Business Management

20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Personal Development
39 Articles Written

“One of the most important leadership lessons is realizing you’re not the most important or the most intelligent person in the room at all times.” —Mario Batali

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If you don’t agree with this statement or even see its value, then I think you will have a VERY hard time being successful in this business of real estate investing. As with every business, a successful real estate business is a team sport. The best teams win the most. And the best leaders surround themselves with smarter people than themselves all the time. It is that simple. (Side note: When I say “smart,” I don’t only mean “book smart.” I mean “street smart” as well.)

I can tell you that we are always working on building the best team possible. It is an evolving process. We have come a long way in 10 years, but there is always room for improvement.

It can seem a little daunting when someone is just starting out; however, forming a great team is incredibly important at any stage of the game, especially early on. Remember, your team will evolve as YOU evolve. Still, you want to start off on the right foot with the right people.

Before you go out and form a team, I would highly encourage you to determine your niche, your market, and your strategy. I don’t care if you get the smartest people in a room and begin working with them; if you are not focused and super clear on your plan and strategy, then NO team member will be able to help you. The more specific you are, the better people will be able to help you achieve your goals.

So here is a list from A to Z of key people you need on your team for optimal success.

20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

1. Mentor

I know there is a TON of articles and blog posts written about this topic of mentorship. However, I can’t stress this team member enough. I would encourage you to find someone (local if possible) who is where you want to be in 5 years. Once you find this person, find out how you can help them achieve their goals faster. Then and only then will they be happy and willing to help you achieve your goals and mentor you through the process.


2. CPA

This is a very critical person to your team. Obviously, you want to ensure they have real estate investing experience. However, above all else, you want to make sure your CPA is a real estate investor themselves. Our current CPA is an active real estate investor and simply understands the business more than other CPAs we have had who did not own investment property.

Related: How to Hire Amazing Team Members for Every Real Estate Process — From Finding Deals to Renting Them Out

3. Attorney(s)

This is also a BIG one for any new real estate investor. You want to find an attorney who can help with basic real estate knowledge, but who also has the ability to put together partnerships, etc. As a newbie, you want to have an attorney who can help you through real estate closings and will help review all documents, etc. Again, an added bonus is having an attorney who owns investment property as well.

4. Banker

It is always recommended to begin to get your financing together BEFORE you actually need the money. You want to have the relationships and terms established up front before you make any offers. That way, when you begin to run your numbers and analyze deals, you will be able to know if a deal is a good one or one you should pass on based on the terms the bank gives you.

5. Insurance agent

You would think all insurance agents/brokers are the same, but they are not. Some insure investment property, and some do not. Some insure properties you are going to flip, and some do not. You want to find a local, hands-on agent who can help you with your insurance needs. You also want to shop around. There is one insurance company we work with that just insures our single family homes because they give us the best price. There is another insurance company that insures all of our large multifamily purchases. Different insurance company specialize in different areas. Know what you are getting yourself into.


6. Hard Money Lender

Some new investors will rely heavily on a hard money lender when they get started. Other newbies will not go near them. Regardless, you want to have options when you are in the midst of financing your deals. With some deals, having a hard money lender makes sense; with other deals, it does not make sense. Again, it is helpful to find a hard money lender that you are comfortable with, who you trust, and who trusts you—again, BEFORE you find your deal.

7. Private Money Lender or Equity Partner

This might be a tough one for newbies, but it is possible to line up a private money lender or even equity partner early on. The reason it is tough for newbies to get private money is because most private money lenders/equity partners want to see the person they are partnered with have some investing experience under their belt. However, this team member might be possible for you if you position yourself as the feet on the street, with them as the money partner. You both are new to the business but are willing to bring something different and unique to the table.

Related: The 6 Things You NEED to Train Your Real Estate Team Successfully

8. Real Estate Agent

Always a great team member to have aboard. My only suggestion here is make sure that the real estate agent works mostly with investors, not homeowners. As you will see, a homeowner and an investor are completely different customers. I have rarely found a real estate agent who is great at catering to both customers. It is OK if their business is 60/40 or 70/30, but I would steer clear of the agents who can be all things to all people. They will waste your time and send you the wrong property.


