I'm asking for your input because I value it and want to know what you think! Would you work with an agent who is not an active investor in your market? I ask because I'm looking to grow my team here in Austin and am having trouble finding agents who are. I started investing before I started working as an agent and have always been very strict in who we bring on making this a requirement but I'd love your input. Would you, as an investor, work with an agent who was not assuming they had local knowledge?
You might even have a hard time finding agents who own their own home. You have to get started somewhere, but I'll bet 50-75% of agents don't own any home. It's on my list of questions buyers should be asking their agents before working with them.
@Jordan Moorhead I would think that would be less of a necessity these days. With technology and forums such as this one, local knowledge is easy to come by...without having to be in that market- at least for the purpose of REI and not a forever primary home.
It may depend on the level of property the investor is looking to purchase. If they are just looking to find a SF or small 2-4 unit property, I would say you could find a qualified agent to assist. We have agents at our office that are younger and don't own rentals (yet) but are very capable and qualified to help our clients purchase investment properties like a duplex or so. They are knowledgeable about our local market. If an investor is searching for a 5+ unit MF, then no, I would not work with an agent that doesn't hold at least one similar property or has never owned any rentals. Or they should at least be on a team that is qualified to assist.
It's always a plus when agents are investors, but not a requirement for me. There are a lot of very talented and successful agents who aren't investors. As long as they're very knowledgeable, experienced and good negotiators, I'm happy.
Personally, unless they are very young and don't have the funds, I wouldn't "trust the skinny chef"