Guest post from Garrett Sutton
Blair Singer and I have been Rich Dad Advisors for over 10 years. Blair often talks about building a championship team in your business, in your family or in your group. He speaks of the code of honor and how it pervades every part of the team, every statement, every action, every heartbeat. It is a statement of who you are and what you stand for.
One of the most important keys to real estate investing and taking advantage of the loopholes I write about in Loopholes of Real Estate is the team you assemble. Robert often states that investing is a team sport and hes right. The power of teams can accomplish far more than can be accomplished by a single person.I could never have achieved my success without my team. Trying to win a team sport with a solo effort is not just impossible, but its reckless.
But how do you build your team for real estate investing?
Successful real estate investors realize the value of surrounding themselves with experts in a range of areas-taxes, the law, real estate, insurance, property management, etc. When these experts come together out of trust, respect, and a mutually desirable outcome, they learn from and support each other, effectively improving the outcomes and streamlining the process. Its just like my latest book, I did not write Loopholes of Real Estate alone, I wrote it with help from other Rich Dad Advisors and real estate experts.
The first step is to take a look at your current team. Identify those people who might serve as models and mentors, then branch out and expand your circle. For a list of who you need and want on your team, please refer to Loopholes of Real Estate.
These outlets could yield many mentors for you:
- Real estate seminars: Most communities have these on a regular basis. Theyre usually free, full of good information, located around town, and held by real estate agents and mortgage brokers, so theyre a great way to meet experts. Check your local newspaper listings or visit individual brokerage websites.
- Real estate clubs: Just as many cities have stock investment clubs, in which people, some experienced and some beginners, get together and invest their money, there are real estate clubs in many communities as well.
- Community colleges and city or county education programs: It’s somewhat common to find classes in real estate investment at the community college or local adult education programs, and, in addition to being insightful, theyre often led or attended by insiders in the field.
- CASHFLOW game clubs: Clubs have formed around the country to get groups of people together to play this game. You can also play online with others at RichDad.com. Its a fun learning experience that could also help you to encounter experts and mentors.
- Professional networking organizations and chambers of commerce: Like with most things, attending networking events is an excellent way to encounter like-minded people in your area with a particular kind of expertise. This is a great way to meet people in a variety of fields, from accounting and bookkeeping to real estate, mortgage services, property management, roofers, landscapers, or even plumbers. You may be able to talk to others who know these experts, and who might give them good references. And its a good way to let people know what your goals are and what you’re looking for.
- Ask for referrals: As you start meeting people and gathering a group of advisors together, start asking them whom they would recommend. After all, they’re familiar with the field and the people who are knowledgeable in certain areas. For example, real estate agents and mortgage brokers often ask escrow officers, appraisers, inspectors, and handymen that they like using for recommendations. Did your friend work with someone he or she liked? Start mining the resources you already have.
Once you have a list of people that you would consider for your team, its important to conduct interviews to ensure its a good fit. Questions you might want to ask include:
- How much experience do you have in this field, or in this particular type of real estate?
- Are you taking on new business?
- Is becoming part of an investment team appealing to you?
- Do you have clients investing in the same type of projects Im interested in, and are they projects you would invest in yourself?
- What is your policy on returning messages? Do you typically return calls within 24 or 48 hours, or at set times of day?
- Will you be handling my account yourself or will you be passing it to an assistant or junior team member, and if so, does that person have experience?
- How do you charge per hour, per transaction?
- Do you have references? Call the references to make sure theyre happy with the professional youre considering. Youll want to make sure that the person understands youre looking for a long-term relationship, one that relies on mutual trust, respect, and experience. This is especially true of lenders, real estate attorneys, and accountants. They are intimately aware of your financial situation and they understand that a relationship like this could benefit you both, because the better you do, the better they do. Also, be sure anyone you choose is very experienced in the particular kind of real estate youll be investing in-you don’t want him or her learning on your dime to get up to speed. Finally, unless theyre qualified, competent advisors, you may not want to include friends and family members on your team.
Coaches love to say, “Theres no I in TEAM,” and the same goes for real estate investing. The team is always stronger than the individual. The castle is not defended by just one archer. The sooner you embrace the concept of working with your team and relying on their collective experience and knowledge, the sooner youll find yourself successful in growing your portfolio.
To purchase Garrett’s latest book, Loopholes of Real Estate, click here.
About the Author
Garrett Sutton, Esq., is the bestselling author of Start Your Own Corporation, Run Your Own Corporation, The ABCs of Getting Out of Debt, Writing Winning Business Plans, Buying and Selling a Business and The Loopholes of Real Estate in Robert Kiyosakis Rich Dads Advisors series. Garrett has over thirty years experience in assisting individuals and businesses to determine their appropriate corporate structure, limit their liability, protect their assets and advance their financial, personal and credit success goals.
Garrett and his law firm, Sutton Law Center, have offices in Reno, Nevada, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and San Francisco, California. The firm represents many corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships and individuals in their real estate and business-related law matters, including incorporations, contracts, and ongoing business-related legal advice. The firm continues to accept new clients.
Garrett is also the owner of Corporate Direct, which since 1988 has provided affordable asset protection and corporate formation services.