Understanding the Waterfall Structure in Real Estate Private Equity Investments
Learn about this distribution framework used in real estate private equity investments. Understand the components of a waterfall structure, discover how the structure is designed to align with the risk and reward preferences of different stakeholders, and get insights on why it’s essential to understand before investing.
What is a Waterfall Structure?
In real estate private equity, a waterfall structure refers to a distribution framework that outlines how profits or returns generated from an investment property are distributed among various stakeholders, such as investors, sponsors, and general partners. It determines the sequence and priority of distributions based on predefined terms and conditions.
Typically, a waterfall structure is designed to ensure that profits are distributed in a way that aligns with the risk and reward preferences of different parties involved in the investment. The structure may be set up as a series of tiers or levels, with each tier specifying a different distribution percentage or preferred return threshold.
Components of a Waterfall Structure
A common waterfall structure in real estate private equity includes two main components.
- Preferred Return: The preferred return, also known as a “pref,” is a predetermined rate of return that is typically offered to the investors before any profits are distributed to other parties. It is usually set as a percentage of the initial investment amount, and once the preferred return is achieved, the distribution proceeds to the next component.
- Carried Interest: The carried interest, also referred to as “carry” or “promote,” is the share of profits that is distributed to the sponsor or general partner of the investment property after the preferred return has been met. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the remaining profits, after deducting the preferred return.
The waterfall structure may also include additional components or hurdles, such as catch-up provisions, clawback provisions, or multiple tiers with different distribution percentages, depending on the specific terms and conditions of the private equity investment.
Why is it Important to Understand the Waterfall Structure?
It’s important to note that waterfall structures can be complex and may vary depending on the specific deal and parties involved. It’s crucial for investors to carefully review and understand the waterfall structure and associated terms before participating in a real estate private equity investment to ensure they are aligned with their investment objectives and risk tolerance. Consulting with a qualified legal and financial professional is recommended for a thorough understanding of the waterfall structure in any given real estate private equity investment.
At Excelsior Capital, we prioritize transparency and education in order to foster successful real estate private equity investments. We are committed to helping our investors understand the waterfall structure in order to meet their investment goals.
To learn more about the waterfall structure or our available investments, please fill out this form and our team will be in touch.
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