When Limited Partners (LPs) are considering investing in a syndicated deal, it is crucial to thoroughly evaluate General Partners (GPs) to ensure that the investment aligns with their goals and to mitigate potential risks. Here are key factors LPs should consider when assessing GPs in the context of commercial real estate investments:

  1. Experience & Track Record: Assess the GP’s experience in the real estate sector, including the specific asset class and market segments. Experience enhances the GP’s ability to make informed decisions. Examine the GP’s historical performance with previous real estate deals. A strong track record demonstrates the GP’s ability to execute successful investments and navigate market challenges.
  2. Market Knowledge: Look for GPs who possess a deep understanding of the markets they operate in. Their knowledge of local trends, economic indicators, and regulatory nuances can significantly impact investment outcomes. Ensure they have boots on the ground to oversee the Asset.
  3. Investment Strategy: Understand the GP’s investment strategy and how it aligns with your risk tolerance and objectives. Ensure the GP’s strategy matches your investment timelines and return expectation.
  4. Underwriting Process: Inquire about the GP’s approach to underwriting potential investments. A robust underwriting process minimizes the risk of overestimating returns or underestimating potential challenges.
  5. Execution Capability: Assess the GP’s execution capabilities. Their ability to manage acquisitions, due diligence, property management, and Capex plans can have a big impact on the investment’s success.
  6. Transparency and Communication: Effective communication is crucial. Look for GPs who provide timely and transparent updates on investments. This transparency helps keep LPs informed on the good and bad.
  7. Risk Management: Inquire about the GP’s risk management approach. How do they identify and mitigate risks associated with their investments? A well-defined risk management strategy is essential.
  8. Team: It is important to know if the Sponsor has a team or if they are operating solo. A sponsor with a dedicated staff can often be more efficient in managing the investment, as they can delegate tasks to their team and rely on specialized expertise within the team. A well-rounded team with diverse skills contributes to successful deal execution.
  9. Alignment of Interests: Ensure that the GP has “skin in the game” by investing their own capital alongside LPs. This aligns the GP’s interests with the LPs’ and demonstrates confidence in investment and their strategy.
  10. References and Reputation: Seek references from other LPs or industry professionals who have worked with the GP. A positive reputation and references can validate the GP’s capabilities. This is an easy step that all LP’s can do but most don’t.
  11. Fees and Terms:  All GP’s will have some fees associated with putting deals together. That is how they are able to support the staff and run the business. However, it is prudent to understand the fee structure and ensure the GP’s are transparent about it and that they align with industry standards.

Investing in real estate deals requires a long-term commitment, and the selection of a capable GP is paramount to success. By evaluating GPs based on these factors, LPs can make informed decisions that align with their investment goals and risk tolerance, ultimately increasing the likelihood of achieving favorable investment outcomes.