Raising capital for your first real estate syndication can be a daunting task, but it is an essential step toward achieving your investment goals.
In today’s episode of the Share the Wealth Show, we welcome back Sonya Rocvil an experienced real estate investor. Sonya will be sharing her insights and expertise on raising capital for your first real estate syndication. She will discuss her journey, the challenges she faced, and the strategies she used to secure the capital she needed to launch her first project.
Sonya Rocvil is the Principal and Founder of Bedrock Real Estate Investors, a privately-owned real estate company, specializing in the acquisitions and asset management of multifamily apartments in the United States. She has syndicated and operated multifamily deals totaling 462 units and valued at over $25m. Sonya has successfully life-cycled four apartment complexes totaling 374 units. She has also been an equity partner for multifamily investments totaling 438 units and valued at $28.7m.
Sonya began her career as an auditor and later transitioned to finance at a Fortune 500 Company. Her depth of knowledge in business analytics and strategic implementations that drive growth has made her successful in acquiring and operating multifamily properties.
This episode will provide valuable insights and guidance on how to raise capital for your first real estate syndication. So, let’s dive in!
[2:54 – 9:49] Approaching Potential Investors
Nicole emphasizes the significance of demonstrating your expertise and capabilities to others.
Sonya acknowledges that it can take longer for people who have known you for a while to invest with you.
They discuss the challenges of approaching potential investors and asking them about their financial situation.
[11:02 -14:20] Finding the Right Real Estate Market
Sonya discusses her decision-making process for transitioning to a new real estate market.
She mentions that the events that happened during that time are aligned with her goals. Because of how infrastructures are highly invested at the time.
Sonya highlights Birmingham’s strong and consistent real estate market due to its favorable location and economy.
[11:02 -14:20] What is next for Sonya?
Sonya discusses her plans to expand her real estate portfolio both in Birmingham and across the Southeast region.
“Self-directed investment” refers to the ability to invest in assets beyond traditional options like stocks and bonds.
[16:10 – 22:27] Closing Segment
Sonya answers the Final Questions
Sonya emphasizes the importance of diversification, stating that investing in hard assets can help balance out potential losses in the stock market.
Drawing from the game of Monopoly, Sonya stresses the value of starting early, building a foundation, and growing from there.
Sonya believes that wealth is something that can be passed down and is therefore transferable.
When asked about her definition of success, Sonya emphasizes that success is a personal definition. For her, success is how and what she can/is willing to do to achieve her goals.
Sonya also shares a question for the next guest, asking what advice they would give to their younger selves.
How to get in touch with Sonya
“When I think about wealth, I think about it from a generational perspective. How much are you able to preserve for the next set of people that are coming after you.”
“Don’t be scared to cross that line into the uncomfort zone. because it has to get crossed at some point if you’re going to raise capital. “
Connect with Sonya!
Let’s get connected!
[00: 00: 00 – 00: 00: 25]
You were talking about alignment, you know, is something really still in alignment with where you are? And, you know, a lot of times we’re evolving every day with every, you know, everything that we’re doing, new people that we meet, everything really helps us evolve. And can you, if you, if you, if you have things that are in your life that are not aligned to where you need to go?
[00: 00: 26 – 00: 01: 06]
Welcome to the share the wealth show where minority professionals can learn to escape the racial wealth gap and catapult themselves into abundance. Your host Nicole Pendergrass grew her net worth from being negative to multiple six figures. Join her on her investigative mission to expose C strategies of the wealthy so we can all have the tools needed to build the life and legacy we were created to possess. Now it’s time for the show.
