Should I Be A: Investor Friendly Or Retail Agent?

7 Replies

Hi agents and investors,

I am on the path to be a part time agent to get some knowledge of the market in my area as well as build capital and form relationships. What are the pros and cons of being a part time investor friendly agent vs part time retail vs both? Do I need to specialize and what is the path to becoming a good agent?

Being a good agent: listen to what your client needs, bust it out to get the job done, make sure you know the rules and laws inside and out. Many realtors are pathetically lazy (there's a relatively low barrier to entry in this field), so it isn't that hard to stand out. My agent ended up with me by default, because 4 or 5 others never bothered doing any follow-up. 

You can be "investor-friendly" and still work with regular home buyers. Investors are usually reluctant to work with another agent once they have a good relationship with an agent, so you have that hurdle to overcome - but all it takes is to get one or two investors on a good path and they'll tell other investors. Don't forget one thing - if you work for an investor, he/she wants you to work on their behalf to get the property at investment rates. If you don't do that, you won't work with them for long. 

cody you may want to see if @Joel Owens   will engage you.. if you want to be in the investment side of the business then you may or should be looking at going to work for commercial brokerage. and work your way up.

Remember in CA folks there don't buy SFR's as regualarly for investments as they do in other parts of the country.. they buy multi..

now there  is nothing wrong with being a top Resi real realtor although keep in mind 90% of those that get licensed all do that end of the business..

Commerical brokerage if you put the YEARS in apprencticing when you come out the other end you can be quite successful.. virtually every commercial broker I know personally who has been doing this for years is quite successful..

this may mean starting as a leasing agent.. etc.. but Joel knows this far better than I do.

Just giving you some things to think about.

My advice - simply and strongly - is do not be a part time agent if you want to serve the public.  If you want a license for your personal deals, great, do whatever you want.  But if you are going to represent buyers and sellers whether they are investors or traditional clients, I do not see how any part time agent in today's market can give those those clients the representation they deserve.  Sorry but one old time agents opinion.

I have been around a long time and love training new agents.  I do not have a team but I do have a unique program where I engage new agents on my listings to help them put their classroom training to work in the field.  So I am not against new agents representing buyers and sellers with proper support but in a fast moving market, a part time agent just can't give a client what they deserve -  whether new or old.

Cody if your a wholesaler you might want to go work for those transaction only companies that charge a small fee and you keep most of the commissions for residential.

I do not have any agents at my commercial firm by choice. If I did they would have to be full time no exceptions and they would have to put up 25,000 non-refundable to the brokerage to start and on a 50/50 split for commercial.

They have to have something big to lose if they do not follow the steps to work on closing deals. Talk is cheap and to many flame out or do not follow the steps saying too much work. My time is worth tens of thousands per hour these days so agents do not understand when someone spends time with them it is costing that person training them money in time.

Good Luck

It all depends on the type of clients you want to work with. If you are someone that likes analyzing deals, and likes business minded people, then seek out investor clients. On the other hand, if you like to be more of an educator and hand holder to less real estate savvy people, then work with retail clients.

Whichever clients you decide to work with you need to be completely upfront and transparent with them that you are a part time agent. And are limited in the services you can offer them compared to a full time agent. 

@Joel Owens

I am not having any luck wholesaling where I am at. I am still putting in time but now am looking to plan B. The whole point was to build capital for buy and holds. By "transaction only companies" do you mean the transactional lenders or title companies and why do you suggest them as a job?

Where do you suggest starting on being an agent after I get a license?

Hi Cody

Is my opinion that you make yourself available to all,specially if you are just starting out that way you will learn a great deal, meaning you will learn to deal with retail buyers and investors, and know how both sides operate, that way you will gain more traction when it comes down to communicating and negotiating to the best benefit of your client. Once you start getting more experience know with whom you rather specialize in work with those and then pass the others to your realtor friends and get a cut from the deal. But always make yourself available to everyone. Just my two cents.

I disagree slightly with Joe in that he mention not to be a part time Real Estate agent, I think it can be done and often time is necessary at the beginning. The only caveat is that when you do get to work whether part time full time whatever do not half as it. Do it all in, and structure your time to maximize it. Remember you are at a disadvantage to those agents that do this full time day in and day out.

Happy hunting!