5 Questions for Finding a Deal-Savvy Realtor Who Understands Investors

by | BiggerPockets.com

Most realtors have a “type-A” personality. They are go-getters, and no challenge is too big. That’s exactly what you want, right? Well, maybe.

If you ask a realtor if they can help you invest, they will always say yes. It’s in their DNA. The next thing that will most likely happen is they will tell you all three statistics they know about investing. Here’s something you may not know: few real estate agents invest in real estate. Crazy, right?

If you’re looking for help buying investments, especially if you’re new to the game, it will be much easier if your realtor knows the ins and outs of the investing you want to get into. Don’t work with someone who doesn’t trust their knowledge enough to invest in it. But I’m sure you already know this.

Here’s what you might not know.

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The Unique Advantages of an Investor Realtor

An investor realtor can help you find better deals and succeed because of their connections and how they think. Investors naturally seek out other investors to talk about investing. Like minds always find a way to get together and learn from each other. The more connections they have in the investing community, the more they know and the more likely they are to hear about good investments that haven’t hit the market yet. Good deals go fast; you want someone always on the lookout. So how do you find someone who’s always on the lookout? Find a realtor who invests and here’s why.

There’s a piece of the brain called a reticular activator, which is similar to a Google search engine. Whatever you think about often is what it searches for even when you stop thinking about it. Sounds crazy, right? Have you ever bought a car and all of a sudden you see your car everywhere? Have you ever had a bad morning that turned into bad day because you’re now on the lookout for bad things? That’s the reticular activator at work. If you are an investor and think about investing, you train the reticular activator to look for investments even when you’re thinking about other things. If your realtor invests, then they are always on the lookout. It’s how our brain works. So how do you find an investor realtor?

Related: 5 Simple Questions Every Realtor Should Be Able to Answer

Call a few offices or go online and look for realtors who advertise that they work with investors. Here are a few questions you should ask when interviewing agents.

5 Questions for Finding a Deal-Savvy Realtor Who Understands Investors

1. Do you invest in real estate? What do you invest in and why?

If they’re excelling at a certain type of investment, they can easily teach you to do the same. If they don’t invest in real estate, there are a lot of things they won’t be able to help you with.

2. How many real estate deals do you do in a year?

You want to find someone close to the 10-20 deals a year range. Too low and they might not be that invested in their business; too high and they won’t have time for you. Too many people go with the realtor who does the most deals. The more deals a realtor does, the less time they have for each client. Quantity usually doesn’t mean quality.

3. Do you work with other investors?

Get someone who makes a living in part by working with investors. You want someone who lives and breathes investing. They can help you more.

4. What kind of training do you do to better yourself?

Do they just work, or do they take classes and read about real estate constantly? Do they have certifications? Education is priceless. Find someone who invests in themselves.

5. How do you help investors?

See what they say. You want someone with a system already in place.

  • Do they go to weekly office meetings looking for properties that haven’t hit the market that you might be interested in?
  • Do they have a trusted network of contractors that can help estimate repairs and give quotes?
  • Do they send out mailers to owners of properties that meet your criteria if there isn’t anything on the market?
  • Do they pay for software that will help you keep up on market trends and make better decisions?
  • Do they pull all comparable sales in the area and even sales history of the selling agent to see what you should expect when bidding?

Any realtor will be able to help you find and buy houses. If you can find someone who is passionate, well connected and invests in themselves, you will have no problem succeeding. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you get what you give.

A buyer gets to pick their realtor, and a realtor gets to decide if they want to work with a buyer. A good investor realtor won’t work with just anyone. They are picky because it takes more time and money to work with investors.

Related: How to Find an Investor Friendly Realtor

Just as these questions can help you find a good realtor, they can also help you be a better investor. Do you have the network of people set up to succeed? A realtor is just a piece in this network. Do you have a system for investing? How are you educating yourself to be better? Why invest in real estate, and what do you invest in? What can you do to succeed even in a tough market?

If you want the best realtor, you have to also be the best client.

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” — Jim Rohn

Do you work with a realtor who invests in real estate? What tips would you give for finding a realtor with an eye for the best deals?

Leave a comment below, and let’s talk!

About Author

Brett Lee

Brett Lee is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Portland Oregon where he helps people achieve a better future so they can do the things that truly make them happy. Brett is also a buy-and-hold investor, property manager and investment advisor.


