Opinions/Advice on partnering

Hi, as will be evidenced by my questions I’m new to this. I’ve read most of what’s on this BB and a couple of books on REI. So here’s my story. My sister and I are both very interested in starting in REI whether it be acquiring rental properties, flipping houses or a combination of both.

My qualifications: 20+ years estimating for a general contractor in the multi-family industry (apartments & condos). Before that, supervising anything from small repairs to full blown rehabs and fire restorations (same industry).

Her qualifications: 20+ years acting as bookkeeper or manager for apartments. Has real estate license she never used, it’s lapsed but can be reinstated.

My thought is that from multi-family to single family there isn’t that much difference, I’ve estimated and been awarded house type work periodically over the years, not from seeking it out but from them calling our company.

I’ve seen some negative advice on partnering but the fact is we trust each other and probably neither of us will venture out there alone. We’ve discussed what we can about doing this, there seems to be more questions than answers the more we learn. With our combined experience it seems to be the makings of a good partnership… and your opinion?

Another question in doing this; Should we do business in another name? Perhaps a land trust or some type of corporation?

Thanks for any input! We’re in Dallas if it makes any difference.

If you are going to be in a partnership with anyone FORMALIZE it! Form an LLC or LP and get it done BEFORE you do a deal Also specifically outline who does what and who makes what. Make those items part of the agreement or minutes.

Good luck!


Thanks for the input Rob…

It’s all new to me (and my sister), and although I agree it should be formalized somewhat we both are in agreement that we have no collective experience in venturing into something like this, both feel compelled to do whatever is necessary to succeed and at this time can only agree to use our (each) areas of expertise to muddle through our first deal. We both feel awkward (as I’m sure anyone first starting out), feeling and testing the waters… not sure of anything, and if we’re going about this the right/wrong way.

I think if this BB can put up with the many questions on my mind, I just may stick my toes in the water and see where it leads. While contemplating doing so I appreciate the kindness and responses dealt out… to this utter nOOb.

Thanks again and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of each other…


Here’s the same advice someone gave me a while back…


It’s well worth it in my opinion. :dance:

Tim, thanks for the reply! It seems the more I learn about REI the more questions I have. My sister is on pretty good terms with a mortgage broker who is uber informative. We talked tonight about getting together with him over drinks and/or dinner and getting some information on getting started. We intend to pay him for his time and input, a hundred, a few hundred… it will be worth it to us and I hope we can collaborate and get some “hands-on” info on such things as what we’re trying to accomplish.

I’d like to read that book, any information isn’t wasted. Like I said, the more I learn, the more questions I have. Thanks again Tim!


As someone that has both good and bad experiences in partnering… to the extremes on both ends, I would suggest that If you do decide to partner, do it on a deal by deal basis. This was you can test it out, see how both of you work together on a deal, what you both can bring to the table and how things work out. Even though it is family, I would have in writing what you both expect yourself and the other one to do. If it doesn’t work as you both though, your only stuck in one deal together… and can move on. If it does go well and as planned, then you are still working each together but one at a time. Head the advice that EVERYTHING shoud be in wrinting… I didnt head that and almost lost my shorts! LOL With working like a madwoman and pulling every resource I had, we made it work… but it was way to close for comfort. Also get a Power of Attorney to cover the property you are working on so that if something happens to one of you (be it medical or whatever) the other can go ahead and get done what needs to be done.

Hope this helps,
Heather Zaal

Thanks Heather, what you say makes sense. It’s a matter of family but still it’s a little unpredictable with the inexperience (on both our parts) being factored in. We’ll make sure we know what’s expected of each other and leave ourselves an “out” just in case. lol