How You Can Build Your Property Dream Team
Last updated 1st November 2019 • JaeVee Marketing • JaeVee
As we’ve said many times before, property is not a business where you can go it alone.
You’ll need a great team behind your business in order to achieve equally great results.
Who do you need?
While some of the team members in this guide are a good optional investment, a solicitor is a complete necessity.
No matter how confident you are, there are lots of contracts and legal work to balance that would overwhelm anyone except a qualified solicitor, even if you’ve been in the industry for ages.
For example, conveyancing for the purchase of your properties is always a complex and protracted process no matter how many times you’ve been through it before.
They’ll make your life in the industry so much easier.
A potential way to find a trustworthy solicitor to make your business bigger and better is to ask your industry contacts for anyone they’d be happy to refer you to.
You’ll need to make sure that they’re reasonably local to your development, to help with your plausibility - as the government has started to frown upon developments with a cross-country team, seeing them as more likely to be some unscrupulous scheme.
But it will also benefit you as in depth knowledge of the local area will be essential to making a profitable investment.
Since they know the local area so well, your solicitors can predict any issues before they crop up and halt your development.
A great sign is when they’re recommended for working well towards a deadline and have experience with property law, especially within your chosen strategy.
They should have enough of a knowledge of the industry to have a good grasp of what you want to do and can work with you to move quickly towards putting your property on the market.
Even with the best knowledge in the world, you won’t be able to make the best of this team member - or any of them! - if you don’t have a complementary working style.
You’ll be working very closely together, so you’ll need to have some sort of rapport and agree on some of the key steps you need to complete your project.
An awesome accountant
Some people might feel content to skimp on an accountant, but they’re only hurting themselves in the long run.
An accountant is an almost inevitable choice of team member to add to your business if you want to make the most of your money making potential.
If you choose wisely, your accountant will know so much more than the basics that you could get to grips with by yourself.
- They’ll have studied the exact deductions that you can claim against tax, suggest saving strategies you might never have thought of and know the tax rules inside out.
- They’re a brilliant asset to minimise your liability.
- They make especially good business sense if you use an accountant who specialises in property, or even invests themselves - this will give them even more specialist knowledge.
While you can consider self management, you’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons.
Would you like to have more direct information about your tenants or would you prefer to conserve your time and energy in the main areas of your business?
There are plenty of benefits to using a letting agent, as they can find good tenants quicker than you would be able to and can get you into profit quicker.
They’ll already be familiar with all the legal requirements of managing property, so that’s one less thing you’ll need to learn.
And while all the various aspects of management might overwhelm you, they’ll know from experience which issues are small and easily solved, and which are more important and complex - and have more idea of where to allocate their resources.
To discern who will be the best for your business, just hop onto AllAgents to see the reviews of letting agents in your area.
It’s a trusted site which lets you see the ‘league tables’ of agents in your area.
While you might want to treat the most scathing of tenant reviews with a little bit of caution, it’s still a good idea to know the reputation of your agent.
A mortgage broker is another great team member to invest in to save money in the long term.
But you should steer clear of high street banks and go for whole for market broker’s instead - as they won’t have a commission targeted agenda. You should also look for a broker who gives you an upfront charge for the same reason - and steer clear of anyone who won’t give you an initial consultation for free.
The average family mortgage broker won’t have the necessary range of tips and tricks unique to giving investors the best deal, so it’s best to look for someone who has a good knowledge of property investment - or even who operates primarily with investors.
If they’re familiar with your strategy in particular, that’s even better!
They can save you from paying the headline rates and fees that you’d usually be quoted.
Broker’s have a better idea of the more intricate criteria for each type of loan which can change between organisations - and best of all, you won’t have to sift through endless T & Cs by yourself.
They see thousands of different mortgage applications, so they have a good idea of why things might be refused and what makes a loan viable.
Again, this is something that you might well want to do yourself.
But a sourcer will have the experience that means they can get a better deal than you might, because of their wider network.
This is especially useful if you’re a part time or inexperienced investor.
They’ll cost quite a lot, so you’ll have to be diligent with your sums and make sure that your property will still be in budget once you factor their fees in - especially important if you need to buy below market value.
