By Dugan P. Kelley*

If you are a seasoned real estate investor, someone just getting started, or even someone thinking about investing in real estate, you know the power of surrounding yourself with team members who can help propel you to success.  Given the fact that real-estate investing is now a global industry where someone living in Texas can invest in any state or country in the world, assembling a team of advisors and professionals is vital to your success.

You may have certain personality traits for all of the profiles below in your own personality, but reliance upon yourself to fill all these roles or even be the dominant person in each of these roles is folly.  There may be more than one person that is on your team that falls into these roles.  That is okay.  Making sure that you have confidence in the professionals on your team is essential.  If you don’t have confidence in your team members, make a change.  Don’t wait.

The Visionary or Selection Team Member

Selection of the property is where it starts.  This role is often filled by real-estate professional(s) who can identify potential properties for acquisition.  You will need to develop excellent relationships with real estate brokers and sales professionals in the area where you are hunting.  These team members are essential and are not merely people who regurgitate what is on the MLS system.  Instead, these team members can open doors to off market or pocket listings in your targeted area.  These team members will connect you with local professionals to assist with due diligence, gathering key documents, pictures, walk-throughs, inspections, and other standard components of property selection.

Real Estate Deal Analyzer

This is your numbers person.  The Analyzer role can be filled by you, an accountant, or your financial professional.  This role is essential and must be filled before you close on any deals.  Remember if the property doesn’t pencil (either cash flow or is value-hold property for equity), DON’T BUY IT.  Your analyzer will be able to crunch the numbers and be help you determine if this is a cash cow or a money pit.  Take your time, but don’t procrastinate.  Procrastination is a deal killer, and many investors have lost fortunes by failing to get into the game.

Real Estate Legal Adviser

Your legal adviser or legal team are indispensable.  They will help you form your entities, advise on deal structure, prepare your ppm (if you need to raise capital), review your lending documents, coach/guide you through the recourse/non-recourse side of investing, and will save you in the event you get into litigation.  Every seasoned real-estate investor knows that there will be problems that pop up in almost every deal.  Having a legal team member to call and help is indispensable and well worth the money.

Real Estate Financing

Once you have identified the property, analyzed the deal/numbers, and worked with your legal team to set up your structure, you will need to get financing in place.  With the explosion of Crowdfunding, passive investors, and larger multifamily investments being available throughout the country, establishing good lender relationships is vital.  This team member must know you, respect you, and be easily accessible to bounce ideas off.  Often good lenders will be able to streamline the underwriting process.  A good lender will know of good financing formulas/programs that are not publicly available.  A creative lender who is responsive to your calls and requests is essential to having a smooth investment.

Real Estate Construction Trades

Anyone who has invested in real-estate for any period of time has probably been ripped off by a contractor or invested in a money pit where the repairs/rehab has literally destroyed their profit margin.  Your “trades” team member(s) will help repair and/or identify key capital expenditures that will need to be handled prior to the property being sold.  Your trades member is often a general contractor or other construction adviser who can identify and help guide you through the sticky process of repairing the properties.  These team members are essential to prevention of your investment turning into a money pit.  Instead, a good trades member will protect your investment and help it flourish into a cash cow.

Real Estate Management

Most investors are moving onto the next investment once you have closed on the transaction.  However, you need a team member to be focused on the day-to-day operations of the property after you have moved on to your next acquisition.  This is where your property manager comes into play.  This team member is vital to the long-term or short-term success of the investment.  Even if you intend to be an active investor, think seriously about hiring a professional property management company to handle the day-to-day management of the real-estate property.

Conclusion – Get Your Real Estate Investing Team in Place

Don’t simply be the “jack of all trades and master of none.” Instead, surround yourself with a team that can help propel you to success in your investing.

*Mr. Kelley is the founder of Kelley Clarke PC, a boutique law firm with offices in Prosper Texas and Santa Barbara California.  Mr. Kelley is licensed as an attorney in California and Texas.  The Kelley Clarke team of attorneys have handled corporate formation, due diligence, and litigation for real-estate investors for over 20 years.  Mr. Kelley routinely speaks to real-estate and business entrepreneurs about investing, structure, litigation, and other related real-estate topics.  For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Kelley Clarke at 972-253-4440 or go to for more information.