Lloyd Jones buys luxury South Florida apartments

MIAMI, FL — Lloyd Jones, a multifamily investment firm based in Miami, has purchased the luxury Pembroke Pines property, Ventura Pointe.

The 206-unit apartment community, built in 2018, has a state-of-the-art gym, clubhouse, pool, pet park, and outdoor recreation area. Furthermore, it is adjacent to the 301-bed Memorial Hospital Pembroke and has excellent access to nearby retail and entertainment.

Christopher Finlay, CEO/Chairman of Lloyd Jones, says he is thrilled to expand the firm’s footprint in South Florida, a region that has seen explosive job and population growth in the past few years. “I am excited to grow our South Florida portfolio. We have seen tremendous growth in the area, and we are happy to be able to offer a new, Class A property to support the growing population,” says Finlay.

Lloyd Jones, LLC is a real estate investment and development firm with 40 years in the industry under the continuous direction of Chairman/CEO, Christopher Finlay. Based in Miami, the firm has divisions in multifamily investment, development, management, and senior living. Its investment partners include institutions, private investors, and its own principals.

For more information about Lloyd Jones, visit

Thoughts on the looming recession

Since the Fed announced its rate cut on July 31st, talks of recession have consumed the markets. With the pending Fed meeting on September 17th, it is largely expected that a consecutive rate cut will follow. A continuation of rate cuts would indicate that the Fed believes the US economy is contracting, and thus we are more likely to be closer to the looming recession.

According to Economist John Mauldin, “Lower asset prices aren’t the result of a recession. They cause the recession. That’s because access to credit drives consumer spending and business investment. Take it away and they decline. Recession follows. The last credit crisis came from subprime mortgages. Those are getting problematic again. But I think today’s bigger risk is the sheer amount of corporate debt, especially high-yield bonds.”


Economists such as Mauldin are pointing to the high levels of corporate debt as the cause of the next recession, or in other words, the “bubble”. Bubbles occur when the market prices an asset above it’s true value. For investors seeking yield but wanting to avoid the risk of investing in corporate debt, real estate investments are a suitable option.

Real estate investments, particularly multifamily, are often recession-proof investments.  Multifamily real estate is recession-proof because during down markets renters have largely proven to maintain their rents. Such housing doesn’t carry the risk of other classes such as single family. The charts below show the percentage change in the prior year for rental and for sale houses from 2008 to 2018. As illustrated below, during the recession of 2008, rental vacancies dropped less than 1% in the following year while housing vacancies decreased by 10%.


The Fed’s next meeting may indicate how quickly the looming recession could occur, but sophisticated investors will position themselves to be prepared in advance.

What does Florida’s booming population growth mean for investing in Florida real estate?


The sunshine state’s population is soaring as more and more Americans are migrating south. It may be the beautiful weather and landscape, the favorable taxes, or the growing job market, but this appears to be a trend that is here to stay.

According to the Demographic Estimating Conference, Florida’s population will surpass 22 million residents by 2022. Florida is already the nation’s third most populous state behind California and Texas. For many, this increased growth is exciting as it brings about opportunity for the state, but it begs the question if the current housing supply in Florida real estate can meet this increasing demand.

Forbes reports that from 2010-2016, on average there were 114,744 new households per year, but only 57,952 new housing units. With the surge of population growth that we are witnessing in 2019, this disparity will only increase. Given this lack of availability, now is the ideal time to invest in Florida real estate that is so sought after to meet the swelling demand.


New households, families in Florida FIGURE 4 FROM STALEY, MILLSAP, AND NASTASI (2019)

Why is real estate the #1 long-term investment for Americans?


It’s no secret that real estate has been, is, and will continue to be a popular choice of investment. As individuals take a more holistic approach to their portfolio planning, real estate investments are receiving a bigger piece of the pie to add diversification and cash flow.

That said, it still came as a surprise to many (but not us), when a nationwide Bankrate survey revealed this month that real estate is Americans’ favorite long-term investment. With rate cuts and swinging volatility, too much uncertainty lies in traditional markets. Real estate investments may offer stability, cash flow, and the gratification of owning a tangible asset that when properly managed over the long term, can bring about capital appreciation.

As investors shape their portfolio with a long-term approach, real estate investment becomes the necessary choice to offer value that is becoming more difficult to find elsewhere.