But don’t miss out on a great investment just because you’re worried about their fees - if the property genuinely offers great potential returns, it could blow the sourcer fees out of the water.
As with everyone in your team, you’ll also have to undertake some extensive research to make sure you’re not fooled by a dodgy company.
If you don’t understand what they’re offering, you shouldn’t get involved.
No matter how good their sales pitch might be, you need to have your wits about you and always be on guard for anyone unscrupulous.
While you should of course check their reputation and reviews, you should also make sure that you know what it is you’re looking for - otherwise they can’t find it for you, and there’s no use blaming someone else for your own lack of understanding!
If you do choose to use a sourcer, you’ll also need to do due diligence of your own on top of what the company provides you with.
This is another team member that might benefit an early investor more than anyone else.
However, some people find great benefits from using mentors at any stage of their property journey.
They can help motivate you, give you useful tips and tricks, share their experiences and help you to limit mistakes.
You have to find someone who has provable property experience and knowledge, and preferably who is also knowledgeable about your property speciality in particular.
While these are great traits in any mentor, you have to be especially careful when dealing with paid mentors in particular.
Then you’ll have to examine their track record even more thoroughly, make sure they offer a free initial chat and that they don’t hit you with a hard sell from the start.
Reliable tradesmen can make or break your property projects.
You’ll need skilled and trustworthy tradespeople to undertake refurbishment works, maintenance, ECP’s and gas and electrical safety checks.
You don’t want all your hard earned money to be invested into a death trap!
Luckily there are plenty of ways to check that you’re hiring the most reliable people possible.
You can search your local council website for ‘approved traders or trading standards.’
Under these sections the council might list their approved traders or list reputable traders in your area.
Otherwise you can check websites like:
- Check a Trade - which is a commercial directory of over 29,000 traders who have to pay at least £69.99 plus VAT every month to be listed.
This has one of the most thorough vetting processes out there, with traders having to pass a face to face interview and at least 5 references, with qualifications and public liability insurance examined, with thorough background and identity checks also carried out.
Traders must agree to a code of conduct, and Checkatrade require a talk with Trading Standards just to double check.
If a customer gives any negative feedback then the website will publish it within 5 days as long as reviewers permit Checkatrade to contact the trader about their complaint. The tradesperson is then given the right to reply and is encouraged to solve things between them.
If there is persistent negative feedback from multiple reviewers, then Checkatrade can decide to remove the trader from its directory.
- or Rated People - this is another commercial site where traders have to pay to quote for jobs, and traders are thoroughly verified.
The company talks to every trader over the phone or in person before they are allowed to apply.
It’s so competitive that 1 in 4 applicants are blocked by its screening process, which includes background checks for fraud and credit.
Accepted traders usually pay £55 plus VAT per month on average, for which they can quote a limited number of jobs.
Any negative feedback from a customer is published immediately and flagged to the companies’ customer services.
The tradesperson is once again given the opportunity to resolve things. If this doesn’t work, Rated People also offer a mediation service for both parties, which costs them each £25.
If disputes still cannot be removed Rated People have the power to remove a tradesman’s membership.
You may also need
A property surveyor
This one is more niche, but it still does bear thinking about.
You’ll need to use one of these if you are buying and selling or sourcing property for other investors, in order to get the necessary mortgage valuations, HIP’s or Home reports.
They can take the hassle out of furnishing a property by providing high quality packages for buy to lets.
While you might question the value of using this service, furnished houses are known to obtain tenants quicker than unfurnished ones.
You can also deduct a percentage of the cost of the goods from your tax liability.
The last word
Only you can decide what roles are necessary for your team, depending on your business size, strategy and experience.
But it’s worth remembering that long term investment in the right people will pay for itself if it means that their expertise will help you create more profitable properties.
While you’re always going to value your hard earned time, you should also value your energy and time as well - especially if you have a day job or multiple income streams.
Even if you decide to create a very streamlined team, nothing can compare to the quality of hardworking and trustworthy professionals - and nothing can compromise your business plans like hiring the wrong person for the job.
Save yourself on stress and costly errors by making sure you invest heavily in finding people worthy of your property dream team.