Meeting with a Realtor for the FIRST TIME as a new investor!

73 Replies

Morning all, I am meeting with a realtor for the first time tomorrow. I dont have a clear picture of what I am going to do yet, but I want to be (or at least sound) educated and knowledgeable. I'm a little nervous, but I think that's expected. I am reviewing all of the 'how tos' on communication and gaining what I want in the partnership, but most of my resources talk about what I need to ask the realtor and where I really need a guiding light is what kinds of questions they will ask me, and how to answer eloquently. Any advice? Thanks!

You want to be the interviewer here.  Ask the realtor about their experience helping investor clients acquire properties.  If they have no or little experience in this area, seek out a Realtor that specializes in investment properties.  A good source is to see who is offering investment properties for sale.  May Realtor sites disclose the agent/broker's experience.  Remember, not all real estate professionals are schooled in what constitutes a good investment property.

@Bhairavi Patel

Finding an investment realtor is important but also make sure they are dedicated to working for you. My realtor isn't usually helping investors but she sends me whatever information I need almost instantaneously. MLS, tax/price history, sale comps, rental comps, etc.. This saves a tremendous amount of time when I need to analyze multiple properties and not waste days waiting to receive the correct information. I have analyzed enough properties to where I kind of know what I'm looking for now so I do not rely on her to find the deals for me but rather provide all the information I need.

-Will 

I apologize for the late reply. The day got away from me...you know how that goes.

So basically, I will be interviewing them to see they are who I want on my power team. Are there any questions that they would be asking me that I would need to be prepared for? I know they will ask me what I am attempting to do with my investments, so I have that covered, but anything unconventional that they might ask?

Thank you for your replies, @David Zamarron and @Will Koederitz . I appreciate you taking the time to soothe this newbies jitters.

Instead of waiting for them to ask you what you intend to do, I would recommend that you tell the realtor exactly what your plan is so he or she will know what they can contribute or if you are even the right client for them. I would also set expectations for how many properties you intend to purchase and in what time frame, but make sure that information is realistic. A realtor will quickly lose interest, if you promise the world and do not deliver.

-Christopher

P. S. If you are one of the 'no money down' crowd and you are simply looking to add someone to your team for comps and such, make sure you're open and honest about that. A lot of realtors will not do alternative investment strategies, but some may to build a relationship with you. Its important that you find the right realtor for the stage of investing you are currently in.

Yes, I am looking into 'no money down' types of investing in the start of things, but I know that I will want to branch out in the future. Should I disclose the exact strategy that I am going to use in order to invest?

Yes you should absolutely disclose what type of strategy you are utilizing.  You want someone to be on board with your plan.  Many agents will not be.  Don't get too upset if you tell them about your strategy and they are not interested in working with you.

If that happens, move on.  It's them, not you, really.

In my career I have had an agent say to me, "I hope you didn't buy one of those 'How To Make a Million Dollars At a Tax Sale' courses.  You know that doesn't work!  If you did you got scammed!"  

I've also had a mortgage broker with over 10 years of experience tell me, "Hardly anyone makes any money on rental properties.  You know that right?"

Also, be prepared to be called a slumlord over and over.  It doesn't matter how nice your properties are, to some of your acquaintances you will be a slumlord as soon as they hear you own rentals.

Again, it's them, not you, really. 

Wow, okay, so I shouldn't take it personally if they don't want to work with me. I will keep trying and hope that the universe will provide (as it always does). 

How do I stop from sounding like a complete newbie? Maybe it's inevitable, since I am. I know the experience will teach me more than I can possibly know having conversations about the process, so maybe I just need to do it and then report on my experience. Ha!

Hi  there,

You may want to do some phone interviews, ask to be set up on (auto property emails) if that is a service provided by Realtors where you are, so you can get them (properties) in your inbox and see what is out there........ and what realtor has the right mix if information and experience you will need.

When you are ready to buy, you will have the one who can stand the test of time, as time will be what you will spend a lot of when you are just starting out. Good Luck!

H - I! Happy Investing!

Originally posted by @Bhairavi Patel :

Wow, okay, so I shouldn't take it personally if they don't want to work with me. I will keep trying and hope that the universe will provide (as it always does). 

How do I stop from sounding like a complete newbie? Maybe it's inevitable, since I am. I know the experience will teach me more than I can possibly know having conversations about the process, so maybe I just need to do it and then report on my experience. Ha!

Try not to take anything in this business personally, but at the same time make it completely personal for you.  Be honest.  Maintain the highest level of integrity.  Make it your mission to make it in this business, and you will.  

You will sound like a newb.  You will ask questions that sound stupid to a seasoned pro.  You will lose money on a deal or two here and there.  And all along the way you will learn.

Have you ever heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything?  Go to work.  Grind.  You'll get there.

Good luck.

Hi Bhairavi,

Ask the realtor their past experience in working with investors, and how they could add maximum value to you. Ask to see their past letters of recommendation, and/or a list of properties they've helped sell. The only questions you need to know are your own goals, motivations and timeline. Don't feel nervous- you're a unique buyer and there are many agents you could hire to represent you... so the power is all yours!

