Rome was not built in a day, nor was anything else that is truly valuable. Accumulating value—whether you are building an Empire or raising capital for a real estate deal—is something that will take time. Anything that can be achieved with just a few clicks or a few minutes of effort, while possibly lucrative to some extent, will not be worth much for very long.
A brand is not something you can simply “throw money at” and automatically have something of greater value. If a company is trading for $3,000, a person could spend $300,000 and immediately have access to 100 shares in that company. But while committing $300,000 to a brand might be a step in a positive direction (especially if you have a valuable team by your side), you will not know if this investment was worthwhile for many months or even many years to come.
Brands, especially when you are syndicating real estate, like all valuable things, take quite a bit of time to effectively cultivate. Identifying key values, coming up with names, logos, and slogans, and choosing the verbiage you’ll use with your marketing materials will all be things that can help you begin the long journey forward. But even with this useful roadmap in hand, there will still be quite a bit of work that needs to be done. In real estate syndication, particularly when you are dealing with wealthier, risk-averse investors, it will not be enough to simply have a “good” brand—your brand will also need to be consistent, authentic, and reliable. Each of these things, for better or for worse, will only materialize with time.
Watch as Adam Gower discusses the five-part framework HNW investors use to vet sponsors in real estate deals with investor Spencer Hilligoss, principal at Madison Investing
The keys to consistent branding
Of course, this is not to say that no new enterprise nor brand can be successful. Since the proliferation of real estate crowdfunded syndications since 2012, there have been many ambitious enterprises that were able to enjoy immediate success. But in most cases of near-instant success, these enterprises still had at least some sort of proven history they could fall back on—whether it was the sponsor’s experience working for other firms, support from already-established investors, or anything else, all brands still must build a strong, reliable foundation. From there, with consistency, the grow and reinforce their initial values.
In fact, developing a strong set of values will often be what helps a brand remain consistent (and respected) over time. Plenty of real estate sponsors will say that they value integrity. In some cases, those preaching the importance of integrity will be the ones seen in orange jumpsuits on CNBC just a few years later. But in many cases, integrity is something that can still be a guiding light. A firm that has consistently been honest with its investors, a firm that avoids taking shortcuts, and a firm that is willing to take occasional losses for the good of the company will be recognized as one that has integrity. And in the digital era, where everything a company says or has done is well-documented and accessible to the investing public, it will be easy to see whether this commitment to integrity was simply a company paying lip-service to what it thinks is right or a company that has actually relied on its founding values.
Keeping the spirit of integrity in mind, most successful players in the real estate syndication space will surely tell you that it is better that looking towards the future is the surest way to stay afloat. Being consistent with your values, eventually, will help you generate the social proof, authority, and credibility you need in order for someone to actually give you their money. Ultimately, the burden of proof ultimately remains on you, the asker, to fully and relentlessly demonstrate that what you offer is more than just meaningless words, but tangible outcomes.
The ultra-wealthy—those who have the patience to test markets and only invest in what they truly believe in—will be the first to tell you just how important consistency can be. They are not looking for a partner that will overpromise, they are not looking for a partner that will “go big or go home,” and they are not looking for a partner that poses any unnecessary level of risks. They are looking for someone who is reliable, consistent, and realistic. As a sponsor, your track record in this regard might be limited—but by continually sticking to your values, allowing your brand to develop over time, and being consistent in everything you do, you will be able to eventually develop the level of credibility you need to win.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. But there were many days in which the people of Rome were able to take big leaps forward.
Adam Gower Ph.D., builds digital marketing systems for real estate professionals who want to find more investors so they can raise more money and do more deals. He is known as the creator of the Investor Acquisition System and combines a lifetime of experience in real estate investment and finance with best-of-class digital marketing tactics, techniques, and strategies to help crowdfund real estate syndications. Find out more in this new book, SYNDICATE or at GowerCrowd.com