Being part of a team is probably not the first thing you think of when you start investing in real estate. You may be doing most (or all) of the work on your own — or hiring an extra pair of hands to help out here and there.
Real estate investing, though, is a business. And just like any good business, you will eventually need multiple reliable people working alongside you.
These people may work for you, but they will bring with them knowledge and experience that you lack. It’s important to have an attitude of respect for these people and a sense of being part of a team — not only will you go further, you will also find the whole journey of real estate investing far more enjoyable.
Here is a quick look at the type of people you’ll need on your team, sooner or later:
This is not an exhaustive list. If you get serious about marketing, for example, you’ll need your own website, which will require creatives and other people qualified to help with digital matters.
However, this list is a good starting point.
Before going through it in more detail, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to build your team all at once. People come into the picture as needs arise and as your business grows. It is a process that should happen strategically but also organically.
A bookkeeper is probably one of the first people you should add to your team (besides subcontractors for maintenance work).
Managing data such as receipts and other information saves you invaluable time. Also, an extra pair of eyes keeping tabs on things ensures that nothing goes awry — especially as your business grows and becomes more complex.
Bookkeeping is not a particularly specialized field, making it easy for you to train whoever it is you decide to take on. This is a person you will be working with continually, so be sure to choose someone you are temperamentally compatible with.
Unless you majored in accounting with a specialty in “real estate”, you will want a really good CPA. Their focus should be helping you make the most savvy decisions possible throughout the tax year so that you don’t get hit with taxes you aren’t prepared for.
The existence of attorneys is evidence of the flawed world we live in.
Hopefully it happens later rather than sooner, but at some point, you will probably need at least one attorney. If your taxes or financial situation are complicated, it may be wise to find a good tax attorney.
You may also want an attorney specializing in real estate to help you with matters such as purchasing property, leasing, and evictions.
If you are in a situation where lawsuits are relatively likely (if you a own large, multi-unit property, for example) then you will want to find a good attorney specialized to help you with this as well.
Remember, you don’t have to find all these people at once! Look for an attorney with a specialty that’s the most relevant to your current situation.
A good realtor-broker is invaluable. They will have their hand on the pulse of the market and by the time they’ve achieved their position, they have accumulated a lot of valuable experiences.
These people have the potential to not just work “for” you, but to be your mentors and advisors — those who you can look up to and learn from, especially as you’re getting started.
A good relationship with a good lender is critical if you plan to fund your purchases with a loan (which is the majority of us). Be sure you fulfill all your obligations and go the extra mile wherever you can so that they will continue to do business with you.
If you invest in different types of properties, you will need to form a relationship with more than one lender, since lenders specialize. Some lenders focus on single-family homes, while others are more geared toward commercial properties. Choose a lender (or lenders) who specializes in your type of property.
I have learned from hard-earned experience that this is a job you do not want to outsource.
A home inspector saves you invaluable time and money by inspecting the property beforehand and alerting you to any maintenance issues (and possible red flags). A good home inspector helps you keep your eyes wide open so that you aren’t blinded by a “good deal” or become too emotionally attached to a prospect before you decide to buy.
Unless you are a wiz at every type of maintenance issue there is, you will need to hire at least one subcontractor — and most likely, more than one.
Certain types of maintenance are going to be more specialized than others. Heating and air systems, for example, are usually best left to a specialist.
Plumbing is another maintenance concern that will occupy a lot of your focus and can quickly get out of hand if not handled expertly. It’s one thing to unclog a toilet by yourself — it’s quite another to fix a “mystery” leak that’s getting more serious by the moment.
Just like with the other members of your team, you can add new subcontractors as needed. Treat your subcontractors well so they will want to come back and work for you again. It saves more time and money than you might imagine to be able to depend on the same person or crew, month after month (and year after year), rather than looking for someone new.
Many people who go into real estate don’t realize what a “social” business it can be. It’s important to know ahead of time that you will be meeting, interacting with and depending on multiple people with very different backgrounds and specialities.
Look at this as an opportunity to broaden your horizons and enrich your knowledge. Choose good, trustworthy people to work with and you will have many meaningful experiences as you invest in real estate.