A successful investment business is a team effort. The best real estate teams win the most—and the best leaders surround themselves with smart, diverse, and driven people. Building a great team can seem daunting, but it’s incredibly important at any stage of the game—especially early on. Yes, your team will evolve as your business evolves—but still, you want to start off on the right foot with the right people.
Putting together the dream team
When it comes to building a real estate team, you must perform thorough due diligence. Conduct interviews with potential team members, gather references, and interview their previous employers and clients. Ask for recommendations from friends and fellow investors, but don’t always take their word for it. You don’t want to get stuck with someone who’s incompetent—costing you time and money.
Before you start hiring team members, determine your niche, market, and strategy. It won’t matter if you’re working with the smartest people in your city—if you’re not focused and clear on your plan and strategy, then no genius can help.
With that being said, this list is a catch-all, so depending on what type of investing you’re doing (flipping, wholesaling, buy and hold), make sure you’re hiring relevant team members.
Here is your list of possible team members, from A-Z.
If you don’t know where you stand financially, it’s hard to figure out what you need to do to make money. You’ll need an accountant—preferably with real estate know-how—to help you better analyze deals. They’ll also be invaluable come come tax time.
Accountability partner or group
You should have a peer—someone also looking to invest in real estate—to serve as an accountability partner. Find a person or real estate mastermind group to support you (and vice versa) and help you stay accountable to your real estate goals and strategy. Chat at least monthly—or weekly if you’re ambitious. Don’t know where to look? Check out the BiggerPockets Forums.
This role involves answering calls and emails and delegating them to the proper party. If your assistant is in-house, they may also be responsible for updating property management software to keep data fresh on all your properties.
Depending on the size of your operation, this can be an in-house or outside role. You need good legal counsel to ensure your paperwork is right, that eviction processes are followed legally, and that potential lawsuits are deflected before they become issues.
A well-versed bookkeeper experienced in your type of real estate investing is valuable in many ways. They will keep detailed records of your finances and organize your books.
You might not need this company for a while, but when you are ready to list your rental after rehab, you will definitely need cleaning help. (Unless you’re excited by the idea of scrubbing your properties top-to-bottom.) Find a company you trust that you can give repeat business to as you grow your portfolio.
Some things shouldn’t be DIY’d. Hire a professional when it comes to electrical work (unless you are an electrician yourself). Incorrect wiring is a safety hazard, which makes it a potential legal hazard. Pay the pros to have the job done right.
This one is pretty obvious, but you might be tempted to handle GC duties solo. Unless you are a general contractor, hiring someone well-versed in construction will soon become crucial as you begin rehabbing properties. Remember to take great care of your GC—pay them promptly and be clear with the scope of work as well as your expectations with both money and project timeline.
The majority of daily property management business is dealing with small repairs and fixes. You don’t want to have to outsource to expensive companies every time a tenant locks themselves out, a fuse blows, or there is a minor plumbing problem.
Hard money lender
A hard money lender uses the value of the underlying real estate to determine the loan amount and rate. With some deals, having a hard money lender makes sense. With other deals, it doesn’t. Find out if you want to take this route, or the private lender route (see below).
Look for someone with some kind of credential, preferably from a state licensing agency. If your state doesn’t license inspectors, look for members of the American Society of Home Inspectors, who must have completed 250 home inspections—amongst other credentials—for membership. Licensed inspectors usually aren’t the cheapest, but this is not the area to cut corners.
You might think all insurance agents or brokers are the same, but they are not. Some insure investment property and some don’t. 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.
These agents post rental listings, handle showings, and underwrite tenant applicants. They can also supervise move-ins and exits, as well as lease renewals and contracts.
Marketing is the absolute lifeblood of your real estate investment business. You’ll need a solid marketing coordinator who can implement a strategic plan to get the word out.
The importance of this team member can’t be stressed enough. Find someone (local if possible) who is where you want to be in five years—someone you admire. Be willing to listen, learn, and help them achieve their goals faster. This relationship shouldn’t be a one-way street.
Pest control company
Even if you or your tenants haven’t seen pests, have a pest control company in mind. You might need a company to handle mice, roaches, bed bugs, and more. See something new crawling around your property? You can even ask one company for a reference for a pest they don’t handle. But remember, do your research before hiring.
You will always need a reliable plumber on your team. After all, there may be jobs above a handyman’s pay grade, and that’s where the professional plumber comes in. Find a good one, and again, take care of them.
Private money lender or equity partner
A private money lender is a non-institutional (non-bank) individual or company that loans money, generally secured by a note and deed of trust, for the purpose of funding a real estate transaction. Private money lenders are generally considered more relationship-based than hard money lenders. A private money lender can provide you with earnest money to secure a deal.
A property manager runs the day-to-day of your business. They may supervise a specific apartment complex or group of local single-family homes. They typically supervise and coordinate everyone, like leasing agents and maintenance vendors. Everything filters through this individual, including tenant communication.
The title company ensures the sale of a property is legitimate. Build a relationship with a title company by using them for multiple properties. When they know they’re going to get repeat business, they are and they are more willing to go above and beyond.
In today’s competitive market, you have to employ various strategies to find good deals. Wholesalers should be one of those strategies. Plan to work with a few wholesalers who specialize in your market.
Let this list be your jumping off point for putting together a dream real estate team. Depending on the type of real estate investing you’re doing, you may need to add members not listed—or pass on some that are listed. Just know that even though real estate investment is typically viewed as a solo career, you’ll be better off with a team.
Think you know a team member that should have made the list?
Let us know in the comments below.