My wife and I are self employed, hard workers and loyal to our customers. Due to contractual obligations that we set up with our customers, we are literally home on average of 45 hours a week. Time is a valuable commodity for us and we think it is imperative for us to find a realtor that will work with investors. We have no problems investing out of our area.
What we want to know is where do we start to find these realtors? Would we start at local independent brokers or go with one of the bigger national chain brokers? Is there a difference between them when it comes to dealing with investors?
not all Realtor are the same.
I think this is best place to find investor friendly Realtor (we are a different breed)
just post and you find one luring from your area.
or join local RE groups. you should find Realtor who has their own properties.
In my area, the chains are franchises and agents are independent contractors. You can get all different kinds of agents out of the same chain.
I would go to local REIA meetings and ask around to find realtors other investors use, you need a realtor that knows how to work with investors since it's so totally different than dealing with regular home buyers.
@Harold Smith I'm sure I will catch flack for this, but when it comes to finding an agent for buying - I say you find someone younger and/or new (read hungry) and you review past deals that you have done with them - how you analyzed the deal, how you estimated repairs, and how you came to the MAO or your purchase price. Investor friendly is just someone who understand how we look at properties. I know agents who are "investor friendly" but cannot understand why we would ever disagree that a property is a "steal", yet we disagree regularly! I have found those that are hungry/new/whatever are just more likely to LISTEN and LEARN. This has worked wonders for me so far.
With that said, I also agree in finding an agent who IS an investor. They obviously get it as a whole, but still may have a hard time working within YOUR model if that differs at all from theirs.
When it comes to finding agents to sell your properties, I say you find the office that has the most closed deals in the proceeding 3 months and give them a call. It all costs the same %, go with success.
I also recommend going to a local REIA or BP meetup to meet an investor friendly agent. I work with investors as well as home buyers....but the process I work through for each of those types of clients is drastically different. When I am working with an investor, I usually expect them to bring me a list of properties they want to see, and we then set up showings and write offers. As opposed to those who are shopping for a primary residence, with them I usually send them homes I think that will fit their needs.
Many good Realtors do not want to work with investors. There is typically more work involved, and less money. I do not mind so much working with investors, because occasionally I will show them a property...they are not interested in it, but I am so I go ahead and make an offer if they do not. So I try to use the experience of working with an investor as another way of finding my own properties in an area I may not have thought of investing in. Also then hopefully I will get some referral business from helping the investors out.
Asking for referrals from within a specific geographical area here on BP might get you hooked up. If you look up one of the large national brokerages such as Keller Williams or Century 21 for example, you may find 70 or more agents at a single office. You can either call and ask to speak to the qualifying broker or get their email and let them know you are looking for someone who works with investors. They should be able to suggest someone you can then interview. You can also find the local brokerages' website and look at the profiles of each agent, see if one highlights an investment specialty. Call them and see if they are a fit. Depending on what type of investing you are thinking about doing, someone who has experience with foreclosures or short sales may be a good fit, which would apply to a lot of realtors these days. A realtor who has an investment property listed for sale in your local craigslist could yield a good result and should be easy to find. Either way, you definitely need to know what you are after investment-wise in order to find a good fit with a realtor.
I would look to make sure you have a strategy you understand and a solid business plan to go with it first (you have some idea about your financing, if you plan or rehabbing you need some skills or someone on your team who does, etc, basically all the moving parts of investing that you can read about all over BP) so that when you start interviewing a realtor, both you and him/her are clear about what is going to be expected from the relationship.
The right realtor can make a ton of difference. Best to choose the right one from the start, and to do that, you need to have a plan.
Hope that helps. Best of luck to you!
Harold if I were you I would search for the agents who have the most listings, specifically REO agents. They usually have big teams of buyers agent set up to help with all the leads that come in from all the signs and online marketing that's typically done (in my market they handle most of the transactions). In Miami most properties for sale are REO or short sale, even though regular inventory is picking up. But my point is REO agents have a lot of signs in the ground which attract lots of buyers of all types. They also have the most insight on their own properties and if you get caught in a multiple offer situation they can get you to the bottom line. They can also tell you about foreclosures that are coming to the market before they even hit the MLS giving you the upper hand when the property does get listed for sale.
What price point will you be in? If you are going to be on the lower end of the spectrum you need to offer the agent something. I personally charge a minimum commission of $5k per deal. If I am going to help an investor find a deal for $30k it usually only pays a commission of $900, I ask the buyer to pay me the difference between the commission offered by the seller and $5k because of all the work it will take to get the deal done ( I will negotiate down to $3k if needed or if I like the investor). If you are going to rehab and resell tell the agent you will use them to relist the property, this will give them added incentive to help you find your next investment. (tell them you will relist at a discount 4% - 5%)
Hope this helps!