[00: 01: 07 – 00: 02: 17]
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the share the wealth show. This is the show where we discuss strategies. on how to build, grow, and protect minority wealth. And today, I have the pleasure of having with me this sign your rockville. Oh my goodness. Me and sign it really go out back a ton of years, and I don’t wanna age us. But a long time ago, we met in the New York City Rhea when I was still trying to be a wholesaler and I failed miserably at that, but anyway, long, that’s neither here or there. Thank you, Sonia, for agreeing to come on the show today. I’m really excited to help you and have your story share with everybody. Nicole, it’s wonderful to be here. And, uh, thank you so much for inviting me. This is really a treat. Of course. Yay. Okay. I don’t even know if I should start there because me and Sonja were having a prerecording situation. And I’m like, why are we not recording this needs to be during the recording? Um, so I might change it up a little bit just because I wanna continue that conversation or rehash it that everyone can hear. This is something that I think is, um, very applicable to a lot of people in their lives.
[00: 02: 18 – 00: 03: 47]
We were talking about letting things go and deciding, like, doing the deep work and what’s busy work, what don’t you need to be doing, what’s in alignment for is what’s not in alignment and kinda like how to juggle all of that. Um, I didn’t have any answers. I’m still struggling with it. I don’t know, Sonya, do you have any answer, suggestions inside, or it looks like we could just start retalking about that. I just don’t know that forever. Yeah. I don’t know if I have all the answers, but it’s definitely something that I think about and some things that I’ve been trying to work on personally for myself. I think that, um, throughout my career, one of the things that I I’ve always liked to do is volunteer or you know, sign up for things because it’s a great way to meet people and you learn so much. And you also, you know, just feel blessed to be able to give back to, you know, to groups and, um, organizations that that’s a have supported you or you can support, um, but sometimes it adds up. A lot of times it adds up. And then soon, it’s like you’re picking up a lot of things that you have on your plate then you also have your children and your children’s, I, you know, activities and other things that you have to do. And then you’re thinking about your professional career, and then your evenings get tied up because you have meet ups and all of these things.
[00: 03: 48 – 00: 04: 58]
And then all of a sudden, all of these things that you’ve been kind of carrying you for a long time or carrying you’ve been carrying around with you for a long time. It’s becomes challenging because you have to make a decision. Can I continue to do this? Should I continue to do this, or is a time to transition and move on. And that’s been a big part of some of the things that that I’ve been working on over the past year or so to just try to evaluate those things. Um, Nicole, you brought up a great point in our pre call when we were talking about, you know, you were talking about alignment, you know, is something really still in alignment with where you are. And, you know, a lot of times, we’re evolving every day with every, you know, everything that we’re doing, new people that we meet, everything really helps us to evolve. And can you, if you, if you, if you have things that are in your life that are not aligned to where you need to go. Mhmm. Mhmm.
[00: 04: 59 – 00: 05: 56]
Richard is not Sunday. So this is like a whole sermon, at least for my soul. Uh, so, yes, alignment. And the thing I like what that you said about that is that we grow and change, right, as we get older, we had more experiences, as we, you know, get to, you know, just wiser and work on ourselves personally, we changed. So things that we thought were in alignment before may come out of alignment or in our sophomoric ways previously, we might have picked things that we thought were in alignment, but without really doing that deep work to know if it really was. And maybe those things we picked were because we thought it sounded good or looked good to an external world, but we never did the work to really make sure that it was, like because everybody wants to feel like they’re a good person and they’re doing things altruistically, and it’s not all about the money and all, you know, all the stuff, which is great, but sometimes it’s a little bit is.
[00: 05: 57 – 00: 06: 53]
Like, if you need some money, you want a better lifestyle, know, you don’t like style creep, all that kind of stuff. And that’s not bad, but because you want what you’re doing to look good to everybody, you take on tasks that may be dragging you down or holding you back. And that’s another thing you said. Like, if you’re holding on to things that you previously thought were in alignment, you can’t move forward because you’re still holding on to those updates. You’re not letting go to make room for new things. So yeah. Making the room. I love that part that you just said there because, um, making the because there’s only a limited amount of space. Right? You only have this limited amount of space in your mind, you know, and you and if you keep cramming things in there or there’s other things. You’re not gonna be able to function at your best. I, you know, I was talking to one of my really good friends about, um, this this decision about whether or not to continue to work on something.
