How do I create a team with my SO?

10 Replies

I'm a new real estate investor and I'm trying to learn as much as I can at the moment. I also want to get my SO involved as well. 

She was very supportive when I purchased my first property, however there were many mistakes that we made during the process. I'm not viewing them as failures, but I'm trying to study up so the next purchase I make I can feel a little more informed and confident. I'm having trouble though as I'm viewing my SO more as a liability than an asset. 

Instead of going out to look at property on the weekend, we usually just watch TV or not do much. I'm staying late at work to do my research, because when I get home we just cook dinner and watch TV. I've tried to set some time up each night to do work on it together, but she doesn't like to be on a schedule and nothing gets done in the time set aside. I'm sure with kids it gets even tougher to find the time. 

I know a lot of these are just excuses, but I'd love to create a team so we could do this together. Has anyone else gone through this and what have you done about it?

If she wasn't your girlfriend, you wouldn't think twice about partnering with someone with her attitude

("but she doesn't like to be on a schedule").

You are hungry and trying to eat everything in sight; she is pecking at her small side salad.

@Paul Palo If she’s not interested in looking at a couple of homes with you on a weekend you’ll never get her “on a schedule” to work with you on a weeknight. There’s a huge difference between “being supportive emotionally” and splitting the workload. It sounds like this is “your thing” so don’t ask her to split the workload. She’s neither a liability nor an asset, she’s your SO. If you can’t view her as an SO independent of her splitting the REI workload, that’s really your issue. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Originally posted by @Andrew Johnson :

Paul Palo If she's not interested in looking at a couple of homes with you on a weekend you'll never get her "on a schedule" to work with you on a weeknight. There's a huge difference between "being supportive emotionally" and splitting the workload. It sounds like this is "your thing" so don't ask her to split the workload. She's neither a liability nor an asset, she's your SO. If you can't view her as an SO independent of her splitting the REI workload, that's really your issue. 🤷🏻♂️

@Andrew Johnson - She does want to get involved and I'm not asking her to share the workload. I guess I'm asking more of what strategies couples use to invest in real estate. I share my life and my finances with her and I want to include her because she has a great eye and great intuition. I value her for that, but I just want to know how others are doing it.

Have discussions with your SO on what each of you wants out of life and see if you have alignment (family, friends, faith, finances, health, career).  If you don't have alignment, well, you can both take solace that you figured it out the right way.

If you have alignment, next discuss the daily steps needed to achieve success in those areas.  Figure out what each of you is good or bad at and what does and does not interest each of you and divide and conquer it accordingly.

My wife is not that involved with the real estate but she's a great sounding board for hearing me out and helping me to finalizing decisions.  She's much better at things that I suck at...just don't tell her I said that.

@Paul Palo The only thing I can suggest is that you do all of the preliminary legwork. You look over properties, visit them, build pro-formas, etc. and get rid of the 80% that will never "make the cut". Engage her on the 20% that are potentials that pass thresholds you have set up that could make them deals you want to pull the trigger on. My wife only wants to know when I actually have something that I think is worth flying out to see. She doesn't care how the rest of the REI-sausage is made.

What I'm also inferring (and I could be wrong again) is that you have a mismatch between stated objectives "She does want to get involved" and having those match up with her actions, such as: looking at properties online at night, viewing properties on the weekends, etc. Maybe one question you have to ask yourself is if "does want to get involved" is because she loves you or because of some latent passion for REI.

Not for nothing but if you have a great relationship she could be going out of her way to feign interest in something you enjoy.  Or she could be really trying to enjoy it but, well, just doesn't.  Guys do all sorts of crazy things to try and find alignment with women.  I can't tell you how many spin classes I've been to on weekend mornings.  Any chance your SO is trying to be interested in something she...just...isn't...that...interested...in?

All of that said, there are plenty of ways you can include her but that all depends on how much she actually wants to be included. 

