Assembling Your Team
When considering investing in real estate, you should first review whether you have the right team of professionals available to advice you along the way. You may already have some of them working with you, or you may need to consider others that have more experience related to investing in real estate. Your team will typically consist of:
- financial planner
- business lawyer
- accountant / tax specialist
- insurance specialist
- experienced real estate agent
Some people and companies can handle several of these positions, but no one person can handle them all, and do the job that you require.
Financial planner - guides you in making your money grow. He / she will advise you about where to allocate and to put your money (variety of sectors, including real estate, stocks and bonds, and commodities). It's hard to find one person with all these skills and the licenses to trade in each area, so most investors opt for a company that can handle all the work.
Business Lawyer - You'll want a lawyer or a firm with a solid practice covering the areas of real estate, estate planning and tax. While a lawyer won't make you money per se, his / her job may be the most important of all. Why? He / she can keep you from losing all your money due to bad deals and dishonest team players. Once you have indentified him, keep your lawyer in the loop about business transactions.
Accountant - handles your day-to-day financial matters. He / she will be on the phone with American Express to make sure that your credit card has the best rate, he / she will pay your mortgage and he'll shape your affairs with an eye toward saving you money come tax season. Your accountant is the team player you'll probably talk to the most.
Insurance broker - If you have a lot of investments and assets, insurance isn't something best bought through your average broker. You need someone who knows your family, your business and your needs.
Real Estate Agent - this is the team member that will help you find the best investment property meeting your criteria. He / she will know the market, know your options for ‘best use' of property, and what your future opportunities are for an exit strategy.
Updating the Team
Assembling and hiring the right investment team may seem like a challenge, but once you're on board with the right guys, you should find peace of mind. When you've found a team, however, there are two things you should keep in mind.
- First, always double-check their work to make sure they're honest. Trust is great, but when it's your money, the only guy you should trust is you.
- Second, always be on the lookout for a better team. It's nice to work with the same people on a regular basis, but if you can make more with someone else, do it. It's not personal, it's business.