Multiple Real Estate Agents

12 Replies

I would appreciate some advice as I’m getting started looking for my first investment property. I have a friend who is a real estate agent, and I’ve talked with him about my goal to purchase my first investment property this year. He is going to keep an eye out for possible deals. Tonight another real estate agent I know was touching base with me, and I mentioned to him my goal of purchasing an investment property this year. He also offered to help me find a deal, I let him know my friend is already helping me. I didn’t feel right about working with another real estate agent, since I very recently spoke with my friend about finding a deal. My other thought was, that it would be great to have multiple people looking for deals, but also I don’t want to go about it the wrong way. I’m curious other’s thoughts/advice about working with multiple real estate agents in the same area, is that acceptable or frowned upon? 

Thanks in advance

Things get complicated when you're dealing with friends, as your line of thinking starts incorporating personal feelings along those of your business thinking.  There's nothing wrong with this, its just that you want to protect your friendship along with advancing your business interests, you are trying to be a good friend.

My advice would be to be upfront with your friend (1st real estate agent) and all other real estate agents that you speak with and tell them that you have put the word out with multiple agents about your future purchase.  This absolves you of any issues down the line as you are up front about where you're coming from.  

On a different note,  there is nothing wrong with working with multiple agents when looking to purchase a property unless you have signed exclusive with an agent.  Just remember that different agents have access to different networks and can bring you deals that other real estate agents don't have access to.   

Good luck, hope this helps. 

I work with 5 REA.  I work with 5, because I haven't found any more I want to work with.

They bring you properties.  When they bring me one, and I buy it, then flip it, they get the listing.  Only homeowners need to work with one agent.

How many flooring sources do you work with?

How many lenders do you work with?

How many lumber yards do you work with?

How many tenants do you have?

How many painters do you have?

Why would you restrict yourself to one RE Agent?  Just don't pick them because they have a license.  Pick them because they are RE Investor friendly.

...and never sign an exclusive agreement with a REA as an investor.  Home owners do.

Originally posted by @Kenny Durrant :

@Chad Aziz , @Joe Villeneuve thanks for your replies. I will definitely talk with my friend. I have a follow up question for you. What is the best way you have been able to find a real estate agent that is real estate investor friendly? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks again

 I use these questions to qualify my REA for being investor friendly.  Any "no" answer disqualifies them, and that means they must answer "yes" to ALL OF THEM...No Exceptions (this would include your friend):

1 - Will you make any offer I want to make, without saying, "...it's too low"?  This doesn't mean take advantage of the situation and make ridiculous offers.  The offers must make sense to you, by your analysis, and not just some arbitrary lowball number.

2 - Are you qualified to submit offers on HUD properties?

This is the big one.  This is the one that usually knocks them out.  There is no discussion here.  If they say "yes", they win...if they say "no", move on...don't debate it, they won't change their mind.  Ready?

3 -   Will you submit my offers "before" I see the property?  I will only look at properties after I get an accepted offer, during the 7-10 day inspection period.  

@Kenny Durrant   While I don't make my buyers sign any agreements with me until we are writing an offer and I have to, if I knew my buyer was working with many different agents, I wouldn't focus nearly as much of my energy in finding that person a deal.  I have buyers who are very loyal, and I am sure to keep them at the top of the list when a good deal hits the market.

I do understand if another agent brings them an off market property, and they decide to buy it.  No big deal, but a certain amount of loyalty will also get you a certain amount of my attention.  You may want to talk to a few agents to find out who you click with, and maybe you have a few looking out for you know until you figure out who actually delivers.

Originally posted by @Dawn Brenengen :

@Kenny Durrant   While I don't make my buyers sign any agreements with me until we are writing an offer and I have to, if I knew my buyer was working with many different agents, I wouldn't focus nearly as much of my energy in finding that person a deal.  I have buyers who are very loyal, and I am sure to keep them at the top of the list when a good deal hits the market.

I do understand if another agent brings them an off market property, and they decide to buy it.  No big deal, but a certain amount of loyalty will also get you a certain amount of my attention.  You may want to talk to a few agents to find out who you click with, and maybe you have a few looking out for you know until you figure out who actually delivers.

 I have multiple Agents because I buy in multiple areas.  Not all agents know all areas, any more than all Doctors can do all that is medicine.  

Loyalty works both ways.  I bet most real estate agents that would expect their buyers to buy from them, don't work for only one buyer.  Why should that agent expect their buyers to only work with them?..and working with multiple agents doesn't make a buyer less loyal to any of them.

I don't expect my agents to work exclusively with me, but I wouldn't work with them at all if they told me, "if I knew my buyer was working with many different agents, I wouldn't focus nearly as much of my energy in finding that person a deal".

@Kenny Durrant On a practical level, I think some of this has to do with the definition of "offering to help" and "keeping an eye out".  There are some great real estate agents and some that will just set up automated emails based on your parameters.  If I was asking a realtor to look at comps, schedule showings for me, look into rent estimates, etc. then I'm not going to "cheat" on him/her with someone else.  That said, where I invest is a relatively small market.  If I was looking into deals maybe 45 minutes away from where I invest then I wouldn't hesitate to engage with another realtor.  Not everyone can be an expert in their "patch" and nobody can be an expert in "all patches".  I don't know a thing about Grants Pass, OR, the size of the market, etc. so your mileage may vary.  

And that's not to say that there's anything wrong with engaging with multiple realtors.  Plenty of people do it with success, I just (personally) choose not to for my little area.

@Joe Villeneuve Of course it makes sense to work with different agents in different markets.  However, if the buyer wants to be a priority for the agent (me), I need to know that buyer is not going to use a different agent to actually buy the same home I just showed him.  Special situations come up, and that's totally fine, but the relationship should build up over time that you start working more exclusively with someone. 

For example, my plumber prioritizes my work when I call him because I use him almost exclusively for the homes in my management portfolio.  If he isn't available, and I have to call someone else. I can expect to be put into the que along with everyone else and serviced when it was my turn in the schedule.  I wouldn't expect anyone but him to jump trough hoops for me.  It doesn't mean they won't work with me, but it does mean I won't have the same priority level as I do with my main plumber.

You can end your friendship prematurely if not properly handled. Many investors work with realtors at arm length meaning they do not know each other. You are not obligate to use them.   I also suggest FT realtors who knows about their stuff not someone who has a license not actively practicing.  

"I need to know that buyer is not going to use a different agent to actually buy the same home I just showed him"

Of course.  First come, first commission.

"For example, my plumber prioritizes my work when I call him because I use him almost exclusively for the homes in my management portfolio. If he isn't available, and I have to call someone else."

So the plumber "prioritizes" you, that doesn't mean "exclusively" you...otherwise, he would always be available when you called.

Sorry, but the harder my REA works for me, the more I use them.

Having said all of this, do not misinterpret anything I said to reducing the value to my team of the role of the REA.  The REA is one of, if not THE most important person on your Power Team.  Neither one of us will work less for the other even though I use more than one agent, and they have more than one client. Quite the opposite.  We both work harder for eachother because if it.

The best investors friendly agents are the ones who also invest. Sadly, this is likely less than 1% of the agents/brokers nationwide. Also invest your time and knowledge with your REA friend to help guide him to become an investor as well. It will strengthen your relationship and produce remarkable results for you both.

Don't sign an exclusive buyer's agency form and let each REA know that you are also working with other agents. This will develop into them either bringing their A game or falling to the wayside.

In the end, I suspect you will end up with just one REA and a terrific working relationship with that person.