You’ll hear me reference the word “good” a lot. There are huge differences in quality and information for each person. For example, you wouldn’t want to use any lawyer for help with a contract. You would want a lawyer who dealt specifically with real estate law and contracts. It’s a subjective term, but I do recommend finding a good fit for each member of your team.
Your Real Estate Investing Team
Accountants who are experienced in dealing with real estate can be a big benefit. There’s these things called tax laws that drive most people crazy. A good accountant knows them and stays up to date. One huge thing that’s important to know is how to structure your finances. Did you know that you can “make money” just by how you work your financial statement. Nothing sketchy or illegal, but you can depreciate your assets, get write offs, take credits, and lots of other things. A good accountant will help you save a lot more money than you pay him for his services.
A realtor in short form is a deal locator and manager. He finds deals, works several angles on your behalf, and helps move the hundreds of moving parts in the background and the finished product is closing on a deal. That’s the short answer. There’s a lot that goes into a successful real estate transaction and using a realtor with experience in your specific property type or investment approach can take out tons of stress and help you get what you’re looking for.
I know lawyers get a bad rap. Sadly there are many is the profession that caused the stereotypes. The thing is, you might need at least one or several lawyers to go over contracts, fight on your behalf and generally protect your assets.
Loan officers / Mortgage companies / Banks
You’ve got to take care of financing your real estate transactions. This is just one of several people that you’ll be talking to in order to some kind of financing in place. Sometimes it even makes sense to finance a property if you have all the money to buy it outright.
A title company isn’t really involved until a transaction gets going and most of the negotiations are taken care of. You still need to stay in the loop because they might find something that your own due diligence hasn’t found. You don’t want to find out about problems after closing on the property.
City zoning, planning, and appraisal district
The governing authorities and rules that you’ve got to know about are a huge deal. At least the rules that will affect your property are a big deal. Dealing with the appraisal board and making sure you’ve got the right zoning can make a big impact on your business. It always helps to be friends with these people. It doesn’t mean that you get to skirt around the rules, but it will make getting things done or approved go better for you.
Property management company
The hardest part might feel like finding the right property, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t find a tenant and get it rented out. A property management company specializes in finding, approving, and helping tenants rent your property. Then on top of that, they are also managing many of the day to day tasks of the property. They are only limited based on what the owner or landlord is willing to let them do.
Handyman or general contractor
A general handyman can take care of all sorts of minor and a few major problems for you. Sometimes it might be as small as screwing in a new sprinkler head or as big as removing a tree from the property. A general handyman is the normal go to guy that will take care of lots of problems and normal maintenance. This isn’t really an official position for a lot of people, but it is good to have a reliable or trustworthy individual who can look at and evaluate what needs to be done to help you out.
A general contractor is actually a manager who oversees a construction operation and gets the right people to do the right parts at the right times. A good general contractor makes your use of time an money. They’ll also know how to pull permits and make sure that things get done correctly.
Don’t forget that as the owner, no one will take as good care of a property as you will. So if you find someone who does, then you’ve found a very valuable member of your investing team.
A list of different skilled workers you might need
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Lawn care / landscaper
- Pest Control
- Window and Glass
- Garage Door
- Carpet / flooring
- Concrete / slabs
These are a sample of all the different skilled workers you might need in managing your investment. I learned the hard way that it most often is much better to have a professional take care of something in a couple hours that would have taken me a couple days and I would have done a horrible job.