Should I Bird Dog or Wholesale?

12 Replies

I need to raise 5000 dollars by May and will continue delivering pizzas until I get success but I am sick of it. I want to get at least a 5000 and some experience in what really interests me: Is this even realistic? I understand ARV and will ask a flipper at my real estate meet up next Thursday(who offered me 1000 per deal closed as a bird dog) what info they look for. Is there a way to do this most effectively? I'm literally, no exaggeration, willing to drive for dollars 6 hours a day on the weekend and every off day if I have to; I'm sick of smelling like onions. I would be so jacked to get experience with real estate and reach my goal.

1) Which role would you recommend if any at all?

2) How long to get a deal closed if I do this (typical range of time)? I can learn things fast; especially skills involving numbers and I am willing to work at this for 3 hours on days that I DO work both jobs I have Mon-Fri and 6 hours on weekends as stated previously. 

3) Best Marketing Strategy(s)

This is much appreciated if you can help out.

I'm not sure...but welcome to real estate!  I spoke with a police officer the other week whom I suggested could get involved with real estate via bird dogging, as he is always "on the beat"/streets. 

Based on what I've heard and read, your answers may be based on your area.  Some areas may already be saturated with wholesalers and bandit signs...and if they have taken the passive approach via mailers and signs, then you could certainly shake things up by knocking on doors.  

Maybe a quick self assessment may be useful

1)  Do you know other investors/wholesalers that you trust to help you 

2)  Do you know what to look for in bird dogging 

3)   Do you have capital to assist with whole sale deals

4)  Do you have access to funds which may be needed for deals

5)  Are you okay with taking financial risks?  How much

6)  What is your why... for the $5000?  Everybody wants money...the why is going to get you there?

I believe anybody as motivated as you sound, can do either.  I encourage you to sit down the forums for starters...for a week, and read and learn.  Buy a book or two, read and learn.  Grab an investor who has shaken the fear off....AND GET TO IT!!


I also want to learn how to bird dog more efficiently. I have some investors who want to work with me can anybody help me to learn more about bird dogging? Thanks!

@Michael Kantar

I just seen a blog post yesterday that was a great aid but I cannot find it anymore! I apologize to whoevers work this because I can't site you. This was the post that was so good I saved it to my google docs.

The purpose of this posting is to give you Birddogs (Property Locator sounds better) a little help in getting started in the birddog world. I just want to outline your responsibilities as a birddog and how to avoid pitfalls, which may discourage your efforts.

STEP 1. Find an Investor to Birddog for.

-You can find investors anywhere. Bigger Pockets is a great start. Look at their profiles and find out if they are looking for deals. Build rapport and see if that investor gives out referral/finder fees for properties that you locate for them

- You can always advertise your services in the the newspaper classified ads section.

- Use websites like,,, etc. One thing you will learn in the Real Estate world is that MARKETING is what drives the biz. No matter if your a birddog, or an investor.

STEP 2. Identify your Investor's Criteria

- Ask them what areas they need properties in. If they say Nationwide, then you hit the jackpot because you can look anywhere.

- Ask them what ARV (After Repair Value) or LTV (Loan to Value) they purchase at minus the repair costs.

Here's an example: Let's say a property is worth $100,000 and needs $0.00 in Repairs. The investor tells you that they purchase at 70% ARV - rehab costs.

How much should the seller's asking price be? Your answer $70,000

[$100,000 (Home Value) X 70% ARV - 0.00 repairs= $70,000.

Therefore your investor will most likely not purchase this home for more than $70,000. If the seller is asking for more, Ask them if they'll consider less. If they say No, Move onto the next one. If they say Yes, contact your investor ASAP. If they say maybe, Contact your Investor ASAP. Unless you are really skilled at negotiating, let the seller know that you'll get in touch with your investor and he/she will be handling the negotiating offer, once you submit the deal to them.


-This is a good way to do business, but if you can't get it in writing, then so be it. You can still do business with the Investor. Don't let that hold you back. BUT with that said, when you start wholesaling or investing yourself, everything you do should be in writing. IT BETTER BE!! LOL

Step 4. Give your Investor as much INFO upfront as possible.

- The less info you provide, the slower the deal will probably go, because You'll be busy playing the messenger. Everytime Your Investor asks you a question, you have to run back to the seller, then you take the seller's answer and run back to the Investor to give them that. This can go on for days, before your Investor even contacts the Seller. DON'T WASTE TIME. Here's what they will most likely be looking for and forgive me if I miss anything, but you can always ask Your INVESTOR ANYWAY:

1. Asking Price

2. Property Value

3. Repair Costs

4. Repair details

5. Mortgage Balance (If applicable)

6. Mortgage Payments (If applicable)

7. Reason Why the seller is Selling!

8. Comparables


10. Full Address and contact INFO of Owner

Now, I listed 10 things that are necessary for Investors to make decisions. There are much more thing's they'll need, but what I listed above should keep the questions to a minimum. If anything the 1st 6 steps to include the Photos is definitely a MUST Give. Investors want the NUMBERS and PICTURES. Just Numbers will do for some of them. That is what will make them look at your deal.

Step 5. Always keep the Contact Info of the seller and the Investor.

-If you do not hear from your investor. Follow up with them. If they can't be reached, follow up with the seller. Sometimes Investors get so busy that they may forget to update you on the status.

