One of the secrets to successful property investing is having a team of people around you who can help you achieve your goals. This would be your Property Power Team. A group of individuals and companies will help you to achieve far more than you could possibly do on your own.
Building a Property Power Team is one of the first things you should be doing before even looking for investment opportunities. It's no good finding an amazing deal and then missing out on it, just because you can't move quickly enough.
This blog is going to break down how this team should be constructed and what exactly to expect from each member.
Who Should Be In Your Power Team?
Initially, you will start with a core power team consisting of the essential people you need to make deals happen. With time, you will probably develop an extended power team who will help you systematise the process. This will give you more free time to focus on what you want to do.
Your Core Power Team
This will include a property specialist tax accountant, a mortgage broker and solicitors. Let’s consider each of these in turn.
“Everyone is different and so you need to get specialist advice tailored to your specific requirements and needs.”
Your Property Specialist Tax Accountant
It is very important to get the correct tax advice so that you keep as much as possible of the money that you make from property, by minimising the amount of tax you pay.
When it comes to property investing, most accountants will understand the basics but may not have the specialist property tax knowledge required. Everyone is different and so you need to get specialist advice tailored to your specific requirements and needs.
Your property specialist tax accountant will be able to help advise you in the set up of your property business(s). They should also be consulted on all major transactions such as disposal of property or structuring of joint ventures, etc. The correct advice could save you a fortune, so it is well worth paying for some quality personal advice.
My criteria for selecting a property tax accountant are as follows. They need to be:
- A property tax specialist.
- A property investor themselves.
Your Mortgage Broker
Probably one of the most important people in your property power team, your mortgage broker is your access to finance. Your broker needs to understand explicitly what you are doing. Don’t assume that all mortgage brokers are the same.
My criteria for selecting a mortgage broker are as follows. They need to be:
- Fully independent with access to the entire mortgage market.
- Dealing with BTL mortgages and re-mortgages on a daily basis.
- Able to respond quickly to your needs.
- Investing in property themselves.
Some mortgage brokers will charge you a fee and some will work for you free of charge. Amateur investors often make the mistake of trying to save money by going to the cheapest supplier. Experience shows this is not always the best option.
I always believe that you get what you pay for. However, if you are dealing with the broker on a regular basis, they should be prepared to negotiate their fee. The best way to find a good mortgage broker, as with most members of your power team, is through personal recommendation from other investors who use their services.
There are some great mortgage brokers who attend the pin meetings each month.
You will need two different solicitors to complete your property purchase. One solicitor will represent you in the purchase and a second, separate solicitor will represent the seller in the sale. I have had a number of experiences where the deal has almost fallen through because the seller’s solicitor was simply not very good. As I cannot afford to risk this, sometimes I offer to cover the cost of the seller’s solicitor, as long as the seller uses the solicitor that I recommend.
The solicitor that I recommend will, of course, have to act in the best interest of the seller. However, I know the solicitor that I recommend has a good working relationship with the solicitor representing me, and so I can ensure the transaction will happen in the required time, which benefits everyone.
My criteria for selecting solicitors are as follows. They need to be:
- Friendly and contactable with a good response rate.
- Proactive, rather than reactive which is what most solicitors are.
- Able to carry out all transactions over the phone and by email for speed.
- Able to work with the other solicitors in an efficient manner.
- Cost-effective for the service they provide.
Your Extended Power Team
Over time, you will develop your extended power team which may include the following: estate agents, letting agents, builders, property finders and coaches, to name just a few. Let’s consider some of these:
I have a number of estate agents who call me first when they find the right kind of deal. In addition to sourcing property for you, the same estate agents can help you sell the properties which you want to buy and flip on.
Employing a good letting agent can save you a lot of time and hassle. Unfortunately, many letting agents aren’t very good, but if you know how to find them, you will be in luck. Letting agents can be a good source of motivated seller leads for you because if any of their landlords decide to sell a property, the letting agents are often the first people to find out about it. If you have a good relationship with your agent this could be another source of leads for you.
You may not require letting agents to manage a property for you, but they can be very useful in helping to find the tenants. It is not a good use of your time to manage your own properties.
As well as finding your own motivated seller leads, you may well have a number of other property investors and property finders who are out looking at deals for you. This is particularly useful if you’re working full-time and just can’t afford the time to do it yourself. You will have to pay them a fee, but if it means you get to build up a property portfolio with very little effort. This can be well worth it.
As a landlord it is very important that you have the correct 'landlord insurance' in place. Not only do you need to have appropriate cover for the buildings and your contents in the property but also public liability insurance. This is in case someone has an accident in your property and then decides that it was your fault, so tries to sue you. If you are selling property deals to other people, then you should also have professional indemnity insurance.
Call Answering Service
Whenever you are contacted by a motivated seller, you need to speak to them in person. If a seller goes through to your answerphone, most of them will be reluctant to leave a message as they don’t really know who you are. Rather than leaving a message, it is more likely that the seller will just move on to the next property problem solver. You may have then missed out on a potential deal.
If you are constantly busy on your phone or unable to answer it during the day, you need to make provision for someone else to answer on your behalf. Whoever answers the phone for you must have a script so they know exactly what to say and can capture all the required information.
“As time is your most valuable asset, you need to delegate as much as you can to other people.”
You will soon come to realise that there are lots of things that you need to do as a property investor, but the good news is that you do not need to do everything yourself. There are lots of tasks you can get other people to do for you, especially things like admin where a well-trained virtual assistant can save you a huge amount of time.
As time is your most valuable asset, you need to delegate as much as you can to other people. Focus on the most important tasks where you can add the most value such as finding great property deals.
If you are adding value to properties through renovation work, you will need professional builders to carry out the work for you. Remember, it is not worth your time doing this work yourself, so it’s best to pay a professional to do it properly.
The best way to build up a good relationship with your builder is to pay them promptly. Builders always seem to be chasing people for money, so if you pay them promptly in full, you will become one of their favoured clients. This may well then prioritise your jobs over those of others.
You may need someone to keep an eye on your properties and carry out small jobs of maintenance and repair. Having a local multi-skilled handyman who is available to attend to your properties at short notice can be really useful.
Property Coach Or Mentor
Once you get to a certain number of properties you may find it very difficult to talk to family and friends about what you’re doing. They just won’t understand it, and this is the point at which you need a property coach or mentor who can help stretch you. They will give you the support and guidance to keep you motivated.
Now that we have considered the type of people you need in your property power team, you may want to think about the gaps in your current team. Who else do you need in your team? How are you going to find them?
The very best way to find the people for your personal property power team, is through recommendations from other successful property investors. You can ask for recommendations of professionals at your local pin meeting. Details of your local meetings are here.
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