I didn’t understand the concept of a real estate team at first, so I had a hard time with real estate investment. I tended to be a “lone wolf,” trying to do too much myself. I have since learned that real estate is a team sport. To be successful, you need a team of solid, quality people you can trust and rely on.
Here are some key team members, and what they need to be on the team.
A very successful entrepreneur needs a good mentor. A guide. By closely training under the watchful eye of one smarter and more experienced than us, we can only get smarter and do better. Find a good mentor early on and establish a solid foundation for success!
A mortgage broker can offer many options, but a banker can make the loan decision. They each have their advantages, and you could use both on your team. In either case, it’s important they understand what you want (fast closings, lower interest, corporate loans?). You want someone who has the experience of working with other investors and wants to see you succeed. They need to be creative and smart!
Preferably a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Your numbers guy or gal should also be well aware of the ins and outs of real estate. Preferably, someone who is an investor like you. Come tax time, this is the person who will help you through the write-offs! Keeping good records and proper books for real estate investments is getting more complicated with all the tax-law changes. Find someone that understands the law, and understands what you want.
Find someone familiar with the laws and legal customs of your investment region(s), and that has experience with the type of deals you intend to do (If you are buying rentals, he or she should be familiar with doing evictions, for example). It is really important to have someone on the team who can go through contracts, knows about asset protection, understands business law and who knows the legalities of all your moves.
An broker or agent with experience in the areas you invest in and that has access to off-market deals, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and other “insider property info,” can be a great help. If he or she is a seller’s agent, he or she can still ethically bring the best deals to you once you’re identified as a serious buyer.
A good appraiser can give you an accurate valuation of a property, but they can also suggest ways in which you can most efficiently raise the value of a property. Find someone that will talk to you.
Some states make it too easy to become an inspector with little experience. You may want to find one that is or used to be a contractor or engineer, so he can find the problems AND give you some idea of the cost of repairs.
Good ones will understand what you want, and find ways to save you money. Insure all your properties with one agent, and you’re likely to have discounts available, as well as better service. It is always better to have an insurance rep that is looking out for you when things hit the fan.
They’ll usually be with a closing company. They can also be an attorney. Find someone that’s efficient, and can explain things clearly to both sides. If he or she is confused by a slightly creative contract, they should be educated easily or be replaced. Having a good one on the team helps to close deals that much quicker. You always want people looking out for YOUR interests.
Be certain that the property management company you hire has experience, is responsive, a good reputation and will have time when you call. Good property managers can tell you what you should get for rent in a given area BEFORE you buy. If you are an out-of-state investor, this person can make or break your business.
The good contractor seems like the hardest one to find, but can often make or break your profit margin. You want someone who gets things done on time and under budget.
Someone to take care of the little things that come up on a daily basis.
When you have a trusted person or crew ready, it means a fast turn-around when you buy a rental or rehab project.
Having the support and backing of loved ones is important in any endeavor.
Start building that team right away. Investing in real estate is a whole lot less stressful and more profitable with a good real estate investment team. Assembling the team will not happen overnight, but once together, they will give you the backing and help you’ll need to make your real estate investing dreams come true.
Bill Manassero is the founder/top dog at “The Old Dawg’s REI Network,” a blog, newsletter and podcast for seniors and retirees, that teaches the art of real estate investing. His personal real estate investing goal, which will be chronicled at olddawgsreinetwork.com, is to own/control 1,000 units/doors in the next 6 years. Prior to that, Bill and his family lived in Haiti for 11 years as missionaries serving orphaned, abandoned and at risk children.