It has often been said that the best real estate investors are surrounded by the best team. There are a handful of critical team members that directly impact your success, arguably none more important than your real estate agent. Think of all the roles that your real estate agent plays. Not only do they help find new deals, but they work tirelessly to get the deal to closing. On the other side of the transaction, they constantly work on unique ways to market to buyers and get the price you desire.
Most investors are on the hunt for an “investor-friendly” agent. When you find the right agent, it will have an instant impact on your business, help save massive amounts of time and grow your bottom line. However, many don’t know what an investor friendly agent really is. Here are five ways to help recognize if you have the right real estate agent for your investing needs.
They Understand Investment Deals: All property transactions are not created equally. A property you want to make into a rental property is not the same as one you want to live in. Your real estate agent doesn’t necessarily need to have first hand investing experience, but they should know something about the process. The better they know some basic formulas and math behind the listings, the more efficient and effective they will be. They won’t waste time on deals that have little to no upside as an investment. They will show you properties in markets that make sense and focus on specific criteria only. Most investors lose hours out of their day going to and from properties that aren’t even close to what they are looking for or don’t work financially. An investor friendly agent will help avoid wasted time and only show you quality investment deals.
Submit All Offers: It is important to fully vet every prospective agent you want to work with. They can be a top selling agent in the market, but if they don’t understand the needs of an investor they are not for you. Dealing with an investor is not even close to the same as dealing with a traditional home buyer. The investor will most likely want to submit an offer on every property they are interested in. However, their offer will be nowhere near the asking price, unless the situation warrants. If your real estate doesn’t feel comfortable with this, you need to find someone that does. This doesn’t mean that you will offer pennies on the dollar on every single listing they have. If the condition is poor and demand in your favor you should always be willing to offer the number that you are comfortable with. An investor friendly agent will give their input, but they won’t try to talk you out of following your numbers. The agent must be fully committed to the offer and not be embarrassed to get the price that works for you, however low it may be.
Understand Time Is Money: Time is truly of the essence in the world of real estate investing. The quicker you can get the jump on your competition the more likely that you can secure the deal. Investor friendly agents understand this and will pass along new prospective deals in real time. As soon as they get a listing or come from a listing appointment they will alert the investor, so they can start their due diligence. Being the first person to show interest in the property puts you at the front of the line and starts the process in your favor. Good agents also make it a point to respond quickly to a seller and will get whatever items are needed asap. Even if the offer is below asking price or not at the amount they would desire, they still act like it is the only transaction in their pipeline.
Know How To Find REO & Bank Owned Deals: The best investment deals are usually from untraditional sources. If the seller doesn’t have true motivation to sell, they won’t be as likely to sell to the number that makes sense to you. An investment friendly agent typically has access to banked owned and REO properties. These are properties that the lender has taken over after a failed attempt to sell or after a foreclosure. Banks are not in the business of being property managers and want to get these off their books. This doesn’t mean they will give the property away, but if it needs excessive work and the demand pool is small there are real bargains to be had. A good agent has built relationships to access these deals, can put them together and knows how to structure the offer.
Large Referral Network: Investor friendly agents have a large rolodex of people in their pipeline. They have real estate attorneys, mortgage brokers and possibly even contractors they can share with you. This indirectly will help build your own network and help find more deals. It also increases the outlets for potential deals from the real estate agent. Instead of waiting for traditional seller listings they may get a probate deal from their attorney or a preforeclosure deal from their mortgage broker. A real estate agent shouldn’t be judged solely on the amount of people in their network, but it must be a consideration.
The right real estate agent is a game changer for your business. Never settle on an agent you aren’t fully comfortable with and is less than committed to you. Find yourself an investor friendly real estate agent.