Tough Agent Decision

8 Replies

Hey Guys & Gals,

I am from Vancouver, Canada. I have been looking at investing in the Okanagan, which is a 3.5 hour drive away. Through my mom I met an agent from Vancouver who is also a very successful real estate investor. He has a ton of properties and could possibly be a mentor. He brought me along on a day at his agent job and talked with me for a while after. 

I have told him that I wanted to invest in the Okanagan and he said he is a province/state wide agent (British Columbia). He set me up with automatic alerts for Vancouver but said he can't do alerts for Kamloops. He is also very busy as her is dealing with a lot of high net worth people (I'm 22 and am not high net worth). Not that it is his fault as maybe I haven't been super clear on some things but he hasn't brought any properties to me either. What I have been clear on was the type of properties I wanted to buy. 

This is my dilemma: Should I use him as an agent for only the Vancouver area? Should I get a local agent in the Okanagan? Is there such a thing as a state/province wide investor? 

I don't want to lose a great connection (who is also my mom's friend) but my gut tells me to go with someone who is actually in the city I am looking to buy and when I want to buy in Vancouver use him. We didn't sign any paperwork or anything like that. Having someone actually there to go check out properties for me in person,  throw offers more often, bring me properties and know the area very well seems better but he is super experienced in investing as well. 

What should I do and how would you approach this?

Could you pay him as a consultant and use a local agent where you want to buy to source properties?

Why could you not invest in Vancouver? Likely the agent has a network of potential deals. Could they not partner with you on the first one locally to show you the ropes?

Remember someone very successful is not even thinking of what they will make generally helping out someone new with little net worth. The time spent with you likely they are LOSING money working on larger deals.

@Joel Owens Thanks for the response! I never even thought about that. That's an incredible idea! The reason I have stayed away from Vancouver is price range and the cash flow isn't great. I know there is deal in every market but the Okanagan is on the verge of exploding and the cash flow is awesome! 

I will have to talk to him, I am sure he does have a network of deals. Thanks for the great response! 

Hi Sage,

Good for you for thinking of investing already! 

This post grabbed my attention because I’m also in Vancouver and want to invest in the Okanagan.  I’m also a Real Estate agent.  Personally and professionally I think it’s very important to work with an agent who is very familiar with the area and it’s nuances.  What is completely acceptable and what your agent may suggest anyway is to refer you to a local agent there. He will get a referral fee and will still be involved with your success in finding something and working with someone trust worthy.

I'd have that exact conversation with the agent- if you are honest and open, I'll bet you'll get a positive response. I'd tell him that you are looking to buy, but are planning on making lots of aggressive offers on inexpensive properties in an effort to learn and get screaming deals. Tell him that you feel like you'd be wasting his time, but would be interested in learning from him as a mentor- maybe you can set up a monthly lunch and bring him some questions. Buy him lunch, send him thank you cards, etc. It's likely that he doesn't want to waste time making dozens of lowball offers on your behalf, but would be willing to share his knowledge with you. Best of luck!

@Tanya Braun Thanks for your response Tanya! Nice to hear from someone from Vancouver on here, let alone with similar investing plans! Would love to take you for lunch sometime and talk about real estate and your agent/investment ideas and journey. That advice is great, I am going to do just that! I will talk to him about a referral for the Okanagan! 

@Corby Goade Thanks for the response Corby, this is super helpful! I am going to phone him up and say exactly what you've suggested, honesty & openness always seems to work itself out for the best and I wouldn't want to do the opposite either way. I love the idea of lunch and thank you cards. 

Really appreciate it Corby, EXTREMELY helpful! 

p.s. Love the profile picture, super fun and stands out!

I agree with @Tanya Braun !

I am an investor and live in the Okanagan (Kelowna) and this market has its own wrinkles and challenges  so you better select a local realtor specialized in Investment Properties. I would recommend to look at "Vantage West" as they're a boutique firm that primarily deals with Inventors.

We bought 2 properties here in the last 1.5 years however the prices went nuts in 2017 and wont cash flow anymore with 20% down. Having said that, if you're coming from the cost the prices would look much more affordable than for us locals.

Good luck !