If you read this headline and thought, “I’m good! I already have an investor-friendly Realtor,” then you should keep in mind a lesson I learned from Dan Kennedy himself. The most dangerous number in any business is the number one. You always want to have more than one relationship with contractors, Realtors, real estate attorneys, etcetera. If you have just one contact, imagine how much trouble you’ll be in if you lose that relationship.
Even if you are already working with an investor-friendly Realtor, I strongly encourage you to widen your network. Here are 5 tips to finding investor-friendly Realtors in your area.
- Contact your local real estate investing association (REIA). Start your hunt for investor-friendly Realtors at nationalreia.org/find-a-reia/, where you can find the REIA group closest to you. Meetups have also become popular, and you can find a gathering by searching “real estate investors” at meetup.com. Once you find an organization, I encourage you to get involved. Become a volunteer and get connected to other people in the group. Then, talk to the organizer of your local REIA or meetup, as well as other members, and ask them for referrals for investor-friendly Realtors.
- Contact your local landlord association. Obviously, landlords are people who buy and hold real estate investments, but they will have a relationship with Realtors in your area. Ask landlords for referrals.
- Contact your local Realtor association. The Realtor association won’t give you a list ranking their biggest agents, but they can help you find Realtors who work in a particular niche. If you ask them which local Realtors work with a real estate investor, they can refer you to some. It’s also smart to ask about the top agents for listings, purchases, and sales, if the association will give you this information.
- Once you have a list of referrals, call each Realtor and ask some questions. Remember, you aren’t calling to sell them on working with you. You’re giving each Realtor the opportunity to sell you on working with them. Think of it like a job interview and ask these questions:
- “How long and you been a real estate agent?” and “How long have you been a real estate agent in this area?”
- “What areas or ZIP codes do you focus on?” This is important, as you want to work with a Realtor who works in your area, can give you all your comps, and give you their opinion on after-repair values.
- “Do you work with investors?” It’s nice to start a relationship with a Realtor who already has experience with investors, but not having experience isn’t a deal breaker. For example, one of the first Realtors I started working with 14 years ago, Chris, had never worked with an investor before. He was new to the area, but he was hungry, detail oriented, and very smart. We did great work together.
- “What is your process for working with investors?”
- “Do you own investment properties?” Again, this isn’t a deal breaker, but if they do own investment properties, you two will be able to speak the same language.
- If they do own investment properties, I like to ask, “Why are you still a Realtor, and not just an investor?” These questions let me get to know their thought process about real estate.
- “How do you find properties for investors?” I like to hear more than MLS listings, if possible. If they’re not able to get more listings, I want to know if they will refer me to properties that are for sale by owner and such.
- “Are you willing to make low offers?” Most of my offers on bank-owned properties are 50 percent less than the after-repair values, and we get a share of those. You want a realtor who is willing to make low offers, even if they sound ridiculous, when you are able to justify your numbers.
- “How do you negotiate on behalf of your clients?”
- Research an agent online. Everybody is looking up everybody on the internet these days. Find your agent online and read reviews past clients have left.
Much like finding an investor-friendly real estate attorney, it’s not too challenging to find an investor-friendly Realtor. You just have to be willing to put in the leg work.