"If at any point you find you know more than any of the professionals in your team, it’s time to replace them!"
How to build a successful property investment team
To build a successful property portfolio, you will need a team of experts to help you on your way. You will need advice on researching, choosing, buying, financing and maintaining a successful investment property.
A buyers’ advocate is only one part of a team of trusted professionals you will need behind you if you are going to take building a property portfolio seriously. You will need a trusted accountant, a knowledgeable solicitor, an experienced conveyancer, a good mortgage broker and possibly some good tradespeople who you know you can rely on to make repairs or enhancements to your properties.
If you are in a relationship, it is also important that your partner is understanding; preferably someone who understands and actively supports what you’re doing, who also understands the market and can help you make judgements about individual properties, and can act as a sounding board and voice of reason when you are starting to get too attached to a property. That person should also understand your need to disappear for hours at a time to view properties on the weekends, not to mention hours trawling through the internet every day. It would be great if your partner joined you in your endeavours, or you split the work.
I’m lucky. I have a very understanding partner who trusts my judgement when it comes to our investment decisions. Of course, it helps that I’m in the industry!
If you are making investments with a partner, that person at least needs to be comfortable that the decisions you make will be for the good of your shared future together. He or she has to be confident that you know what you’re doing.
Money already causes too much friction in long-term relationships. You don’t want to become a property investor at the cost of your partner or family.
Building your team
Behind every successful property investor is a dynamic support team of professionals from real estate and other fields.
I recommend setting up a team of the following professionals:
• A property mentor. A property mentor will help keep you on the right path. Your mentor might be a buyers’ advocate who has invested successfully in her own property portfolio and has purchased hundreds of properties for clients.
• Family or friends. Do you have any millionaires in your family or circle of friends who have made their money by successfully investing in property? If the answer is yes, you may be able to call on them for some help.
• Solicitor. Your solicitor should be someone who specialises in property investment, and whom you trust to look after all your conveyancing and other legal requirements.
• Financial planner. A financial planner will oversee your long-term financial strategy, advise on matters such as superannuation and ensure that you and your assets are protected against ill health or periods of unemployment. (However, be wary of financial planners who try to get you to buy into property from which he gets a commission.)
• Accountant. Your accountant should be someone who understands tax legislation and can use the laws to your best advantage. Your accountant should also be able to advise you on the best way to structure yourself financially, and about keeping your own financial records. Ideally, she should have used the same strategies to set herself up as she are recommending to you.
• Mortgage/finance broker. Your mortgage broker should be a specialist who is up to date with the lending criteria of a wide variety of lenders and who can advise you on how best to structure your loans to help you leverage into multiple properties.
If at any point you find you know more than any of the professionals in your team, it’s time to replace them!
Melissa Opie is known as "The Property Lady" and is founder and managing director of Keyhole Property Investments and helps everyday investors make decisions tailored to their names. She is the author of Find the Right Property, Buy at the Right Price, which is published by Wiley. This is an excerpt of Find the Right Property, Buy at the Right Price.