Real Estate Investing is not a solo sport, but a team effort. It is so important to select your teammates well and constantly evaluate each player’s performance against the overall goal you are working toward.
The scout is the person who helps you locate the deal. This person knows what you are looking for and brings you the deals for evaluation. A scout can be a real estate agent, another investor, a reputable wholesaler or even consistent advertising medium. You should be prepared to compensate your scout and provide incentives to bring you great deals. If they aren’t giving them to you, they are giving them to someone who will compensate them accordingly. Be generous so that you will always be top of mind.
The next team member is an accountant. Your accountant should be someone who specializes in real estate practices. Ideally, they should own real estate themselves. This person helps you take advantage of the tax savings that comes along with buying real estate. We suggest that you interview several. A good accountant will save you much more than their hourly rate, so don’t be intimidated by high fees. They are well worth it if they can do the job properly.
You will need a good real estate attorney. Most people have a closing attorney. Remember that the closing attorney in a transaction works for the mortgage company – not you. You will want an attorney you can depend on to represent your interests. They should be able to advise you with any title issues, assist you with land trust formation, help you with entity selection and provide general council for real estate transactions.
Home inspectors are worth their weight in gold. A good home inspector can help prevent you from purchasing a poor investment, give you a realistic picture of the repairs and give you a general picture of the costs required, as well as alert you to safety concerns. Our home inspector has saved us thousands of dollars by helping us chose not to invest in properties that required more renovation than we had estimated in the deal.
Once you have found a property, financing your real estate investment is the key to a successful real estate career. Helping you determine the best way to finance an investment based on your overall strategy is very important. The majority of the benefit of real estate comes from using leverage. With all the various types of loans available now, you will want a mortgage partner who understands investing, can help you determine which loans are best for a particular piece of property and provides long term strategies that will enhance your credit standing – not hurt it.
As with any team, it takes a while to work together to make sure that you have all the right players. At times, you will find that players need to be traded and sometimes it is good to have alternates.
I encourage all of my investors to interview their teammates in advance. Have a series of questions prepared in advance and determine who you feel most comfortable with. We have found that it takes a couple of plays sometimes before they really understand you and your goals, so be patient. If however, you don’t feel confident with their ability – trade them. This is your future – not theirs.
About the Author
Anne Lackey is a real estate investor in Atlanta and works with The REI Team at Solid Source Realty, Inc. http://www.theREIteam.com. She frequently helps other investors in their pursuit of financial freedom. She is the President of Solid Source Property Management, Inc. http://www.solidsourcepm.com