9. Wholesaler

As you can see, we are moving into the stage where you are looking for deals. In today’s competitive market, you HAVE to employ various strategies—at least three or four. That way, you are always uncovering deals and getting deals presented to you. Remember, if you work with a wholesaler and decide to drag your feet and not move quickly, they will NOT take you seriously. Wholesalers, agents, etc. want to work with investors who can CLOSE and do not waste their time. I would recommend you work with a few wholesalers who specialize in your market.

10. Birddog

These are people who might have a full-time job but have the type of jobs where they are always out and about and might have the inside scoop for potential opportunities. These are also people who aspire to be real estate investors and are looking to share leads with other investors, typically for a finder’s fee.

11. Title Company

We typically work with the same title company in NJ and the same title company in PA. This builds a long-term relationship with the title companies, and they are more willing to go above and beyond when they know they are going to get repeat business.

12. Well-Connected Business Professional

I know you might be reading this one and think, “What is a well-connected business professional?” These are well-connected business folks who work closely in your markets. These people know everyone in the area and know how to make things happen.

These are great people to have on your team and to begin to form a long-term relationships with. These are folks you want to find ways to help as well. Remember, relationship building is a two-way street. Over the years, some of our best team members were unrelated to real estate investing. These are rain makers, and you want to have a couple of them in your corner.

13. General Contractor

I know this one must be an obvious one, but unless you are a general contractor yourself or have your license, this one will become very important as you look to renovate and rehab properties. We have been through our fair share of GCs over the years; however, I can tell you, you should always, always be looking for GCs.

Contractors come and contractors go. You always want to have GCs that you trust on your team. When you find a great GC, remember to take good care of them. Pay them promptly, be clear with the scope of work, and be super clear on expectations with both money and project timeline. You may want to give them an additional bonus or financial incentive if the project gets done under time and under budget.

14. Plumber

If you own older rentals, you will ALWAYS need a reliable plumber on your team. We have been working with the same plumber for 10 years and trust him with any property! Find a good one, and again, take good care of them.

15. General Handyman

When we started out, this was a challenge for us. It was hard to find a reasonably priced handyman. But they are out there. Find one that can grow with you as you grow your portfolio.

16. Electrician

Another key subcontractor you should have on your team.

17. Pest Control Company

Again, if you have older buildings as rentals, you will need a good pest control company. We have a lot of rentals in Trenton, NJ, which is an urban community with properties very close to one another. Since these types of properties are older, pests tend to be more prevalent. We have a bed bug company, bed bug dog sniffing company, and a regular pest control company—all of which we give repeat business to.


Related: The Quick Guide to Hiring For Entrepreneurs: How to On Board Quality Team Members

18. Cleaning company

You might not need this company for a while, but when you are almost ready to list your rental after the rehab, you will DEFINITELY need this company then! Again, it will be great for you to find a company that you can give repeat business to as you grow your portfolio.

19. Property Manager

You might decide to manage your property/rental yourself, or you might want to outsource it. Either way, it is always helpful to begin interviewing property management companies in your focused trading area. First, you want to know what they charge, what they offer, even their perspective on the local market. You’ll want to learn about your potential competition as well!

20. Accountability Group

Last but not least, you want one of your team members to be a peer (someone who is also looking to invest in real estate) who can be an accountability partner for you. You are going to set a lot of goals, and the last thing you want is to fall short on your goals because you get distracted or lose interest. Find someone who can support you (and someone who you can support) to help stay accountable to goals and strategy. Meet/talk at least monthly. If you want to be ambitious, schedule weekly calls!

I hope this list of 20 essential team members will help get you and your real estate business moving in the right direction. Remember, to build long term relationships with others, you need to help them achieve their goals. The best relationships always have a win/win element.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

Good luck on your journey! Anyone essential that I am missing?

Please leave your comments below!

