Should You Partner with Family When Investing in Real Estate?

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For those who know me and my family, you can easily guess my answer to the question, “Should family members go into real estate investing together?”  Our business was formed as and still remains a family affair.  Although it has worked well for my family, there are many instances where this is just a bad idea.  Lets talk about it:

You need 3 things in place for this to be a good idea:

1.  There must be a long-standing, healthy relationship between family members involved.  If your relationship has had a tattered past and is not fully healed, don’t believe for a second that a successful business will be the salve that heals.  Every old wound will be opened and dealt with under the immense pressure-cooker of a fiscally tied business relationship.  Any family member that you might consider needs to be one that you have had a solid & healthy relationship with for years.

2.  Before setting sail, every role and expectation needs to be CLEARLY defined.  You are not organizing Mom’s 50th surprise birthday party here.  You are starting a business that will affect the lives of those involved for years to come.  If you want to have a serious business, you need to start with a serious mindset.  Talk about every aspect of the business you want to begin.  Look at the business from every angle and leave no rock un-turned.  “What-if” your business until you run out of what-ifs!  When these what-ifs become reality, you will be prepared and on the same page.

3. Each member has to have a passion for the aspect they are taking on for the business. Enough said, no passion = no success!  Our family is passionate about our business.  We genuinely want to help our customers stop foreclosure in Austin and help sell their homes quickly and fairly.

Why you don’t want to enter a business relationship with a family member:

Convenience… Most people have the tendency to work with others out of convenience because they have a resource or talent or ability that is needed to accomplish the business goal. Not a good idea. Here is an example why:

John’s brother Jimmy is an excellent remodeler. John wants to flip houses on the side while keeping his full time job.  John has the finances but needs someone to oversee the remodels and Jimmy his brother would be a perfect fit…. except for the fact that Jimmy is very undependable and has a reputation for “disappearing” for days at a time.  John hopes that his brother will suddenly get it together and help launch his dream of flipping houses.  This is a dangerous path!  I would suggest giving Jimmy a trial period before going into an actual partnership.   If Jimmy performs like history has shown, their relationship will be stressed and potentially damaged.  It just isn’t worth it!

In my opinion, family is more important than business.

Let’s face it, most relationships are damaged or strained because of some sort of financial event.  Families are destroyed by greed and financial abuse quite often.  Real estate investing ultimately, is about making money, so there is a great chance of the relationship being strained or destroyed in the end.  This needs to be discussed, thought about, etc!  Please do not casually enter a business relationship, especially real estate investing, with a family member.  Consider the 3 things above and potentially save yourself a lot of heartache and trouble!

My family business is composed of:

Me – General Contractor, Marketing, Buyer/Negotiator
Wife – Realtor, Marketing, Moral Support
Dad –  “Money Man”, Marketing, Back-up GC, Wholesale Negotiator
Mom – Creative Genius, Marketing, Interior Decorating, Staging Expert, Moral Support

Through this business relationship, our family has grown closer and we talk to each other every day.  So, my personal answer to the question, “Should real estate investing with family be done?” is YES!


About Author

Jason Grote

Jason Grote, co-founder of of, has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Through his experience, Jason has gained the expertise to sell a home fast and can also help people wanting to begin investing in Austin, Texas real estate.


  1. Brandon Turner

    I think you hit the nail right on the head when warning about using family simply out of convenience. Yes, it can be easy to do but it is a lot harder to fire your brother-in-law than an unrelated contractor when things go wrong (been there, done that).

    That said, I also agree that family can work together well as long as everyone is on the same page, roles are clearly spelled out (on paper), and communication is open and free.

    Thanks for the post Jason!

  2. Loved the post- those rules are kinda like the guidelines one should consider before having a baby with someone- which makes perfect sense, because your new business is kind of exactly that, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Jason Grote

      Yes, like a marriage… You are bound to that person when you enter into a formal business relationship. I watched my parents enter a business partnership with 2 of my cousins, and when it went south, it was like a divorce. Now, the relationship is completely wounded, even 17 years later!

  3. I’m much more leary than I used to be. I partnered with someone I didn’t know well enough and that’s no fun either. I’m partnered with my wife now and that’s working out real well, but unfortunately I’m not ready to partner with anyone else right now. I will work with family on a contract basis on individual deals. I’m happy to hear it’s working well for you.

  4. There’s something tricky when it comes to entering into a business with family, unless it’s been passed down from one generation to the other. If you can’t keep your business and your personal life from crossing paths, then it would probably be better if you didn’t do it.

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