TJ Lokboj, co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of SyndicationPro, went from being an immigrant who didn’t speak a word of English to being a serial entrepreneur and a co-founder of a tech startup that promises to change the entire real estate syndication industry.
TJ shares his story on The Executive Real Estate Investing Show, episode 26, as a guest speaker. Keep reading to find out some of the biggest takeaways from the podcast!
Real Estate Investing Meets Innovations
SyndicationPro helps real estate fund managers and syndicators streamline the process of raising capital and managing investor relations. They bring value to their users by offering efficiency and simplicity at an affordable price.
Most people transition from tech to real estate, but TJ took a reversed path. Coming from a background in real estate, he and his partners created SyndicationPro to help his peers in the syndication space.
Historically, this technology has been built for large institutional level firms, leaving most investors out. The demand for this technology among investors created an opportunity for SyndicationPro to democratize the space and bring this technology to the masses.
As technology continues to play an increasingly large role in the real estate industry, SyndicationPro is helping investors adopt a digital transformation to remain competitive in the marketplace.
So, what exactly inspired SyndicationPro’s co-founders to start a revolutionary tech startup?
After utilizing their systems and processes, TJ and his fellow co-founders were approached by many of their peers. They began asking TJ how they were tapping into crowdfunding and online investors. TJ peeled back the curtain and told them about the system they’d developed to raise funds online. Because of the demand for their system, they decided to bring it to the market.Finding market-product fit was a challenge, but it was a necessary part of the process for the SyndicationPro team. TJ was fortunate to have such a great team surrounding him, and having the right team proved to be critical to SyndicationPro’s success in their early years as a fledgling company.
Their ability to pivot kept the founders flexible and adaptable as they went through the initial obstacles that come with starting a tech company.
Making Syndicating Real Estate Simple
SyndicationPro is a cutting-edge software that makes it more accessible for investors to invest in private deals.
Real estate operators tend to be slow to adapt and change. Part of this is their desire to keep things simple. They don’t want to spend all their time figuring out a complicated system or implementing software that will take months to reap results.
The goal of SyndicationPro was simplicity and efficiency. After initial testing and launching their software, SyndicationPro grew their client base from zero to 600 quickly.As syndicators, the founders of SyndicationPro have developed the systems to follow a business theory TJ calls, Jobs to Be Done. It emphasizes the actual jobs you hire a product or service for. With this theory in mind, TJ identified two jobs SyndicationPro would fulfill: To help people raise capital more efficiently, and to help them grow their business. If a proposed feature didn’t help with those two things, the feature wasn’t going to be included in the SyndicationPro software.
As a result, the features that made it off the cutting board proved to be highly valuable to the software’s users. For example, many investors are still sending physical checks to their investors. SyndicationPro users are able to leverage SyndicationPro’s Automated ACH Distributions feature to improve their investor experience and create efficiency in their business.A pinnacle of SyndicationPro is their commitment to serving their users and being “sponsor obsessed.” A perfect example of this occurred when a customer of SyndicationPro needed help on a Saturday, and she called TJ directly. TJ was happy to help her, and resolved her issue! This demonstrated the dedication SyndicationPro has to its users. As sponsors themselves, they understand how important it is to have quick response time during a capital raise.
Where Are We In The Real Estate Investing Market?
TJ is aware of the increasing competition in the multifamily real estate market with compressed cap rates. TJ looks for great risk-adjusted returns and strong cash flows.
To mitigate risk, TJ makes sure he works with credible investors with great track records. Syndications can be a combination of multiple general partners and limited partners working together on a deal. Thanks to their business model, TJ is able to leverage his network and stick to his investment criteria to mitigate the ongoing changes in the economy.
TJ prefers to invest in the Midwest. Some of his top real estate investment markets include: Indiana, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Florida, and he is also expanding into Texas, where technology is booming. North Carolina, and Utah are other markets TJ believes are strong places to invest. He plans to find more construction and development opportunities in these markets.
Best Advice TJ Was Ever Given for Investing in Real Estate:
Tip #1:Find the best deals and offer the best service to your investors. Don’t rush to get your first deal, and focus on getting the right one. You can also apply this philosophy to partnerships. Don’t rush into a partnership, and focus on finding the right partners. Every time there was an issue in one of TJ’s units, it was because someone didn't do what they were supposed to do.
Tip #2: Your future is as bright as your faith. Continue to work hard and persist, and you will see results. Success in real estate is more than possible.
Bonus: TJ shared some great wisdom for those looking for their first deal: Focus on getting the best deal. TJ is always looking for great opportunities, no matter where we are in the economic cycle. There will always be opportunities to capitalize on in any market.