Every syndicator and opportunity promoter communicates differently than the next. Usually, you can get a pretty good sense of a person before you actually invest your money. But, there are certain signs and boxes to look over and check before you go into business with anyone. It’s not just about the efficiency and clarity of their communication. It should also align with your communication style. Investors may want more or less communication, some like videos and pictures. Still others might prefer a lengthy report of figures and facts. The point is, communication is really everything when you are investing your money in something, or when you have investors waiting.
When Good Communication Really Matters
I’ve experienced all different sorts of communication as an investor on big opportunities. Some good, some not so good.
I can remember a particular group that was prone to sharing updates in Dropbox. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with Dropbox, but there’s something very impersonal about getting an email notification from an automated system anytime an update has been shared. On top of that, it’s somewhat cumbersome and slow to have to login and navigate the system just to learn what’s going on. The nature of sharing and providing updates was great, but the method could have been better.
In another project, we were working with a group on an apartment complex. The first phase of the project was the takedown of the property, around a nine month process with zoning and taking down the dirt. In phase two, the site was expected to go vertical and construction begun. Several months went by and we hadn’t heard any updates. I had a group of investors (including myself) wondering what was going on. We were expecting an 8% preferred return once the project went vertical, but still no update and no returns. It’s quite unusual to receive a return that early on, but it was part of the deal. Eventually, I had to reach out to the syndicator to get an update and ask that it be shared with all investors.
Keep Up with Updates
What I’ve noticed is that when you get into the daily grind and into the weeds of a project, you can forget about investors on the outside who don’t know what’s happening day-to-day. They only see that there’s no update or information given.
On the flip side, I’ve also had some very positive experiences. A particular group stands out that we were working with on a conversion project of a storage unit facility. They sent very regular video updates – at least once per month – on the project site. You’d see the team walking on the site with hard hats, pointing out new updates and what had changed since the last time. Video and pictures truly speak volumes and connect in a different way than just words and reports can. They made a real effort to communicate visually with investors and it makes a real difference.
For our project in Fultondale, we are erecting a pole with a 24/7 video camera so our investors can log on anytime of day (or night) to check out progress and feel a part of the process. We believe full transparency and access are what investors deserve and want. For those of you investing in our Fultondale opportunity, if there is anything that you’d like us to supply you in terms of information, please reach out to us.
Why Communication Matters in Investing
At the end of the day, human connection and personal touches are nice to have. But, money speaks the loudest. Sometimes, good performance can overshadow poor communication, as long as you’re receiving returns and not getting bad news. Nevertheless, as an investor you have rights and deserve good communication.
My advice to you is if you feel you’re not being communicated with efficiently or in the amount you want, reach out and voice your concerns. They are probably unaware of what you want and will be glad to meet your need.
Whether you ask for regular updates, timelines, milestones or progress reports, communication is essential and will also educate you as an investor as to the process of such large scale projects.
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