Building Your Investment Team

As you start your real estate investing business or continue to grow as an investor you will soon learn that building a solid team is a top priority. Many people I talk to go to several seminars each year, are always reading a real estate investment book and flat out spend thousands on education trying to learn everything there is to know about real estate. They want to know everything before they buy a piece of property. Here is the problem; you will never know everything so you might as stop trying to learn it all. My guess is you already know enough to be successful and what you don’t know you probably don’t need to know. Here is what I mean. One of the most brilliant things I have ever heard originally came from Henry Ford. Once upon a time he was giving testimony in court and did not know how to answer several questions about his company. The attorney asked him how he was able to run such a large and successful company without being able to answer basic questions about its operation. He responded with something similar to “I don’t need to know the answers to these questions, I just need to know who to call to get the answers” If you understand what he is saying here this should eliminate 99% of anything that is holding you back in real estate. The key is not knowing everything but building a solid investment team to give you advice or provide the services you need to prosper.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to know exactly who I am going to call no matter what the issue is that comes up. This virtually eliminates stress from my life and allows me to handle any problems no matter where I am.

Here is a partial list of professionals that will help ensure your success:

· Realtor

· Mortgage broker/banker/other funding sources

· Attorney (you might have several attorneys)

· Accountant

· Insurance broker

· Contractor/handyman

· Property manager

Here is a quick list of important qualification when choosing team members:

They invest in real estate- You need someone that understands what you are doing and that has experience in the industry. Just because your neighbor is a realtor with 20 years experience does not mean that he understands investing and the different strategies that will help make you rich. People who are doing what you are doing will be the best to give you sound advice.

Care about your goals – When you speak to a possible team member see if they ask you about your goals and what it is you are trying to accomplish. Someone who does all the talking and none of the listening is obviously in the business for their benefit and probably does not care if you reach your goals or not. Occasionally Travis or I will tell a client that the deal they are working on is not a deal at all. We walk them through the numbers and show them why they need to pass. Often they get angry at us because they are emotional about the deal but will call us several months later to say thank you. Be sure the potential team member wants you to succeed and is not just trying to get a commission.

Qualified – This is pretty self explanatory. If they say they are a Realtor you may want to be sure they are. I like working with the best so often times I will ask for referrals and verify those and inquire about how long they have been in business. They best way to find team members is referrals from other successful real estate investors.

Reasonable fees – Don’t be cheap but don’t pay someone more than the going rate for their service. This should be easy to verify online. When I say don’t be cheap I mean it, many times you will get what you pay for. There are expenses related to running this business just like any other business so be prepared to pay your team members.

Chemistry – You are not getting married here but you want to work with someone you can stand to be around. Ask yourself if you like the person and can handle spending time with them. Do you feel the feeling is mutual? You will also want to ask if you can trust them.

Building Your Real Estate Investment Team

How successful you become as a real estate investor will be determined by how well you assemble your team. You will need to have team members who have knowledge and expertise in their field, as well as be trustworthy and reliable. Following are players you need to recruit for your team.

Credit Repair Specialist – Even if you have good credit, it is always a good idea to have someone to repair and monitor your credit. Especially today where identity theft is prevalent, it is a good idea to monitor your credit in order to keep it in good standing.

Accountant – Keeping your accounts in proper order is difficult due to the various laws that apply to investors. Find an accountant who is familiar with these rules and regulations, is an investor himself, or works closely with real estate investors.

Real Estate Attorney – A good attorney is worth their weight in gold. There are just too many laws to learn yourself. Make sure they know the laws in your area and understand the types of deals you are going to be doing. Also I recommend you have them look over any contracts to make sure they are legal for your area.

Real Estate Agents – A real estate agent is good to have in case you decide to sell a property. In addition, the agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It may take a while, but find one that works with investors and understands the types of deal you are going to be looking for.

Title Company – You need to find a title company that works with investors and knows how to handle the types of deals you are going to be doing. They must also understand the investor terms you will be using and be able to close quickly if possible. Like the real estate agent, it may take awhile to find a title company you can work with.

Investment Advisor – An investment advisor is someone who can give you suggestions where to invest your profits. It is a good idea to have someone who does this full time and can give you sound advice to maximize your investment profile.

This should give you a good idea who you need to have on your real estate investment team. Having a good solid team will not only make investing easier, but it will also be more profitable.

John P. Myers is a successful real estate investor in N. Calif. He buys properties using various methods and specializes in re-habs, foreclosures and probate properties.