Running a virtual real estate investing business requires a system... and a team of people to make it happen. I may be the The DM but I don't work alone. (It's impossible to be a "Lone Ranger" deal maker while traveling the world).
In a few past blog posts, I've talked about the importance of automating your business and I've hinted at some of the people you need to put in place. Check out my blog posts: Investing in real estate is easy if you know how and How to be a lazy (smart) Deal Maker for more information. In this blog post, I'm going to list all of the people you'll want on your team to help you turn your hands-on, time-consuming real estate investing business into a lay-on-the-beach virtual real estate investing business.
(And in some upcoming posts, I'm going to tell you about the mindset you need to have if you want to be truly successful while working with a team, and I'll give you some of my most valued tips and pointers to building a highly productive team).
Before I list the people, I should define what I mean by "team"
A lot of brand new real estate investors might be scared off by the word "team". When they hear "team" they really hear "payroll", "employee insurance", "administrative costs", and "human resources nightmares".
You need to redefine what you mean by team. When I say "team" I don't necessarily mean "employees". I mean a group of people who all work toward one common goal. You might have some employees (although you might not) and you'll probably work with professionals, independent contractors, freelancers, and specialist firms. They are all part of your team. You compensate them to help you and, in exchange for that compensation, they work with you to achieve your goals.
There's less administration, fewer headaches, and you can get a lot of expertise... plus you only pay when you need them. (Read: No employees are sitting around gazing at the ceiling).
Of course, there might come a point when you hire employees but you don't NEED to in the beginning.
Here are the people you absolutely must have on your team
- Virtual assistant – These are the administrative assistants, secretaries, receptionists, go-to administrative people who make calls, manage email, and handle the details. Start with one and free up as much of the detail work as you can.
- Bird Dogs – These are the beginning investors who are out there looking for deals to bring to you to get you involved in and make money they only get paid when YOU do the deal.
- Contractors – I don't work with a lot of contractors because I don't do a lot of rehabbing, but there are times when it's good to know a dependable, qualified contractor who can swoop in and fix something quickly, safely, and affordably. (This one is always fun, so I advise many newbies to proceed with caution here)
- Property managers. This will be a great addition to your team because they will free you up to focus on more important things. (Check out my recent blog post about how to find a good property manager).
- Accountant. I don’t need to explain why you need one of these. Just make sure you get one who isn't just plugging your numbers into some software. Instead, find someone who will actively work with you to help you spend less money, save on taxes, and increase your profit. (And yeah, find an accountant who has experience with real estate investing… you probably feel like you should hire your brother-in-law but don't do it! Find someone who understands what you do).
- Lawyer. Same as the accountant – you know who these people are. Find a lawyer who has experience with real estate (better yet, find someone who has real estate investing experience) so they won't waste your time researching the unusual (but legal!) deals that real estate investors do, this is key I always recommend finding a great lawyer pay them for 1 hour of their time and go in there and ask them a million-and-one questions in your 1 hour time frame. That’s an education in itself.
- Marketer. Marketing can easily become "busy work", where you spend time designing brochures and writing property flyers. That stuff seems like it is important work (and marketing is the backbone of your business!) but it is easy for the details to get in the way. Find someone talented and trustworthy who you can outsource to. You will need to oversee this activity to make sure things are getting done the way you need them to be… but you don't have to do every little thing yourself. Your marketer can also handle any online work you might have as well – blogging, search engine optimization, etc.
- Mentor. You need one or more mentors – someone who has done it before and can help you do it too. A mentor can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and they can help to connect you to new opportunities and find even more success in existing opportunities. If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you might consider me to be one of your mentors. I'm honored to be part of your team. This is key, find a mentor you like and engage them. Iinvest in yourself and your future, it’s so worth it! I may be The DM but I still have mentors and always will for life… it’s needed in many parts. (At the time I write this, I have 4 mentors in different parts of my business).
Your team-building friend and mentor,
Mark Evans, DM, DN
PS, Sometimes people ask me about technology and whether they need someone on their team who is an IT expert. Here's my answer: Technology is different today than it was even 3 years ago (let alone when I started nearly 15 years ago). It used to cost $10-$15k to set up a website... now you can CLICK HERE and get the same sites I use daily for peanuts. You should be using simple websites to attract buyers, sellers and investors into your funnel daily (If you aren't, shame on you! Get over to www.VirtualRealEstateWebsites.com and get them set up... no Tech team required).
Also everyone should be using autoresponders – this is the key to the future of being able to follow up and mange your list on a simple, consistent basis... It's a very powerful tool and something you will have FOREVER. Set it up by clicking here.