Book Review: "The Cash Flow Investor"

A fresh look at syndication investing from Kevin Bupp with an emphasis on mobile home park syndications.

Mobile home park investing can have a stigma, author Kevin Bupp notes, but it shouldn't. Bupp, a syndicator who specializes in this area of investing, argues that the creation of a vibrant mobile home community can be enormously rewarding for everyone involved--from residents to investors.

In "The Cash Flow Investor: How to Create Financial Freedom Investing in Commercial Real Estate," Bupp covers a lot of ground--starting with mobile home park investing but expanding well beyond. Published in April, 2022, this book takes the reader through the ins and outs of putting together a syndication. It is probably most useful to someone who is getting into the game of pulling together their own syndicate but it is a useful guide to anyone interested in investing in commercial real estate.

Especially compared to the many other books in this genre, Bupp's new title features a heavy emphasis on mobile home parks, his personal area of expertise. He is aware that this is only one possible part of the story, of course, so he broadens out the argument beyond his particular area of expertise. To enrich the story, Bupp brings in other well-known names to discuss other asset classes: Rod Khleif on Multi-Family Investing, Scott Myers on Self-Storage, Gene Guarino on Assisted Living, and Brian Spear on Parking Lot Investing. It's a clever approach; the added voices near the end enliven the text.

Strengths of Bupp's book include:

  • Many rich case studies on specific deals, including photos and substantial details on the deals and outcomes. Most of these deals took place in the past five to ten years (roughly 2015-2020 or so).
  • Bupp places a great deal of emphasis on getting your "why" right up front and the sense of purpose you bring to your investing. His emphasis on supporting strong, vibrant communities through is housing development is an inspiring aspect of the text.
  • He offers specific steps for the syndicator along the path. For instance, Bupp shows what should go into an offer and then describes how the investor (would-be syndicator) might respond to various objections from the would-be seller.
  • At first this book might not seem that useful to an aspiring limited partner (LP) in, say, multi-family investments. The passive investor will benefit from seeing the way that the syndicator approaches a deal--and also might benefit from thinking about another asset class within commercial real estate that could be of interest as that LP considers diversifying her or his investments.

We were glad to spend time with Bupp's text and encourage others who want to go deep on the topic of syndications to consider adding it to their reading list.

(An aside: If you prefer to learn through audio--or you'd like to hear more from Bupp-- consider listening to his interview with Kathy Fettke on the Real Wealth Podcast. It is her episode #866 and is entitled "Finding Your Real Estate Sweet Spot from a Mobile Home Park Expert." It's a 32 minute listen instead of the few hour read of the book.)