[00: 06: 54 – 00: 08: 28]
And her question to me was, will they be getting the best of you? And that was a big pause moment because it made me realize that that was such a lens to, you know, kinda unpack things because it was okay. I don’t I don’t think they will be because I need to be working on these other things. So I’m actually doing them a disservice. And so, you know, it makes more sense for me to move on and transition than to try to hold on thinking I’m helping them, but then I’m really not because It’s just so it’s so it’s so complex. And then, you know, the other thing you said about you know, trying to improve your lifestyle or trying to, like, kind of also make help yourself. You know, when you go out of playing, they tell you, you know, if the oxygen mask comes down — I know. — put that on first. First. Because you can’t help anybody. If you’re not if you’re not okay, you can’t help somebody else. So the those are just other things that you know, that it’s life experience. It’s, you know, wisdom. It’s just having It’s just having some clarity sometimes, and sometimes it’s just breakthrough clarity.
[00: 08: 29 – 00: 09: 41]
Like, sometimes it’s just like you’re doing something and you’re like, why am I? Why am I doing this? But it’s like a breakthrough. And you have to kind of capture those moments because it it’s your inner self telling you. Yeah. Oh my gosh. And you know where my mind went, we’re talking about this and what you were saying. Because, yes, does that apply to, like, business and entrepreneurship and growing your own self and being financially well? All that, yes. But I was just like, my mind would, like, bring in the best of yourself, like, you know, are they getting the best of you? My mind goes to, like, motherhood. Because there’s so much, especially, I mean, in every culture, but especially in our cultures, like, you know, African American, minority, that kind of thing. It’s like the way you show love is because we didn’t have a lot of things, the way you show love is by doing more. For them and giving them everything you never had, which I don’t even agree if that’s, like, the best strategy anyway, because giving somebody everything you never had just makes a spoiled child, I feel like.
[00: 09: 42 – 00: 10: 53]
Like, you can still give them more than enough, but without purposefully giving them everything. But, anyway, that’s a whole another tangent, but I’m just thinking of, like, I have one on my vision board. I went to a vision board party, the other weekend. It was really good. But one of the things that I definitely stood out to me, and I pasted all was like, self-care is not selfish. And I was just thinking of that, and I don’t know why it went to, like, the beliefs or the expectation that as a mother, you’re supposed to sacrifice all of yourself and give away everything for your kids. And I don’t know if that’s, like, that’s super against the grain to say anything otherwise. Right? Right. But it’s like, I think if you give everything, and you will leave nothing for yourself, you grow out, you grow old into an older woman when your kids leave the house who has nothing and has no life because you gave everything to your kids and you didn’t do anything for yourself out side of raising them. Like, there has to be a balance. Right? Like, like you said, if you’re if you are not taking care of yourself, how are you showing up the best that you can for them, like, as a best mother.
[00: 10: 54 – 00: 12: 12]
Listen. I know you’ve been digging in, studying everything you can, listening to all the podcasts, reading all the books, even going to meetups, you’ve been have a degree from YouTube University, right, but you still feel stuck. You don’t know how to actually implement what you’ve learned. You’re nervous about taking the next step. So decided to start the Micro Family Investing Accelerator. This is a mentorship program where I personally guide you through my 5 proprietary pillars so you can learn how to buy your 1st commercial multifamily property and scale while not biting off more than you can chew. By focusing on 5 to 20 units. That’s what I call micro family. And so you can also get hands on guidance from an experienced micro family investor who’s been right where you are. And so you can also create the cash flow needed to give you freedom and options to build the abundant life that you were destined to live. So I’ll be limiting the first cohorts because they’ll have direct access to me, and I will be heavily invested in their success. If you’re ready to grab 2023 by the horns, schedule a free discovery call with me today. The link is in the show notes. And now let’s get back to the show.