Best,

Barry

Amazing advice and energy from all of your responses! Thank you for the positive words and bringing light to my own barriers that might create difficulty (for no reason, of course). I just have to go in with my heart and head in the right place, keep my goals at the forefront of my intention and hope for the best! 

I will report on how it all goes! Thank you!!!

I am also new to REI and am meeting with an agent (first time!) Friday to discuss my plan!

Hope all goes well and you end up with someone great on your team! Keep us posted.

@Stevie T. Thank you! And good luck to you, too! Will be thinking of you and hoping all goes well. I'll definitely update this thread after I had my first experience. You too, okay?

@Cynthia Scaife Great idea about the phone calls and automated property emails. I will ask about that. Thank you!

It's always about perspective. Chances are that (unless you've already screened for it) the agent will not understand or agree with what you want to do. Keep in mind the agent is an expert (maybe) at what they do but that is not investing, it's selling homes. Their objective will be to get you signed to an agency contract to work with only them. Your objective is to find an agent you can trust, has experience in investment properties & will work with you in a positive "win-win" relationship.

As sales people real estate agents likely are familiar with the 80/20 rule. In short this says that 20% of agents do 80% of the business. Or the way we look at it 80% of agents will be out of the business with-in 5 years. What this has to do with you is that you may well have to interview 5 agents to find 1 that is a good fit.

That may sound harsh & I apologize to other agents, but again it's about perspective. Keep your objectives & questions you want answered top of mind & I'd let them know that you expect to "interview" other agents. 

Hi Bhairavi, 

   As a buyer, your agent works for you for free, their commission comes from the seller's agent. Because there is no contract, many agents don't work with buyers. Start asking people you know if they can refer you to an agent they have worked with and liked. Having an honest relationship with your agent will be much better in the long run. It's a win/win.

I have some friends in Chicago, I can ask them for a recommendation if you'd like. Let me know.

@Rich Ralston Those are good perspectives to take into consideration. Since I am just getting my feet wet, I am learning this all as I go. It makes sense though. I have heard those statistics and believe that I will find what I'm looking for. I just need to believe and have faith and do my homework. Great advice. Thank you.

@Michael Simler Am I still a buyer if I am investing with 'no money down'? I talked to a casual realtor connection and when I told him about lease options the demographic I want to assist, he said "I don't really like that". Perhaps meaning that he didn't like dealing with people with poor/bad credit secondary to the risk involved. YES! If you could connect me to some realtors in this area, that would be fantastic! 

I want to be able to be honest and real, yet still be able to have a raw connection, meaning if I do say something stupid, that it won't be held against me and that I will find a partnership that will grow. I know it's out there...

Send me a private message and we can exchange info

If you send me a private message we can exchange info

@Bhairavi Patel

Lots of good advice in the thread above.

A few more ideas:

  • Since you are a PRO member you can use www.biggerpockets.com/meet  to find people in your area. I bet you will find a few Realtors with an investment background from Chicago that can help you.
  • Visit local REIA meetings and network to find an investor friendly Realtor.
  • When you meet a Realtor ask if they own, or have owned investment properties. If they currently own rental properties ask questions about their cash-on-cash return, typical rents, etc. Also ask if they have a list of suggested vendors.

Good Luck!

@Scott Beck Oh! Great info on the link! I am scheduled to attend meetups every week starting next Tuesday. I feel my energy expanding and I'm feeling the return immensely. I have faith that it will all work out in my favor. It's mostly all mindset, faith and persistence, all qualities that I carry. Is it bad to come in to the meeting with a list of questions to ask (on a note pad/paper?) 

Thank you for your reply!

The one question I would ask is are you a cash buyer or are you financing.  I would also want to know if you are looking for buy and holds or flips.  I would want to know if you need help with contractors or do they have a team.  Other questions you can expect is whats your criteria as well as what area are you focusing in.  I suggest that you give feedback to the realtor whenever she sends deals your way whether your interested or not so that she can keep you in mind whenever deals come her way.  I hope that helps.

Bhairavi, 

I found several investment groups there in Chicago. Have you had a chance to attend any of their meetings and asking people there? 

Perhaps you can find someone that has been in your exactly position and they can give you some insight about how they went about doing things. 

@Bhairavi Patel

Lots of good insights above. If you have the time, I would actually try to meet with 3-6 Realtors before I decide which one to work with. When I went into a new market, I interviewed 3. One was an investor herself and really seemed to go the extra mile. I went with her. That first Realtor only facilitated my first three purchases, but because she was an investor she could also guide me rehab costs and contractors to use. But I asked all three about the pro's and con's of the local market. So I learned from each of them and started to get a feel for the new market I was entering.

So keep interviewing until you find one willing to work with an investor and preferably with investing experience. Don't be annoyed if you have to go through a bunch of them. They are great sources of information to learn from and get to know the market better.

Mike

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