Let's just put on the side for now other buying strategies. Right or wrong, at this point, the MLS is my strategy.
I have one deal under my belt. Bought, Renovated, and am now holding. This buy and subsequent renting was done with this Realtor. This Realtor sends me auto-update listings which is one of the reasons I'd like to use only this person.
Now I am getting ready to buy again and I just get the sense that there are a lot of games and pocket listings that go on in this business. There seem to be too many "no's" early in the process from the listing agent. I'd really like to be loyal to my Realtor based on the belief that she'll be able to "get me into anything that is out there" in the Realtor world. I am becoming skeptical of this and am wondering if I should also build direct relationships with the few core Realtors in the area who seem to be getting the listings.
Very very very very few agents are going to be able to bring you pocket listings, and those that can will likely give them to the buyers they've worked with in the past before they give it to someone new, so that will make it even tougher.
So, don't shop for pocket listings...if they come along great, but that shouldn't be a goal, in my opinion.
That said, working with only one agent -- especially when that agent is just sending you auto updates -- isn't smart. You should be willing to work with as many agents as want to try to help you find deals. Unless/until one of them proves they can bring you all the deals you can handle, entertain as many agents as want to try to help you.
@Larry K. personally don't think there is a right answer to this. Getting auto listings is a lazy way to keep a buyer happy IMO. Would much prefer a call when something worthwhile comes up and is worth pursuing.
There are those that buy a lot and let agents know they will buy from anyone and that they can buy now if they have something good.
You can be loyal if you choose and give her listings but you can work with listing agents on your purchases.
If she is really working hard she will find you what you need but she also needs to work the kind of properties you specialize in. If she doesn't she won't be much help as a buyers agent.
To me it's about building your network. Get relationships with as many people in the industry as you can. Sure you will have your "go to" realtor, but don't put all your eggs in one basket as the saying goes. The key is be honest with everyone, don't promise them all you are going to be exclusive to them. Hurts your reputation.
I agree that you are really limiting your options by only working with one realtor. Sure, you might be working on building a relationship, which is very important, but you should expand your options by working with others as well. Once agents realize you are a legit buyer, they will be working hard to get you listings that fit your criteria, instead of letting a computer do the work.
I agree with James. Why limit your options because if you can multitask in business transactions, you should be able to multitask in building a relationship with more than one realtor.
@Larry K. You stated that you think MLS is the way to go. MLS is one place where listings are, and for that, you need an agent.
I disagree with everyone about working with multiple agents. I think you should find an agent that agressively works real estate, knows the market, and will keep in touch with you on a consistent basis, and when a listing comes on that fits your criteria, will get in touch with you immediately. Find someone that you feel comfortable with. You don't have to sign an exclusive agreement with them to represent you, but you should stick with one agent. If that agent knows you're not working with other agents, they will put more effort into working for you. If you are working with several agents, none of them will work for you.
An agent that only sends you automated listing updates, etc., isn't what I'd consider "working" for you.
Also, when selecting an agent, be sure to lay out what it is you want in the way of property, and what you expect in the way of service, then ask if that works for them. Be realistic in your expectations, they're agents, not miracle workers.
Remember, everyone on the planet is looking for exactly what you are looking for, and every agent is working with clients wanting the same thing.
Ahhhh man, I hate to be the one with a different spin, but here goes. You will think this is because I am a Realtor. Your right, it is. =)
This is how I conduct my business. I don't work with Buyers that are working with other Realtors. No way. Sorry. I don't get paid by the hour, I get paid when I am successful. I am successful when I CLOSE sales.
If you want an Agents FULL attention, you have to be a loyal client. If I am always wondering if my Client will use another Realtor, he/she will never be my first call, will never get me to cancel dinner with my family to show that new listing, will never get me to search outside the MLS, will never get me to spend any real time on you, the risk is too high.
For my loyal Clients........I will cancel dinner, Christmas, my birthday, or whatever, to get them what they need. No problem.
Here is the question. Is it better to have the FULL attention of one GREAT agent, or partial attention of 5 agents? If your agent is not GREAT, find one who is GREAT and be loyal.
For what it's worth, I lean don't think it's a big deal to work with only one realtor if (big "if") they are good and actually working on your behalf. I've gotten most of my MLS deals through only one realtor but she scours the MLS, comps the houses, and sends me only the ones she think are worth looking at. The value she provides is significant and for that reason I wouldn't work with another buyer's agent. She's quite exceptional and I wouldn't limit myself if she wasn't as good as she is.
