you have to let go and trust what you have learned, and do the work.

Through the Fear

Here are Dan’s action steps to get through the fear of moving forward.

  • Have the support of your family.
    • If you are married, it’s important to have agreement from your spouse.
  • Prepare for departure from our W2 job.  
    • Six months of salary saved is a good cushion to give you enough time to determine if your plan will work.
  • Determine your worst case scenario?
    • If it happens, could you go back to your W2 job or one in the same field?
  • Make your decision quickly.
    • The longer you delay taking action, the longer it will take to be successful.
  • Be relentless!
    • Your chances of success increase dramatically if you are relentless.
  • When a door closes, look for your next opportunity.

Remember, if you don’t try, you are guaranteed you will not fail but you will also never have the success you wanted.  

For more go to:

Podcast: Tough Decisions for Entrepreneurs

Multifamily Investor Nation

Sep 20, 2018

Passive Income generated from assets is the key to building real wealth.  

AJ Osborne is an insurance agent turned real estate investor who traded the lack of security provided by a job to create generational wealth through real estate.

Naturally competitive, he was a successful benefits insurance broker.  He ate what he killed. If he wanted to make more, he sold more. Ultimately, he realized that he was limited by time, and he knew that at any time, his clients could leave.  This left him feeling less than secure.

Wealth vs Rich

In the 2008 economic downturn, he recognized the difference between being rich vs being wealthy.   Those who he thought were rich, lost the most. The survivors, owned assets that produced income regardless of the economy.  Their income did not depend on their time. He recognized their freedom as true wealth. And, most investors passive income was generated through real estate.

Self Storage Value Add

AJ studied the real estate market and recognized the value add opportunity in self storage.  The market was fragmented, full of amateur operators that left plenty of room for improvement.  

He recognized that the industry has not customer service oriented.  There were additional products and services that customers were willing to pay for, but were not offered.    

He focused on finding poorly run self storage businesses, in underserved markets.  opportunities, initiating systems, and producing predictable outcomes.

Today, he and his father run a portfolio of self storage properties throughout the west.  They have a system.

  • Acquire the under performing property,
  • Install proven systems and additional sales opportunities.
  • Drive revenue and increase value.
  • Refinance.
  • Repeat.  

After each refinance, he was able to pull his initial investment capital out of the deal which gave him the needed capital for the next deal.

The Passive Income Stress Test

Until you test a system, you don’t know if it really works.  For AJ, the passive income from self storage was tested when he was stricken with Guillain Barre Syndrome.  For months he laid paralyzed in a hospital bed, in pain and unable to move beyond blinking his eyes. There was no way he could go to work to sell insurance.  

Fortunately, his self storage business generated income regardless if he was sick.  Not only did his income continue while he was ill, but real estate value grew.

If not for his self storage business, he and his family could have lost everything.  The passive income and wealth created from his real estate proved to be more secure than a job that could disappear.

For more go to:

Sep 13, 2018

Multifamily Underwriting has three key aspects for consideration to determine if you have a true investment opportunity.  They are Market, Financials and Physical Property.

Market Keys for Success

When looking for a Market it is important to look for an emerging market.  An emerging market is one that has jobs, jobs, jobs. Population of the city is not as critical as the number of jobs and its distance to a major market, however you will want to set some minimum population criteria.  

You are looking for growth.  Talk with the locals to determine the true prospects for new jobs. Call the local brokers, property managers and the chamber of commerce and to to the building permit office to find out the path of progress and where the population is moving.   

While underwriting the market, get to know the real estate professionals that you will need on your team.  These are the boots on the ground that will be able to provide you with potential properties. Vinney has found that you will be more successful if you specify exactly what you are looking for, class of property, neighborhood, number of units, etc.

Once the brokers know your criteria, they will bring you deals.  

Financials for Multifamily Underwriting

There are two aspects to your initial multifamily underwriting. You want to start with the financials.  How is the property performing financially? At the same time, you can do an initial property inspection using online searches or with the help of your broker.  

Vinney recommends that you never fall in love with the property.  Only fall in love with the numbers.

