In case you missed it, Scott Trench, CEO of BiggerPockets, wrote this thoughtful article: Multifamily Is at High Risk of Continuing Its Historic Crash in 2024—Here’s Why. Scott and I have been discussing this topic offline anyway, so I thought I would take him up on his invitation to debate the subject online. Healthy debate is what BiggerPockets is all about, right?

In his recent article, BiggerPockets CEO Scott Trench did a great job enumerating all the reasons why multifamily is in the difficult position it’s in. If he had written these same things a year ago, I wouldn’t be writing this rebuttal—I would have simply said, “Ditto.”  

But I don’t believe that the picture he has painted is an accurate reflection of where things are headed. Here’s why.

The multifamily and commercial real estate crash is in full swing. As much as $2.7 trillion in wealth has been wiped out with a historic surge in cap rates and plummeting asset values in the commercial real estate world, with multifamily and office leading the charge with estimated 30% and 35% peak-to-trough declines in asset value and even larger percentage declines in equity value.

What’s better than a high return on investment?
An infinite return on investment!
As compelling as the concept is, it has its detractors. Make sure you understand not just how infinite returns work, but also the arguments against pursuing them. 

I recently had the opportunity to attend the first in-person meetup of Left Field Investors, where FGCP™️ was the Grand Slam Breakfast Sponsor. This event in Columbus, Ohio was the culmination of two years of virtual interactions among a group of passive investors, sponsors, and real estate professionals. It’s always inspiring to be in a room with other like-minded people who are working to achieve similar goals, and I left with a renewed sense of focus and motivation.

In two previous blog articles, I made a lot of noise about inflation. In the first post, I talked about how to grow wealth through real estate investing in this historically unique time of low interest rates and increasing inflation. I discussed the Cantillon Effect and proposed a formula to grow your wealth.

I keep seeing real estate syndications that include a refinance during the third year of the deal. I’m not going to tell you that refinancing is a bad thing, but when I see a passive investment deal that requires a refinance, that’s a big red flag for me. And no one tries to downplay the refinance in their deals. It’s not buried in the small print. In fact, it’ll just be presented as a sensible, regular part of their business plan. So, that means it should be OK, right?

BAM Capital is a multifamily syndicator headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. Using a Fund model, we seek a balance of stable cash flow, capital appreciation, and accelerated/bonus depreciation tax benefits while maintaining a low overall risk profile. Part of how we accomplish those goals is by targeting the best assets for our portfolio. Our investment strategy focuses on assets located in midwestern cities. Why the Midwest? Find out below.

Of all the writing I’ve done over the past years, I’ve never written an article comparing three common ways to invest in real estate. Of course, I’ve talked about it many times in interviews, but I’ve never laid it out in an article with my usual visual aids, so here goes! What I’m about to discuss certainly doesn’t represent the only way to invest in real estate. Still, it represents three common ways readily available to most people.

In our last edition, we explained what real estate syndications are and whether you should consider them for your investment portfolio. In this article, we’ll cover the most important factor you need to consider prior to selecting a specific investment – the sponsor. Before choosing a market or the asset itself, you’ll want to know who is in charge and whether they are capable of executing the plan they’ve envisioned. The sponsor can make or break the returns you receive on your hard earned money.

Recent inflation numbers are causing alarm bells to go off, making investors scramble to determine how best to prepare. In this article, I break down the underlying factors causing this spike in inflation, and the unintended consequences of “The Great Stimulus” and “The Great Resignation.”

When starting their real-estate investing career, most investors initially think about buying a single-family property (whether that’s one home or condo) and renting it out. Most people gravitate towards that because it is conceptually more straightforward. After all, people usually have some level of experience

After commercial real estate lending volume rebounded from a challenging 2020, the number of deals is poised to soar further this year in a higher interest-rate climate, according to industry experts with whom Commercial

“Come on. It sounds too good to be true! You can’t tell me it’s this good. There must be some downsides.” There are. And don’t let anyone tell you there aren’t! Like every other investment,

US apartment rent growth is back in a big way, now that the country’s reopening local economies are fueling household creation and stimulating robust demand for all types of housing.