Lloyd Jones Acquires Workforce Housing Portfolio in Daytona Beach

MIAMI, FL – Lloyd Jones, LLC, a Miami-based multifamily investment and development firm, has acquired a two-property work force housing portfolio in Daytona Beach, FL. The acquisition of the Daytona Beach Portfolio brings the firm’s total AUM to $487 million.

Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, LLC provided Freddie Mac-sponsored senior and mezzanine financing to Lloyd Jones in connection with the acquisition.

Chris Finlay, CEO of Lloyd Jones, says, “With this acquisition, we now have five properties in the Daytona market and look forward to continuing our value-add, workforce housing strategy, allowing residents access to reasonably priced housing in this vibrant community.”

Built in the mid-1980s, the Daytona Beach Portfolio consists of two adjacent properties totaling 384 units. Lloyd Jones plans to invest $2M in upgrades, while keeping rents affordable for middle-income families

Raul Ramirez, the company’s CFO, stated, “Our goal is to take these currently under-performing communities and through the right management and cost-effective upgrades, create a better community for our tenants.”

This is the first investment opportunity that Lloyd Jones is offering to private, accredited investors. Previously, the firm partnered only with institutional investors on its investments, which have yielded an average realized IRR of 32.09% for the past ten years. Finlay added “This will allow individuals to access investment opportunities typically reserved for large institutional “check writers,” for as little as $25,000 per investor, and to tap Lloyd Jones’ seasoned investment and property management teams which underwrote and will own and manage these properties.”

For more information, please email:


About Lloyd Jones, LLC

Lloyd Jones, LLC, is a private-equity real estate firm that specializes in multifamily and senior housing.  With 37 years of experience in the real estate industry, the firm develops, acquires, improves, and operates multifamily and senior housing communities throughout Florida, Texas, and the Southeast.  The firm is based in Miami, Florida. Its partners include institutional investors, family offices, individual accredited investors, and its principals.


Choosing a Real Estate Investment Partner? Six Questions to Ask

Before you entrust your funds to a real estate investment partner, ask some questions.

First: Is your real estate investment partner an Allocator or an Operator? There is a big difference.

Allocators distribute capital on your behalf to Operators. Allocators seek the best operators and invest, on your behalf, in whatever funds and deals operators bring to them. Allocators make sense if you are a pension fund (or similar) with no expertise in real estate investment. You are basically outsourcing that function and knowledge; however, it comes at a cost. You have no input in asset selection or fund strategy. And of course, the Allocator charges fees. This adds an additional layer of costs to you, and these fees come out of the investment thus reducing your returns. An Operator, on the other hand, is the preferred solution if you have the resources to analyze a specific fund or an individual deal. If you invest directly with a real estate operator, you will not only save a layer of expensive fees, but also get to choose a fund investment strategy, (or particular asset), its geography, investment term, and even the potential returns. But be careful how you choose an operator. They are not all the same.

Six questions you should ask your operator:

  1. Focus. What asset class do you specialize in?

If the answer is “retail, industrial, and student housing…” Run! An operator must be an expert in a specific asset class.

  1. Market. What markets do you specialize in?

The same applies to markets. A real estate operator must have a physical presence in the target market to really understand its nuances and trends.

  1. How long have you been in business? In the specific asset class? In the specific market?

Experience is priceless.

  1. How many economic cycles have you experienced? How did you weather the market crashes of early ’90s and ’08?

Real estate is great while the market is booming. Does your operator know what to do in a crash?

  1. Who manages your investment properties? Do you outsource to a 3rd party management company?

There is no substitute for your own, on-site management of your assets. As a wise farmer once told me, “The best fertilizer is the farmer’s foot on the soil.” This applies to property management, as well. You must have your foot – and your hands, eyes, and ears — on the property, at all times. The 3rd party manager has no skin in the game. It’s not his money at risk if there is a budget shortfall.

A word about property management: It is local, hands-on, and very difficult – and probably the most important aspect of a real estate investment. Your management team, especially at the site level, is critical to your property’s success. Few investors/operators pay enough attention to this fact. Let me assure you, it’s very, very difficult to assemble the right team. I can hire 1,000 financial analysts more easily than one, excellent on-site property manager. It’s that hard.