What to look for in the numbers.  Start with the rent roll, and expenses.  You are looking to identify areas where you can save money, or those that will be different than the sellers.  Vinney recommends you use his Deal Analyzer. You can list the sellers numbers, and the numbers you find that will reflect our operating cost side by side.   This will more clearly identify if the property is a real investment opportunity.

One key metric is Cash on Cash ratio.  This provides a simple measure of the net return on the cash required to close the deal.  Vinney looks for 10.5% as a minimum for the multifamily properties he acquires.

If the initial numbers look good and you pursue the property, you will need to do a more thorough analysis to confirm the sellers numbers including bank statements, utility statements, leases, trailing twelves, etc.

The Physical Property

The physical property has two aspects you are looking for during your physical inspection; value add opportunities and capital improvements that are needed.  

The best investment opportunity will be one that you can add value to.  This could be updating the kitchen and baths, painting the exterior, adding storage space, dog parks, etc.  These improvements that residents are willing to pay more. This translates to a higher Net Operating Income and higher property value.

The condition of the physical property cannot be underestimated.  During the physical inspection, you are looking for the physical condition of the property; roof, plumbing, electrical, heating & cooling systems, paint, parking lots, landscaping, etc.  Make notes when you find needed repairs.

Vinney has had greater success by communicating immediately with the seller’s broker about any needed repairs rather than waiting.  By communicating right away, the seller is not caught off guard at closing.

When you determine the repair cost, Vinney has been successful by requesting a seller credit at closing rather than a sale price reduction.  The benefit of a credit is that you have the funds needed to make the capital improvements needed instead of paying for out of cash flow.

To develop your multifamily underwriting skills, get in the habit of analyzing deals.  This practice will sharpen your ability to recognize when a true investment opportunity comes your way.

For more, go to:

Text: SYNDICATION to 474747

Sep 6, 2018

Tax Free Investing? 

Real Estate Investing provides unique tax strategies not available in all asset classes.

Scott Smith is an attorney and the principal at Royal Legal Solutions, based in Austin, TX.  His clients are strictly real estate investors. This narrow focus allows him to dive deep into specific aspects of real estate investing and help investors safely navigate their options for maximum tax savings.

Tax Free Investing

Traditionally, the phrase “tax free” investing may better be thought of as tax deferred. Whether you invest in a traditional 401k that taxes the upon withdraw, or a Roth IRA which taxes the funds prior to use, there is tax, but the difference is when the tax is paid.  Real Estate Investing truly provides some opportunities to generate cash through a nontaxable event.

The conversation with Scott Smith focused on how to accelerate the growth of your retirement account using two different strategies available to anyone who qualifies.  

Solo 401k

If you have non W2 earnings, and can demonstrate that you are “active”, you may qualify for a Solo 401k.  There are multiple advantages available if you structure the entity properly and can demonstrate that you are active in the operations.

  • The ability to deposit up to $50,000 annually into this Solo 401k.
  • Opportunity to borrow upto 50% of the balance without creating a taxable event.  Note: the loan must be repaid prior to retirement.

Self Directed IRA

A Self Directed IRA provides investors the opportunity to select the investments you want to invest in, except for “prohibited transactions” .   If you are a W2 employee looking to invest in a real estate syndication for example, but do not have the savings to do so, you might be eligible to use your employer sponsored 401k.

For more go to:

Podcast: The Real Estate Nerds Podcast

Aug 30, 2018

Value Add Technology in Parking can increase revenue and customer experience.    

Jake Bezzant, CEO of Parking Sense, takes us through the new technology and benefits of available to parking lot owners.  Installing hardware in conjunction with the downloadable user application provides data that makes the lot work better for all parties.

You know the drill.  You have an appointment but first you need to park the car.  If you did not plan ahead, you could end up parking miles away from your appointment.  Or worse, have to cancel your appointment because you could not find parking.

It is not uncommon for a parking lot without technology to underperform.  If you cannot tell a driver where to park, the driver may travel through the entire lot before finding one parking spot.  No more. Now, there is new technology in parking available to help you and visitors to your property forget about any parking hassle.

Technology in Parking System

Parking Sense is a manufacturer, installer and operator of technology in parking.  The system consists of hardware installed at the lot, a downloadable application for users and lots of data to help with your value add strategy.  

