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Ken McElroy: Is Now a Good Time to Buy? Are Rates Going Up Again?
Episode 1781st November 2023 • Commercial Real Estate Investing From A-Z • Steffany Boldrini
00:00:00 00:16:22

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What is happening with commercial real estate? Is now a good time to buy or will it get even better? How are the Fed rates going to play out? Ken McElroy, CEO and founder of MC Companies, shares his experience.

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A lot of investors have bridge debt or value-add deals, we're seeing capital calls, you've been through 25 years of this, how are you looking at what's happening right now?

What happens in a normal balanced market is: there needs to be a little push-pull between buyer and seller and what happened is that the buyers in the last couple of years were at a massive disadvantage, they had to stretch for pricing and for terms, they were shortening their due diligence periods, etc. It was all coming and what this is doing is, it's an adjustment for the sellers and that gets lost in cash calls and all of that. But we needed the sellers and the brokers to adjust their expectations. What was happening was that people were stretching for deals and many of those deals are the ones that are in trouble, so the market was not in balance.

I have talked to one investor that has five capital calls going on, there's a lot of challenge, but it's really counterintuitive. A lot of times, it's the idea of being fearful when others are greedy and being greedy when others are fearful, as Warren Buffett would say. Do you think, with the cap rate expansion, are we seeing some better deals now or are we not quite there yet?

We're not quite there. There's a lag effect with interest rates, with cap rates, with sellers and brokers and all of that. Playing defense and offense is a good analogy and I believe that you should be at all times. You should always be playing a little bit of offense, sometimes you're playing more offense, a lot of people right now are playing maybe a little more defense, but the worst thing that you can do is bury your head in the sand. If you're in this business for the long haul, I think that there needs to be a good balance there.

What has gotten our investors to trust us over a long period of time is full transparency. We all know news can be a little slanted but it does stand to reason. If somebody's in that kind of trouble, how are they managing that? Have they been talking with their lenders? Have they talked to their investors? What are they doing on the management side because, for the last 22 years, the market has not gone up. I've seen it go up and go down multiple times. There are strategies for all of those things. There has been a tremendous amount of focus on influencers raising money online, I don't have a problem with that, however, if that's their only skill, then they have a problem and if the investors invested in those people, then that's an LP problem. When things like this happen, and it will happen again, you start to look at experience and wisdom, and how deep your bench is, your capital reserves, and all those things.

What do you think about the Fed with rates?

From everything I read and see it doesn't appear that the Fed would do that, and if they do, what are they going to go down to? Five? They punch all the way past 3, 4, 5, 6 and now they're approaching 7, so think how far they have to go. Even if they say, yes, we're going to reduce rates, they're going to do it at about a quarter point, half a point over time. Maybe if you're lucky, that could be a point in a year. You have to put things in perspective, they're not going to go from 6- 7% rates or even 8 for single family, in some cases, and hard money is way over that.

Ken McElroy





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