I'm just kind of looking for some general advice/tips as to how to go about meshing being an agent and an investor. I'm sure a bunch of you have done the same thing, getting your license to make your investing lives easier. I wanted to be able to browse the MLS at 2 am, go see houses without having to go with anyone else and keeping some of that commission sounds great! I signed on with a great broker who helped me move to my current home through my girlfriends job relocation. There's only a flat fee when I close a deal and the technology they have as tools at our disposal is way better than any others around. So my question is how did/ do some of you integrate your investing with your being an agent? On an introduction do you say "Hi, I'm a real estate agent and also happen to be an investor" or vice versa.... Assuming you have a personal website for your investing and one for your brokerage how do you handle both... do you have a link on your personal site to your brokerage site etc? What about mailings-- as an investor? agent? how do you present yourself in general? It seems to be a bit challenging because I moved across the state only a year ago, so my network here isn't really that large yet as opposed to where I lived for years building up friendships etc. This will be my primary source of income so any advice on how to really hit the ground running would be most appreciated! Thanks!
I'm curious about technology...when you say it's much better than other brokers....can you give examples?
@Rusty Scott The websites their agents get setup with look very modern and appealing. Documents and signing are digital. Their presentation system looks better than any agent that has presented to me in my past, it can be done on a tablet or physical print. They have an automated followup system, wireless printing etc. just basically every kind of tool that would streamline the process is right at our fingertips.
I am an Investor/Agent. I always introduce myself as an investor because that is my #1 focus and income stream. I keep everything as separate as possible due to not wanting my license to be involved in any of my flips or wholesales. So I have separate websites and business cards.
I was an investor first and only got my license to access the MLS. I never wanted to be an agent in the deal. They make pennies while investors make dollars. Too many new investors get a license, join a large traditional brokerage firm and get brainwashed into TRADITIONAL ways of thinking. If you want to be an investor, then just get your license to help your investing career, and tell everyone you are an investor... with a license. Who cares if you don't get a commission, you can always refer those other leads to friends (agent friends)!
PS once you get your license, you have to disclose that everywhere, and its just wording, so you have to tell the sellers that you are licensed, but you are interested in buying the property yourself, as a buyer, and not as an agent.
PSS and most MOTIVATED sellers don't care, they just want to get rid of their house. And for the UNmotivated sellers out there... refer them to a friend/agent, they will waste an investors time and energy, and.... thats what agents are for... traditional stuff with small profits
Thanks for the advice @Chris Williams and @Jason Windholz . Up to this point I've only been a buy and hold investor, but I know my area is very ripe for fix and flips so i'm hoping to to find a small project to get my feet wet. I planned on getting my license (which i now have) anyway to help me but I need to close a couple of properties to get a little more cash behind me for any unexpected costs. So now I have my license I guess I'll have to re-order new "investor" cards just to disclose I have my license as well, since my old ones only have the subtitle "Owner/Investor"?
Before you order new cards, lose the owner title. All it does it satisfy a big ego. Even if you are the owner of rental property, its better to just be the manager. Think of the good cop bad cop routine we all see on TV and the movies. It is very fitting for real estate. The owner is the bad guy, "just a manager" is the good guy. Its great for dealing with tenants and the public in general. You can tell all your family and friends that you are the owner, but you will be surprised what tenants will share with you when you are "just a manager" working for the owner.
@Fausto Carosella I too am considering getting my license. I haven't invested in property yet but plan to in a few months (God willing).
Aside from MLS listing, you don't need to become licensed as an agent to get great technology. If you know basic Wordpress to put together a functional website and know how to implement plugins, you can have a site on par wit or better than an agency. As far as follow up systems, CVita is a great one that can be implemented with your website. You can even set up your site so people can call you directly from your website (forwarded to your phone). If you have an iPad, you can do wireless printing. In fact, most printers that are being made now are wifi and wireless printing ready. There are CRM programs to manage your databases. And don't forget about social media integration. There's project management apps and programs to manage your flip projects and properties.
There are tons more ways you can use technology. I even considered taking my tech knowledge to work with realtors and investors at one point. But don't believe that you need to work through an agency to make advantage of technology. Hope this helps.
I simply tell people that I am an agent (first) and also an investor. Keep in mind that in the state of Florida you MUST disclose you are an agent even if you have two different websites. Somewhere in the very beginning when you are talking to a potential seller you need to divulge this. If you are selling your personal property, you still need to divulge you are an agent even if you dont list it in the MLS. Failure to disclose you are an agent is "blind advertising". This can lead to complaints and fines so it is easier to put it out there in the beginning. Do people care? I don't think so. I recently had a seller contact me about some property. My ad states I am an agent/investor. I didn't buy the property but I did end up listing it. I don't think people care whether anyone is an agent or investor-they care about getting results.
John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
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