Liz Faircloth has been managing and investing in real estate since 2004, along with her husband, Matt. We have built our business from scratch and now own over five million dollars in residential...
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    Douglas Skipworth Rental Property Investor from Memphis, TN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Elizabeth, that’s a great list! Thanks for sharing.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Douglas – You are so welcome! Glad it helped! Best, Liz
    Christopher Baeza Flipper/Rehabber from Las Vegas, Nevada
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Incredible list! The only 2 people I would add are: inspector and appraiser.
    Saj S. Rental Property Investor from Oakland, CA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Completely agree with inspector, but appraiser? Since the crash of ’07, banks pretty much never let the buyer/homeowner pick an appraiser. I’m sure its nice to know a few good ones who you can use to pick their brain about certain things, but when will you ever get to hire one that you know, for a transaction?
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks so much Christopher. Good additions!! Appreciate your commenting! Liz
    Jeffrey Hare Professional from San Jose, California
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Liz, this is a good list. As a real estate attorney, licensed broker, and investor very familiar with these issues, I would suggest adding “Significant Other.” There’s a lot to be said for including your life partner on all steps along the way of your journey from the beginning. From your YouTube video, it would seem you and Matt follow this pattern – but not everyone does, and I’ve seen some of the problems that can occur when they don’t. I also want to make a pitch regarding your recommendation to have an attorney on the team. Make sure they understand real estate investing, and that they are licensed to practice in the State where you want to invest. (I’m licensed in California, so please don’t call me to be on your team for advice about investing in North Dakota, and no, I don’t know all the lawyers in Fargo). Also, be prepared to pay for the lawyer’s time – it’s amazing how people balk at paying for a couple of hours of early review of a proposed investment project, but risk 10x to 100x that amount – or more – in a bad deal. And that is just the loss of principle, not the costs to attempt to recover your loss! Some free legal advice: keep good notes and get everything in writing. The amount you will save on legal expenses will more than cover the cost of a working pen and pad of paper. Good luck with the rest of your team!
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Jeffrey, I can’t believe I forgot “significant other!!” LOL!! I can’t agree with you more. Even if your significant other is not involved in the business, they are still a team member in a sense and should be enrolled in the business for many, many reason! Thanks for catching that!! Great point to about having an attorney who practices in the state you are investing. That is very critical indeed! Great points and thanks for sharing!! If we ever expand to CA, we will certainly reach out to you!! By the way, thanks for watching our YouTube page. Hope you find the content helpful! Best, Liz
    Nancy E.
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hello Elizabeth, The list is great and very helpful. Some of the items were obvious, but good that you addressed them in your article. Thanks and keep writing.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Nancy, You are so welcome. Glad you found the post to be helpful!! Teams are critical to this business! Thanks for reading and commenting! Best of luck to you! Liz
    Ken Teeter Investor from Clayton, North Carolina
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Liz, Missed one…. A home inspector. Good list otherwise.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks Ken! Good addition! Thanks for reading and commenting!! All the best! Liz
    Leury Pichardo Real Estate Agent from Saddle Brook, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks for the list Elizabeth…. so far I have like 2 out of the 20 you’ve listed!
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Leury: You are so welcome! Remember – it’s is all a process! I would highly recommend you attending both real estate investing networking events as well as general business networking meetings. Both should help increase your 2 closer to 20! All the best to you! Liz
    Lisa Bryant from Washington, District of Columbia
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hi, Elizabeth- Thank you, for the well put-together list. A work in progress…getting to them all. Good Article! Learn, Apply, Produce!
    John Mocker
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I would add #21 Insurance Agent. It is important to pick an agent with access to the products you will need (Builders Risk for the property under construction, Commercial General Liability for the Premises and Operations there, Workers Comp if you hire anyone, etc.). Find out if they have insured previous projects, how many markets (insurance companies) they represent, what states they write in. Agents who work with builders, contractors, landlords, property managers, all would have expertise in part of what you need. You may need one agent for the rehab and a second for the properties you rent out if you can not find one with expertise in both areas. I would caution against relying on your Personal Insurance Agent (unless they also have the expertise in Commercial Insurance as well) or direct agents (agents who only represent one company).
    Saffron Bright-Rawlings Flipper/Rehabber from Eugene, OR
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Wonderful article! Reinforces all good training I’ve seen.
    James Pelz from Las Vegas, Nevada
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great article! Thank you!
    Curt Powell from Greenville, North Carolina
