Real Estate is a team sport

Jan 20, 2022

For anyone wanting to get into real estate, you must know that real estate is a team sport.   I’m thankful  for my high school years when I participated in team sports.   I never realized that lessons I learned on the basketball court would come in handy one day in business.  If you think about it it’s where I learned discipline, how to be a leader, structure, hard work pays off and strengths and weaknesses.  Without the “team” we could have never made it to the Iowa State Basketball tournament.  I had one position and I did it well.  My team mates had their strengths and they did them well.  Without each other, we could have never defeated the number one top seated team at the state tournament in 1982.  

It’s the same way in real estate, I have my strengths and weaknesses but you also need to surround yourself with skills that you dont have. 

Even though I started in real estate pretty much on my own,  I wouldn’t advise that. I can look back now and realize I did a lot of things wrong.

When I started in real estate, I really stumbled into it when my friend Patsy, needed to sell her townhouse. I have this tendency and it’s not a great tendency  by the way, to just go into a project head first without even thinking about what I’m doing, hence the Fearless Innovator.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without that attitude but I tend to overlook a lot of risks early on and just tackle the risks when they happen.  I do realize too, that every issue has a solution.

As time went on, I graduated from being a landlord to flipping houses, then I bought commercial property then I became a lender and today I’m looking for an RV Park.

It really depends on what swim lane in real estate you choose to be in as to what kind of team you need to build. For example:  When I was flipping houses, I needed a team that I could manage through the process of actually doing the work, so I hired a contractor for all the permits I needed to pull, I hired floor specialists such as tile and carpet, plumbers, electricians, roofers, AC technician’s, etc.   

Here’s the key, I always hired a team player for the strengths, not their weaknesses.  If my end goal was to complete a flip within 4 months, I never hired a person that wasn’t skilled at the talent I needed complete in other words if someone told me, yeah, I’ve laid tile before. That would never fly with me, I wanted the skilled talent on my team.

When I bought the 8-unit multifamily apartment, I knew that I could manage it by myself, but I wasn’t willing to give up that much time and let’s face it there are a lot of laws that I just wasn’t that familiar with and I wasn’t willing to risk what I didn’t know, so I hired a skilled property manager to handle the day to day stuff.

Now, when I became a lender well, this changed the rules too and even before I became a lender, I added Real Estate Attorney Shawn Yesner to my team.   Shawn has become a critical member of my team and critical to my success, as an investor.  Since bringing him on he has helped me structure and secure the sale of my 8 unit complex.  Not only does he know the law well, he has the ability to break things down for me.   

He has successfully structured a wrap around mortgage on one of real estate deals.

Then there are times when you need a real estate lawyer to defend your position.  Shawn has also assisted me in enforcing agreements and holding others accountable for their role in a real estate deal. 

Most people frown on real estate attorney’s when in reality they should embrace them as they are another team member and critical to your success.

In Episode 37 – Reflecting on 2021 you learned that I fired my CPA! Well, that wasn’t the first time I fired my CPA it was actually the 2nd time!  I first added a CPA to my team when I could no longer do my own taxes.  When could I no longer do my taxes?  When my status changed from just W2 income to W2 and passive income.  In other words, it was in 2000 when I was still working my J.O.B and I had my first rental property.  I didn’t realize back then that not all CPA’s are real estate focused CPA’s.  It wasn’t until I really started to learn more about real estate that my CPA should be a real estate focused CPA.  The really bad news is it took me a long time to realize that my current CPA was doing me no favors.  How did I figure this out?  I had a real estate focused CPA review my prior years taxes and what I learned was that my current CPA left money on the table and gave it to the IRS.  Yeah, not so happy so I quickly made the change and hired the new CPA.  The new CPA only lasted 2 years.  Why?  Well, there comes a time I think when people just get too comfortable and their egos’ take over.  So, lets just say we just didn’t align anymore so that CPA was fired and now I believe John Hartung, PC is skilled, well rounded, real estate focused and well structured.  The point is here, it’s ok to remove players off your team if they are no longer supporting your end goal.

Now, I’m building my team as I focus on my RV park. The foundation of my team is in place.  I have Shawn Yesner as my Real Estate Attorney and John Hartung as my CPA.  I’ve secured my Civil Engineering team and I’ve begun the relationships necessary at the county level.

Just to give you a quick update – in Last Week’s Episode 38 – New Goals for 2022 you learned that my goal for 2022 is that I will have an RV park by the end of the year.  Well, as luck would have it, I have identified a park in North Florida.  Well, it’s not a park today but it will be tomorrow.  I’m currently working with the owner on negotiating on how this deal may play out.  This would be a development project with expected up to 81 RV sites.   The location is situated perfectly between busy highways and I believe it’s the perfect size for my first development project!  I’m currently working with an investor but no deals have been made yet!  

So, if anyone out there is interested in learning more about investing in this RV Park Venue, I’ll gladly entertain any and all interested parties, but you better hurry!

I’ll see you next Thursday on the Fearless Innovator Podcast.


Shawn Yesner – Yesner Law

John R Hartung –