Not long ago, individuals had somewhat limited options when investing in real estate. Either they could buy a rental property, usually a single family home or a small multifamily, or invest in a REIT. One choice very active. The…

Apartment syndications remain an appealing investment for passive investors due to the myriad of tax benefits—the foremost being depreciation. Fixed asset items (a long-term tangible piece of property or equipment that is used in operations to generate income and …

The way we engage with multifamily real estate is changing. Covid-19 may have expedited the process, but a digital transformation was taking place long before we all “went virtual” in March of 2020. That’s because of proptech. The rising popularity of …

With the recent dramatic increase in the money supply and The Fed telegraphing their intent to reach their target inflation level, many believe inflation is set to take-off. That may be what Wall Street is saying, but on Main Street, multifamily developers have seen in plain…

There is much conversation in the financial sector that inflation may be brewing. I’m concerned about it myself. In a world where every asset seems to be in a bubble, I’m looking to find a store of value for my wealth and reduce risk. If significant inflation is….

Supply & Demand The demand for affordable housing is arguably the highest need in the real estate sector in 2020. In 2018, 38.1 million people lived in poverty in the U.S., which is a poverty rate of 11.8 percent. Low income…

Commercial real estate is made up of several different kinds of property types. In this article we look at self-storage facilities, a fast-growing sector that has taken advantage of a growing market of persons needing to store excess household items.

In the financial investing world, asset allocation models are everywhere. There are income models, growth models, and balanced models. There are one-fund, two-fund, and three-fund models.

I’m a passive investor. This means that I’ve cultivated a diversified portfolio of investments that provide me with cash flow on a regular basis and leave me at liberty to do the things I really care about every day.

As a passive investor, you’re likely always on the lookout for new investment opportunities. As you’ll come to find out, the real estate sector is full of many great potential opportunities if you know how to spot…

My first big move in real estate was when I decided to move to New York City to become an actor and was inspired by the musical Rent. Ironically, this led to a career in digital advertising, and finally, real estate investment…

Smart investments can change our lives by providing us multiple streams of income to live our dreams. However, while we see investors filling up their portfolio with stocks and bonds, they often overlook real estate. But, in the …

Commercial real estate is made up of several different kinds of property types. In this article we look at self-storage facilities, a fast-growing sector that has taken advantage of a growing market of persons needing to store excess household items.

Many passive investors turn to real estate syndications when investing in multifamily properties. The reasons may vary, but they all come down to the fact that passive investors don’t have the experience, time and…

Chris Franckhauser

Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner

Chris Franckhauser, Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner for Left Field Investors, has been involved in real estate since 2008. He started with one single-family fix and flip, and he was hooked. He then scaled, completing five more over a brief period. While he enjoyed the journey and the financial tailwinds that came with each completed project, being an active investor with a W2 at the time, became too much to manage with a young and growing family. Seeing this was not easily scalable or sustainable long term, he searched for alternative ideas on where to invest. He explored other passive income streams but kept coming back to his two passions; real estate and time with his family. He discovered syndications after reconnecting with a former colleague and LFI Founder. He joined Left Field Investors in 2023 and has quickly immersed himself into the community and as a key member of our team.  

Chris earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University. After years in healthcare technology and medical devices, from startups to Fortune 15 companies, Chris shifted his efforts to consulting and owning a small apparel business when he is not working with LFI (Left Field Investors) or on his personal passive investments. A few years ago, Chris and his family left the cold life in Ohio for lake life in the Carolinas. Chris lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys exploring all the things the Carolinas offer, from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in between, volunteering at the school, coaching his kids’ sports teams and cheering on the Buckeyes from afar.  

Chris knows investing is a team sport. Being a strategic thinker and analytical by nature, the ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the Left Field Community and other communities is invaluable.  

Jim Pfeifer

President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth.

Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts.

He has invested in over 100 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships. Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Chad Ackerman

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

Chad is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Left Field Investors and the host of the LFI Spotlight podcast. Chad was in banking most of his career with a focus on data analytics, but in March of 2023 he left his W2 to become LFI’s second full time employee.

Chad always had a passion for real estate, so his analytics skills translated well into the deal analyzer side of the business. Through his training, education and networking Chad was able to align his passive investing to compliment his involvement with LFI while allowing him to grow his wealth and take steps towards financial freedom. He has appreciated the help he’s received from others along his journey which is why he is excited to host the LFI Spotlight podcast and share the experience of other investors and industry experts to assist those that are looking for education for their own journey.

Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Real Estate from the University of Cincinnati. He is working to educate his two teenagers in the passive investing world. In his spare time he likes to golf, kayak, and check out the local brewery scene.

Ryan Steig

Chief Financial Officer, Founder

Ryan Stieg started down the path of passive investing like many of us did, after he picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem was that he did that in college and didn’t take action to start investing passively until many years later when that itch to invest passively crept back up.

