Unpopular opinion, I feel like agents suck these days

10 Replies

I am a seasoned investor but still would like to look to agents to compile market data, provide insight into MLS info that I do not have, provide industry trends, and give recommendations. This is a baseline. I would also like for agents to provide recommendations for homes that I have not seen rather than me doing all of the search work. I do not feel like that is the case, especially in a hot market like Austin where agents are looking for the next big deal and don't want to spend time at a computer doing to diligence. At this point, I feel as the agents are not doing their job, and I might as well just represent myself. Thoughts?

In all fairness to agents, they are trying to make a living just like you. Currently in cities such as Austin there are very very few investor deals out there. Virtually all MLS listings are being bid up and gobbled up by owner occupants. Therefore, many agents that were "investor friendly" or chased foreclosures have had to change their focus at the moment in order to make a living

The market is so hot that agents don't have time to do your homework. By the time they finish your analysis and give time to mull it over, the property has sold to someone else for above asking price and they've lost the opportunity to make a living. 

You can't expect agents to behave the same today as they did in 2014.

@Nathan G. is on point. Gotta move fast. Abraham Lincoln says that a person that represents himself in court is a fool. Those are strong words. I know investors that do things on their own though but I wouldn't recommend it.  There are so many nuances of deal making some are legal, some are market driven, some are writing contracts with protectionary clauses,  etc. Knowing what I know now after 20 years I would never try to do a deal without the aid of a solid realtor. Heck even though I know the basics of the laws in other states, I will always use a solid realtor when doing partnership deals in other states.  I am a big believer in doing the things that I do best and let other folks do the things that they do best. That said, I know how to sheetrock, tape and float, texture, paint interior and exterior, roofing, installing subflooring and flooring, electrical (dad is master electrician), basic plumbing etc. That all came from learning the hard way. Now I realize that I can outsource those jobs and do better. The same thing applies across the board to taxes, legal things like evictions etc. Henry Ford got it right back in the day with his production lines that reduced time from 12 hours to 1 hour and 33 minutes allowing for specialization and efficiency.  

@Kimia Dargahi I know in a market like Austin you probably can't look at everything on the MLS but maybe you can get an agent to send you the new listings each day to go over.

My market is considerably smaller. I tend to look through the MLS and the news listings email daily and the reduced price email when it comes out and if I find something outside the box or that I think I can't live without, or that I get something stuck in my brain on then I contact my realtor and have him start doing research on the property for me.

Only occasionally do I have him do a lot of research on a new listing. Once in a while if something looks great I will ask to go see one if it’s priced right, and then if I like it we move quickly. Most agents here try to delay taking offers at least until the second day to try to get a little bit of action because we don’t have as many people as the city.

For instance I’ve got a project in my head as there’s a call for something here, so I’ve been researching land and found a suitable piece. I put it on Google Earth but was absolutely sure it was showing me the wrong location. So I called my realtor and asked where it was and he said he’d go look and I said I can be at your office in 10 minutes and we can do a drive by. And we did, and the Google Earth map was about a quarter mile off on the other side of the street but now my realtor is excited and is researching the project.

Get on someone’s email list, narrow your search, then put those realtors to work!! If they don’t/won’t look for another one!

@Aaron Gordy this completely makes sense to me, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree, it seems like the nature of work for a real estate agents is shifting and we really need to make sure that both agents and buyers are utilizing the myriad of tools, platforms, and information out there at their greatest disposal. buyers and sellers need to be educated enough to do some of the due diligence on their own. I don’t believe that has been fully resolved for yet. 

@Nathan G. this completely makes sense to me, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree, it seems like the nature of work for a real estate agents is shifting and we really need to make sure that both agents and buyers are utilizing the myriad of tools, platforms, and information out there at their greatest disposal. buyers and sellers need to be educated enough to do some of the due diligence on their own. I don’t believe that has been fully resolved for yet.

@Greg H. this completely makes sense to me, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree, it seems like the nature of work for a real estate agents is shifting and we really need to make sure that both agents and buyers are utilizing the myriad of tools, platforms, and information out there at their greatest disposal. buyers and sellers need to be educated enough to do some of the due diligence on their own. I don’t believe that has been fully resolved for yet.

@Kimia Dargahi

Part of the issue is that there are literally more realtors in the USA than properties for sale… that is a fact. Many have gotten into the business with the hope of making the big Dollars, but have yet to have the longevity or patience to develop the skill set. You need to seek out skilled professionals, and not waste their time.

Investors can be LAZY. Just as everyone wants to be a realtor, everyone wants to be an investor, and there’s a lot of BS floating around. I can’t tell you how many randoms a day flood into my inbox on automated email or text campaigns, asking for off market deals from my network. I don’t know you, and I can’t put deals out into the open.. I dedicate my my life developing my network, and people expect me to hand it over, all while looking to pay no buyers commission because they promise me the eventual listing. If that’s the case they better know how to do their homework.

Seriously. You want deals and insight. Do what we do and prospect. Develop RELATIONSHIPS by setting meetings with top realtors in your prospective markets. Get in there, introduce yourself, explain what it is you are looking for, and KEEP IN TOUCH. We may only get so many creampuff deals a year, so play that numbers game and meet top shelf professionals, and have the know you.

If you make that sort of effort, you may find that you’ve developed a team of agents who are willing to go the extra mile and get you what you need. As long as at that point you perform effectively and don’t waste people’s time, you’ll be in good shape.