Getting ahead of problems is one of the single most influential things you can do in life—and real estate is no different. This is a business that works in long timelines and complex systems. It’s a high stakes game. This makes it imperative that you get on top of future problems immediately, and that requires people. You need great people to see big success, and the sooner you bring them on, the more success you will see.
Scrambling to Find Help is Not a Strategy
Imagine this common scenario: A person moves towards closing a deal, and as they get close they find themselves needing help, the person goes out searching for someone to tag in during the eleventh hour. When the whole procedure relies on hoping to find someone at the last moment to complete the last mile, then it’s no longer a strategy. It’s just hoping for luck.
It is very common to hear stories of people who bought a house and then can’t get a contractor to show up and do good work. Another common problem is when people buy a house to BRRRR and then can’t get a refi loan once the property is done. These have a common solution: Bring your team in earlier to strategize and implement a solution.
Team Building is an Ongoing Process
Some people really need a team of partners to help them get the initial process started and to feel confident going forward. If this is you, start building your team now. Others can get that first bit of momentum but then get caught in the middle of a deal when a rehab or refi goes badly and need some help to get through. Having a team in place would have helped mitigate that problem. Still others can do deals all by themselves, but they quickly realize that if they want to grow bigger, they can’t do it alone. If this is you, the answer is the same: Build a team, today!
Starting to Notice a Trend?
Building a team isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of task; it’s constant and never ending. You’re always going to need the next contractor, real estate agent, property manager, or lender, so be on the lookout. Build that relationship now while it’s easier and less is on the line. It’s much harder to make friends when you start in a stressful environment. Once you have a great group of people, start looking for backups and replacements for when the good ones bail, which eventually they will. This is the nature of business. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a great group of five people and stick with them forever. You’re going to change teammates, and you don’t want to be caught without a solution. Start solving it now by working on those future relationships today.
Don’t be Shy
It’s difficult to find a vender and reach out to them to build a relationship when you don’t have a deal for them immediately. I am not unsympathetic to how awkward it can be to try to talk about business with someone when you don’t really have business to do with them yet. But look, I only said it was awkward—you’re not going to lose a limb or anything. You’ve got do it even when it’s awkward.
Use the internet, referrals, and the BiggerPockets search function to find great people and try to create an organic relationship with them, i.e. make friends. Don’t be apprehensive, be ambitious! Reach out to people and just try. You’ll be surprised how receptive people are, especially if you are someone who seems like a good investment.
The Real Value in Business Lies in Relationships
Are you looking at your team as a couple people who can help you deal with a transaction? Does your team look to you for leadership or inspiration? I say the same thing in every piece of content I produce: Business is about relationships. If you get a deal together and then go to the marketplace to find someone to hire for a job, that’s the same thing you’re going to get in return: someone who is just waiting for the marketplace to hire them. This person isn’t concerned with your motives or long-term vision. They are not internally motivated to complete a common goal with you. If you can motivate and inspire people to believe in a common goal (yours), then you’ll have a diligent and loyal set of friends who will propel you forward far beyond your own talents. Building a great team is far more valuable than any single real estate deal.
3 Ways I Involve My Team Early & Often
1. I give my lender my tax returns at year-start.
Talk about super early! The last two years, I’ve gotten my tax returns back from my CPA—and before I’ve signed and returned them, I’ve given them to my lender for review. He then makes sure my income will support my total strategy for the year going forward. Maybe I’ve been writing too much off, which would hinder my DTI. It’s important for me to know about any potential upcoming problems and deal with them as early as possible.
Related: The Best Way to Attract Like-Minded People for Your Real Estate Team
2. I encourage my real estate agent to join me in new endeavors.
My real estate agent and I work hard to buy residential properties for our network, but I have started to transition into commercial properties, and I didn’t necessarily want to find a new partner. So instead I’ve motivated my agent to move towards her own career in commercial property. Now, she had a desire to do this anyway, but I’m also getting a long-standing partner to grow with me, rather than having to find someone new for these upcoming deals..
3. I talk to my team in terms of solving next year’s problems.
Solve tomorrow’s problems, and the problems of today become super easy. Think of it like this: If you’re spending your days trying to pay off credit card debt, then you’re essentially solving problems from yesterday. Instead, solve the problems of tomorrow and get ahead of your life rather than playing catch up. This goes right in line with team building as well. Don’t build a team last minute to solve a problem (a house rehab or refi) that you already created. Instead, build a team NOW to solve the problems you’re going to run into tomorrow.
Start Building Your Team TODAY!
If you want to buy a house in the next 12 months, then you need to start working on a team right now. You never know who will help you, what you’ll learn, and what other opportunities people will provide along the way. That’s a lot of opportunity cost to pass up in the present just to have to eventually build the team anyway. Instead, do it right now—it’s easy!