8 Professionals You Need On Your Investing Team

In real estate you are only as good as your weakest link. You can have all the motivation in the world but you need a good team around you to make it happen.  Even though you may invest individually you need the support of the people around you.  Your team consists of many individuals that either help to find deals, evaluates them or protects you every step of the way.  You should take your time to find the professionals that are the best fit for you and your goals.  Once they are in place you should go out of your way to treat them like gold.  Whether you know it or not they all play a big hand in your success.  Here are eight professionals every investor needs on their team.

  • Real Estate Agent.   A good real estate agent does more than to just help find potential deals. They have a real understanding of what you want and where you want it. This goes a long way to streamlining your business and making it as efficient as possible. They also influence what number you list your property and how quickly they sell.   You can do everything right with a rehab but unless it sells quickly it doesn’t matter. A good real estate agent should be one of the first team members you have on your team.
  • Inspector. The inspection is one of the final steps you take before you close a deal. You need to develop a relationship with an inspector that you trust. The inspection process is designed to inform the buyer of any defects with the property. A good inspector may go the extra mile and search for problems that may not be available on the surface. Finding an unexpected item can save you thousands of dollars or help get away from a bad property.
  • Builder. You never know when you will need the assistance of a good builder. From time to time you may come across an opportunity to purchase land or build on an existing plot. There is a big difference between managing a rehab and building a property from the ground up. The amount of paperwork and licensing alone can be a real issue. Having a builder that delivers quality work that you can trust can open the door to opportunities you may have never thought about.
  • Mortgage Broker/Lender. Having a mortgage broker on your team can serve a number of valuable purposes. The first is they can often be a great source for new deals. They deal with dozens of applicants every week that may not fit lending guidelines. Their best option is often to sell as quickly as possible. The second purpose is that they can prequalify any potential buyers you have on properties you are selling. Instead of wasting time on offers that will never close you can be more selective and choose the best possible offer.
    • Property Manager. One of the best ways to generate short and long term income is through rental properties. As great as they are they can often be difficult to manage. Instead of self-managing your investments you can utilize a professional property manager. A good property manager frees up time so you can focus on other areas of your business. They will handle maintenance requests, collect rent, review leases and keep an eye on your property. Instead of running to the property every time there is a call a property manager can make your life much easier.
    • Attorney. Every real estate investor can use the council of a good attorney. Not only does an attorney provide advice but they also protect you and your business. They are the ones that review the contract and make sure you are protected. They deal with sellers to push your deal to closing. They also advise best entity protection for your business. A good attorney is the last line of defense on many deals and will offer piece of mind to help you sleep at night.
  • Accountant. There is more to being a good investor than just closing deals. You need to be able to monitor your profits and let your money work for you. Here is where a good accountant is important. Many people only think about their accountant come tax time. While they are certainly important in preparing taxes they also help manage funds year round.
  • Marketing Manager. Things have changed in business in recent years. There has been a dramatic shift in how businesses are marketed. You don’t necessarily need to be a tech expert but you should have someone on your team who is. Having someone help with your website or with social media posts can prove invaluable. A large majority of sellers are turning to the internet to start their search. You need to have a team member that will help keep up with the changing technology.

Every networking meeting you attend is an opportunity to grow your team. You should follow up with every business card you receive.  You really never know when you will need to add someone new to your team.  Your team members often go a long way in determining your success.  Investing in real estate is difficult enough by yourself.  Surround yourself with the best possible team.

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7 Inexpensive Ways To Find Sellers

The best real estate investors understand the importance of a keeping a full pipeline. Closing a deal today is great only if you can find ways to build on that momentum.  In almost any market there are motivated sellers.  The key is to constantly strive for ways to find them.  One of the misconceptions in the real estate business is that you need to spend thousands of dollars on marketing.  Pricey direct mail campaigns can be effective but there are other less expensive alternatives available.  Given these price points you can afford to try a combination of some or even all of them.  Here are seven inexpensive ways to find sellers.