  1. How much of your own money are you putting in the deal?

Most sophisticated investors want to see the operator have money in the deal. It gives them comfort knowing that if the investment is not successful, the operator will share the pain.

At Lloyd Jones Capital, we always invest alongside our real estate investment partners, but, in fact, maintaining our good reputation and strong track record is what motivates us to succeed. With the transparency in the market today, an operator’s reputation is far more valuable than his money.

In summary, when choosing a real estate investment partner, ask these questions and remember:

Real estate is local and hands-on. Your partner should be, too.

Christopher Finlay is Chairman/CEO of Lloyd Jones Capital, a private-equity real estate operator that specializes in the multifamily and senior housing sectors. Headquartered in Miami, the firm acquires, improves, and operates multifamily real estate in growth markets throughout Texas, Florida, and the Southeast. Its affiliated management group is an Accredited Management Organization (AMO®) with a thirty-five-year history in multifamily real estate.

How to Make Inflation Your Friend

Central banks like the Federal Reserve battle inflation – the general rise in prices—by boosting interest rates. In a benign environment, the rate of inflation is low, but as the economy heats up, inflation increases and robs the local currency of some of its buying power. By lifting interest rates in small increments, the Fed moderates the economy by increasing the cost of capital, that is, how much interest you have to pay to finance a project with borrowed money. Some potential projects will not go forward because they can’t generate the required rate of return necessary for investment due to the higher cost of capital. After all, the more of the project’s revenues that must be spent on interest and higher costs leaves less to compensate investors for committing their money to the investment.

As inflation and interest rates rise, what happens to multifamily real estate investment? In general, real estate values rise along with, and act as a hedge against, inflation. But the devil is in the details, and it takes the right combination of management, financing and location for a particular real-estate investment to benefit from inflation.

Make Inflation Your Friend 

Inflation and its accompanying interest rate increases affect a multifamily real estate investment in several ways. Let’s break it down.

This is how stock markets sometimes operate, with seemingly endless trends suddenly interrupted and/or reversed. A long bull market tends to attract ‘’weak” investors who are not accustomed to, and can’t stomach, a sudden sell-off. Weak investors are the first to sell their stocks when prices begin declining, which can have a snowball effect that causes volatility to skyrocket.

Net Operating Income (NOI) 

A property’s NOI is its revenues from rents and fees minus the costs of operating the property. For a property to benefit from inflation, its income must grow faster than its expenses. In the context of a multifamily property, this means that the rent increases must at least keep pace with the inflation rate, while costs require tight control to keep their rise below the inflation rate.

A good investment property in an inflationary environment will support sufficient rent increases with each lease renewal, which in turn depends upon the value perception of tenants, lease terms, and the availability of competing rentals. Improved property management can increase occupancy rates and rents by addressing structural and operational problems. Operating expenses can be controlled in numerous ways by better, hands-on property management, including switching to lower cost vendors and suppliers, more cost-efficient and effective marketing, and repairing costly problems. All of these are features of a value-add strategy, the hallmark of Lloyd Jones investment properties. The ideal property must pass our proprietary screening protocols that evaluate a property’s suitability for value-add. In other words, we need to make sure the value we add through rehabbing and better management will increase NOI. At Lloyd Jones, very few properties make it through our tough screening.

Net Profits

NOI does not include the cost to finance a property with debt – that is, the interest rate on the underlying mortgage. Net profits, on the other hand, do indeed depend on ensuring that financing is structured to provide maximum protection from the rising interest rates that accompany inflation. Here are several of the strategies we use:

1. Sensitivity analysis: Our screening protocol projects how a property’s value will fare if interest rates rise when we refinance the property (to unlock and extract equity) at the end of the value-add period, typically two to three years after purchase. We model the sensitivity of the investment’s return to a wide spectrum of interest rates so that we can quantify the risk involved in refinancing during an unfavorable borrowing environment.

2. Control leverage: Debt is indispensable to most real estate projects, but too much debt, or leverage, can swamp an investment with unsustainable interest expenses. We typically structure multifamily investments with a 70 percent cap on loan-to-value. In other words, our financing requires 30 percent equity contribution from investors to limit exposure to rising interest rates. We also observe conservative borrowing standards – we take only non-recourse loans (the property alone serves as collateral, and the lender cannot attach other investor assets), and never cross-collateralize our properties (meaning the default of one property doesn’t affect the financing of any other property).

