I had a hard time at first with real estate investment. One of reasons was that I tended to be a "lone wolf," trying to do too much myself. I've since learned that to really do well investing in real estate, you need to have a team of people you can trust and rely on. Here are some possible team members, and what they need to be on team.
1. Real estate agent. A licensed agent with experience in area you invest in and access to MLS (Multiple Listing Service), can be a great help. If she is a seller's agent, she can still ethically bring best deals to you once she knows you're a serious buyer.
2. Real estate attorney. This should be someone familiar with laws and legal customs of your area, and have experience with type of deals you intend to do (If you are buying rentals, she should be familiar with doing evictions, for example.)
3. Accountant or bookkeeper. Keeping proper books for real estate investments is getting more complicated with all tax-law changes. Find someone that understands law, and what you want.
4. Mortgage broker or banker. The first can offer many options, but second can make loan decision. Each has their advantages, and you could use both. In either case it's important that they understand what you want (fast closings, lower interest, corporate loans?)
5. Appraiser. Not only can a good appraiser give you an accurate valuation of a property, but they should be able to suggest ways in which you can raise value of a property. Use someone that will talk to you.