@Paul Palo , you were wondering what strategies other couples use to invest in real estate.  Thought I'd share my situation.  My wife and I have 6 daughters ranging from 17 yrs to 3 yrs.  I have a demanding day job.  My wife stays at home to run the house.  And we're both very busy volunteering with our church.  So our available time for extra curricular activities of any kind, let alone real estate, is limited.  What we've found, though, is having such limited time makes us very focused when we do get time.  That might be something to think about.  Maybe it's just a problem of too much free time?

As it relates to our real estate business, we've kind of landed on different roles.  I do some aspects, she does others.  Those roles tend to play to our strengths, so we both enjoy fulfilling those roles.  Maybe there's a role your SO can perform that is helpful overall but which plays to her personality and experience.

As a case in point, currently we're laying the groundwork to move into multi family properties.  My wife is very supportive of where I feel we need to go, and she's letting me do all the research (podcasts, books, BP forums/blogs) and team building (meeting with bankers, brokers, CPA, lawyer, contractors, etc).  I identify potential properties, she makes the first visits (like your SO, my wife has a great eye and great intuition, so I rely on her opinion of the property, neighborhood, etc).  I run all the analysis (my background is accounting/finance so naturally this lands in my lap).  More of the load is on my shoulders right now, but I'm ok with that... and more importantly she's ok that I'm not as available as I normally would be.

You guys might benefit from a few heart-to-heart conversations to see where each other really is and to gauge alignment.  Then determine roles and responsibilities along with next steps.  I'm certainly not a relationship expert or a real estate expert.  Just a few things about how we're doing things and what's worked for us.  Hopefully there are a few nuggets that can help you and your SO.  Best of luck!

So here's what I'm reading:

She does want to get involved and I'm not asking her to share the workload. I guess I'm asking more of what strategies couples use to invest in real estate. I share my life and my finances with her and I want to include her because she has a great eye and great intuition. I value her for that, but I just want to know how others are doing it.


In this post (and your first post), I see a lot about what you want and how you see things.  You've said that she's interested and wants to participate, but actions speak louder than words.  Refusing to do anything other than watch TV is MUCH clearer communication about her attitude towards this than what she says (or what you have interpreted she has said or what you think she said or what you wish she was saying).

Every word you have typed so far screams "I really want her to be my partner.  She is willing to "allow" me to do this and will even support me while I go do it (whatever that means), but she does not want to take any action, do any research or learning or do anything else related to your goals."

My best advice is to stop pushing her - do your research at work if you want, but if you want, do your research at home while she watches TV (here's a tip - you aren't joined at the hip - you don't have to watch TV just because she is).  Take action when you're ready to take action beyond learning and researching.  If she's really interested, she'll get involved.  If she's not, then find other people to team up with and move forward towards your goals.

As far as answering your questions about what other couples do....  me and my partner sit around, sometimes all weekend, bouncing ideas off of each other.  We research properties together, sometimes even building the spreadsheets together (yay googledocs).  We look at houses in person together, we go and paint our houses together, do turnovers after a tenant leaves together, etc.  (He plunges toilets by himself - sorry honey!)  This is because we are both enthusiastic and excited about real estate investing.  

I think what you have is an unenthusiastic, unwilling person who you really WANT to be your business partner, but really isn't interested.

@Chris Jensen I think you are actually spot on. We do have a little too much free time on our hands. That's amazing you are able to do what you do with 6 kids! I'm going to try and break out those activities. 

@Linda Weygant I probably do need to do a little more of the legwork upfront. She's got a lot on her plate right now needing to take care of a mom who has become sick and financially insolvent. I didn't realize the extent until recently and she still wants to help me. 

My plan with my SO so far is for me to run the numbers, figure out the deals and financing, make things happen, and her job is to learn property management, deal with tenants, and probably eventually coordinate the small maintenance and repairs..

Talk to her about it. Communication is the best thing couples can do. Find out what aspects she is interested in and talk about and expand those topics. Find out what she might not understand, people tend to avoid things that they feel overwhelmed about. Are you listening to her ideas and concerns? If you haven't, make sure you do and work them out. Find ways to make the process fun. Want to scout something out? go out for ice cream and make an event of it. You'll both be much happier if you can figure out how to enjoy the highs and get through lows as a team.

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