It was recommended to me that I cold call RE agents in my area. The idea being from all those calls I will find a some agents that will work well with me in finding properties.
While that sounds great for me it goes against what I've been taught as RE agent etiquette. I'm thinking this might be a great way to develop a bad reputation with the local agents.
So to all the agents on the forum, Should I be working with multiple agents and how does one achieve that harmony so no one feels like I'm wasting their time?
My opinion as to working with multiple agents:
Well, you're right, you could get a bad reputation.
Fishing with Realtors isn't a good thing, especially if they think you're working with them and they begin doing things for you.
I don't care for the idea of just cold calling the Board of Realtors list.
It's pretty easy to find the more popular, more successful agents, just look at the listings and sales.
Now, you can call and introduce yourself, the mission here is to let them know you're an investor, what you are looking for in general and that you're a willing and able buyer.
BTW, if you're not able to buy, have qualifying credit, reserves and can blast through the lending process (or pay cash), then don't read further. If you're a wholesaler or busted with bad credit, Realtors are not for you.
Two things, one make sure they know you can buy and that you're in the business.
"If you find anything you think I might be interested in, please give me a call, I work with all Realtors as a buyer".
Now they know where both of you will be.
Selecting a listing agent, you might tell them that "my buying agent is always my selling agent". Or, I have a listing agent that I work with, but I will work with any agent as a dual agent (letting them know they get full commissions from their listings).
Make sure you know laws of agency and matters of procuring cause of a sale and know how to conduct yourself working with a dual agent, their obligations and responsibilities.
Depending on your arrangement, you can negotiate with them as to commissions with future business.
The very best way to get along with Realtors is by understanding their role, what they are obligated to do, what they can't do and don't ask them to stick their neck out, don't put them in a spot with you or another client.
If you're a buyer, every Realtor in town will work with you. When you become known, Realtors may see an offer from you in a better light than another offer, even a higher offer as they have confidence in you closing the deal. Try to build that reputation. Good luck! :)
Not all the agents have to know about each other. This can be done by using agents from different brokerages. In terms of approaching agents here is what I have done. I will find an reo listing and contact the listing agent. I will compliment the home and tell them I am interested in that home or another one like it. They will be flattered and tell you all about the home. You don't have to say that you are an investor looking for dirt cheap homes. When they do ask if you are an investor you can say yes and that you would like to work with someone like them to find a home. The key is making a connection. They can then set you up on an automatic email with daily updates with the homes you might be interested in.
If you are in a market of any size then any agent that wants your exclusive business is an idiot. They may find or only know about 1/10th of the deals out there. Before I was licensed I told agents if you find a deal that you think I can rehab and resale at a decent profit and it really isn't MLS listing material give me a call. Just to let you know I am letting other agents know about me too because I know there isn't a single agent that knows about every property and whats going on, and you may find me a deal or they may find me a deal first but again I intend to fix up and sell and do it again and again so it is not a one time shot deal. It is also my policy to list the property with the agent that brought me the deal if I don't keep it as a rental.
Now when they ran into a piece of crap they didn't want to list as it was and the owner didn't intend to make it marketable they called me instead of tossing that lead into the round file. And even after I was licensed they continued to call me and do business.
I went through the multiple real estate agent drama before. Here is what I learned. Tell them exactly what you are looking for and the numbers required to make it possible. After one week drop them if they aren't producing what your looking for. When you finally find the right agent, they will produce properties in a day or two that are inline with your expectations. Look for smaller agencies that aren't "commercial" in your area.