Would you feel comfortable leaving your business in someone else’s hands? I’d be willing to bet the answer to that question for many investors is “heck NO!!” We are all admittedly sort of control freaks. As many of you know now, we took an extended vacation recently. Before we left, we spent a lot of time getting everything lined up to run smoothly in our absence. It really made me appreciate the importance of having a good team of people you can trust!
Right now I have a book on my nightstand that I am reading called Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement. One section of this book deals with forming your “mastermind alliances”. I cannot stress to you how important it is to have knowledgeable, trustworthy people that can help you run your business smoothly and effectively. Being able to delegate has made such a huge impact in my life and has really helped lessen the load, especially with raising kids and running a business.
Here is a quick rundown on the 5 key members that you should have on your “team”:
- A GOOD Realtor – I can’t say enough good things about our Realtor. I used to handle every single aspect of selling all of our properties. Do you have any idea how much time that takes? Showing houses, dealing with phone calls constantly, no-shows at showings, trying to stay on top of closings, working with the lenders, etc. It was exhausting! You may wonder how you can find a good Realtor. One way is to find out who the top sellers are in the areas you are buying and selling. Don’t be afraid to interview them. I tend to lean towards a “go getter”. I met our Realtor when she was actually representing the buyer of one of our houses. She totally impressed me with her willingness to get the deal done. My Realtor couldn’t even bother to tell me that we were having problems closing the deal. She took off on a cruise and was unreachable during the final days of the deal, at the last hour when it was all falling apart. NOT impressive. Make sure, too, that you and your Realtor are compatible. Communication is key. Our Realtor keeps me in the loop on every aspect of the deal, and goes above and beyond to make sure that these properties keep moving. She’s a very valuable asset and has alleviated a lot of stress from my shoulders!
- A GOOD Contractor – This is also a very valuable team member to have. Good work at consistently good pricing is hard to come by. If you have someone you can trust to get the job done in a timely manner with minimal hassles it can make your life a whole lot easier. Good communication here is key also, as they should know what level of work you expect and not try to always beat you up on the price of the job.
- A KNOWLEDGEABLE Loan Officer – It’s great to have someone like this on your team that really understands the ins and outs of the loan process. Especially now, when the rules are constantly changing. They have got to let you know up front if the deal is doable and take all of the steps to make it happen as efficiently as possible. I have a great loan officer that I like dealing with. He’ll let you know right away if someone can actually purchase the house, and if not, what needs to be done so that they can. This has saved us a lot in hassle and we’ve had deals happen for us that other less knowledgeable lenders said would not work.
- A GOOD Title Company and Closer – We have been through almost every title company in Texas, I think, with different results. I really like the title company where we are at now, as well as our closer. Make sure to find someone with a lot of experience in closing all types of deals. This person should also be a good communicator. My closer and her assistant work extremely well together and between them, they keep me informed of every aspect of the transaction. I like to know what is happening at all times. I have never had to ask for updates, they do this automatically. Plus they keep everything that relates to us in a file so I don’t have to provide the same information over and over for each transaction. They also provide the HUD’s for my review as soon as they are prepared; this ensures no surprises at closing. All of this applies to the buying side as well as the selling side.
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- A GOOD Real Estate Attorney – I know…a good attorney? Is there such a thing? 😉 Yes, they do exist and they are another valuable team member. We have used the same attorneys for years and trust me; at some point you are going to need some legal help. It’s best to have someone who has experience with Real Estate transactions. We’ve used our attorneys to draw up documents, handle owner financed closings, deal with foreclosures, offer legal advice, and answer any legal questions pertaining to the purchase of a house. Unless you’re a lawyer, I wouldn’t advise giving any legal advice yourself—seek an expert!