As an investor, you will be forced to wear many hats. Regardless of what professional background you may come from, your main job is to get everyone on your real estate team in order. You should act as the point guard, office manager and the team leader for everyone that works on your flips and rehabs. It may sound cliché, but you are really only as good as the people you surround yourself with. It all starts with assembling the best team of professionals, sharing your goals and letting them do their jobs. The better the team around you is, the more successful you will be.
Trying to decide where to start your team is like trying to answer what came first, the chicken or the egg. Finding a good realtor and having access to capital are the first areas that you should address. Your realtor will help you find deals, but without funding, they won’t do you much good. Since most realtors will not even show you any properties without a pre-qualification letter or proof of funds, these items should be a priority. The very first question you need to ask is how you are going to pay for your properties. Are you looking to go the traditional mortgage route, do you have your own cash or would you need a private money lender? Your current savings level and your ability to make a down payment will affect your mortgage qualifications as well as if you have cash to make any improvements. Start by reaching out to a mortgage broker or local lender to see what you are qualified for and what you need to do to move forward. What you think you are approved for may not be what reality is. Your lender will tell you what you need to do, how you need to do it and how much you can afford. Once you have financing in place, you can begin to look for the best realtor for you.
The best realtor for you may not be the most successful realtor in your area. Investors require different attention and have a different set of needs than most traditional buyers. If you are in the dark as to where to start, you can begin with opening up a newspaper on the weekend and seeing which realtors have listings you may be interested in. You can also start by doing a search online or by making contacts at local networking meetings and investment clubs. A good realtor will have access to bank owned listings and be willing to find properties that are a good fit for what you want to do. You may have to do a little more legwork on your end, but a good realtor will guide you through the process and give you the best areas and properties. They should also be adept at working on short sale offers and knowing where to find deals. A good realtor can give an instant jumpstart to your business and make the buying process much easier.
Getting into the property is the first step, but from there you are only beginning. The rehab process requires you to have access to many different professionals. You can start with your general contractor, but you will also need a good electrician, plumber, drywall specialist and painter. The process of finding good people to work on your projects can be tiresome and will get boring at times, but it is critical. You will be judged on the work that is done and the quality of your properties. This starts with taking the time to meet anyone that you considering working on your properties and seeing if they are a good fit for you. A good fit means they are willing to work when you need them and don’t need a months notice. They are priced in line with their quality and what you need done. You won’t use all of these people on every deal, but it is better to have them in place when you need them rather than having to scramble for someone on short notice. These people represent the guts of your rehab team and the more time you spend finding good people, the better quality you will put out.
You will also need a good insurance agent, accountant and attorney to help you close your deals and keep your money in order. On any given deal you will enlist the services of over a half dozen people on your team. Staying in contact with them and having them available when you need them is important. Getting your team in place is the first step, but from there you need to take care of them so they work hard for you and your properties. If there is just one weak link on your team, it will have an impact on everyone else.
The thought of getting a team in place is very overwhelming. Like everything else you do in business, take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you will have your choice of people to work with. Once you get everyone on the same page, your rehab business will become a well-oiled machine.