[00: 12: 13 – 00: 13: 45]
So because I’m really sure. Yeah. No. That’s it. It’s a great it’s a great point, and it and it is because it is such a relevant thing, um, to t talk about, Nicole, because, you know, especially as a mother with young children they’re very demanding. They need a lot, then they do need a lot because they’re just learning and you wanna be there for them all of the time. And I know, you know, you know, some people are very fortunate to have, you know, grandparents or family members that are that are that are nearby and can sometimes help out. And, you know, if you have that, use it because, um, that, that just helps, and they’re also learning from another family member too, which is great. But, um, it’s really tough because you can’t have nothing left because for yourself. Um, and it’s something that that I’ve also been learning too. I that it’s not something that that I have figured out, but I what I do know is it’s really tough to give to give away all of yourself. And then when I think about where am I where am I spending my time, I also have to trade that off with Listen. If I if I’m at that thing every evening, that means I’m not spending that evening with my children, and I want to spend that time with my children. And so that’s why I had to make some other choices of scaling other things back because it was it was intersecting with that time too.
[00: 13: 46 – 00: 15: 15]
Yep. And that’s and that’s exactly it. I was gonna say that too. One of those things, um, in the evenings after work there’s always a ton of meetups. And I know the year of 2021 COVID happened and everything was, like, virtual. I was just on, like, there’s a meetup every day of the week Like, you could just be constantly on meetups. And at first, I don’t know. I just had so much energy for it. And I was here, and I was like, would rather be on the meetup and was sacrificing that time with the kids. I was trying to put them on the it put them in the bed while I’m on the meetup on Zoom with my earphones in and telling them why trying to have read a story, half not, but, like, I wasn’t showing up as my best then. And, like, I’ve gotten to the point where I think I’m, like, online meetup exhausted and so, um, and then also with me trying to get their schedule in place, and I’m getting home at a certain time, And I only have, like, an hour with them because I get home late, so I only have an hour with them before I have to put them to bed. And that hour is always what meetups are. And so I have started, you know, months ago, just I haven’t been at meet ups. It’s just too difficult well, not too difficult, but I just wanna make that decision — Yeah. — to scale those back because at least during that that hour that I’m home, I can at least try to spend some time with them. If there’s really important call or something I have to do one off, I’ll do that. But for the most part, like, on a consistent basis, I’m not doing things in that hour.
[00: 15: 16 – 00: 16: 44]
I put them to bed, and then I use that time after they’re in bed to try to spend 2, 3 hours of quiet time to do some other real estate work. So if you’re meet up at 9 o’clock at night, I’m sorry. I can’t make it. That that was a very thoughtful process that you had to go through, Nicole, to do that. And I, you know, I totally I totally get you on that because I feel that same way with a lot of things that I had to also scale back on in in the evening so that I did have that time. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So we talked we did our self so deep work publicly. Uh, for a while, but that was a good conversation. I needed that. Like, you know, especially speaking with another, you know, minority mom, newer, real estate investor, and we go through the same things. I don’t think it’s a conversation that’s had a lot, like, at least on a public forum where people can kinda relate to knowing that everybody goes through this kind of transition. So I think, you know, you’re not supposed to uh, pick a word for the year, like your theme for the year. I’ve been trying to figure out what mine is for this year, and it might be transition because I need to transition into, like, letting go of things, bringing me one of the only the things that I really want and, like, really just focusing. So, It’s so hard. You said you were working on it for, like, a year. So this is not like a quick, easy process.
