So I found a potential RE Agent. What now...

21 Replies

I found a potential agent to work with, how do I approach him? We met at a REI group meeting and I got his number. Starbucks maybe ? Pretty stupid question but I’m learning.

Simply call him.  If he wants your business he'll answer.  

I mean what are you trying to accomplish?

If you know what you want and are ready to pull the trigger your real estate agent will most likely jump at an opportunity to work FOR you.

Look if I’m being honest 99% if realtor are terrible for investors. I’m an agent and I’m considering letting my license go. If being a realtor is your full time job why on earth would you want to prospect for discounted properties? I’ll go ahead and put the same amount of work for a 250k + expired listing. You don’t want an agent man, you want a reputable wholesaler. I’m telling you as an agent. You’re going to get a lot of bad information from people who say a realtor is going to want to work with you. Again, why would I take a 2.5-3% commission on a 100k property when I will do the same work for a 300k property? Most agents don’t know about wholesaling or investment properties anyway. What I’m trying to stress is.. you want a wholesaler, not an agent.

Dustin could you elaborate why any agent would want to jump on a deal like that? Please don’t feed bad information to this gentleman. No agent is going to jump for joy in trying to put discounted property under contract.

clueless newbie  investorS are a pain in the butt to work with.  Esp those that read BP. Very unrealistic expectations- What is up with that?

@Alex Gallardo look up any Realtor in the US by clicking on the Realtor tab at Realtor dot com. Gets you good info about the agent and if they’ve sold anything....

@Cesar Rebolledo  I'm a full time agent and I work with a lot of investors, many from BP.  Heck, I showed another Bp'er a $150,000 house yesterday. In a market where the average house sells between 2 and 3 times that.  $3,000 in gross commission, which isn't much around here.

One of the attractions of working in this market segment is that I'm building a niche in a place where most other agents won't.  

You're correct that I make little tiny commissions when I help my fix & flip buyers to acquire a cheap foreclosure - but I make a much better commission when we put the now-rehabbed house back on the market.

Taking that strategy has put me in a position to be a source of expertise to my clients and to do more volume, both of which are helping me to build my business - not to mention the referrals I get.

So it's not always about the fast buck.  I focus on building relationships and take a longer view.

@Charlie MacPherson At no point did I say it was about the fast buck.  I realize it's not about the fast buck... with that being said no two bucks are created equal.  

I get that, and believe me I've done more of that than I care to admit.  My issue is with the way people on BP say 'inventor friendly' agent and expect said agent to behave.  Agents have gotten a terrible reputation as order takers on both the investor and tradition side of RE transactions.  And I get the whole show them a property and build rapport I truly do and I do it all the time, and if they end up going with someone else... well that's on me for not following up. 

I think a better approach would be (as a newbie RE investor) is 'hey, I see you work with investors... I'm new and I'd like to maybe shadow you while you look at investment properties.'  9 times our of 10 when I mention to one of my investors that a newbie wants to tag along and see properties they'd be happy to let them come.  I'm just saying if you're doing a lot of business you don't have time to go to coffee meetings with people who have the same questions.  I would much rather have you tag along while I still do my day to day operations.  WHICH by the way I feel is more of a learning experience than coffee meetings.  

That's just my .02 cents for whatever its worth.

@Charlie MacPherson I love your approach.  I am a Realtor and investor myself and it's great to see other Realtor's in other markets making that tiny commission to build relationships.  Other Realtor's in my market don't like my approach either, but that's why we grow our business how we want! Keep it going!

It could be just me but I would work with investors for discounted properties. As of now I am new soooooo any business is better then no business for me at the moment. Either way if you find a potential agent that wants to work with investors you should call, email, text, any agent should at least respond to find out if there is anything they could help you with.

@Cesar Rebolledo ....I think most agents are not investor friendly but that doesn't mean it's hard to find an investor friendly agent. I would sling a 2.5 million dollar deal for $500 if I could get paid in 12 hours...I view a paycheck as a ROI....time is my investment, not the dollar amount.

@Cesar Rebolledo I very much disagree.  


Well, I could agree investor friendly agents are hard to find. And I could agree that, depending on the market, a wholesaler would be better than a Realtor on the front end of fix and flip. Some markets - mine included - are ones where fix and flip deals are not in the MLS.

But when you question why would an agent work on a discounted home when they could sell a "regular" home in the same time and make more, you are looking at the industry with a rather narrow focus.

It is sort of like saying why would anyone want to run a Target when they could run a Nordstroms.  You need to sell 3 or 4 Target jeans to equal the revenue from one Nordstrom jean.

I am not a newbie.  I am a top producer - near the very top - in my market and have been a Realtor for over 2 decades.  Let me tell you why I work with with investors.

#1 I like it.  I like the people.  I like the challenges of the deals.  I like seeing people build a path to financial freedom.  I still do regular "retail" business ( about 50/50) and enjoy that as well but investing really gets my juices flowing.  Fortunately, I have a large enough business that I can do what I like even if it is not the highest "one time" commission which brings me to point #2.

#2 From a business model, let me go back to the Target vs Nordstrom analogy.  Regular "retail" buyers and sellers are wonderful.  I love helping families settle into a new neighborhood.  But when that transaction is done, barring life changing events for the family, I may never have another deal with them again or if I do it will be years down the road.  How many investors do you know who catch the bug and are one and done?  I do mostly buy and hold stuff in my market but there is the occasional fix and flip when I am on both sides.  The more deals you have, the more people you meet along the way.  The more people you meet, the more deals you get.  Deals that you never thought were there.  

So from both an enjoyment standpoint and a practical business/economic standpoint, I think working with investors is fantastic and I would never give up my license.