3. Build a cash cushion: By specializing in value-add properties, we have the ability to build a cash cushion that wouldn’t be available from a stabilized property. This cushion can help protect the investment even if high interest rates negatively affect property values and cash flows.

4. Flexible debt: We often use a mix of fixed and floating-rate debt with staggered maturities. This helps keep interest costs low during the value-add period and helps us avoid overly-large refinancing tranches. We also like to structure our loans for terms of at least five years, which gives us a two-to-three-year cushion following the value-add period to refinance. This can come in handy if interest rates spike two to three years after property acquisition.

5. Reap what ye sow: We constantly evaluate whether it would benefit investors more to sell the property rather than hold it. This reduces our investment exposure during periods of rising interest rates. At the same time, we carefully manage our own cash position and debt facilities to weather rough market conditions without having to succumb to panic selling due to a cash crunch.

Property Value

The total return from a real estate investment is composed of the net cash flows and capital appreciation. The value of a properly selected and managed multifamily property should appreciate with inflation. Two factors are at play:

1. Higher rents: The value of a rental property is fundamentally tied to the rents it generates. Periods of high inflation produce rising wages and profits, conditioning tenants to pay higher rents for a given space and thereby boosting property values. Consumers with a greater sense of wealth will be motivated to move to nicer apartments, creating higher demand and higher rents.

2. Restricted construction: As inflation increases, construction costs rise (due to higher material and labor costs) as does the amount of interest charged for construction loans. These factors tend to restrict new construction, helping to limit the supply of competing housing.

Increased demand and decreased supply equates to higher property values and the prospect of greater capital appreciation during times of high inflation.

In summary, multifamily real estate investments can perform well during inflationary times if the properties have the right characteristics and are managed with a strong, knowledgeable hand. We invite you to speak with us about our past performance during all types of economic environments, and the opportunities we see right now in the multifamily and senior community market segment.

About Christopher Finlay
Christopher Finlay is chairman/CEO of Lloyd Jones Capital, a private-equity real estate firm that specializes in the multifamily sector. For the past thirty-seven years, and through every economic cycle, he has owned and operated successful multifamily businesses. Predecessor companies include commercial brokerage, appraisal, property and asset management, construction, and development.

Headquartered in Miami, Lloyd Jones Capital acquires, improves, and operates multifamily real estate in growth markets throughout Texas, Florida, and the Southeast on behalf of institutional partners, private investors, and its own principals.

How Does Stock Market Volatility Affect Multifamily Real Estate Investment?

The short answer is that stock market volatility increases demand for multifamily real estate investment, because real estate is much less volatile than stocks. For those who don’t want to invest all their money in the roller coaster stock market, real estate is, over the long run, a relatively tranquil alternative. Let’s dig deeper into the concept of volatility to explore the differences between the stock and real estate asset classes.

Something’s Happening Here

Volatility is, according to Investopedia, “the amount of uncertainty or risk about the size of changes in a security’s value.” The higher the volatility, the greater the chance that a stock’s or index’s value will suddenly and dramatically change.

A volatility spike in February 2018 awakened many stock investors to the fact the fact that stocks also go down. It’s been a long bull market, and we haven’t had a meaningful correction in more than two years. Suddenly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points twice in February, a clear sign of heightened volatility, if not outright panic.

Now, take a look at the following chart. It’s a one-year chart of the Chicago Board of Exchange’s VIX Index, which measures the volatility of stock futures and options. The spike in February is all the more startling when seen against the flat backdrop over the last year.

This is how stock markets sometimes operate, with seemingly endless trends suddenly interrupted and/or reversed. A long bull market tends to attract ‘’weak” investors who are not accustomed to, and can’t stomach, a sudden sell-off. Weak investors are the first to sell their stocks when prices begin declining, which can have a snowball effect that causes volatility to skyrocket.

