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Most property investors can't do it alone, so how can you find the best people for your team?
Blogger: Jason Paetow, director, AllianceCorp
Remember when you learned how to drive? You were probably very excited about getting behind the wheel and taking off on your own. Before you could do that, though, you had to figure out how the car worked, and how to manoeuvre it to get to where you wanted to go.
There were moving parts to learn about, rules and guidelines to absorb. When you mastered how to work the car and finally got your licence, you also needed to acquire a good sense of direction (or a GPS!) to work out what route you should take to get to your destination.
You probably didn’t learn how to drive on your own. Someone showed you the ropes. Sure, you could’ve worked it out on your own, if you absolutely had to, but chances are there would’ve been a lot of crunching of gears, and even accidents along the way, as you figured things out. Most likely, you were taught how to drive by a trusted person who wanted to share their knowledge with you, or by a professional instructor who ensured you learned everything correctly.
So, you probably knew this was coming, but investing in property is a lot like learning to drive. You have a process and a system to learn and master, and you need to figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there – preferably before you set off! Thankfully, there are plenty of knowledgeable people who have blazed the trail before you and are usually happy to share their knowledge.
Just as learning how to drive without an instructor can be hazardous and difficult, so too can learning how to invest in property without a mentor or guide to steer you in the right direction. Mistakes can be costly, no matter what you’re doing, so it’s great if you can leverage knowledge from someone who knows what the mistakes are and how to avoid them!
A good mentor can be a source of guidance, motivation and encouragement, and can understand your goals and desired strategy. Preferably, your mentor has used the same strategy to get ahead with their property investment portfolio, and so is well equipped to advise and help you.
So how do you go about finding this mentor? Follow these steps:
Step 1. Use your network. Is there someone you know, directly or indirectly, who has had success with property investment? Use your channels to get in touch with them – social media is fine – and let them know you’re interested in property investment too. Chances are they will be flattered that you’ve expressed an interest in learning from them and will be happy to help you.
Step 2. Look at what you want to achieve, and how you think you want to get there. Have any of the potential mentors you’ve spoken to used the same strategy/achieved similar results themselves? It’s all well and good to have a supremely successful mentor in mind, but if all they’ve done is commercial developments and you’re looking at off-the-plan townhouses, you’re not going to get a lot from them.
Step 3. Be persistent, and listen to what your mentor has to say. If you start telling people what you want to achieve and how you want to do it, people might assume that you don’t actually need their help. The best thing is to have some questions to ask and then listen to what your mentor/potential mentor has to say. You should be like a sponge in this stage of your property investment journey – and throughout it – because, really, you never stop learning!
Step 4. Get some professionals around you to enhance your team. Your mentor may be able to recommend a great accountant, mortgage broker, solicitor, buyer’s advocate or property management company, all of whom will play a vital role in structuring and ensuring the success of your property investment portfolio. The success of your portfolio depends on how you structure your finances and how you manage your purchases, so make sure your team is solid and committed to your long-term success before you start. You are only as good as your weakest link, so ensure you have a great team to support you.
Above all, you need to find someone who can act as your guide in the world of property investment so that when you get some momentum and start motoring along, you’re ready for whatever comes your way.