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Our Buying ProcessThe BLVD Distribution


In this week's edition, we will examine our complete buying process, covering each stage from deal sourcing to the initial offer. We'll discuss the fundamental criteria that guide our investment decisions. Plus, we'll dive into our underwriting process, sharing insights on how we evaluate potential acquisitions. The goal of our unique buying process is to minimize risk while maximizing returns.

If you're interested in diving deeper into our deal flow, the offers we're putting forward, and our observations of the multifamily market, join our investor club using the button below. By doing so, you'll also gain early access to our investment opportunities.


How We Source Deals

We primarily rely on brokers to facilitate our acquisitions, focusing on deals valued between $3 to $15 million. Typically, sellers in this price range are sophisticated operators, and most work with brokers when looking to sell their properties. However, because these deals are not large-scale institutional transactions, brokers may not always advertise them extensively. A number of our past deals have been "pocket listings," where brokers inform us that a seller is considering selling, allowing us to make an offer before the property is fully marketed.

Additionally, we've successfully closed on fully marketed deals, sometimes offering less than competitors, only to find the deals circling back to us for certainty of close. Building and maintaining strong broker relationships is crucial for us to stay informed and gain optimal access to promising deals.

Our Underwriting Process

High-level Underwriting

After pinpointing a property for sale, our Director of Acquisitions, Matt May, conducts an initial assessment, also known as high-level underwriting, to ensure the property matches our purchasing criteria. This involves analyzing both the property's surrounding area and the building's vintage. Completing high-level underwriting saves us valuable time by promptly eliminating properties that fail to meet our buying criteria.

Location- We seek to purchase properties with low crime rates and a median income of at least four times the rent. For example, if our projected annual rent for a unit is $1,200, totaling $14,400 per year, we expect the US census data to show that the area’s median income is at least four times that amount, which would be $57,600. We recently purchased a property in New Hope, MN, where the projected annual rent for a one-bedroom unit is $14,400. We found that the median income for the tract is $80,000, providing us with a comfortable margin.

Building Vintage- While our preference leans towards purchasing properties from the 1970s or newer, we remain open to considering older buildings based on specific criteria. Typically, newer buildings have lower operating costs, including insurance and maintenance. However, the maintenance history of an older building plays a crucial role, as well-maintained older buildings can offer comparable cost efficiencies over time.

Analysis

After the initial screening, it's time for Matt to delve deeper. This entails comprehensively analyzing the rent roll and the trailing 12-month income statement. We aim to determine the building's potential capitalization rate (cap rate) at the asking price. Typically, we seek "positive leverage" on the trailing 12, meaning that if interest rates are at 6%, we aim to purchase at a cap rate of 6% or higher. Deals involving a significant value-add component may exhibit slightly negative leverage initially, but our business plan ensures a swift transition to positive leverage.

Next, we turn to rent comps. Initially, we rely on subscription software to assist with this task. However, as our interest in a deal builds, we expand our research by scouring local listings on platforms like Apartments.com and Zillow. Additionally, we reach out to similar properties in the area to confirm details regarding finishes, amenities, and any rent concessions offered.

Property Tours

Next, we conduct property tours, aiming to gather specific information during each visit. You can find the list of items we seek to address during these tours by clicking here.

Pipeline Meeting

After Matt inputs all the data into our model, we arrange for a "pipeline meeting." This meeting, led by Dan, Justin, and Joel, occurs at least once a week to thoroughly review everything in our pipeline and determine which opportunities merit further exploration. As we approach making an offer, we continue rigorously scrutinizing the deal. Below is a list of questions often covered in our pipeline meeting that we require answers to before proceeding with an offer.

  • What is our projected vacancy rate during each year of the project?

  • What cap rate do we plan to exit at? Very important!

  • How long will it take to implement our business plan?

  • How are we structuring the deal with the bank and the Limited partners?

  • What is our operating expense percentage for each year? We break down the expense report line by line and ensure that the BLVD Management team has signed off on it.

  • What is our capital expenditure (capex) budget? Has our contractor verified the scope of work to ensure it aligns with past projects?

  • Have we taken a conservative approach regarding the exit cap, vacancy percentage, proforma rent, capex budget, and operating expense budget?

The questions above stem from years of experience, and quite frankly getting it wrong sometimes. We aim to minimize risk, maximize potential upside, and submit offers on properties that we are excited about. Consequently, we don't submit as many offers as other operators. Instead, we prioritize thorough upfront due diligence. Brokers understand that when we do make an offer, it's a signal of our serious interest in the property.

Submit LOI

After completing thorough high-level and detailed underwriting, conducting property tours, and discussing the property in our pipeline meeting, we draft our Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI specifies our offer price and outlines basic terms that will eventually become part of the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA). Our distinct buying process has enabled us to establish a track record of successfully closing deals. This reputation positions us as a reliable buyer within the local broker communities, which, in turn, positively enhances deal flow.

If you want to participate in our next deal, use the button below to sign up for our investor portal or schedule a call to learn more.


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