Real estate specialist:
Some states have designated specialties for attorneys in which they can be certified. If yours does, look for your attorney team member in the group certified as specialists in real estate law. The strategies and closing methods you'll be using for more advanced investment techniques will at times require the involvement of an attorney, either as the one who closes the deals, or as an adjunct to a title company.
Forms and documents:
A real estate attorney should be reviewing all forms and documents that you'll be using regularly in your real estate investment business. While it's easy and inexpensive to grab a lease form from an office supply shelf, or print one from the Web, these may not fully protect your interests.
Have a real estate attorney review all forms, documents and contracts that you plan to use in your business. Frequently, just a few wording changes or added phrases can much better protect you in liability and profit situations. This is particularly true if you use state forms that real estate agents use.
For your business:
This may be the same attorney, or you may want to select a different one for your business structure needs and questions. This attorney will help you to make decisions about how to structure your business liability-wise to protect your personal assets.
Many investors start out as sole proprietors, but business growth should prompt you to visit your attorney to go over other business structures, partnerships or corporate.
A real estate attorney is a valuable team member:
It's precisely when you didn't think you'd need one that you find out you really must get an attorney. Don't wait until that point to go out and find one in a hurry, as you really need to spend some time in getting the right attorney for your real estate investing business.
From carefully worded questions on tenant applications to contingencies in contract documents, you'll want to be legal in every respect, yet still aggressively protect your interests. Make the investment in time and effort that is required to select the best real estate attorney for your real estate investing business.