South Florida-based private lender A&S Capital have quickly become a major player in the multifamily real estate market. Focusing on providing short-term financing for projects across the country, they’ve emerged stronger from the pandemic and ridden a booming market thanks to a quick, painless, blockchain-assisted draw process and a trustworthy reputation.
2022 looks to be another pivotal year for the multifamily real estate market, and to weather the ever-changing conditions, a smart operator will be sure to equip themselves with the right partners. With A&S’ unparalleled service and rapid closing speeds, the bridge lender has built a reputation for executing deals other firms balk at.
“It was extremely refreshing to see a competent team, a skilled team, and a lender that I can depend on not only for purchase financing but for renovation capital,” says Edward Bolden, owner/founder of Bolden Capital Group. The Atlanta, Georgia-based has become well-acquainted with rising above stiff competition in one of the top 5 rental markets for multifamily real estate. With a rapidly growing operation consisting of 532 apartment rental units and 30 single family homes, Bolden Capital required a bridge lender that prioritized the speed and efficiency needed to close big deals and help them expand. For him, the only option was A&S.
“They have a great draw process and they just streamline what we’ve got going on in multifamily. I think some other lender shops should really take a tutorial session from what A&S has got going. It’s something really special.”
Mendel Fisher, an operator with over 6,000 units, has already closed on two projects with A&S with more in the pipeline. “Their response turnaround is very, very efficient,” Fisher says. “They’re always available for the developer’s needs, closing on time, and especially when it comes to more rehab and construction projects, their draw turnaround is impeccable.”
Exclusively for The Real Deal, the experts at A&S have given their perspective on what investors should look out for as they continue to navigate the multifamily market in 2022 and beyond. Here’s what they told us.
Location, Location, Location
Where to buy? Where to invest? It’s the most essential question in real estate, one that A&S has become familiar with by making deals all over the country, from the dense Northeast to the Sun Belt. In 2022, though, that question can be answered with two little words: Head South! Demand for housing in states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona has exploded. Freed by remote work from the need to commute to the office, renters, homeowners, and property owners alike in places like New York and California are looking for warmer weather, more space, and fewer taxes and property regulations in the Sun Belt. Cities like Miami, which faced a housing shortage before the pandemic, have seen rents and property pricing across sectors skyrocket as more and more people look for their piece of paradise. A multifamily property in one of these low-regulation, high demand markets is a sound investment. Students or recent grads looking for a post-dorm habitation, young couples or families still searching for (or priced out of buying) a starter home, recent transplants with a lucrative job – a multifamily property is ideal for all kinds of tenants, especially in a competitive market.
With A&S’ unparalleled service and rapid closing speeds, the bridge lender has built a reputation for executing deals other firms balk at.
Got a deal? Talk to the decision makers.
Have you noticed the price of your daily cappuccino going up? It’s all because of inflation, by far the biggest financial story of 2022. In late 2021 the Consumer Price Index hit 7% for the first time since 1982. Costs for almost all major consumer goods have gone up, rents have been allowed to skyrocket across the country, and wages for most Americans have failed to keep pace with cost of living increases. It’s expected that the Federal Reserve will respond to the situation by raising interest rates above their current near-zero levels, while the federal government has been mulling other policy changes as well. While this rate increase will likely be digested by the market in the form of increased rents, inflation is nevertheless a story that all investors will want to watch carefully due to its effect on the cost of doing business, from property values going up to heightened construction and contracting rates.
Generation Z are the future of the real estate market. “Zoomers,” as they’re called, are the most online generation yet, making heavy use of the internet for work, entertainment, commerce, and all other aspects of daily life. Any seasoned property owner will want to invest in digital nativity as a result. Make sure WiFi and network access is top notch so that tenants will be able to easily work or run their business from home. Ensure easy access to delivery services, from Amazon to Uber Eats. Digital payment systems are a must, of course, and pet-friendly policies couldn’t hurt either. Some may want to go as far as investing in premium furnishings or in-building community amenities such as a gym or common room. This is a new generation of renters that prefers to spend their time at home, and they’re willing to pay for quality as a result.
Don’t Be The “Landlord From Hell”
Speaking of keeping tenants happy, there’s no greater liability to a successful property business than fed-up renters. Social media is littered with horror stories about landlords taking advantage of clients by refusing to fix dilapidated properties, overcharging on rent, and conspiring against their tenants in private Facebook groups. Investors should take these issues seriously. In a market where bad operators seem to be the norm and good ones hard to find, putting in a little effort to establish a trusting, non-adversarial relationship with tenants can make all the difference in the world and minimize stress for all involved. When push comes to shove, keeping tenants happy by making sure your property is safe, well-maintained, comfortable, and reasonably priced will be less expensive and less of a headache in the long run.
Where to Go From Here
With these challenges and more to confront throughout 2022, multifamily developers have been turning more and more to A&S for help financing their projects. The results have shown in more ways than heavily increasing business for the firm: in 2021, the National Private Lenders Association declared them Commercial Lender of the Year.
Joel Lefkowitz, a New Jersey-based broker and borrower, agrees. “Four weeks ago a call came in, they said they wanted to close a very complicated loan in 10 days,” he says. “As a matter of fact, no one was able to close it. Only A&S got it done. It was really impressive.”
Edward Bolden was also impressed with A&S’s level of service. “I feel as though they give (lending) a personal touch. The A&S team came down to Atlanta and met with our team at Bolden Capital, and it just really gave me a sense of comfort.”
Got a deal? Talk to the decision makers.