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Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 1: Introduction

by Andrew C. MacDonald on January 25, 2010

This post was written for The Rentables Apartment Blog as the introduction to a series entitled “Building Your Real Estate Investment Team.”

boardroomIf you’ve ever had the inkling to venture out into the world of real estate investing, you were probably unsure of where to start and like most, a little overwhelmed. One of the most important steps after you’ve decided to invest in real estate and set out some clear goals is to surround yourself with a team of experts.

Whether you are just buying a principal residence for yourself or looking to amass a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio of apartments for rent in Toronto, working with a qualified team of experts can save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the process.

Many investors start out without much cash, and look to get started as cheaply as possible. Often times this means avoiding help from the experts which is so valuable. You can try to do it all on your own, but if you’re any good as a real estate investor, your time is best spent finding and putting together deals rather than trying to fill the roles of 7 different professionals who each have years of education and experience in their particular specialty.

Your Real Estate Investment Team Roster
To cover all of your bases, your team of real estate experts should consist of the following professionals:

  • Mortgage Broker
  • Realtor
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Home Inspector
  • Insurance Broker
  • Property Manager

Guidelines for Selecting Your Team
When selecting members for your team, keep in mind that you are looking to win at the game of real estate investing; to win, you want the best players on your team. To help with your homework when selecting the right players for your team, look for experts who:

1. Own investment real estate themselves
Hiring experts who own investment real estate themselves is crucial. This is a great filter that will help you narrow down prospects for your team. You’ll be left with a short-list of experts who are most likely to understand your wants and needs because they’ve been in your shoes themselves. These people also keep up to date on the issues that will affect you as a real estate investor and can provide the most relevant advice.
2. Care about your goals
When you talk to potential team members, see if they inquire about your goals. If they don’t, try telling them what you’re looking to achieve. If they don’t care to hear your goals or seem disinterested, they are likely the type of professional only interested in getting the next deal done and collecting their fee or commission. What you are looking for are the type of team members who want to build long term relationships by helping you achieve your goals.
3. Have appropriate qualifications
By the time you’ve found an expert who owns investment real estate themselves and is interested in helping you achieve your goals, you’ve completed the hardest part of finding a suitable addition to your team. Next, ensure each expert has the appropriate qualifications for their given specialty. We will examine the specific qualifications to look for in future parts of this series.
4. Have specific experience
As a real estate investor you’ll want to work with professionals that have experience specific to real estate investing. Ask prospective advisers what percentage of their work is done with other investors or real estate investments and gauge their response.
5. Have reasonable fees
If you’ve made it this far down the list, you’ve likely got a good candidate for your team. Check that your expert’s fees are reasonable and inline with the going rate for the services they offer.
6. Provide positive chemistry
The final filter is whether or not there is chemistry. You don’t have to spend the rest of your life with your adviser, but you’ll want to choose someone you get along with. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this person, if you’d enjoy working with them, and if you trust them. If you can answer “yes” to each of these questions go ahead and add this person to your team.

More to Come
In the rest of this series, we will examine each of the members of a successful real estate team individually. We’ll provide details on what you can expect each expert to offer, and specific tips for selecting each professional. Whether you want to buy a single property for yourself, or offer student rentals in Waterloo, having a team of professionals is an important first step. Stay tuned for more tips that will help you assemble an effective team of advisers and get the most bang for your buck.

Building Your Real Estate Investment Team Series:
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 1: Introduction
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 2: Selecting a Mortgage Broker
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 3: Selecting a Realtor
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 4: Selecting a Lawyer
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 5: Selecting a Home Inspector
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 6: Selecting an Insurance Broker
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 7: Selecting a Property Manager
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 8: Selecting an Accountant
Building Your Real Estate Investment Team – Part 9: Conclusion

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