When we first got started investing in real estate I thought I was prepared… until we actually got ownership, walked into the building and thought “what in the world have we gotten ourselves into?”. As a CFP and avid-HGTV watcher, I was confident that the numbers side of things made sense and that the whole renovation + renting out was going to be fun and entertaining.
Well, let me tell you: my HGTV-reality was not nearly as entertaining as the television shows. Renovations take twice as long as you think, the cost is thousands more than you budgeted for (especially your first time) and the work is way harder! …plus there’s no “Scott McGillvray” host to check in, help out and provide some advice.
My finance background has definitely been a huge asset, but there are other skills and knowledge that we don’t have. Having someone on your ‘team’ to call on is so important, can save you time, money and stress. I’d like to talk about types of teammates that you should consider adding to your rental property team.
Get some peace of mind
Unless you have the time and desire to learn all the investment strategies + tax considerations in regards to your specific financial situation, you should hire someone who can take care of this for you. Whether it’s a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) or someone who is an expert, [Warning: I’m 100% bias] they will be invaluable to you and your stress-level. It is tough to put a price on peace of mind, and this is what these types of “money helpers” can provide. Confidence that you are doing the right things with your finances and someone to call when life happens and you deviate from the plan.
In additional to someone to help you with the analysis of your financial situation, working with a real estate agent can be beneficial to help you assess properties. Not only are they aware of what's on the market, what is coming to the market, they also can provide location 'food for thought'. Like, up and coming neighbourhoods, high crime zones, rent desirability.
Pick professionals that not only know their stuff but explain things to you so that you actually understand. Side note: I've never sought parenting advice from someone who doesn't raise children. Something to think about when interviewing your advisors. If your CPA/CFP or real estate agent ALSO own real estate properties... guess who is going to know the most current trends, information + strategies when it comes to rental properties #justsayin
Get things off the “honey-do list”
There are a lot of little tasks that I really hadn’t considered when we first got started. Like having weird conversations with tenants, cleaning up after the move out, knowing all the rules/laws, upkeep of the yard, etc. Sometimes I do these myself. But sometimes I call on my team for help. For example, I have a cleaner that I trust and consider her cleaning abilities about 100x better than mine and faster. So sometimes, I clean. I really don’t mind doing it and I like to feel the sense of pride + ownership to the building. But sometimes I call her.
My husband is a teacher and has the summers off. So when he feels like it, he will go putter around the property, cut grass, tidy up, #alltheoutsidestuff. But there are times when large piles of dirt need to be removed or old steps. Things that are too big for him to lift on his own, never mind toss them in the truck and dispose of them. I love being able to call “my guy” who will come do the landscaping I need and take care of it. Not only do I appreciate that one 2 minute phone call or text takes the task off our plate, because we’ve been using him for the past few years, I know his prices and he knows I’ll keep calling.
Full disclosure, I haven’t personally used a property manager, HOWEVER, it is something I would invest in if you don’t live close to your property or feel insecure about the landlord + tenant laws. When I met with the owner of Prestige Abodes (Brenda is a local Property Manager) she said that the most common reason for hiring a Property Manager is having feet on the ground for investors that don't have the time or don't live close enough to the rental unit.
Surround yourself with your ideal "future you"
Last BUT not LEAST: mentor(s). Get a mentor. TODAY. Stop reading this right now. Go find someone who has been in the investment property game and is killing it! This is invaluable. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The amount of experience, knowledge, mistakes, lessons, headaches, successes, and everything in between that these people have been through is priceless.
If there are 2 things we could use more of, it’s time + money. By having a team to support you and your success you will be able to leverage their skills and knowledge without having to invest your OWN time and resources learning and (maybe) making mistakes. Owning real estate is a big responsibility and added stress isn’t required. There are so many people that love to work with people JUST LIKE YOU.
That being said, it’s important to not only fill your team with the right expertise, but also the right people. Find people that share the same values as you. Someone you find enjoyable and interesting. If you interview a CFP and your gut is telling you no; pass. Try someone else. Real estate is a long game and building relationships with the right people is just as important as buying the right properties for the right price and charging the right rent.
If you would like to connect with me or would like some referrals for specific ‘helpers’, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear what you are working on and help with any questions you have. I also host Webinars regularly that you may find informative. Check out the schedule at meghanchomut.com/workshops