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great information!! I’m just getting started and this was a great read!!
    Daniel Pollock Real Estate Investor from Brooklyn, New York
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great summary and information Elizabeth, thank you.
    Mary Colee Investor from Jacksonville, Florida
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thank you for sharing! The general contractor, like you said should be obvious, but the gc is the one I need and yet have to find in Jacksonville Florida.
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I cut out a bunch of them. I’m journey level and have zero need of contractors. The more you cut out the more money you make. I do have. 1. Real Estate Agent (REO and short expert) 2. Mortgage broker (2 of them) 3. Insurance (USAA I’m a Vet!) 5. CPA (whata guy!) 6. My Wife (BS MATH and MBA and I sleep with her)
    Gregg Hutton Investor from Moneta, Va
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great Read!! It always good to have reminders to polish your game, especially broken down into such a way as this!
    Frederick Kuo
    Replied over 2 years ago
    A lovely check list for a new player like me to break out with. It seems obvious but when you find any good member to add to the team, remember they might be able to recommend additional potential members too.
    Robert Moss from Houston, Texas
    Replied about 2 years ago
    I know this is an older article, but would anyone consider a Project Manager to be a good addition to a team? I have a neighbor who is a Project Management Consultant. He is out of work and I am wondering about partnering with him if he has an interest. I had heard that a good PM can help with Bank dealings, and of course with the smooth running of a rehab or construction project. Thank you for the work you put into this list. It is entirely useful. Best regards, Rob Moss.
    Joe Cheperuk from Wake Forest, North Carolina
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Great info in this list for a newbie,Such as myself..Thank you
    Victoria Plummer New to Real Estate from Cambridge, MA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    This checklist is definitely something that a newbie like me is going to keep close to heart. I appreciate some of the additional comments it seems that people mentioned. Thank you so much for this! -Victoria
    Charles Watson from Kaneohe, Hawaii
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Great list of team members and the most important ones are the Insurance and Lawyers , As we live in a sue and sue for anything society and Blood thirsty ones , I was being sued by a woman who was a chronic surer that would go around construction sites and fall down claiming all sorts of injuries and ailments. My Lawyer found a video of her on another job site near ours and her doing the same thing, causing a legal investigation by the court and this woman was a real pro… save my tail..
    Jonna Weber Real Estate Agent from Boise, ID
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Not sure how I am just reading this…but I love this article, Liz! I personally am grateful for and lean on my coach/mentor and accountability group particularly! Thanks for all you do to add value for others!
    Dave Currence from New York City, New York
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Great post. No doubt, a good team is crucial to just about any entrepreneur, and having a specific list here is quite helpful. I’d be careful with the Mario Batali quote though (as relevant as it is to your post). The guy has been shown to be quite the dirtbag, and has never been known to be a very good “leader”, despite his successes.
    Dave Currence from New York City, New York
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Just realized this post was from a while ago….apologies for calling out the Batali quote…his “dirtbag” status was not common knowledge when this post was authored.
    Vernon Shorter from Jacumba, California
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    This Is A Great And Well Thought Of Article !! I Just Have One Question To Ask Mrs. Elizabeth. 1. Can Certain People You Trust Fit Multiple Positions On Your Team If They Meet The Requirements ?
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks for the note! To answer your question – absolutely! The key is if they meet the requirements. Remember – these requirements are not just “skill” but personality and drive too! 🙂 Good luck and thanks for reading the article!
    Makeda Leon from Lutz, FL
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Very helpful post for a Newbie like me!! Great Post!!!
    Marie Fries from Whitman, MA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thank you for posting this for a Newbie like me!
    Richard Loniewski from Hillsborough, NJ
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Great article, just starting out and the first thing I did was find a mentor. He is actually helping me out with some great recommendations for those other team members I need to have in place.
    Marie Fries from Whitman, MA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Thank you for posting the Must Have list for Beginners! I was thinking about this the other day! Now time to get busy.
    Michael Trinsey from Red Hill, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I have the list written down. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. First up is finding a mentor… Off to your YouTube channel too…
    Misty Mobley-Atkins
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I have pasted this and copied in a powerpoint – I am a newbie and trying to learn all the tricks of the trades before I even consider my first deal. I do have a question, would an appraisal be needed???
    Simone Johnson Rental Property Investor from Atlanta, GA
    Replied 4 months ago
    Just what I was looking for!
    Jake Bryant
    Replied 15 days ago
    Hello, there. Thank you for the article. I have a question. Which software can I build a list of power teams? Any tip or refer? Please let me know!