Any time you, as a potential investor, are reviewing real estate syndication investment opportunities, you’ll likely come across the term “equity multiple”. Even if you’ve purchased a primary home or a residential rental property before, it’s unlikely you’ve heard of equity multiples. 

When it comes to passively investing in real estate syndications however, it’s an important phrase to know and understand. It’s also one of my favorite metrics, personally. 

What “Equity Multiple” Means for Investors Interested in Real Estate Syndication

As a new or seasoned real estate investor, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Part of that awareness comes from understanding the metrics presented in the investment summary prior to agreeing to invest in the deal. 

The term “equity multiple” might seem confusing or even daunting if no one’s ever explained what exactly that means to you. 

Once you grasp the concept of equity multiples, you’ll be able to more confidently compare projected returns and make investment decisions that best match your investing goals. 

Defining “Equity Multiple”

The initial amount invested into a deal is an investor’s capital. That capital equals the amount of equity an investor has in the passive investment. Thus, the term Equity Multiple simply means the amount your capital (or equity) will be multiplied by the end of the deal. 

If a real estate syndication deal has an equity multiple of 2x and a projected hold time of 5 years, that means you can expect to double your capital (original investment) in that 5 year period. 

The equity multiple is the total of the cash flow distributions plus the returns after the sale of the asset. 

A Little Math to Help Demonstrate

How about we explore an example deal with a 2x equity multiple?

The investment capital, also referred to as equity, is $100,000 and this deal has a projected annual rate of return of 8% with a 5 year hold period. This means the investor may receive about $8,000 per year for 5 years. 

In other words, over a 5 year period, the investor will have received a total of $40,000 in cash flow distributions. Then, when the asset is sold, investors receive their initial $100,000 back, plus another, say, $60,000 in profit from the sale.

When the $40,000 in cash flow distributions and the $60,000 from the sale are added up, that’s $100,000 in total returns. The investor began with $100,000 and not only got that back, but also earned an additional $100,000 on their investment. 

In this example, the investor has doubled their money, which is what it means to have an equity multiple of 2x. 

How Passive Investors Might Look at Equity Multiples

In real estate syndication deals, it’s actually quite reasonable to expect to double your investment over the course of 5 years, but that doesn’t mean these deals are easily found. Here at Ohana Investment Partners, we aim to present our investors with a 2x equity multiplier over a 5 year hold period (or as close as possible). 

Remember, the equity multiple, just like any other projected return or rate, is projected. That means it’s estimated using formulas, algorithms, and expectations of the market, and is not guaranteed. The actual returns may be below the projections shown on the investment summary, or they may far exceed what was thought possible. 

All in all, as an investor, you should be reviewing the details of any presented deal with a discerning eye and ask any and all questions that come to mind until you feel comfortable with the information presented and feel confident about moving forward. 

Now that you fully understand equity multiples, you can approach the next deal with confidence around that term.