Since a professional team is so important to your success as a real estate investor and, more specifically as an apartment owner, I would like to wrap up this article series on how to use these team members in a little more detail.
Just to recap, some of the essential team members that you’ll want to have in place include:
· Bird dogs
· A real estate agent or agents
· A commercial mortgage broker
· A banker (one or more)
· A title company or closing attorney
· A real estate attorney
· Private lenders
· An SEC attorney (if part of your business includes securing private funding)
· An asset protection attorney
· An accountant or CPA
· Property management companies
Contractors are the behind the scenes magicians that can really aid your overall cash flow in the long run as an apartment owner. Units that are in need of complete renovation or simply a few updates do nothing for you if they are unrentable. A good contractor (or collection of them) can minimize the time that units in need of some fixing stay vacant, thus optimizing your income from your properties.
Finding contractors who both do good work and do so in a timely manner can sometimes be challenging but remember that it is a tougher economy out there right now and people are looking for work. Make sure your contractors are necessarily bonded and insured and don’t be afraid to move on if someone does poor work or, worse yet, shows up late or not at all. It is your business and you have every right to expect quality and timely work.
I suggest having a variety of contractors at your disposal. You won’t need all of them all of the time (at least you hope not) but there is something to be said for specialization. Maybe you’re replacing carpet in your units as they turn over from one tenant to another. A professional carpet installer might be a perfect fit for getting a couple of units done at a time. You could make similar arguments for plumbing, electrical work, painting, etc.
Some contractors will claim they can do it all but you rarely need it all when managing apartment units. For assorted odd jobs, a good handyman is always a good bet and they can be great allies when tenants call with fix it items. It is both easy and practical to have budgetary limits set with your property management company so they can coordinate with contractors as needed for small jobs and avoid you getting bombarded with calls for ‘nickel and dime’ issues’.
Remember, this is a business and, as a business owner, it is both reasonable and advisable to delegate as much as you can so you can actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. As we conclude this more detailed article series on your professional team, remember that just about all highly successful business share a common mindset. Success is a state of mind that is shared by few but for which principles are more freely shared than you might think. Make the acquaintance of wealthy people and pattern your own business after what they have done. This is one of the most basic secrets of becoming wealthy beyond your wildest imagination. Now that you have heard what I have to say about building a team, the next step is to find the deals that will help you build the fortune that is out there for the taking!