You can chose to only use the hardware which provides a visual queue, green or red light to drivers looking for a space.  If you elect to integrate with the free downloadable app, you can eliminate the need for gates and payment machines. Parking Sense has found that users tend to migrate to the application if they do not chose to do so up front.  Use of the application allows the system to communicate with users reminders such as, parking validation, where they parked, and how much time remains for their space.

Parking lot owners can purchase or lease the system.  

Benefit to Using Technology in Parking

The benefit to a parking lot owner using technology in parking is the ability to fully understand their supply and the demand for parking.  This allows you to communicate in real time with drivers exactly where an available spot is located. If you can keep your lot full you increase your income.  When drivers can easily find a space to park, they are happy.

When Parking Sense technology system is installed, property owners are able to over sell parking as much as 300%!  This compares with only 75% sold prior to installation. It is clear that if you own a parking there is a value add opportunity by using technology.  

Future proof your parking lot

The migration to the urban core has created a premium on parking.  Cities want cars off the streets, and the future includes driverless cars.  It is clear that cities will not allow driverless cars to roam aimlessly through the streets.  If you have the technology, you can communicate with cars in real time where they can park in your lot and keep your lot full.

For more go to

Aug 23, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones can produce tax free gains for investors with capital gains.  This new vehicle was added added to the December 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

Jonathan McGuire takes us through the Qualified Opportunity Zones and how they can benefit investors.

Government sponsored investment incentives are nothing new.  Tax credits or special treatment for a desired behavior are a tool used to stimulate growth and encourage investors to deploy needed capital.  The vehicle identifies the area of need and rewards investors for taking a risk through tax abatement. The most recent example on the Federal level is found in the Qualified Opportunity Zones.

What is a Qualified Opportunity Zone

The 2017 Tax Law provided the opportunity for each state to nominate distressed areas in need of investment to the US Treasury.  If certified by the Treasury, the area is recognized as a qualified opportunity zone. Investors can find a current list for each state Qualified Opportunity Zones to find local opportunities near them.  

The opportunity for investors is pretty broad.  Projects must abide by local zoning rules and be new investment into a project.  There are certain types of investments which are prohibited including: investment must be new money into a business or property.  Real estate can be new construction or a rehab project. If the property is in the zone, it must follow local use guidelines. Sin type businesses are not eligible, bars, country clubs, liquor stores, casinos, etc.

Benefits of investing in a Qualified Opportunity Zone

There are multiple tax benefits available to qualified investors.  

  1. Deferred payment of capital gains.
    1. 5 years earns a 10% step up in basis
    2. 7 years earns a 15% step up in basis
  2. Stepped up basis for investments held for:
  3. Tax free gain on the appreciation of your investment if held for more than 10 years!

Who can invest in a Qualified Opportunity Zone

The investor must have a recognized capital gain within the last 180  days, which must be deposited in the Qualified Opportunity Fund. At this time, there is no recognized requirement to use a qualified intermediary, similar to a 1031 exchange.  

The capital gains can come from any investment, sale of a business, property, stock, etc.  

How to invest in a Qualified Opportunity Zone

In order to invest in a property located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, you must use a Qualified Opportunity Fund.   A fund is an investment vehicle set up as a separate corporation or partnership, designated to invest in a qualified opportunity zone.  The initial investment must include capital gains.

For more go to:

Aug 16, 2018

To accelerate the growth of your multifamily portfolio, you need to know how to attract capital and communicate with real estate investors.

Vinney Chopra has raised millions of dollars and syndicated over 26 multifamily properties.  Today, he shares the key to scaling up quickly; attract capital and communicate with real estate investors.  

Your Potential Real Estate Investors

To attract captial is not easy.  To be successful, you need to always be looking for capital.  If you are syndicating, you are looking for passive investors to invest as Limited partners in your LLC.

The easiest money usually comes from those you are closest to, your family.  These people know you and are most likely to support you if they believe in the opportunity you present.

The next closest group of eligible investors will be your acquaintances.  Again, these people know you and are likely to support you if they are able.