  • Expired MLS Listings. One of the best ways to build your business is with a real estate agent. A quality real estate agent has multiple outlets for finding sellers. Most investors use their realtor to help with foreclosure and REO listings. These deals can be profitable but they are also very popular. An alternative to this is expired MLS listings. There are listings that have been on the market typically for several months. After anywhere from 90 to 120 days the listing will expire and either need to be renewed or is taken off the market. These sellers may have mispriced their property or were simply looking to gauge interest. Either way they may be frustrated and looking for any offer to get the ball rolling. You never know what you will get when reaching out to expired MLS listings.
  • Classified Newspaper Ads. There is a large segment of people who grew up relying on newspapers as their prime source of information. While newspaper popularity is down they still reach thousands of eyeballs every day. The classified section in your local newspaper has multiple options for finding sellers. The first is to reach out to all rental listings. Focus on ones with out of market area codes. An out of state landlords may be frustrated with the process and interested in selling. The classified section also has homeowners or investors who are looking to sell. You may talk to a few disgruntled owners but all it takes is one who is willing to make a deal.
  • Email Contact Lists. Every email you receive from a business card or personal contact should be put in a separate file. It is important to stay updated and relevant with these contacts. Every few weeks or so you should send out an email just to keep in touch. This email could include a newsletter or something else of relevance but the point is to keep you on their mind. You never know when one of your contacts may know someone who is interested in selling. The chance of closing a referral lead is much greater than any other type of lead you will generate. Every week you should look to add someone else to your file. The more people you can reach the greater the odds of finding a deal.
  • Mortgage Brokers. Mortgage brokers are a great source for motivated sellers. The average mortgage broker comes in contact with dozens of applications every week looking to either refinance or purchase. Some of these borrowers may not fit lender guidelines and selling is their best option. Since they know that their options are limited they are more likely to sell at a discounted number. On the flip side you can share any homeowner information on properties that you are selling. Every investor should have at least one solid mortgage broker as a contact.
  • Bandit Signs. Bandit signs are the small signs you see on various front yards. This being an election year they are especially prevalent. Instead of promoting your favorite politician you can market your business. Your bandit sign and read anything from “we buy houses” to “quick, cash closings.” Whatever slogan you want to use can be placed on these signs. You can typically purchase hundreds of these signs for less than the cost of a good dinner. These can be placed on any properties you current own or in select locations with town approval.
  • FSBOs. FSBO is the acronym for “for sale by owner”. As the name indicates these are owners who are selling their property without the assistance of a real estate agent. They may be looking to save money on real estate commission or simply feel they can do as good a job. Many FSBO properties try testing the market at an inflated market price only to come down after several months. With the inactivity they often entertain almost any offer that comes in. Working with fsbos often takes several months but the payoff could be receiving a great deal.
  • Driving For Dollars. Finding deals is often as easy as driving for dollars. You can spend a few hours every day driving an area of the market. Make note of any distressed looking properties you see. You can often find the owner through a tax search at town hall. From there reach out to them explaining that you buy investment properties in the area. They may have thought about selling but aren’t sure the easiest way to go about it. Driving for dollars just a few hours a day will often yield a handful of live leads.

Marketing and lead generation is a numbers game. The more leads you have the better chance you have of closing deals.  If you are looking to build your pipeline start by focusing on these seven inexpensive ways to find sellers.


The Perfect Lease From Beginning To End

As a rental property owner you are only as good as your tenants. You can do everything right with the property but if your tenants are poor it won’t make a difference.  Dealing with tenants is more than just handing them a key and waiting for checks every month.  They should fully understand expectations and guidelines but are given enough space to enjoy the property.  At the end of the lease they should either want to renew or give a glowing review of you and the property.  To achieve this there are a few simple steps you need to consider during the course of the lease.  Here are some things every landlord should do as they strive for the perfect lease.

  • Lease/Walk Through. The relationship with your tenant starts with the initial conversation. Every applicant that reaches out to you is a prospective tenant. You should treat everyone that calls as if they are going to be living in your property for the next nine months. After you receive their application and commit to renting you need to review the lease. This should be sent through email and reviewed at the property. It is very important that you take time and go through your lease line by line. This can be tedious but will cut off any potential questions before they happen. Also when you are at the property you should walk the grounds and take pictures to note the condition before they move in. This may come in handy at the end of the lease.
  • Set Firm Guidelines. As you review the lease you need to make note of any items that are of particular importance to you. If you are adamant about keeping the property pet or smoke free you need to reiterate this. You may also have concerns about parking or the number of tenants allowed in the property. Whatever is important you need to make this crystal clear. You also need to attach a punishment for breaking these rules. These could range from a small penalty for a late payment to eviction. Let these guidelines and penalties be known up front so there is no misunderstanding down the road.
  • Scheduled Periodic Checkups. Most leases contain language that allows the owner to enter the property at any time. Just because it is allowed doesn’t mean you should do it. In every lease you should schedule a walk through every five months or so. Give your tenant at least two weeks’ notice. The point of this isn’t to check on your tenants but to make sure that everything in your property is running properly. Your tenant may not tell you that the downstairs toilet runs from time to time or back door doesn’t close all the way. These are the little things that if caught early enough could save you hundreds of dollars. If you explain it to your tenant this way they won’t think you are checking up on them.
  • 60 Day End Of Lease Notice. At your lease hits the home stretch you need to think about the end. Start by giving your tenant at least 60 days’ notice. As obvious as it may seem to you your tenant may not know when the end of their lease is. Giving 60 days’ notice serves a few purposes. The first thing is that it gives your tenant a chance to renew their current lease. If you have a good tenant there is no reason to look anywhere else. Ask them if they have any interest in staying for an additional term. If not a 60 day notice gives them a heads up to begin preparing themselves, and the property, for move out day.
  • 30 Day Notice. If a 60 day notice is a wakeup call a 30 day notice is an alarm. With your 30 day notice you should supply a detailed list of items and expectations needed for move out day. These should be on the lease but need to be reiterated again. As simple as it sounds you want the property in the same condition as they found it. There will always be normal wear and tear that is expected but you don’t to pay to have the property restored. By giving a detailed list, along with photos, of the expected condition you leave no doubt as to what you want done.
  • Walk Through/Key Exchange. On the lease move out day you will walk the property with your tenant and exchange keys. Your tenant will probably ask for their security deposit on the spot. It is important that you tell your tenant if they want to be with you at the property that you are going to be a few hours. This is your chance to try all appliances and examine the property. Once you give back the security it is too late if you find something after the fact. You shouldn’t nickel and dime your tenant but you don’t want to have to pay to repair an item either. If you are satisfied with condition you can cut a check on the spot but you have up to 30 days after the lease to do so. Keep in mind that positive word of mouth is important and you never know who your tenant may know.

The key to a successful lease is to respond as quickly as possible to whatever comes your way. By staying on top of these six areas alone you greatly increase your chances.