Finding & screaning a good buyers agent.

5 Replies

Hi All, I wanted to see if any of you had some tips on locating & screening a good buyers agent. As some background, I'm looking to duplexes & triplexes in Putnam & Duchess county NY. The goal is to buy a property to rent out (either one in solid condition or a flip). I already started emailing larger broker agencies asking if there is anyone that specifically deals with acquisition of income properties in my area. I'm also reading reviews on brokers. Here are questions i plan to ask.

How long have you been an agent?
How many properties have you sold? How many of those are rental properties?
How many properties have you sold in ABC Town?
Do you own any rental properties?
On average, how long does it take you to respond to emails? Voice mails?

What other questions am i missing? Are any of these questions out of place?

@Jerry Cima

You are asking the wrong questions. or I should say you need to ask better questions of yourself as an investor.

As an Investor
. Am I willing to be upfront and honest with my Realtor.
. Do I recognize that the most valuable commodity a Relalor has is time, and that when they spend it with me, they are depending on me to close on a deal, not any deal, but deals we can both make money ?
. Do I know my numbers ?
. Can I write a one paragraph summary to my Realtor of exactly what I want ?
. Am I capitalized enough to actually make a purchase when my Realtor finds me a property?
. When my Realtor finds me a property that meets or exceeds my numbers will I actually write the offer ?
. When i change my mind as an investor will I communicate whats changed to my Realtor ?
. When I succeed in my acquisition will I recommend my Realtor to others ?
. If my purchase whether a rental or a flip fails in either a small or spectacular fashion will I be honorable enough 
to admit I made the decisions and not my Realtor ?

You see it's easy to find a Realtor and you'll know within a week whether they can answer email, chew gum and walk at the same time, the thing investors don't realize is that the god Realtors are also evaluating you at the same time. They are the ones asking YOU the tough questions.

I receive 2 to 3 calls a week from "investors" who are looking for "Rock Star Realtors" to add to their "team". I realize those investors have just attended an "investment seminar".  I politely end the conversation and occasionally will call one back 6 to 12 months later to confirm that they are no longer investing in Real Estate, and have decided to put it off "for awhile"

When I do find a Real Investor , they share their witten plan, we visit properties and they write offers.

Guess What ? We both make money.

Originally posted by @Brian Van Pelt :

@Jerry Cima

You are asking the wrong questions. or I should say you need to ask better questions of yourself as an investor.

As an Investor
. Am I willing to be upfront and honest with my Realtor.
. Do I recognize that the most valuable commodity a Relalor has is time, and that when they spend it with me, they are depending on me to close on a deal, not any deal, but deals we can both make money ?
. Do I know my numbers ?
. Can I write a one paragraph summary to my Realtor of exactly what I want ?
. Am I capitalized enough to actually make a purchase when my Realtor finds me a property?
. When my Realtor finds me a property that meets or exceeds my numbers will I actually write the offer ?
. When i change my mind as an investor will I communicate whats changed to my Realtor ?
. When I succeed in my acquisition will I recommend my Realtor to others ?
. If my purchase whether a rental or a flip fails in either a small or spectacular fashion will I be honorable enough 
to admit I made the decisions and not my Realtor ?

You see it's easy to find a Realtor and you'll know within a week whether they can answer email, chew gum and walk at the same time, the thing investors don't realize is that the god Realtors are also evaluating you at the same time. They are the ones asking YOU the tough questions.

I receive 2 to 3 calls a week from "investors" who are looking for "Rock Star Realtors" to add to their "team". I realize those investors have just attended an "investment seminar".  I politely end the conversation and occasionally will call one back 6 to 12 months later to confirm that they are no longer investing in Real Estate, and have decided to put it off "for awhile"

When I do find a Real Investor , they share their witten plan, we visit properties and they write offers.

Guess What ? We both make money.


@Brian Van Pelt

This seems to be a good guide for a buyers agent to screen an inventor/client, but not what I'm looking for. My intentions & integrity as an investor is well known to myself. As are the answers to the questions you posed. I'm not trying to find a rock star agent, just one that will fit what I'm doing properly. I've already received 2 calls today from agents who 1) Don't normally deal with investment properties  2)Don't do much work in the area. 

