Commercial real estate investors have been suffering under the weight of rising interest rates, but for some small multifamily players, the pain has been sharp.

Small investors are losing cash after Fed’s fiscal policy dents bets on rental market, WSJ says Report. Some people lost their life savings after trying to get a piece of the multifamily housing pie.

Investors dabbling in real estate have been pooling their money under the guise of one or two deal leaders Syndicate. While there are ways for syndicates to profit regardless of investment performance, investors have little recourse when investments fail.

Syndicates, which make money by charging acquisition and management fees, can muster up the courage to risk money provided by investors.

From 2020 to 2022, syndicates raised at least $115 billion from investors, according to SEC filings. Defaults are not yet common, but foreclosures could be coming soon.

One example is Houston, where Jay Gajavelli did real estate transactions for Applesway Investment Group. The company was at one point one of the city’s largest landlords, with 7,000 units of $500 million in multifamily housing in the area.

Arbor Realty Trust April Foreclosures on four of the leased buildings, a $229 million portfolio. In the blink of an eye, 3,200 apartments just disappeared. A major reason is the rise in variable interest rates, which has pushed up monthly payments beyond rent.

Rising rents across the country — especially in the Sunbelt — have attracted many investors interested in passive income and lured by syndicates’ glowing pitches during the pandemic. Gajavelli is a protégé of real estate investing coach Brad Sumrok, arguably the most famous syndicate mentor, Sales coach and investor Grant Cardone.

At Timber Ridge in Houston, Gajavelli promised to double investor returns through increased rents and additional tenant fees. But the complex left behind by Gajavelli has allegedly fallen into disrepair, leading to tenant complaints and threats from the city. Tenants are also in arrears on rent.

Gajavelli sought investment in February, but backtracked in March, saying no more money was needed. The following month, the complex was foreclosed on.

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