How to Raise $16M in One Day? What Did They Wish They Know Earlier in Their Careers?


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How to raise a $16M syndication in one day? What are the major things they wish they knew earlier in their careers? Mark Shuler and Josh Welch, founders of SGRE Investments and Three Pillars Capital share how they got there in their real estate syndication career.

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How were you able to raise $16 million in one day? How did you arrive at that level?
I'm not sure we know how we did it, but we managed to do this crazy raise. We had done a lot of preparatory legwork, we both have a very deep database of investors, we've done enough deals now that we have a lot of frequent fliers. As you do a deal, your database continues to grow as people talk to friends and family. We just teed it up, we do a very detailed deal deck and offering memorandum. We do a lot of preparatory emails, getting people in the space to understand that the deal is coming. At this point we're over raising on every deal, everybody knows that we're over raising so they're committing fast and early on the deals, and it's a record for us. At one point, we were raising a million dollars an hour for eight straight hours. We shut it down in 24 hours, Josh was getting pummeled with emails and phone calls.

It seems like you guys are good partners, how did you guys meet? How did this partnership come about?
Mark and I have been working together for years now, we've done several deals together. We crossed paths, and decided to team up and go on this one, and to the next and we just kept the relationship going.

What are some of the things that you both wish you knew earlier in your career to expedite things for other people that you think that is important for them to know today?
Something I wish I would have known from day one is how important processes are to the operations and how important the operations are in general. There's a huge misconception in this industry, that if you can raise money you can be a sponsor, and go run a deal. The more of those you can do, the more successful you'll be. But the reality is, if you don't know how to operate these assets, day over day, year over year, they can quickly go south on you. A lot of people in this market have gotten bailed out by rising prices. There will be a day where prices will flatline and stabilize, maybe even go down a little bit. Those who pay top dollar for something that is not running well will not get bailed out. The biggest lesson is that I could have put more emphasis on in the beginning is how to get a better process in your operations.

Either get a mentor, get educated, or get a master's degree. You have to build on your knowledge base, though experience is a great teacher, but some of it you just have to sit down and read. It's not what I wish I had done, it's what I did. I feel like I propelled my career forward by 10 years by doing that. The other thing that you have to learn in this industry is how to raise money properly. I joined a mastermind to help me with that and educate me, in one year I probably shave 10 years off my learning curve. To figure out how to raise money effectively is the fruit of my labor from last year. If you figure out the process of raising money properly, you can raise a lot of money. That can be with anything in this industry, or with running a private equity firm, processes everything.

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