Real Estate Investing Basics

6 People Every Investor Should Hire Before 2017

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
227 Articles Written

One of the biggest mistakes that real estate investors make is not getting help. 

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I know, because I’ve made the same mistake in the past. I’ve tried to do too much myself. I see new real estate investors, agents, and business owners doing the same thing. It’s extremely difficult to really grow to your full potential if you are tied down doing too many lower value tasks. If you are trying to learn and master — and stay on top of the changes in every single area involved in real estate — you are doing too much at once. Technology can help a lot. Still, there is still no substitute for the power of leveraging others. If you really want to make real estate work for you and see the best results possible, I strongly recommend making sure you have these people on your team before the ball drops.

Here are six people you should absolutely recruit for your team before the new year.

1. A Good CPA

Once you move into real estate, you don’t want just any old tax preparer. You need a savvy and experienced accounting and tax pro to prepare your taxes, advise you on the best structures, and aid in maximizing your profits and tax breaks — without setting yourself up for an uncomfortable audit. You may even want your own bookkeeper to help throughout the year. Note that these don’t have to be full time, in-house staff members on salary. But you do need them on call.

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Related: 20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

2. Property Manager

I know a lot of members of the BP community are against having property managers. Still, I will tell you that without a doubt, you won’t enjoy the maximum financial or personal rewards of investing in real estate if you stick to the DIY property management approach forever. You just can’t. Plus, there are now so many more efficient and cost effective property management options than there used to be. There are experienced individuals, tech savvy remote services, and even turnkey teams. Check out your options.

3. Real Estate Agents

This can be another touchy subject for many investors. From my experience, real estate agents and investors are better when working together, rather than working against each other. Real estate agents can find deals, they can provide great insights, and they can take a lot of the burden off of you for a lot less of the pie than you think. Every investor ought to have a handful of agents out there that are bringing them deals.

4. Attorneys

Sooner or later, you are going to need an attorney. You may need a corporate attorney, tax attorney, real estate-specific attorney, or one who specializes in estate planning. It just seems smart to find them before you are in a crunch — and to benefit from their advice so you avoid issues.

5. Contractors

Winning in the real estate game really comes down to the contractors you have. If you don’t have good contractors, then you are at a disadvantage when it comes to evaluating deals, fixing them up to rent-ready condition fast, and keeping your assets maintained. It can seem really hard to find great contractors, but they are out there. Ask for referrals.

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6. Personal Assistants

Many of the tasks that drain our time and energy can easily be done by a personal assistant. Most of the lower-value tasks we do throughout the day can be delegated to someone else as their higher value activity. That can even include researching and screening many of the above team members. Break down your annual income goal by the hour. If the tasks you are doing can be outsourced for less than that, you have to delegate them to assistants. If you don’t, you simply won’t make your financial goals.

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

In addition to this list, you may even want a marketing manager or general manager to take a lot of the management burden off of you. As you can see, many of these “team members” don’t really have to be in-house, full time, and on a salary that adds to your overhead. You typically pay on an as-needed basis. Scale as your needs increase and your business is growing. It may take some investment or giving up a piece of the pie at first, but it will allow you to grow to where you want to be.

Think about this: Instead of pocketing $150k this year, why not take $100k, pay an assistant $50k, and position yourself to make $250k the following year? If you have any surplus funds, it’s worth investing in getting great help this year. Set yourself up to make more the following year. Check with your CPA, and you might even find this is a way to lower your tax liability before the end of December.

Which of these members do you have on your team? Which are you planning on adding?

Let me know with a comment!

With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling currently manages over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $26MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments and single-family homes. Through the company he co-founded, Holdfolio, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single-family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.

    John Rodriguez Wholesaler from Westfield, New Jersey
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Good stuff. It sure is a lot harder to scale, even when you have already accomplished substantial success on this field. Its hard finding the right team members. Currently looking for a bilingual, well speaking, educated assistant in the norther NJ area. Tristate are. Great post**** Thanks.
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Thank you for the kind words. How is the search going thus far for that assistant, John?
    Chris Ayers Rental Property Investor from Warrenton, VA
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Any advice on finding a good, reputable lawyer & CPA that specializes in real estate out there minus the old google search?
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I found my current CPA here on biggerpockets. I networked with other investors to find that individual. This platform is a excellent tool for what you’re looking for, Chris.
    Eric Christians from Fargo, ND
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great article! 2016 was a year of outsourcing for me and I started utilizing all of these people with the exception of a personal assistant. If I can outsource something for a reasonable fee and that person can maintain the same quality that I do I am very happy to pay that fee. My life is now much less stressful and I am set up for a big growth year in 2017. I only wish I had read this article in 2015 and started hiring out sooner.
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great to hear outsourcing has worked out well for you. Best of luck in 2017, Eric!
    John Mocker
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I would add #7 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).
    Jeff DeLeon
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great article and great advise on team structure.
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    You’re welcome. What was the biggest takeaway for you?
    Joel Osarhiemen Rental Property Investor from Dallas, TX
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great article! If you were to hire individuals for advertising, would you pay them under the table, or under a contractor agreement?
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I would pay them under a contract agreement. Always avoid compensation under the table.
    Devin Smith from Irving, Texas
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    The Holdfolio link is bad. Good article though
    Isaac Young from Lincolnville, Maine
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Excellent article. Learning to control the mindset that many investors have of doing everything themselves is crucial. All investors know their time is worth money, but I feel as though many of us, including myself, struggle with deciding WHAT is worth our time. Some errands do not need our attention, as we have bigger fish to fry!
    John Mathewson from Schererville, Indiana
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great post. Definitely helpful need to look for a cpa and personal assistant personally.
    Gregg Hutton Investor from Centreville, VA
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great Post! As Im preparing for the Real Estate Agent Test, its important that I understand how to manage time energy by partnering/hiring the right team members, especially when I work full time. There is many software programs that can keep me up to date and have everyone on the team on the same page. I would love to hear anyone’s perspective/advice on my journey.