-Another thing is, if the Investor tries to go around you and cut you out the deal, then you can just follow up with the seller to find out what the status is. This is a rare situation, but it can happen this day and age. In this situation, you can let the Investor know that because he closed on the deal, he needs to pay you what was agreed to. If he ignores you, then simply move on. It would probably be less cost effective for you in the long run if you avoid courts, etc. NEVER DEAL WTH THAT INVESTOR AGAIN!! Yes, it is true that you lost out on a deal and the investor made money because of you, BUT with that said, they won't be making any more money off of you.

Ok Enough of the Negative side to this. Let's move on to the next step.

Step 6: When your Investor has the deal under contract, help him MARKET it. Many birddogs just rely on the Investor to market the deal and they just sit around waiting to get paid.

-Check this out, if you find a buyer for the property then you have basically coordinated the entire thing and you should get paid as soon as they close. I say should, because you know what we discussed in STEP 5.

- Another reason you want to find a buyer, is because some investors offer Double Bonuses!! They'll pay you for finding the the Property and finding the Buyer!!! Ask your Investor about that....They may do it, or they may not. Don't let it discourage you though.

- Not only can finding a buyer for your Investor make you money, but if you just happen to find another Investor who's interested in the deal, then you just found another Investor that you can BIRDDOG for.

- Now Occasionally you'll get people who will respond to your ad about your Investor's property and they want to see the property, or they just want to inquire about it. Then they decide it's not for them. So what do you do.....Forget about them, right? WRONG!!!!!! You keep their contact information and start building a Buyer's LIST. These are for those future properties that you'll be finding, that just may spark their interest!

Grow your list by MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING. Eventually when you move up to the investor stage, you'll have a Buyer's LIST of your own!! Make Sense???


-Absolutely, this is the best part right? When your Investor Closes on the deal, you get PAID anywhere between $500 -$1000 per deal. If you find 5 deals a month that your Investor closes on, you could be making an extra $5000 a month that your investor. Sometimes you can even make more. It all depends on your investor. These are just average figures

-NOTE: You may have to wait 2-6 weeks to get paid. It all depends on the buyer. If they are a cash buyer, you should get paid within 2 weeks. If it's a buyer that is looking to close on a conventional loan or something, then you will be waiting a lot longer. But whether it is a cash buyer or a conventional buyer, you NEED TO FIND A BUYER PERIOD!! Income is Income no matter how you look at it. Patience is a Virtue!

- Set up a PayPal account, if you'd like. You'll get paid Instantly when Your Investor closes. Instead of having to wait for the mail. But hey, Income is income, right?

Well, that's all I can think of. I'm tired and I need to get to bed. I hope this will help you get started. Don't just be a BIRDDOG Forever. Start wholesaling yourself...Move up Quickly! You can Do it.

You'll find that the biggest struggle that everone has when getting started in Real Estate is themselves!!

Let me know if I missed anything.

Disclaimer: This is based on my personal opinion/experience. Proceed at your own risk!

Updated over 7 years ago

Please do your own due diligence regarding birddogging. Seek legal counsel from somoene who practices real estate law to ensure you are operating in accordance with your states law. This is necessary for your own protection.

End Of Post

After you read this check out this post on how not to wholesale.

Then this post on how to find a buyers list (which I think you should do first prior to looking for deals)

I hope you find these posts as valuable as I find them to be.

Thanks @Cody Evans , what are some ways that you find these deals, specifically off market. And when you do find the how do you find the owners for vacant homes, or absentee owners?

Please help me because I'm struggling at this part, thanks!

@Michael Kantar

I am a beginner as well so take it with a grain of salt.

However, I have been told and have a strong urge from my intuition to drive for dollars (try not to invest money when you are beginning because you may just give up and never touch real estate again). Don't spend money; if you are serious you will be willing to do the sweat equity to start off. I would get the address of the house and check with the public records office(I believe that is the correct office) or if you struggle finding what city department then try and talk to a real estate agent or ask another investor on BP or at a meeting what you should do. I think I would leave a note pinned effectively on the door(it'll be there for a few days since it's vacant right?) with your NON-primary phone number saying you would like to buy this property on the door in case the owner, city, an agent whoever checks these distressed properties out comes by. You just may be first on their list to contact as a buyer is my prediction.

Lots of great info....I am a new NEWBIE and right now I'm trying to educate myself....But isn't this basically Wholesaling...if you are bringing the seller and the investor together would it not be more profitable to do a wholesaling deal, put the property under contract and assign it to the investor?

Originally posted by @Valerie Copeland :

Lots of great info....I am a new NEWBIE and right now I'm trying to educate myself....But isn't this basically Wholesaling...if you are bringing the seller and the investor together would it not be more profitable to do a wholesaling deal, put the property under contract and assign it to the investor?

I completely agree. After reading this forum post I was wondering the same thing. You are out there finding the deals, marketing, finding buyers, and then marketing the deals you find. All that is left is actually putting the purchase and sale agreement in place, yourself and then assigning it. Which is debatably the easiest part of the process. Study repair costs in your area, and learn what your buyers are looking for. The only thing stopping you from doing it is fear. That fear should be guiding you, pulling you into starting on your own.

I will answer any question you have if I am able to.

I'd say do some bird dogging until you feel comfortable enough to do your own wholesale

Any suggestions on how to effectively drive for dollars? would it be smart to do 2-3 small towns or cities a day be worth it or would it be better to do school districts?

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