Assembling Your “Dream Team” That Will Assist You to Success

In order to be a successful commercial real estate investor you need a good team. If you follow basketball at all you will see all the great teams in this era comprised of great teammates. Some examples are the 95-96′ Bulls in which they won a NBA record 72 regular season games. The reason that team won so many games is the collective team effort each individual played. Yes, of course having Michael Jordan the world’s greatest player definitely helped but even with just a Michael Jordan the Bulls would not have been able to pull off such a successful season. This is the same for any business venture including real estate investing.

Your dream team will comprise of other professionals that are experts in their trades such as the following:

· Real Estate Agent & Brokers
· Property Managers
· Lenders
· Attorney

Real Estate Agents and BrokersWhen choosing an Agent or broker you want to know that he/she is well-experienced in apartment investments as opposed to shopping centers or shopping centers. He or she must understand financial numbers, why they make good investment and is not selling you deals based on ‘proforma’ numbers. An agent or broker that actually owns investment property is a must.

Property Managers – Having an experience property manager can save you thousands and make you millions over time. It is not recommended to purchase an apartment building without an adequate property manager

Lenders – The lending environment is pretty challenging these days, with all of the bank fallout and tighter underwriting requirements. I recommend having a few lenders but also a “go-to” lender. Hopefully, this lender has earned your trust over many deals and has proven be reliable and can perform. Having a few lenders will also give you the ability to get deals done when some lenders just cannot. These are lenders that have strengths and connections that your favorite lender does not have.

Attorney – When selecting an attorney remember to get a real estate attorney. Do not just look in the yellow pages and select one because that will be the easiest and quickest way to get yourself in trouble. This is an area that you do not want to be cheap about either! You need a real estate attorney that not only will write and review your contracts but also to serve as the enforcer for your deal and to make sure that your interests is protected and maximized. Another area that this attorney will focus on is the correct use of entities and partnerships. Do not ever start or enter into a LLC, Corporation or partnership without proper counsel from your attorney. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Here are some questions to ask when interviewing an attorney. Also use the form attached for your attorney interviews

1. Ask other successful apartment and multifamily investors who they used. Go to a local real estate investing associations (REIA) meeting and get referrals and recommendations from group members. Ask about 10 people.

2. When you get a list of attorneys, set an appointment with each and interview them. Use your Attorney interview sheet.

3. Do they own real estate? You are looking to work with an attorney that actually owned and experienced investment property. This is a huge difference compared to working with an attorney that doesn’t understand what you are doing.

4. Get a list of three clients for references that they have worked with that they feel would use their services again. Every attorney is not for everyone, remember you are building your dream team so it is very important that you select individuals that will play well on your team.

CPA – When selecting your CPA, it is the same process as if you were selecting an attorney. Look for CPAs that have real estate tax planning and exit planning experience. You do not want to just select any CPA that doesn’t understand your goals and your business. Selecting the right CPA can save your thousands and make your hundreds of thousands now and into the future.

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