Who's in your commercial property dream team?
Surrounding yourself with experienced players who understand the commercial property investing process and the reasons why you are investing is critical to success.
Surrounding yourself with experienced players who understand the commercial property investing process and the reasons why you are investing is critical to your success.
Commercial property has been on a record run, with transactions across the property types reaching $11.7 billion, an all-time high for the first quarter of a year.
But before thinking about finding the right tenant for that new venture, it’s important to take a step back and consider the team you need to assemble to maximise the prospects of success.
Let’s meet the most important people on your team.
An expert broker understands the lending process and how to maximise borrowing capacity as a portfolio grows. Brokers are paid by the banks when you settle successfully. If you stay with that bank, they also receive a trailing commission over time, so it’s important to choose a broker you trust.
Many will keep you with the same bank, even if there are better deals out there, because it saves them time — and they can get extremely busy. So, it’s very important to have a good relationship with your broker, which means you can call them up and have them regularly review your loans. An expert broker will understand that shopping around every year or two will be beneficial. Brokers who are keepers do what is needed to accommodate all the changes required to refinance with the banks, even if it means losing their commission.
A good buyers agent knows and understands the market in-depth and will deploy this understanding on your behalf. With many years of investment experience across multiple property cycles, a good agent can guide buyers towards the outcomes they have achieved for themselves. It is therefore vital to choose an agent who is already in a position you aspire to be in.
It’s also important that they have invested in recent times and know how to make money in the current market. There’s no point in working with an agent whose strategies aren’t aligned with your appetite for risk or who promotes dated strategies that worked 20 years ago.
A buyers agent will provide strategic advice and source the properties. You’ll also entrust them with the decision to say no to properties if they consider them a bad choice.
Once you’ve reached settlement, you need to make sure you have a good property manager who understands that this is an investment, and who doesn’t waste money on things that don’t align with the bigger picture. There’s nothing worse than a neglectful agent who fails to do the right thing, especially when the investment is in a different state from where you live.
It’s important to use an accountant who is an expert in property tax. If you use a non-specialist, you may end up purchasing the property under the wrong structure, which could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
All these structures (individually in your name, jointly with a partner or spouse, joint venture (JV), family discretionary trust, unit trust, self-managed super fund), have different tax implications that must be properly taken into account. An accountant who understands your long-term property investment strategy will be able to provide the best advice.
Make sure your accountant is aligned with your goals of setting up a self-sustaining positive cash flow property portfolio. We like using accountants who are also property investors because they understand the wealth-creation mindset, not just the tax-saving mindset.
The solicitor in your team needs to be a quick-thinking, detail-oriented professional who can add value to your due diligence process when transacting on a property. We recommend a qualified solicitor, rather than just a conveyancer. If you ever need to chase something up legally, you have an experienced solicitor ready to stand up for your rights. The more experience they have, the better they can manoeuvre around problems that crop up during the purchase process.
They also need to be tough but savvy enough not to be too demanding. This will reduce conflict and make the transaction easier. Remember, we are purchasing a property, not litigating. Time and time again we have seen negotiations stall if one side of the transaction starts to get frustrated or aggressive. When everyone works together amicably there is more flexibility for buyers.
It’s easier and wiser to outsource to people who know their stuff. But you should still do the legwork, so you understand fully what’s happening within your portfolio. If you’re organised, have a long-term mindset and engage the right support team who are aligned with your goals, you are much more likely to achieve them.