Now that you have introduced your investment opportunity to your closest circles of influence, it’s time to check with your business associates.  These are the professionals you know that have a retirement account. They are likely looking for ways to make a better return than what they are currently receiving.

The Opportunity for Real Estate Investors

The key to attract capital is communicating the opportunity to your potential investors.  You can easily do this with a “credibility kit”. This is where you share with potential investors the knowledge you have gained. Introduce your investment team, and the criteria you will use for selecting a property.    The goal is to convey to the investors that they will not lose their investment.

Educate the investors on why investing in an emerging market is a sound decision.  Explain what you know about the growing demand for multifamily, job growth and the opportunity to increase rents.

When to Attract Capital

You can never start too soon.  Raising money if full of rejection.  Investors pull out at the last minute all the time.  So, you need to have a long list of potential investors that can fill a capital needs at any time.  A deal is not a deal if you don’t have the funds to close.

Vinney has overcome the issue of investors backing out or not having enough money to close.  He does this by offering investors 2% on their funds from the day the deposit until the asset is acquired.  This guarantees closing, and the provides the lenders assurance the down payment is available.

Keep records.  Vinney recommends a spreadsheet where you identify the goals and dreams of the investor and keep records of the dates and what you discussed.  This allows you to easily reach out when you have a deal.

Your ability to close deals will raise your stature with the real estate brokers in the market.  The more deals you close, the more deals you will be presented.

Communicating with Investors

Vinney recommends regular, constant communication with investors.  He leverages technology with voip calls, webinars, videos, emails, etc.  He does such a good job that in 12 years only 5 investors have actually visited a property.  

When you communicate regularly with investors, they will feel comfortable and tell their friends about the good job you are doing and will want to invest with you.


For more go to:

Text “Syndication” to 474747

FREE Deal Analyzer:

Call / text (925)766-3518

Aug 9, 2018

A good multifamily property manager is invaluable to real estate investors.

Andrew Kroger is the owner of Peak Property Management and shared with me the characteristics of a good relationship between a property manager and the investor.


Your relationship with the property manager is key to your success.  The more common ground between you and your manager, the better your results will be.  

The goal when interviewing prospective managers, is to learn who they are and how they communicate.  How much communication do you want and how do you want to communicate.

Are you looking for a manager to do it all, or do you want to be more hands on?  

Think about your preference, and look someone that fits your communication needs.

It’s important that the manager is on the same page with you.  If they understand your goals and objectives they can help you reach them.   

Get referrals from other owners.  Find out what other property have to say about their experience working with the manager.   

If your goal is to sell in the near future, does the manager recognize this?  What does that mean to them?

Find out what property management software they use?  What level of reporting should you expect and how often?  Does it include rent increases, rent roles, balance sheet, profit & loss statement?  This is your scoresheet for how well you property is performing.


Once you find a property manager to work with, invite them for a tour of your next acquisition.  The manager can develop both operating and rehab budgets if necessary. An experienced manager can give you a clear understanding of the property’s potential to ensure your success.


Operating the property efficiently is key to cash flow.  Questions you want to get answered from your prospective property manager include:

  • Leasing; What are the requirements for residents; application, income, rent history, criminal background, etc.  Understanding the managers resident selection criteria up front will provide you with realistic performance goals.   
  • Maintenance; What is the process for a resident to make a repair request.  Does the property manager have its own maintenance staff or do they use subcontractors?
  • On site or off site management?  What is the need for your property?  How often do they physically inspect the property?  You need boots on the ground to keep an eye on your property for any maintenance needed.  A small problem can be fixed for a few dollars, but when neglected, the small problem can grow into a big problem and become more expensive.
  • Vendor relations; Does the manager have relations with multiple vendors?  Good vendor relations will provide the manager the ability to get your property fixed and or turned quickly.  You can’t make money from an empty unit.
  • Turn process; ask the manager what is their process for turning a unit?  When do they start and how long will it to take to get the unit re-rented?  Ask for both a light turn and a complete remodel.

For the best outcome of your multifamily property, find a property manager that meets your communication needs.  Take the time to make certain you are on the same page. This relationship is paramount to your multifamily real estate investing success.

For more go to:

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