Financial Planning

Looking for a Real Estate Financial Advisor?

By  Brian Thorp

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Are you a real estate investor? Or thinking about getting started with real estate investing? A financial advisor who specializes in working with real estate investors can help you make smarter money moves whether you’re buying or selling a property, or interested in holistic financial planning for your real estate empire.

You’ll likely find dozens of financial advisors in your community well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a real estate investment advisor who understands what it takes to be a successful property owner, landlord, and investor.

Fortunately, many financial advisors can work with you online, so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge about real estate investing could help you achieve better outcomes. This can also be especially beneficial if you own or plan to buy investment properties far away from home where the financial advisor you hire lives in your target market.

Whether you’re a real estate agent who personally invests in real estate or work in an unrelated industry but desire the potential benefits of real estate investing, hiring a real estate financial advisor can pay dividends down the road as your property holdings grow.

🏘️ Smart Money Insights for Real Estate Investors

Q&A with Real Estate Financial Advisors

Three Questions with Marcus Blanchard

We asked Provo, Utah-based financial advisor and real estate investing specialist Marcus Blanchard to answer four questions useful for real estate investors preparing to hire a financial advisor.

Q: What are common financial planning challenges you encounter among real estate investors and how do you help your clients overcome them?

Marcus: The most common financial challenge I find with real estate investors is simply organizing their financial life. Between new real estate deals, family, travel, another side job, etc., the overall financial picture can be challenging for investors to keep track of. Not keeping track of your net worth, income, and investments at a high level can lead to years of missed opportunities, increased costs, and potentially overpaying in taxes. 

I help my real estate investors make sure their net worth is moving in the right direction and that nothing slips through the cracks. For example, a real estate agent I work with was maxing out retirement contributions and was in a high tax bracket. However, you only get credit if it shows up on your tax return; he wasn’t getting credit for his retirement contributions on his tax return and thus wasn’t locking in his tax savings.

We were able to work with the CPA and get the return amended to get over $40,000 back in taxes. None of this would have been caught if the tax return wasn’t being reviewed for accuracy and opportunities. 

Get to Know Marcus:

View the profile page for Marcus on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

Another challenge I see is real estate investors who are typically over age 50 and want to simplify their holdings but are concerned about capital gains taxes. Maybe they are tired of the tenants, toilets, and trash or can’t find a property that makes sense to 1031 exchange into. With real estate values being so high, this also presents a unique challenge of finding properties that pay net annual income greater than 2%-4% of the total value. This is an extraordinarily low amount of income relative to property value, historically speaking. Of course, this depends on the area you’re in. Here in Utah, the cap rates can be extremely low.

Simply selling the appreciated properties in an outright sale isn’t very enticing either due to the significant capital gains and depreciation tax that would be generated. So I help my clients who want to cash in on their real estate values, draw a higher income, and NOT get killed in taxes by deferring their capital gains along the way.

I wrote an article detailing what that process looks like on my website, which can be found here: How Can I Sell My Business or Real Estate & Not Get Killed In Taxes?

Q: For the thousands of real estate agents who also invest in real estate, what special financial planning recommendations do you suggest they consider given both their income and net worth can be directly impacted by local market conditions?

Marcus: One challenge real estate agents have is how irregular their income can be at times. Putting your dollars to good use and building an adequate “Safety Bucket” is critical when an agent’s local market hits a cool-down period in real estate transactions.

This also applies to any investment properties one might own. Are there adequate reserves to cover surprise expenses or tenant turnover? Having adequate reserves also provides the opportunity to strike when a great deal presents itself. 

Q: For real estate investors who are unsure whether or not they should hire a financial advisor, what guidance can you provide to help them make a more informed and educated decision?

Marcus: I wrote an article detailing this exact question, which can be found here: 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

There are a lot of advisors out there, some with specialties and most without. Due to the unique and tax-efficient nature of real estate, you should search for an advisor who specializes in working with real estate investors or agents.

Many financial advisors also don’t understand why anyone would invest in anything besides the stock market. Be sure to find an advisor that realizes wealth can be built in several different ways. The same goes for finding a tax preparer. Find a tax preparer that works with many real estate investors so they know exactly what to look for to find problems and opportunities with your taxes. 

Q: Are there online resources or communities you suggest to real estate investors who are interested in becoming more educated on their unique financial planning needs?

Marcus: Bigger Pockets can be a great resource if you’re looking for general education or do-it-yourself resources. If you’re looking for assistance with education along the way, search out advisors here on Wealthtender, XYPN, NAPFA, or Fee Only Network that specializes in working with real estate investors. 

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🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Real Estate Investing?

Expert Answers to Reader Questions About Real Estate Investing

Q: “How does the value a financial advisor can offer real estate investors differ from the services provided by accountants or real estate brokers?”

Ryan Firth, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CCFC, GFP (USA), RLP® Think of us as your personal financial Sherpa on your life’s journey.

“It’s been my experience that there are some really good real estate professionals and bookkeeping/tax professionals out there, but they tend to focus on what they do best.

Real estate agents/brokers help bring buyers and sellers together on real estate transactions. Accountants help real estate investors keep tabs on their property’s finances and also oftentimes help with the tax return preparation. Where financial advisors can help real estate investing clients is by determining how real estate fits into their overall financial picture.

For example, an advisor can help the client determine how much equity they should put into a real estate deal, secure financing (if applicable), assist with tax planning (are you familiar with depreciation recapture?), and just generally quarterback the entire process.”

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Ryan Firth, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CCFC, GFP (USA), RLP® | Mercer Street Financial

Find Real Estate Financial Advisors on Wealthtender

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: To make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.