[00: 16: 45 – 00: 18: 06]
You have to make a decision and snap your fingers, and it’s done. No. It, like, takes time. To really figure that out and start implementing, but in any case — Absolutely. Absolutely. And then you do want to transition things as best as you can too. In other words, like, so if you’re gonna be going off of something and you had a responsibility, you you wanna help to find the next person or to help the organization take pick up where you left off so they can carry on. Yeah. Um, as best as you can. and with a timeline so that you’re not stressed out doing it. So you’re not just forever doing it? Right. Right. Oh, man. Okay. So here goes the beginning of the show where I tell everyone your bio, but who you are if people not know you already. So Sonja is the principal and founder of Bedrock Real Estate. Investors, a privately owned real estate company specializing in acquisitions and asset management of multifamily apartment buildings in the United States. She has syndicated and operated multifamily deals, totaling 462 units and valued over $25,000,000. And Sonia has successfully life cycled for apartment complexes. Nice. Um, she also is the equity partner in multifamily investments totaling 438 units valued at 28,700,000. Woah. I love it.
[00: 18: 07 – 00: 19: 28]
Okay. You started your transition at a Fortune 500 company. You were a CPA before. Right? Yes. I’m still I still have my license. Yeah. I still have your license. Okay. And then you have been the adjunct instructor at NYU School of Professional Studies. Um, you have a bunch of masters your CPA, real estate agent in New York, and a graduate of Project REIT Real Estate Associate Program. I always want to do REIT, and I is never it’s always coming around when I’m like, oh, do I really have the time to do it? I don’t know. Was it worth it? It was great. It was great, and I would I would definitely recommend it. Um, when I went in, they so they had all in person classes. So it was in person. It was here in New York, and it’s national, so it is in different cities. But, um, one of the, um, the, uh, leaders of the group at the time uh, said that one of the one of the things that you’re gonna see is that while you’re gonna learn a lot from the people who are the different leaders in the industry speaking and giving you insight and knowledge, you’re really going to get the most from the people that you’re in the class with. And I really found that to be true.
[00: 19: 29 – 00: 20: 42]
I met some phenomenal people that are still, um, I’m still friends with and colleagues with today and, you know, it’s really a great organization. So I highly reckon Okay. Cool. I like that. And that’s the thing too. When I saw it, it was turning into virtual because of COVID, Yeah. Um, and I thought that I would get more benefit from it from being in person because then I could actually meet the other classmates and you establish a relationship that’s different than being on the line, not everyone is seeing. I didn’t know how that would be set up, but I will definitely keep looking into that because it’s something I’m so interested in. But anyway, um, this is about you and your journey. So tell me how did you did so much? And I’m just so impressed by your portfolio, what you’ve accomplished, so far, like, and all the things you’ve had to overcome to get to where you’re at today. Um, how did you change from CPA into getting into multifamily investments. Like, what was that journey like? Kinda, how did your eyes get open to these as a possibility.
[00: 20: 43 – 00: 22: 10]
Yeah. Well, I’ll start off by saying it was a long journey. Um, I started out in an accounting. I went to an audit firm, and I realized that even though I got my license, I didn’t wanna be a partner at a CPA firm. I just saw the road ahead, and I didn’t think that was the path for me. So I moved and I spent the most of my career at, uh, a fortune 500 company great. I learned a lot. I started just looking around more and reading some books and got interested in real estate, but wasn’t sure how I would be making a switch or change into that, but, um, uh, I had had a great run at that company. And then there were changes that that happened there. And my whole group and myself, we were all, we were all laid off because of the changes that were happening. And it really gave me a chance to take a step back and think, okay. What do I really wanna do next? Like, what I really wanna do next? Because I could just go to a competitor and, you know, go to another company but I really had some positive energy around me with especially my husband is like, look, this is This is maybe the time for you to look at real estate because this is what you’ve been talking about that you wanted to do, and now you have the time to do it.
[00: 22: 11 – 00: 23: 19]
And so, um, that’s what I did. I jumped in. I joined the Riaz. Um, I joined multifamily investing group that was based in Long Island, and that’s where coupled that coupled with project REIT that really helped to open my eyes to multifamily. And it made so much sense to me. I grew up in an apartment building for a lot of my childhood and you know, it just the economies of scale just made sense. And, uh, but I didn’t know how to how I was gonna do it. And so by joining that group and finding joint venture partners there, that’s how I was able to kind of really propel my next steps because I was able to learn and then be hands on and analyzing deals. And so, um, that’s how I that’s how I started. And it was it was a really great opportunity to work with a great group of people in Georgia. And then, um, and then after we sold anything, everything there, I pivoted and moved to a different market.
