Real estate investing is a team sport. Whether you are investing in single family residences or massive apartment communities, it is impossible to manage every aspect of the transaction on your own.
This is even more true when you decide to pursue real estate investing full-time or when you want to take your current business to the next level. In addition to the third-party team members (i.e., agents, brokers, property managers, accountants, etc.), you will likely get to the point where you need or want to bring on a partner and hire your own full-time or part-time employees. When the time comes, how do you know who to partner with? And how do you know who to hire?
After my first apartment syndicated deal, I teamed up with my current business partner Frank and began to hire the people who make up my current team. And here is the three-step approach I used, and that I recommend you use as well:
1. What do you want to do?
Before finding a business partner or bringing on other team members, the first thing you need to do is determine what you are looking for in a prospective partner or team member. This is accomplished by determining what your ideal role is in the business, which is based on what you enjoy doing and, more importantly, what you do very well.
If you are interested in becoming an apartment syndicator: do you want/like to raise money? Network with brokers to find deals? Underwrite? Asset management? Whichever role or roles you determine to be your ideal fit, then you will need to bring on a business partner to fulfill the other roles.
As you begin to execute your responsibilities in your new role, you will eventually get to the point where you either cannot fulfill all of the responsibilities yourself or don’t want to. At that point, you can hire full-time or part-time employees and delegate those responsibilities to them. For example, if you are responsible for underwriting deals, you can bring on a few people to help you with the underwriting process. Or if you are responsible for raising capital, you can bring on an assistant to manage incoming investor leads. Or if you are responsible for branding, you can bring on a writer or social media person. You get the idea.
2. Talent vs. Loyalty
Once you’ve determined what you want to do, the next step is to find the person or people to bring on your team. My personal approach is to find people who will be loyal to me and the business first. The “loyalty to me” applies more to full-time team members than business partners.
I prioritize someone who likes me and wants to grow with me over someone who is extremely talented and qualified. I can mold the former to fit what my company needs. Plus, I’d rather have someone by my side for the long run than someone who is talented and qualified but is using this job as a career leap and will leave after they get what they want out of it.
3. Word of Mouth Referrals
Now that you know what roles and responsibilities you will fulfill and the type of person you want to hire, the last step is to actually find candidates. The best way to find team member candidates is through word-of-mouth referrals. Leverage BiggerPockets and other online mediums, local meetups, and conferences and let people know that you are looking to expand your team. Explain the type of person you are looking for and what their responsibilities will be and ask for referrals.
I know this approach works because I found my first full-time hire at a meetup. I simply mentioned that I was searching for someone to help me grow my podcast and that is how I met Theo.
Overall, my approach for selecting partners and bringing on team members is simple: figure out what you want to do and partner up/hire out to fulfill the other roles, prioritize someone who will be loyal to you and your company over someone who is talented and qualified but is using this job for their own personal gain, and find team members through word-of-mouth referrals.
Follow this three-step approach and you will find the best team members who will stay with you the longest and help you take your investing business to the next level.
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