I should also state that she has been very good in terms of reliability, responsiveness, and I think she works hard regarding the setting up of appointments, dealing with other realtors, attorney, etc. She has also helped out well after the closing and renting out by being willing to meet with appraiser for refi and notarizing some documents for my tenant. So I'd say the service has been very good.
She has not yet contacted me out of the blue to inform of some property she just heard of that she thought would be great for me. Like many of you are saying, I'd like to see more of that.
How about letting her know you'd like to see more of that rather than the bigger pockets community? You'll probably be better off when you state what you expect and give clear instructions rather than leave it open ended.
@Kim Knox That's what I said :)
But you did add some good points. It sounds like you're a dedicated agent.
Ask yourself if your agent is only working with one investor. If the answer is yes, i'd question her experience.
With the answer more than likely being no i'd wager that those investors she is also sending the same information to also have other realtors too. They have an advantage over you. Expect to yield over the long term less return than them.
Loyalty to a salesperson would seem like laziness to me. If you have other things in your life that require lots of time, it might make sense to allow this to occur.
As an agent depending on my mood will i decide to kick a client to the curb when I feel they are "cheating on me". With that said, i've done some of my best work when I was competing for a client.
In some situations, it's highly beneficial to work with the listing agent, eg. short sale, especially on rental worthy investments which are really hot in SoCal right now. More than often, a reasonably priced property gets multiple offers, the listing agent has a lot of leeway as whose offer to send to the Bank, and when to stop accepting offers.
As for regular sales or REOs, I think it's better to work with just one agent who worked the hardest for you in the past. With the personal relationship you've developed, she/he often would give you a more honest advice.
I agree with those who say building a relationship with a Realtor in a community you want to invest in is a good strategy. Where you may want to look at using other Realtors is if you want to invest in other cities. If that is the case, it is prudent to use a Realtor from that area who can advise you about the best areas and ultimately the best ROI.
As a Realtor in my local market, I still utilize different agents (even agents outside of my company) to help for our flip business. Let's face it, everyone knows someone and even if you work 24/7 , you can't beat 10 agents working 8 hours helping you find. I would take it a step further and look for local bird dogs, local probate attorneys, BK attorneys, and etc etc etc.
That's my 2 cents even as a REALTOR :)
I'd fire my realtor if I did not think my wife would divorce me first. Of course she is my retail realtor, but I prefer deals that do not include her, as there is no emotion with her involved.
Life is too short!
I only hear people complain when they work with a single realtor. I think lots of time the realtor gets to comfortable and takes the client's loyalty for granted. Recently spoke with someone who was actually finding the deals and doing the research, but still went through a realtor to submit the offer. Every deal the realtor was paid, sometimes he didn't even go see the house. I think that is B.S.
There are a lot of bad Realtors and there are great ones, too. If your Realtor seems like a great one you should keep him/her but maybe he/she isn't since you are asking the question.
I'm a Realtor like Kim; I really dedicate myself to clients and I would not work with a client who was working with other agents. As a courtesy, if you do decide to work with other agents, I would let your current agent know and he/she can step up the game or cut you loose.
By the way, I only work with one agent when I'm looking to buy in another area. The one time I went to a listing agent to get leverage to get my offer accepted, she was a total flake and besides several other investors went to her with the same idea so I really had very little advantage.
Veddy intelesting.... <-- said in my Sigmund Freud accent
To quote Maxwell Smart, "missed it by that much!"
I will take both sides of this coin, I know, that seems impossible, but it is not.
IF, and that is capital IF, you can find an agent like Kim Knox (judging only from her post), work a dedicated relationship with her on the MLS deals. If she can also find and deliver off market deals, that's great too. On the other side of the coin, you want to form relationships with REO brokers ( at least in years past, but low inventory is making this a dead game) who can bring you deals BEFORE they go on the MLS as well as short sale specialists who can bring you SS deals BEFORE they hit the MLS. These deals that come from these agents are not on the MLS and thus, not in competition with your one main agent scouting the MLS for you. They are deals that your main agent just can't bring to you until after they hit the MLS.
Lastly, you can also direct market to motivated sellers and that can be done on your own or in concert with other agents. Again, deals that are not on the MLS.
You may call a number of agents asking them to show their short sale listings. You may submit your bids. It is hard for me to believe that any of them will reject your bid because you are also working with other listing agents. When you call, they typically ask if you want it for yourself or you are an agent. They don't ask if you have worked before with another agent.
I am not saying that you shouldn't just work with one agent in a city. If the agent is competent and if he has confidence on you, you may rely on him for long time.
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