Now, I would also agree with some of the comments that new investors can be a waste of time.  Some yes and some no.  Again, maybe because I am old, whenever I have that coffee I decide if I want to work with them.  There have been many I have chosen not to align myself with.  If I accept a client, they need to be smart and ethical.  But even those I don't accept, I tell I am available to talk.  I love chatting investments and strategy.

P.S.  If you run an efficient business, even if you are a top producer, you always have time for coffee. 

Just one old guy's opinion.

@Jack Bobeck   No. No.  Just looking up an agent on Realtor.com and getting their production is not the way to go.  How long have they been licensed?  How many investor deals have they done?   And, most importantly, do they invest themselves.  None of that is on Realtor.com. 

 Also, many of the big, big producers there only deal with retail clients. 

And last, many of those numbers a padded somewhat because they have a team of agents doing tremendous work but the production totals go to the team leader.


There are pluses and minuses to the team approach but the client needs to know what they are getting and decide if it works for them.

@Joe Facenda Great advice Joe and the Target/Nordstroms analogy is spot on! While you do deal with quite a few tirekickers when working with investors, it can be a very rewarding niche. I enjoy working with investors and trying to find the next deal! 

@Joe Facenda Guess who's profile I found on Realtor dot com? Yes, here is YOUR profile. This link does tell an investor some VERY good information. If I was an investor looking for properties, it shows me that you have had a price range of properties listed under your name of $295k to 575k. I don't know the threshold of most starter family homes in your area, but your savvy investors do. The fact that your profile only shows (7) properties over a 24 month period is either a) incorrect and you would want to contact Realtor and make sure all of your MLS transactions are updated or b) a prospective investor may want to search for other Realtors in the Vienna Va area. Either way, this is a FREE tool for all Realtors and why wouldn't you use it? Let investors know you are INVESTOR-FRIENDLY. You catch way more fish with additional lines in the water, and its free. Get some of your past clients to write reviews of how well you helped them.

If you are a realtor and not taking advantage of the free information you can put out on the real estate sites, you are missing out. 

Originally posted by @Cesar Rebolledo :

Look if I’m being honest 99% if realtor are terrible for investors. I’m an agent and I’m considering letting my license go. If being a realtor is your full time job why on earth would you want to prospect for discounted properties? I’ll go ahead and put the same amount of work for a 250k + expired listing. You don’t want an agent man, you want a reputable wholesaler. I’m telling you as an agent. You’re going to get a lot of bad information from people who say a realtor is going to want to work with you. Again, why would I take a 2.5-3% commission on a 100k property when I will do the same work for a 300k property? Most agents don’t know about wholesaling or investment properties anyway. What I’m trying to stress is.. you want a wholesaler, not an agent.

 Cesar I guess I'll be the only one to agree with you here LOL

Sure there are some realtors who work great with investors, hell. I HAVE ONE AND SHE IS AMAZING!

and most realtors I talk to SAY they love investors. The problem comes when you have new investors who require a lot of education, a lot of time, and then most of them never close.

In real estate, you're only worth what you can close. So realtors who work with investors are great, but no one is excited to teach a person about investing and then the investor never actually bring money to the table.

The last house I bought was $36K. My realtor doesn't' show me houses, she doesn't' talk to me much, she just sends me leads and assists me through offers and closing. If I asked her to show me a few houses and then never bought one she would stop taking my calls.

So OP is correct in his goal: find out if this guy is a good fit. That's what you want to do, but remember it goes both ways. It's important to know who's time is worth what and why these things go stale VERY often.

Good luck!

@Jack Bobeck   Thank you for pointing out my obviously out of date and incomplete Realtor.com profile.  It is incorrect as for the last year I have been with a different RE/MAX franchise.  I haven't looked at that profile in some time. 

I agree that people may  use Realtor.com to find Realtors but they may also use Zillow, Trulia, RE/MAX.com, Redfin and dozen of other sites.  

I have a more robust profile on my web page and here on BP than I do on any of those sites.  I care about the investor community so I make sure I am where investors will see me and research me.  I think that is what most Realtors do.

Want a Realtor who specializes in working with seniors? Look for a SRES or go to sites specializing in elder care.

Want a Realtor with a specialty in short sales?  Look for a CDPE.

Want a Realtor with an expertise in investing? Well, look through BP or got to a REIA. I suggest you not depend on a site that has every Realtor in the region listed like Realtor.com.

Fortunately, having been around for some time my past clients and sphere of influence are my biggest source of business.  I don't depend on the Zillows and Trulias.  And one needs to carefully look at several sites to decipher the info there.  You read the profile as stating I had 7 transactions in the last 24 months.  If that is all I had done in the last 24 months, I would not be able to afford the Verizon FIOS service allowing me to write this or I would keep the Verizon service and choose to write this in the cold because I would not be able to afford heat in my home if I still had a home.

Those 7 are the current active listings I have and do not include the 5 under contract and dozens of other closed in the last year.  (One of those 5 under contract is with an investor I met here on BP)

Anyway, say someone did want to try to find an investor friendly Realtor in our market. There are roughly 10,000 Realtors in our MLS. How do you screen those at a site like Realtor.com? You can't. There is no investor designation that you can screen for. So you are faced with slogging through Realtor profiles until you pass out.

Your wife is a Realtor.  She has nice profile on Realtor.com - better than mine for sure.  Yet her webpage is even sharper and there she states the same that I state - most business comes from past clients and referrals.

So, if you are looking for an investor friendly agent, use BP or Google "investor Friendly Realtor in ______ " or go to a REIA.


All of that said, I thank you for letting me know my Realtor.com profile is out of date.  I probably should update it.   Thanks

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