If you are a regular on this blog, you have seen Joe Fairless talk about getting your team together. I have counted no less than 42 blog posts on this website about this issue. Thus, you, by now, know that having the right team is essential to your success. Joe could not be where he is today without a good team around him. And while I am sure he had to kiss a few frogs along the way to find his winners, he has that team in place. Creating a successful mix of personalities, expertise, and “get-it-done” team members is a very difficult recipe.
Whether you are putting a team together for your real estate investments or for something else, these are the players you have to save on speed dial.
I have used the largest accounting firms, the local 800-pound gorilla, and the local mom-and-pop shop. You would be surprised to know that the winning player for me was the mom-and-pop shop. I found a local accountant that loves to geek out on tax talk. She gets into the details that CPAs and tax lawyers talk about at tax conferences. Once she understood how things were structured, we discussed the goal of the project, ideas were bounced back and forth, and we found common ground that has been very satisfying. This does not mean that I didn’t switch up my accounting firms a few times before finding her. It took time, but once you find the right fit for you, things move much more efficiently.
Having a good lawyer that understands business, real estate, and taxes is paramount in this world. Not only does your lawyer need to understand your business, but they need to understand your industry as well. From those two perspectives, it benefits you that your lawyer can speak fluently with your accountant or CPA. Your time needs to be spent finding deals and managing your real estate goals. Your professionals need to take the legal and accounting off the table for you so you can focus on what you are good at — real estate.
The right bank and banker are make-or-break players. You need a relationship banker who understands what you are trying to achieve, will help guide you and your projects to get there, and makes your life easier. Get recommendations from friends, colleagues, and other investors. Banks make money on you, but really good bankers help you make multiples of that spent money back.
4. Insurance Agent
If you are buying real estate, or just running a business, you need to have a good insurance agent. They understand your needs and are the ones you call when things go south. All of my insurance is with one agent. That agent in turn has not only told me about deals, but he has also connected me with possible deal makers that have the potential to become deals. Plus, you only need insurance when you need insurance.
5. Property Manager
Do you take the 11 p.m. phone call about a clogged toilet? I don’t and won’t. Property managers are the buffer between tenants and owners. Good property managers solve problems, act as good stewards of your property and money, and make sure elevators work, the landscaping is clean, and the facilities are operational. Property managers usually don’t get paid unless the rent gets paid, so they are incentivized to make sure everything is in working order.
This list is not exhaustive, but it is a good place to start. Once you have a good team, the synergies will begin playing off each other and deals happen more frequently. More deals mean more success. Do not be afraid to kiss some frogs. Your team is mission-critical to your success. Good luck out there.