Ryan became an accidental landlord after moving from Phoenix back to Montana in 2007, a rental he kept until 2016 when he started investing more intentionally. Since 2016, Ryan has focused (or should we say lack thereof) on all different kinds of investing, always returning to real estate and business as his mainstay. Ryan has a small portfolio of one-to-three-unit rentals across four different markets in the US. He has also invested in over fifty real estate syndication investments individually or with an investment group or tribe. Working to diversify in multiple asset classes, Ryan invests in multi-family, note funds, NNN industrial, retail, office, self-storage, online businesses, start-ups, and several other asset classes that further cement his self-diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome”.

However, with all of those reaches over the years, Ryan still believes in the long-term success and tenets of passive, cash-flow-focused investing with proven syndicators and shared knowledge in investing.

When he’s not working with LFI or on his personal passive investments, he recently opened a new Club Pilates franchise studio after an insurance career. Outside of that, he can be found with his wife watching whatever sport one of their two boys is involved in during that particular season.

Steve Suh

Chief Content Officer, Founder

Steve Suh, one of the founders of Left Field Investors and its Chief Content Officer, has been involved with real estate and alternative assets since 2005. Like many, he saw his net worth plummet during the two major stock market crashes in the early 2000s. Since then, he vowed to find other ways to invest his money. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad gave Steve the impetus to learn about real estate investing. He first became a landlord after purchasing his office condo. He then invested passively as a limited partner in oil and gas drilling syndications but quickly learned the importance of scrutinizing sponsors when he stopped getting returns after only a few months. Steve came back to real estate by buying a few small residential rentals. Seeing that this was not easily scalable, he searched for alternative ideas. After listening to hundreds of podcasts and attending numerous real estate investing meetings, he determined that passively investing in real estate syndications was the best avenue to get great, risk-adjusted returns. He has invested in dozens of syndications involving apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, resort properties, ATMs, Bitcoin mining funds, car washes, a coffee farm, and even a Broadway show.

When Steve is not vetting commercial real estate syndications in the evenings, he is stomping out eye diseases and improving vision during the day as an ophthalmologist. He enjoys playing in his tennis and pickleball leagues and rooting for his Buckeyes and Steelers football teams. In the past several years, he took up running and has completed three full marathons, including the New York City Marathon. He is always on a quest to find great pizza, BBQ brisket, and bourbon. He enjoys traveling with his wife and their three adult kids. They usually go on a medical mission trip once a year to southern Mexico to provide eye surgeries and glasses to the residents. Steve has enjoyed being a part of Left Field Investors to help others learn about the merits of passive, real asset investments.

Sean Donnelly

Chief Culture Officer, Founder

Sean holds a W2 job in the finance sector and began his real estate investing journey shortly after earning his MBA. Unfortunately, it could not have begun at a worse time … anyone remember 2007 … but even the recession provided worthy lessons. Sean stayed in the game continuing to find his place, progressing from flipping to owning single and multi-family rentals to now funding opportunities through syndications. While Sean is still heavily invested in the equities market and holds a small portfolio of rentals, he strongly believes passive investing is the best way to offset the cyclical nature of traditional investment vehicles as well as avoid the headaches of direct property ownership. Through consistent cash flow, long term yield and available tax benefits, the diversification offered with passive investing brings a welcomed balance to an otherwise turbulent investing scheme. What Sean likes most about the syndication space is that the investment opportunities are not “one size fits all” and the community of investors genuinely want to help.

He earned a B.S. in Finance from Iowa State University in 1995 and a MBA from Otterbein University in 2007. Sean has lived in eight states but has called Ohio home for the last 20+.  When not attending his children’s various school/sporting events, Sean can be found running, golfing, shooting or fly-fishing.

Patrick Wills

Chief Information Officer, Advisory Partner

An active real estate investor since 2017, Patrick Wills’ investing journey began like many others – after reading the “purple book” by Robert Kiyosaki. Patrick started with single family rentals, and while they performed well, he quickly realized their inability to scale efficiently while remaining passive. He discovered syndications via podcasts and local meetups and never looked back. He joined Left Field Investors in 2022 as a member and has quickly become an integral part of the team as Vice President of Technology.

An I.T. Systems Engineer by trade, he experienced the limitations of traditional Wall Street investing firsthand in his career and knew there had to be a better way to truly have financial freedom.

Unfortunately, that better way is inaccessible to those who need it most. His mission is to make alternative investments accessible to everyone who seeks to take control of their financial future and to pursue their passions in life.

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