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Finding the perfect someone is what life is all about, right? You can fill out a thorough hour-long questionnaire on eHarmony and Match.com. They know all the questions to ask to connect you with the perfect mate (so I am told — I met my wife while going to meet a different girl… #seriously #dishinsometruth). Yeah, I just said that.

So, I was pondering what other places there are out there to find the perfect someone. A quick Google search, and boom, there is FarmerRomance.com. Get it? Romance for farmers. I wonder what kind of questions they ask: Do you prefer soybeans or corn? Are you a Kubota tracker gal, or do you hold more of an affection for John Deere?

Or how about this one — DateTruckers.com! Umm, I am just taking a stab into the vast “highway” of available questions, but could potential screening questions be: What interstate do you usually drive? Or, what’s your favorite CB radio station? How big is your truck cab? Or, do you haul freight or milk… or do you drive one of those scary-looking trucks with all the metal bottles of explosive gasses or whatever, the ones with all the signs about “no open flame here or everything will blow”? That must be for the real thrill-seeking truckers.

Ok. Obviously, I know nothing about truckers. Or farmers. But the point is, after just a quick Google search, I’m sure if they got me to click through to find my long lost dream-trucker or farmer, I could have instantly found multiple options from my perfectly inputted and database-filed search criteria and credit check.

Phew… I am tired just thinking about understanding all that.

(Can’t wait to see what kind of Google ads I get after this post #thisshouldbeinteresting!)

So, you might be wondering at this point — where he heck am I going with this?

Joint Ventures, of course. #hello

The past few weeks, I have spent an incredible amount of time chatting, emailing, Skyping, calling, messaging and texting a number of people who I am in deals with, working on deals with, talking deals over with, thinking about doing deals with, telling about deals, negotiating terms on deals with, or negotiating financing terms with for specific terms on deals.

Yeah, putting it that way makes my head kinda spin, too.

But seriously. There are a lot of questions to ask. And there isn’t some 100% guaranteed to “find your perfect real estate joint venture match or your money back.” There is certainly the alternative, where you pick the wrong one, and you get taken to the bank for tens of thousands of dollars. I’ve been with that JV partner… and it sucks!

Related: The Top Tips You Need to Choose the Right Real Estate Partnership (With Video!)

I have also been with the partner who never really becomes a partner because they keep spinning themselves into circles of neverending questions about the same stuff over… and over… and over… and over. Sound familiar? Yeah. That drives me nuts, too. There are a million ways to have these kinds of partnerships go sideways, even when we have the best intentions and no immoral or malicious actions.

Sometimes bad, frustrating, unforeseen things happen. Here are some questions to ask to minimize the risk of those things happening.

4 Questions to Ask Potential Joint Venture Partners
1. Who are you? What’s your story? What are you into?

That might sound funny, but I’ve found myself more than a few times discussing these kinds of questions after a deal is already discussed or after terms of a potential partnership agreement have already been negotiated. Almost always, I have gotten pretty lucky with this scenario. But seriously, this is a vital thing we are talking about.

There are real implications to who you are partnering with, who you are learning from, and what kind of person you are hitching your financial well-being to.

I want to hear about the potential partner’s story. I want to understand what gets them fired up. And what they are into. What makes them tick. After all, if they aren’t really into the things I am into, how will we get along? Not that we both have to love Pearl Jam and spend entire weeks camping together, wearing our favorite matching Napoleon Dynamite t-shirts in the middle of nowhere… but some common ground is important. And it’s cool we have matching t-shirts and all; I would just prefer them to say “so-and-so real estate company.” You getting what I am putting down here?

And when you speak with the other person, do you find yourself not doing a lot of talking? Or, conversely, are you doing most of the talking? Do you feel like you would be able to contribute and be heard? And be happy working with this person? If you aren’t feeling really good about how the relationship is when you are basically in the “dating” stage, how do you possibly think it will go when you have a real issue you have to work though.

For example: This week, I called my JV partner regarding a flip we are closing on in less than a week and the new lender I was working with –basically, the whole financing feel through. It was a frustrating deal. But I called my partner, explained the situation, made sure they understood what was happening, and then we made several plan B, plan C, and plan D options. This person and I have known each other for less than 30 days.

But we have spent a LOT of time talking through the deal, and talking in general, and getting to know each other and our families, and all of the other stuff (how else would I have randomly come up with Pearl Jam, right?). So we knew once we had this hurdle we had to overcome — and we had basically a 4 hour period to restructure the entire deal and cover $225k — and we got a …read more