Hey Jerry you can use the Bigger Pockets Real Estate Network section at the top to find real estate agents that at a minimum know about BP and at the very least created a profile to interact with investors. You can as your basic questions over the phone as a sniff test but I would highly recommend meeting them in person for coffee, lunch, or drinks to probe and see if you think it is going to be a good fit. 

I would try to find an agent that is also an investor or at least has some investment experience. They're tough to find but when you find one it will be worth the time you spent looking for them. You should ask them about their investments and see if they know what they're talking about. What criteria do they use when they evaluate deals. If they find a good deal will they send it to their clients or scoop it up for themselves? 

Ask them about your financing options and the experiences they've had working with other investors. What do they like/dislike about clients. Just like a job interview, ask them to tell me about the last deal they closed. Ask them to tell you about a deal that almost didn't close, what was the problem and how did they fix it? Can they introduce to you to the other team members you'll need? Why do they recommend the (lawyer, lender, inspector, etc) they recommend.

These types of questions will help you get a look at the agents ethics and practices. Did they do what was in the clients best interest or in their best interest? You'll know which type of agent you want and which type you won't want. 

Goodluck! Finding a good agent is worth the hustle but just as @Brian Van Pelt warned. Rockstar agents don't have time to waste so be sure you're ready to go when you find one. Show them that you're committed to buying an investment property by making sure you have a preapproval in hand and have gone and looked at a few open houses. You should know what town you want to buy in or have it narrowed down to a few and be able to explain why those. You should have a preference for a duplex, triplex, or quadplex and be able to explain why.  Basically you're expecting the agent to do their homework before showing up, you should do the same.
 

@Jerry Cima

I believe you missed my point, A Buyers Agent and an Investor Realtor are two very different types of Realtors. The fact that you are attracting non-Investor Realtors means that you have not been able to or did not convey the information needed to attract anything but run of the mill agents.

Originally posted by @Jonathan Bombaci :

Hey Jerry you can use the Bigger Pockets Real Estate Network section at the top to find real estate agents that at a minimum know about BP and at the very least created a profile to interact with investors. You can as your basic questions over the phone as a sniff test but I would highly recommend meeting them in person for coffee, lunch, or drinks to probe and see if you think it is going to be a good fit. 

I would try to find an agent that is also an investor or at least has some investment experience. They're tough to find but when you find one it will be worth the time you spent looking for them. You should ask them about their investments and see if they know what they're talking about. What criteria do they use when they evaluate deals. If they find a good deal will they send it to their clients or scoop it up for themselves? 

Ask them about your financing options and the experiences they've had working with other investors. What do they like/dislike about clients. Just like a job interview, ask them to tell me about the last deal they closed. Ask them to tell you about a deal that almost didn't close, what was the problem and how did they fix it? Can they introduce to you to the other team members you'll need? Why do they recommend the (lawyer, lender, inspector, etc) they recommend.

These types of questions will help you get a look at the agents ethics and practices. Did they do what was in the clients best interest or in their best interest? You'll know which type of agent you want and which type you won't want. 

Goodluck! Finding a good agent is worth the hustle but just as @Brian Van Pelt warned. Rockstar agents don't have time to waste so be sure you're ready to go when you find one. Show them that you're committed to buying an investment property by making sure you have a preapproval in hand and have gone and looked at a few open houses. You should know what town you want to buy in or have it narrowed down to a few and be able to explain why those. You should have a preference for a duplex, triplex, or quadplex and be able to explain why.  Basically you're expecting the agent to do their homework before showing up, you should do the same.

Thanks @Jonathan Bombaci This is good info. I used that & some info i found on YouTube videos to make a list below. Hopefully other people find it helpful.

  • Are you a full-time realtor?
  • How long have you been an agent?
    How many properties have you sold? How many of those are rental properties?
    How many properties have you sold in ABC Town?
    Do you own any rental properties?
    On average, how long does it take you to respond to emails? Voice mails?
  • Can you tell me about a deal that almost didn’t close? What was the problem & how did you fix it?
  • Do you have referrals?
  • Do you provide analysis of comps in the area?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Do you have any questions for me?