The Volatility Opportunity

Sudden bouts of volatility create an opportunity for you to think about your own tolerance for risk. Perhaps you invest in the stock market to reap current dividend income, only to realize in horror that a sudden decline in stock value can wipe out years of dividend payments. By the way, the so-called safer bond market is also vulnerable to abrupt bouts of volatility, creating losses that overwhelm interest income. Which brings us to our point: Thoughtful investors look to lower their risks as they seek to achieve their investment goals, and multifamily real estate investing is one of the surest means of accomplishing this strategy, because it offers steady long-term income with very little volatility. Let’s see why:

  1. Diversification: Real estate market returns are not closely correlated to those from stocks, creating an excellent vehicle for diversification. As stocks bounce higher and lower, real estate follows its own course that can help steady the value of your total portfolio. Many financial advisors recommend prudent investors allocate at least 25 percent of their portfolios to alternate investments such as real estate.
  2. Rents vs dividends: During bear markets, companies that find themselves in financial distress often cut their dividends to conserve cash, which takes only a vote by the board of directors to accomplish. Tenants, especially ones living in carefully screened multifamily apartment complexes and senior communities, are highly motivated to keep paying their rent, making it a much more reliable source of income to investors. The multifamily advantage over single-family rentals is due to economies of scale: More separate rental cash flows per square foot. That translates into lower overall management costs and a smaller impact when the occasional collection issue arises.
  3. Alignment of interests: It’s upsetting enough when your stock suddenly loses a good share of its value in a volatile market. Adding insult is the fact that the stock broker or analyst who recommended the stock need not own a single share. Brokers make their living from commissions, which gives them a financial incentive to favor volatility and the churn it creates. By the way, fund managers don’t have to invest in their own funds either. We do things differently at Lloyd Jones, in that we take an equity stake in every one of our properties. In other words, we align our interests with those of our investors.

The Value of Specialization

Many stock investors seek to lower their risks through the purchase of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. True, this will lower non-systemic risk, but at a cost – you have no control over the choices made by the portfolio manager. If you seek out the best fund managers, you should keep in mind that they will probably charge higher fees and in the long run will likely underperform the market – just ask Warren Buffet.

Purchasing an index fund doesn’t solve the control problem. They are cheap, but by definition give you average returns and average risk, meaning you don’t benefit from expert specialized knowledge since these funds run on auto-pilot.

Lloyd Jones believes you can do better than average when you apply specialized expertise to given segments of a market. We do this through first through geographical specialization, by investing in business-friendly, low-tax states in the Southeast, especially Florida and Texas. Senior and multifamily housing investments are favored in this region due to warm weather, low costs and low taxes.

Geography is a good start, but it takes a lot more to identify real-estate investments with solid cash flow prospects and low risk. We select properties with good cash flows that would benefit from more capitalization or better management. Only one percent of properties make it through our screening process. These are the ones we acquire and operate, and in doing so add value for all investors, including ourselves.

Specialization pays off in this context without sacrificing the benefits of diversification. For one thing, each property stands alone, without cross-collateralization, to isolate any problems from affecting other properties. Our funds provide diversification by spreading risk across eight to ten properties in at least four different markets, and specialization by choosing our markets, property types and properties carefully – a small subset of the total market.

There is no better time than right now to redeploy some of your stock and bond market assets to multifamily real estate investments. Recent volatility spikes are a warning of rough seas ahead, but carefully selected real-estate investments have the ability to steady your portfolio in the most turbulent times.

Post Script:  Based on the front page of the Wall Street Journal of 2/26/18, margin bets will continue to fuel market volatility.


About Christopher Finlay
Christopher Finlay is chairman/CEO of Lloyd Jones Capital, a private-equity real estate firm that specializes in the multifamily sector. For the past thirty-seven years, and through every economic cycle, he has owned and operated successful multifamily businesses. Predecessor companies include commercial brokerage, appraisal, property and asset management, construction, and development.

Headquartered in Miami, Lloyd Jones Capital acquires, improves, and operates multifamily real estate in growth markets throughout Texas, Florida, and the Southeast on behalf of institutional partners, private investors, and its own principals.

So, What’s An Investor To Do?

“The golden era [of stocks and bonds] has now ended,” says a McKinsey & Company report issued last year. The report suggests that returns on equities and fixed-income investments could see significant decreases – up to 400 or 500 basis points over the next twenty years.   According to the report, this will affect everybody, from pension funds that will face larger funding gaps; asset managers who will see lower fees; and insurers whose earnings depend on investment income.  And on a personal level, the new generation of retirees will retire later and with less income.

