As I look around the Bigger Pockets Forums I see a lot of questions and comments about investors interacting with Real Estate Agents. There is a lot of discussion on how to find a good agent, and if you should use agents at all. As a current Real Estate Agent that has been in the business for about 10 years, and works with lots of investors I thought I could add a little bit to this topic, so here it goes!
1. What area's are you licensed in, and do you work in? This is important because if you want to look in several states but are working with someone that isn't licensed in every state you would want to plan ahead of time to have several agents that could give you the coverage needed. It is also important to know what area's they are willing to work in. It is easy to think that if they are licensed in an area that the agent will sell there, but its not always the case. You wouldn't want to miss out on a deal because your agent wasn't looking in your area.
2. Do you invest in real estate? There are two schools of thought on this one. The first is you only want to work with agents that also invest in real estate because they are going to understand your needs better. This is true, but the negative is will you be competing with your agent on deals, and lose out on properties because they scooped them up first. The second is to work with non investor agents so you don't have to compete with them on deals.
3. Have you worked with investors before? This is important because if they have worked with investors before or currently do, they should have a better understanding of the needs of investors. Don't necessarily rule out agents that haven't or are a new agent as long as your aren't also new. Part of the value of working with an agent is getting their knowledge.
4. Are you comfortable working with Distressed Properties, REO's, Live & Online Auctions and Short Sales? These are typical types of home sales that you may have to purchase to get the right deals, so you want to make sure your agent is comfortable working with them.
5. Are you comfortable submitting a lot of low offers? For most real estate investors submitting a lot of low offers is essential to purchase enough homes and get the right deals. This is also something that many real estate agents do not like to do, it can be very time consuming and will lead to a lot of rejections. So this one may sound silly but could keep you from committing to an agent that won't feel comfortable doing what you need done.
Quick Tip! If you are getting started with investing, take your time and meet and interview several agents to find the right one for you. Once you have the right one, then commit to them. If you don't then they may not be willing to commit to you, and you won't get the right service.
I hope this provides some value, Good Luck! Aaron