The most successful real estate investors know that they can’t do everything by themselves. Even though real estate is an individual business, you need a strong team around you to be successful. Everyone from your real estate agent to your repairman plays a part in your success. Neglecting to build a proper real estate team will certainly come back to hurt your business. Instead of waiting until there is a specific need, you should take any down time to look for the best fits for your business. It will take some time to get everyone in place, but once you do your team will be a force in your area. Here are some of the key players your real estate team should have in place:
1. Real Estate Agent: A good real estate agent is usually behind every successful investor. They can be a great source for leads, and make you aware of deals you didn’t even know existed. However, not every successful real estate agent is a fit to work with investors. You need to do your homework and find out if they are a good fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them how and where they find new listings. Ask them if they own any investment properties themselves, and if they work with other investors. Treat this as a job interview. There are plenty of real estate agents in every market. It is important that you can find one that knows your goals and can help you achieve them. Hopefully you will work together on plenty of deals, so you also need to be comfortable with them. A good agent is an important piece in building a successful real estate team.
2. Contractor: If you focus on rehabs, you need a quality contractor. In much the same way that you find your real estate agent, you should look for your contractor. Odds are that you won’t use the first one you talk to. You can find a contractor through personal referrals, networking meetings or local real estate clubs. Once you make contact, you should ask for references and availability. A good contractor should be able to quickly supply you with both. It is not realistic for them to drop everything they are doing for you, but you do need to feel important. Furthermore, you want to feel like you are on the same page and can work together moving forward. A good contractor can help keep you under budget and finish your projects within your time-frame.
3. Property Manager: If you are looking to grow your rental portfolio, you need a good property manager to run your properties. A good property manager handles projects for you, and allows you to focus on other areas of your business. Finding new tenants, rent collection and scheduling regular maintenance is not only a burden, but can consume most of your day. By not having to deal with these issues, your rental business can almost run itself. Again, a good property manager is well worth what you are paying them.
4. Wholesalers: Real estate is very much a numbers game. You want as many different lead sources as possible. Even if you have a great real estate agent, there is always room for a quality wholesaler. Wholesalers need cash buyers that can quickly close on deals. If you can demonstrate that you are a reliable outlet for deals, your wholesaler will come to you with as many deals as they get.
5. Attorney: Real estate investors have essentially one goal: closing deals. Your attorney will help push the deals you are working on over the finish line. Additionally, they are there to protect you and keep your best interests in mind. Much like with your real estate agent, you need to know that your attorney works with you and how you want to invest. For starters, you should make sure that they focus on real estate. Next, you need to know that they will be available when you need them. With a good attorney behind you, it will give you the confidence to pursue deals.
6. Handyman: You never know when something will happen unexpectedly on a rental property. When it does, you need to be able to get someone to the house as quickly as possible. It is important that you develop a relationship with someone that can do multiple tasks for you. Not only is finding someone in a pinch time consuming, but can end up being costly. A handyman can handle everything from changing locks to repairing appliances. Over time, they will end up saving you a lot of money.
7. Accountant: Another team member that will save you money is your accountant. Most people think that your accountant is only important at tax time. This is where they make their money, but they will also help you with budgeting and payments. If numbers are not your strong suit, you will lean on your accountant to handle everything from security deposits to bill payments.
Developing your team takes time. It requires you to put yourself out there and find the best talent. With a strong team in place, your investing business will run smoothly and be as efficient as possible.