How to Build a Good Real Estate Team
If you’re just starting out in real estate, it’s important to assemble a winning team. This will help you succeed in your career and reach your goals. But finding the right people can be difficult – there are so many choices out there! In a previous blog, we talked about how to acquire clients. In this blog post, we’ll give you tips for finding the right people for your real estate team. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to success!
I’m Evie Brown, a top REALTOR® in the Phoenix, Arizona area for over eighteen years, and I’m here to help you accelerate your career as a real estate agent. I provide these tips in hopes that other agents will find the information invaluable, and I’m always looking for agents to take under my wing and join me at eXp Realty! If you’re interested in joining the largest brokerage in the world, contact me!
What Kind of a Real Estate Team do you Need?
The real estate industry is ever-changing, so it’s important to have a team that can adapt. You need people who are experts in their field and who can provide you and your clients with the latest information and resources. It’s important to note that when I say “Team”, you’re not expected to hire people to fill these positions, but to find people that accelerate at these positions and are experts at communicating with you and your potential buyers and sellers. With that in mind, these are the key positions to fill on your real estate team:
- A mortgage lender to get potential buyers fully qualified to purchase a home
- A home inspector to ensure the home’s condition is known for the purchase
- A title agency to certify the seller has the rights to sell the property to a buyer
There are other cogs of the real estate machine you should be familiar with, and we’ll discuss those in a bit. A good friend of mine once said “I’m an electrical engineer, and I can tell you how this all fits together and what the outcome will be, but I can’t tell you how some of these individual pieces actually work.” The same can be said of many professions, and real estate is no exception! In the real estate agent world, we specialize in what we do best, and we count on other professionals to complete the picture. That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of the overall picture, and a fantastic team in place to get the desired results in a timely manner.
What Should I Look for in a Mortgage Lender?
A mortgage lender is someone you’ll want to partner with for the long haul. They should be able to provide you and your clients with a wide variety of loan products, and they should be up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry. They should also be knowledgeable about down payment assistance programs, as these can help your buyers get into a home if they don’t have mountains of money stashed away.
You’ll want to partner with a mortgage lender who is responsive and communicative. They should be able to provide you with updates on your client’s loan status, and they should be available to answer any questions you or your clients may have. Good communication is key in real estate, and you don’t want to work with someone who isn’t responsive.
If you’re not sure where to start, ask your real estate broker for recommendations. They should be able to point you in the right direction, and they may even have a lending partner that they work with on a regular basis. If you’re in the state of Arizona, I highly recommend Chad Conley with American Pacific Mortgage. He’s been my preferred mortgage lender since I started my career seventeen years ago, and his ability in both his profession and his communication are second to none. He also provides credit repair advice to help people that are just starting the qualification process to get them on track for a fully qualified home loan.
Next Real Estate Team Member: Home Inspector
A home inspector is someone who will go through the home with a fine-tooth comb and look for any and all defects. They will provide you with a detailed report of their findings, and they may even make recommendations for repairs. Home inspectors are an important part of the real estate process, as they help to ensure that the home is in good condition before the sale is final, or that all necessary repairs and flaws are out in the open for the awareness of both parties for negotiations.
You’ll want to partner with a home inspector who is experienced and knowledgeable. They should be able to spot defects that you may not have noticed, and they should be able to provide you with a detailed report of their findings. A good home inspector will also be available to answer any questions you or your clients may have. If you’re in the Phoenix, Arizona area, my go-to home inspection company is AZ Property Inspections. They’ve been in the business for over 26 years and have eagle eyes and fantastic communication. They also print out detailed reports of all their findings that you and the clients can review in a very nice booklet.
A Title Agency You Can Trust
The final piece of the real estate puzzle is a title agency. A title agency’s job is to ensure that the seller has the legal right to sell the property, and that there are no outstanding liens or encumbrances against the property. They will also conduct a title search to make sure that there are no hidden surprises that could come back to bite you later. They are a non-biased 3rd party in the transaction, and their job is to follow the rules of the contract to the letter.
You’ll want to partner with a title agency that is experienced and reputable. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the title search process, and they should be able to provide you with peace of mind that the property is free and clear. In Arizona, I recommend Empire Title Agency. They are one of the largest title agencies in the state, and they have an excellent reputation. Plus, they have a great team that is always available to answer any questions you may have.
What About a Home Appraiser? Short Answer: NO
A home appraiser is someone who will estimate the value of a property. Home appraisers are important because they help to ensure that buyers are not borrowing more than the property is worth, and they also help to ensure that sellers are getting a fair price for their home.
Home appraisers aren’t really part of your team so much as they are sort of pooled together and assigned at random every time you need an appraisal. They aren’t someone YOU pick to send out, as that would create a conflict of interest. “Why?” Well, if you’re old enough to remember the housing bubble of 2008-2009 bursting, part of the reason was because appraisers were pressured by brokerages and lenders to appraise homes at higher values than they were worth so bigger mortgages could be lent. This caused a lot of people to default on their loans, and it helped contribute to the housing market crash. So, while home appraisers are important, you don’t really get to pick one for your team. If you’re interested in reading more about the history of home appraiser reform, you can do so here and here.
Bonus Team Member: a Great Accountant
While not technically part of your real estate team, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of having a great accountant. A great accountant will not only save you time and money with your own business by helping you to maximize your deductions, but they can also help your buyers get their financials in order to send to the mortgage lender. This is especially important if your buyer is a small business owner that may not have their finances in order themselves. An accountant can help them get their books in order and help them expedite the gathering of any documentation the lenders may need to get them fully qualified. In Arizona, I recommend Gina Magel of Common Cents Accounting. She’s a 3rd-generation CPA and the best in the business. She’s saved my friends, family, and clients mountains of money over the years, and has helped dozens of my fellow small business owners get prepared for their home buying processes. Gina gets my everlasting stamp of approval.
A Great Real Estate Team for a Great Career
Assembling a real estate team is one of the most important things you can do for your career. By partnering with experienced and reputable professionals, you can ensure that your real estate transactions go smoothly and that your clients are well-taken care of. I can never overstate this: communication is key. My clients are always providing positive experience with the team I provide them to work with. Sometimes I sell a new build and the construction company wants the buyer to use their lender, and the clients are always disgruntled with the poor execution of the construction company’s preferred lender. In fact, I think I’ll write my next blog about feedback I’ve heard when things go wrong with vendors outside of my preferred list.
Thank you so much for sticking around and reading this blog. I really hope you’re getting something out of my posts. I recommend you read my post on how real estate agents attract clients if you haven’t already! What would you like for me to write about next? If you’re looking to join me at eXp Realty, let me know, and if you have any questions about being a real estate agent in general, sound off in the comments below!
– Evie Brown, Realtor®
(602) 577-7410 direct line/text