There are many types of multifamily buildings to choose from. Investors need to know where to start and how many units they can afford. As an investor, you can start small or large or anywhere in between. For example: there's a 100 unit apartment building for sale in a great part of town. Seller price: $35M (hint: lots of jobs and businesses nearby). If that's too much, start with something smaller like 20-30 units.
The owner has too many properties in his/her real estate portfolio and wants to unload some of them. Or the owner wants to retire without the responsibility of maintenance. A few of his properties are underperforming, so he turns to a reliable real estate broker for help. The property fits your investment needs but..what about the deposit, down payment and financing? And property management? Do you manage it yourself or hire out?
Barring any units that need repair/upgrades and depending on her needs, Sally Investor decides she wants it. She has to have a good team in place beforehand to help her achieve her goals. First, she looks at the property online then contacts the seller or broker for a physical walk-through. Second, if she likes everything about the property, she submits a Letter Of Intent. If the seller agrees to Sally Investor's offer, they move to the Purchase & Sale Agreement. With the help of an attorney, she hammers out all the details with the seller and agrees to move forward with a sizeable deposit. This ties up the property taking it OFF MARKET.
Third, Sally agrees in writing to a due diligence period of 60 days. This is the time to inspect the property inside and out, looking at the ledgers & accounting systems. It gives her time to decide if s he really wants it or not with time to get out of the contract (and get her deposit back). If all is in order, she and her investors make a down payment and take care of financing. Once due diligence is over and the P&A solidified, next comes the closing.
The closing reiterates everything she and the seller agreed to in the P&A. Once she owns the property, it is Sally Investor's responsibility to hire property management to take care of it for her. Many investors don't live near the properties they own and can't take care of them from far away. If you don't have property management experience, then a reliable property manager handles the running of the building for you. It is the perfect time to hire out. Don't hire a company that manages only single-family homes when you own a multifamily building or duplex. Hiring a reliable company that manages lots of 100+ unit buildings is a much better fit. Also, take responsibility for your property by keeping tabs on how the company you hire is managing your investment.