[00: 23: 20 – 00: 24: 32]
And so now I’m in the Birmingham market. Uh, okay. So what I really like people to hear stories and understand kinda what the pathway is and how they could potentially replicate it or, like, similarities, like, if they’re coming from a w2, um, maybe they did or didn’t get laid off or they’re looking for that transition, and how to get started. So you didn’t know how to get started. You joined the group. What was your after joining the group, what was your first investment together with your joint venture? partners? Like, what did that look like? Where does capital come from? Like, you know, all of that? So I’m gonna so my very first investment at actually through that joint venture group, though, was as a passive investor and somebody else’s multifamily deal. And I really wasn’t gonna have a deal right away, but was excited to get involved in a transaction. Quickly. And at the time, there were people who had deals that I knew from the group, and I thought this could be a great opportunity. So I used, um, my self-directed IRA. I didn’t really know much about that.
[00: 24: 33 – 00: 25: 21]
You know, when you’re in a w 2, it’s not an option, something that you think about, but it was a good opportunity for me to leverage that to invest in those in those deals. And, um, that how I started my journey because it helped me think about what one of the markets and what’s the strategy that they’re that they’re doing and then it gave me something to talk about, uh, when I was talking to brokers. Because while I couldn’t say that these deals were mine, I say that. I said, you know, I’m an investor in these deals, and these are the markets. And this is what I like about the deals that I’m in, and I’m looking for something similar to that. You know, you can kinda leverage the learnings that you’re getting from being in those deals as a passive investor. To kind of parlay that to your, you know, to people in your network brokers.
[00: 25: 22 – 00: 26: 45]
And then very shortly after that, um, the people in my or who ended up being investors in my deal as well.
So they could see that I was building up a different type of track record. So, you know, you have your business experience or your school or whatever, you know, experience that you’re coming in with you with, and that’s great. But then I needed something to be able to talk about multifamily and why I was investing in it and why I was asking other people to be a passive investor like I was and other people. So that what I thought, um, was very important for me to help to establish a little bit of credibility at least in in the beginning. So that that was the 1st investment. And then, um, for the very first deal, it was a syndication, meaning that my joint venture partner and I, we were pulling together our, um, our respective investors to have them be participants in the deal. And, um, it took we had, like, just enough money to close. It was tough, man, that very first raise, um, and then very shortly after, we got the rest of the money, but I remember that. Like, okay. Do we have we were like, well, all the phone, like, do we have enough? And we did. And then we were quickly able to get the rest of it so that we have enough for our reserves and everything like that.
[00: 26: 46 – 00: 27: 20]
Um, and that that was a but it was a great it was it ended up being a really great deal and it was great that it was of the first deal in the, you know, um, all the people who took the chance, you know, who took the who took the chance, and said, alright. Let’s see what this is about, and that was it was great. We, you know, we did really well. And then we moved on to the to the next deal. and, um, you know, 2 other deals, 3 other deals in total after that first one in Georgia.
[00: 27: 21 – 00: 27: 52]
Okay, guys. Don’t kill me, but I’m gonna have to cut this episode short. This is too juicy, and we need to do this in a part 2. So stay tuned for the next episode, the airs, and you can hear the rest of our conversation. Did you love this episode of share the wealth show? Be sure to connect with poll by following her on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook. If you picked up any of the gems that were dropped by today’s guests, make sure you not only put them in your bag. But if you know of one who would benefit from this information. Don’t keep it to yourself. Share the wealth and make sure to leave us a rating and review. We’ll see you for next week’s episode. Subscribe so you’ll be notified.
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