I love Ilyce’s radio show. I wish she had more than a few hours each week!

I am a 33-year-old professional planning for my future. I currently rent but am saving for a down payment on my first place. I would like to gradually build a “rental empire.”

Here are my questions. You often talk about creating a “team” of real estate, financial and legal advisers. Which one should I start with? Should I find a certified financial planner (CFP) or a CPA? Can they recommend other team members? How has this worked in your life?

Also, I have started to read Ilyce’s “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask” and “Buy, Close, Move In” books and love them. Is there another book, Web site or resource you would recommend that provides the same type of advice for buying income properties?

Thanks so much for your kind words about Ilyce’s show.

In our experience, team-building is the most important thing you can do if you want to be successful in real estate. In Ilyce’s “Intentional Investor: How to be Wildly Successful in Real Estate” series, she spends an entire video (one of nine) talking about ways you can cultivate a team and use them to their best advantage.

If you’re going to buy a lot of property (for personal use or for investment), you’ll need a real estate attorney, an accountant (one who really understands how this all works), a real estate agent (commercial and/or residential broker, or someone who specializes in foreclosures and short sales), a home or commercial property inspector, and a mortgage lender.

Once you get successful, you’ll probably want to add an estate attorney to the mix, just so you properly plan for the future. And don’t forget about a high-quality 1031 exchange company to help you defer any taxes on your investment property while you build your empire.

All of these people become trusted team members as you work through your deals; as they get to know you (and your hopes and dreams, not to mention your realities), they can help you figure out how you’re going to put the pieces together.

In our lives, we have built teams and we are parts of other teams. For example, Sam is a real estate attorney. He has had some clients for more than 20 years and has helped several build real estate portfolios worth more than $50 million.

Over those 20 years, he has gotten to know not only his clients better but also the various lenders, inspectors and other team members. He understands so much more about what his clients are trying to achieve, so as the deals have become more complicated, with lots of moving parts, he’s able to anticipate what’s going to happen next and has become even more valuable.

That’s the kind of high-quality team member you want to find and grow with. You can start by finding a good attorney that can refer you to other people. But you can also start with a good lender and wind up with a good set of advisers. Any way you start, you’ll need to judge for yourself the quality and depth of knowledge each person brings to your team.

Planning for the future requires an investment in time to build the knowledge you need. We’re glad to know you’re starting with Ilyce’s books and videos. Next, think about what you would want to buy. Read up about how to identifying amazing real estate opportunities and buy short sales and foreclosures. Georgia has plenty of those, and some of them are quite inexpensive. You can start looking at HUD properties at HudHomeStore.com and thinking about what it would take for you to buy your first home.

Buying seems hard — until you go through it a few times. We have no doubt that you’ll soon be at it. Let us know how you progress. And thanks for listening!

Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book is “Buy, Close, Move In!” If you have questions, you can call her radio show toll-free (800-972-8255) any Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Contact Ilyce through her Web site, www.thinkglink.com.