Property Investment Veteran Brian Fielding knows that many people who decide to go into real estate investment do so in some form of partnership. The legal definition of a partnership is “a legal relationship existing between two or more persons who are contractually associated with each other as joint principals in a business or investment venture.” Of course, partnerships exist in many forms, most commonly today in the form of a limited liability company, also known as an LLC.
Investors often enter into partnerships to share in exposure and opportunity, but also to complete the credentials necessary to affect a purchase.Few people have all of the knowledge, the capital and the various resources to complete the purchase of a commercial asset. The sharing of responsibility and risk in any one property will often allow the savvy investor to diversify and acquire a balanced portfolio of quality commercial properties.
“You should always seriously consider whom you plan to go into business with,” shares property investment veteran Brian Fielding. “There is something to the old line that the fastest way to make an enemy is to loan them money or enter into a partnership.”
This is why it is important to choose one’s partner wisely. Investors will want to find someone who is detail and goal-oriented, is honest, and does not micro-manage or steamroll the other person’s opinions. The most effective partnerships tend to have persons with different skills and assets – it is the effective sharing process that is the mark of the most successful ventures.
Whenever investors get into a partnership, it is always important to have formal documentation and ensure that the partnership complies with local laws. Retaining a knowledgeable attorney is a “must,” but check references because some otherwise excellent lawyers are not deal makers.
There are few things that will tear a partnership apart or kill a deal more than hardheaded attorneys who are so enamored with their knowledge that they forget a deal can be made only through cooperative negotiation. A good attorney will happily explain the rationale for every provision and will build an agreement that protects the parties in every “worst-case scenario” shares property investment veteran Brian Fielding.
Remember that a legal agreement is there to protect the parties when things go wrong. Partners in a successful venture rarely note the various provisions in the partnership agreement unless there is a dispute. Make certain that the attorney has included a dispute resolution provision that allows for timely and inexpensive decision-making. Property investment veteran Brian Fielding suggests including a provision for mediation by a qualified professional over time-consuming and expensive litigation.
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