Whether you’re buying your first home or your 50th investment property, finding a reliable real estate professional can make all the difference. Navigating real estate investments can be challenging even for experienced investors. If you’re on the hunt for trustworthy real estate professionals, here are five strategies you can use to help you build a relationship with professionals you can trust.
1. Build the Best Team
Your first step to finding real estate professionals you can trust is to figure out who you need on your team. What specialists do you need to have in your pocket to ensure your transactions go smoothly and you can make money on your investments?
Start with a real estate agent. You may work with a variety of agents who specialize in different types of properties. They can help you list your properties, write contracts and find the perfect properties to add to your collection.
Next, add a real estate attorney to your team. This step becomes critical if you’re making a career out of real estate investment. They can help you separate your business and personal assets, so if something goes wrong with one of your properties, you always have a cushion to fall back on. If you ever face a lawsuit, they’ll also be able to defend you in court.
Mortgage brokers can help you cut through the red tape when you’re selling properties, preventing the loan process from ruining the transaction.
An insurance agent can help you navigate all the ins and outs of homeowners and landlord insurance. Accountants can help you sort through your income, do your taxes and keep you from stepping on the IRS’ toes. Finally, adding a title company to your team can help you connect all the dots when buying or selling a new home.
Once you’ve got an idea of the team you need, it’s time to start networking.
2. Network, Network, Network
While you can spend money on marketing and advertising, the majority of your business doesn’t come from those things — your network and your sphere of influence drive it. That’s why it is so essential to develop a real estate network. Formal relationships can help you develop this network. If you need to talk to a specialist, they’ll likely be able to point you in the right direction, even if they can’t help you themselves.
Start talking to other real estate professionals. Join local business groups, attend real estate events and network through social media. Make it a point to start developing personal and professional relationships with other real estate investors. Word of mouth is your most powerful tool when it comes to real estate investment, and the best way you can gather that word of mouth is through networking.
3. Look for Specific Criteria
Each person on your team will have a unique set of skills, but there are some specific criteria you should look for, including:
- Professionalism — There are probably a lot of real estate specialists in your area, but the difference between them is whether they have the poise and character to be a professional, rather than a mere real estate agent.
- Market knowledge — While giving a recently graduated real estate agent a chance to join your team is a noble thing, you don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the market where you’re making purchases.
- Sales and negotiation skills — Not everyone on your team will need sales and negotiation skills, but for those who do, you’ll want to work with the best in the industry.
- Experience — There’s a difference between working in real estate for decades and having decades of experience. Look for people who have been active in the field, taking on challenges others shy away from.
Once you know what you’re looking for in a teammate, it’s time to start assembling your real estate team.
4. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
We hear people apply this phrase to everything from teambuilding to maintenance on our cars, but it’s one of the best mantras you can live by while searching for trustworthy real estate professionals to assist you with your investments. Don’t react to a problem when it happens. Build your network, so you have someone to call before a problem occurs. Add people to your list, even if you haven’t worked with them before. Every potential problem is an opportunity to add someone new to your network and expand your sphere of influence.
5. Get Referrals
Finally, make sure you’re getting referrals from your team members’ previous clients before you consider adding them to your team. These can be a fantastic way to understand more about a person or a business, rather than relying only on what they show you.
Most real estate professionals should be more than happy to give you the contact information for their references. Be wary of anyone who doesn’t want you to contact their previous clients, or refuses to provide that information. It could be because they’re new to the field and don’t have any yet, or it could be because they have something to hide.
Building a Team of Trustworthy Professionals
If you’re planning on turning real estate investment into a career, you don’t have to do it alone. Build a team of people who will support you throughout this endeavor, but make sure it’s made up of people you can trust. These strategies can help make that step a little bit easier in the long run.
This article has been contributed by Holly Welles from The Estate Update.