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Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series author Robert Kiyosaki says, if you’re the smartest person on your real estate investing team, you’re in trouble. Your success can have a great deal to do with your team. Kiyosaki believes in getting the benefit of other people’s expertise, rather than trying to go it alone. This is sound advice, since it’s very difficult for one person to become an expert in law, inspecting, AND accounting. Not trying to do that in the first place means that you are focusing on your own goals.

Some of the best criteria to search for when courting experts is their own success. If you are going to hire a lawyer – try to find the best lawyer you can afford. If you are going to hire people on real estate investing teams, look for people that are succeeding. It’s like hiring a brain surgeon: You want to get the guy whose patients tend to get better.

How do you find these people? Interview them. Don’t just assume that the first guy who comes along is the right one for you, even if he does seem to know his stuff. Take lenders, for example. Any loan officer you approach will want you and your brand-spanking new mortgage. They don’t care about your long-term strategy; they just want to close the deal. What you need, is a guy who’s in the game, preferably with several investment properties himself. Make sure he/she is good for your entire long-term strategy.

When searching for Realtors and agents in MN, you have to keep the same things in mind. Find someone who is already doing what you plan to do. Also, make sure that you go with someone you feel comfortable with. Don’t let agents pressure you into working with them. Because many people don’t know how to interview professionals to find the ones that best suit their goals, many professionals assume that, since you are talking to them, you are going to hire them. They speak with you as though the deal is already done. Don’t let them assume you into agreeing. What you want is someone who listens to your goals and concerns, and who shows respect for your plans. Avoid anyone who is simply trying to sell you on something without considering whether it is actually right for you.

Your attorney should be someone who has established his own success in real estate law, and who knows his way around state and federal law. Chances are, you will rarely need your attorney’s services, but in the event that you do, he will be worth his weight in gold.

Choose an accountant who is a bona fide expert in real estate. You will see what an asset he is when tax time rolls around. A good accountant knows all about loopholes and also knows how to spot potential trouble that you may overlook. He will be especially valuable as you collect more and more properties.

The great thing about all this is, people love sharing their expertise. You like to brag about your successes, right? These guys do too.

These are just the basics of the basics of course, but hopefully you now have an idea how to go about searching for team members. As you go along, you will discover other types of experts you will need to make use of, such as inspectors, contractors and property managers, to name a few. Interestingly enough, many of the experts you talk to will actually have their own team of experts, and may not mind if you simply adopt his team. However you go about setting up your army of experts, having it in place will prepare you to begin your great real estate investing adventure.

Author: Alex Anderson is a licensed Minnesota RE/MAX Advantage-Plus agent. She specializes in helping people to build wealth and prepare for retirement by investing in Minnesota real estate.

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