And more recently, Bloomberg reported that “U.S. markets are at their highest risk levels since before the 2008 financial crisis… according to Bill Gross, manager of the $2 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.” The article continues, “Gross said that ‘…returns are going to be lower.’”  These thoughts are echoing throughout the industry.

To prepare for the new era, investors are seeking alternative investments.  Many are choosing real estate. And with good reason. In fact, as far back as 2012, a JP Morgan paper suggested that real estate is no longer an alternative, but rather a “way out.”  “An alternative no more.”  Just look at the endowment portfolios of major academic institutions, led by Yale whose successes are legendary. Yale has allocated 12.5% of its investment to real estate.

Maybe it’s time for you to consider investment alternatives and diversifying your investment portfolio by adding real estate. Why?

Reduced Volatility
Real estate is stable, unlike the stock market that reacts to every nuanced whisper in politics or the economy.  It is not correlated to the stock and bond markets. Real estate offers a steady, reliable return.   Studies show that, by adding real estate to a mixed portfolio, you will see an increase in returns and, perhaps even more important, a reduction of risk based on return/unit of risk.

I’m not talking about a REIT.  A REIT is like a stock; it goes up and down with the equity markets.  I’m talking about a direct investment in private equity joint venture or a fund.

Cash Flow
Cash flow is the key.  You should receive, at the very least, six-plus percent annual return on your investment. Our goal in today’s market is yield – a reliable, on-going cash flow return.

And this is not about short term. The days of “fix and flip” passed us a couple of years ago. Now, we hold our properties for several years while enjoying the steady cash flow and substantial appreciation.

Hedge Against Inflation: Anticipated and Unanticipated
We factor anticipated inflation into our underwriting projections.  We expect an increase in expenses, and we project an increase in rents to cover them.  Remember, real estate is a hard asset.  As new construction costs increase, the cost of replacing the existing structure also rises (along with its value) creating yet another potential hedge against unanticipated inflation.

Capital Gains

When you get your money back, it is treated as capital gain, a favorable tax rate.

The Private-Equity Real Estate Fund          

We like funds. You will, too.  But it is important to focus – and to focus on an asset class your investment partner knows and understands.

At Lloyd Jones Capital, our focus is middle-income housing. It’s what we have been doing for years. According to virtually every demographic study, the supply will never catch up to the demand.

And we focus on Texas and the Southeast, home to ten of the 15 fastest growing cities plus seven of the ten “best cities for job growth.”  We like to be where the people like to be. Plus, we have existing operations throughout these markets.

We like funds because you can spread the risk as an investment alternative among various properties and geographic markets. A disappointing performance of one asset will not affect the others. In fact, the others will most likely compensate for it.

We like eight to ten properties in four or more different markets for maximum diversification. We have operations in every market we serve, and our local presence gives us a tremendous advantage in finding, acquiring, and operating properties within these territories.

Stand-Alone Entities
Our fund structure allows us to hold our investments property by property. Each one operates as a separate business. There is no cross-collateralization.  A market slow-down in one area will not affect the other properties. We prepare a business plan for each specific property, and we can choose individual hold terms and disposition times.

Alignment of Interest
We believe in our investments; we are thoroughly committed to them, so we participate financially in every one, alongside our investors.

So, what’s an investor to do?
I suggest that we all heed the words of today’s best-known economists and be prepared for the unknown future of the equity and fixed-income markets.  It would be wise to look at this asset class as an investment alternative diversify your portfolio with multifamily real estate. Private-equity real estate offers protection from stock market swings and a hedge against inflation.  It provides a steady cash flow, appreciation, and great tax advantages.  What other asset class says that?

About Christopher Finlay
Christopher Finlay is chairman/CEO of Lloyd Jones Capital, a private-equity real estate firm that specializes in the multifamily sector. For the past thirty-seven years, and through every economic cycle, he has owned and operated successful multifamily businesses. Predecessor companies include commercial brokerage, appraisal, property and asset management, construction, and development.

Headquartered in Miami, Lloyd Jones Capital acquires, improves, and operates multifamily real estate in growth markets throughout Texas, Florida, and the Southeast on behalf of institutional partners, private investors, and its own principals.