Is Bird Dogging a Waste of Time?

6 Replies

I can understand if you are doing some everyday driving and spot a vacant property or a property in disrepair, but wouldn't a person's time be used wisely online?

Does listsource or listability have ways to search for vacant homes?  If so, driving by the address to inspect the property makes sense.  

After the "drive-by"(no guns please), pull up the property information on the tax assessor's website. 

Does this make sense?  Is it more efficient?

This blog post approaches bird dogging as being a scam. Check it out and see what you think.

http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2013/07/19...

I agree with some things in the post but I don't really think it's a scam. I think the key is actually being out in the field or, at least, talking to people who are. If you're just looking on MLS or some other online database, your looking at all the same stuff everyone else is.

Also, unless you know your area like the back of your hand, I think physically driving neighborhoods can be a great way to get to know the different areas. Things like types of houses, age, size, people, amenities (parks, trails, etc). I think bird dogging can be a decent starting point. But the point is, you shouldn't be looking to make a killing.. or really anything doing it. It should be done with the intent of learning about your area and getting some feedback from other experienced investors. Then transitioning yourself to more of a wholesaler or maybe going for your first rental property and moving on from there. Just my opinion.

It's been a while since I've heard the term bird dogging. To me, it always meant finding possible leads for another investor and then getting paid either something up front or something on the back end if the deal closes. It sounds like you're describing driving for dollars. I do think bird dogging is a very tough way to make any money (as I describe it at least). Driving for dollars can be useful from what I've heard, although I haven't done much of it myself. I do think there are better ways to go about investing though.

Driving for Dollars is also, as Danny said, a great way to learn the neighborhood. When I first got to KC, I did a lot of driving around, and while I wasn't really looking for deals, it certainly did help in that respect.

For me it hasn't been a waste of time. I'm actively looking for off market properties to rehab. Any properties I come across that I don't want to make offers on, I will pass along to other investors I know may be interested. I've been able to successfully do this a few times and it takes very little effort to do so. 

Now if you were to do that as a full time job, there probably are better ways to utilize your time. Maybe use this strategy in the beginning to familiarize yourself with the market, but eventually you want to get these properties under contract. That is where the real money is made.

It has always baffled me why anyone would "bird dog". Why would you drive around and find a property for another investor? Finding the property is the hard part! The rest, as long as it's a deal, is easy.

Originally posted by @Micah Copeland :

It has always baffled me why anyone would "bird dog". Why would you drive around and find a property for another investor? Finding the property is the hard part! The rest, as long as it's a deal, is easy.

You'd do it because you either don't have the education to structure a deal on your own, or you don't believe in yourself enough to try. No other plausible reason that makes sense...

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