  1. Brian Gibbons

    I love this article and it’s been my experience that most realtors do not buy and rent out and hold properties

    I also look for realtors that are real world and they talk about problems and solutions to problems, not just people that talk about good things (smiles and rainbows people)

    I like Keller Williams and people that love Keller Williams books especially millionaire real estate agent, millionaire real estate investor, and shift

    Lastly I like real estate agents that don’t mind no equity deals because I do a lot of seller financing and all lease-option the property or bite on subject to or buy it on a wraparound mortgage, and very few agents will even consider those solutions

  2. Thanks Brett,
    Brian is dead on right about Keller Williams. The thing I found early on is that investor realtors already have a group of investors close up to them that they are used to screening the field for. They will show you properties and tell you of other investors that will squeeze the trigger on short notice.
    My thought is only this if you look and don’t respond the good agent will show you a few properties but may shift you over to an available agent if the offer is to hard to get. I think for me , my practice will be to make an offer no matter how absurd on anything the realtor shows me that I have requested like kind listings. I’m really good at getting real estate agents to show me properties that I request but I do tend to hesitate on the the shot.

  3. Gary Dobbs

    These are great questions Brett. I like reading about how smart people get turned on by real estate and turned away from their old smart job that pays less. Who wants to be smart and shop at PayLess?

    My favorite question of yours is “Do they pull all comparable sales in the area and even sales history of the selling agent to see what you should expect when bidding?”

    I like the question and haven’t used that before. Getting to know a Realtor is like seeing too many smiles and rainbows. Lol @BrianGibbons That’s a great description.

  4. Michael Sykora

    Great post. I’m new to real estate investing and am in the process of getting a team together. I was just curious, if the real estate agent is an investor, then why wouldn’t they move on the best deals rather than providing them to their clients? My numbers might be wrong but, assuming a specific niche and market conditions, there might be only 10-20 great deals in a specific region the agent works in. Is there a reason why they would pass these deals onto their clients rather than pick them up themselves?
    Thanks again for the great article and thanks in advance for any responses!

    • Brett Lee

      You can only buy so many house at a time. Maybe one a year if you’re making good money. All of the rest go to their clients so they can make more money to buy the best properties. There are always way more good deals than there are ones you can afford.

    • Great information I’m still learning
      I had an experience with a REA /
      Investor and what I learned is its
      Good to have your act together..
      Because if they sense you don’t
      You have the one who will help
      You, And the one who think
      Why should I waste my time
      When I know 5 investors that
      I’ve been dealing with that I
      Give my pocket listing to..
      Now neither are wrong but
      The good that came from it
      Is I learned and I will keep
      Learning Thank You for your
      Advice!!! I apologize for the
      Long story!!!!!

  5. Thanks for the information. Like you said, finding a deal is one of the most exciting things in the world. That’s especially true when looking for your first home. My husband and I just began our search, but it seems like we can’t find anything within our budget. We’d like to hire a real estate agent that is deal-savvy, just like you suggested. We’ll make sure we find one that knows what to look for!

  6. I think it is shocking that so many realtors would be confident enough to help you find investment real estate, but very few actually invest in real estate themselves. I like your suggestion to find a realtor who actually invests in real estate. I think, as you said, aside from the fact that it would increase my confidence level in their investment real estate capabilities, it would also help to have someone you can talk to and bounce ideas off of about investing.

  7. Thanks for the information. I am pretty unfamiliar with the ins and outs of real estate, so it makes sense to find someone who is much more familiar to help me understand it. It sounds like finding an investor realtor could definitely be helpful in figuring out what kind of investments to pursue. How is a real estate agent different?

  8. I enjoyed how you explain how we condition our minds to always be on the lookout. I had never heard of the reticular activator before. Since I talk about investing all the time, that\’s probably why I see great real estate investment deals everywhere I go.

  9. I actually didn’t know about a lot of this. I thought that real estate agents knew a lot about investing in this. It seems like they would be able to provide some key information that isn’t privvy to the general public. Thanks for sharing this information.

  10. I thought all of the questions you suggested asking the real estate agent before hiring them were very insightful. Specifically, you suggest to ask them what kinds of training they do to better themselves, which I thought was a really important question to ask. Just as you say, you want to find someone who invests in themselves because if they do, they will be dedicated and invested to their work. Additionally, though, I think people who self-evaluate and always look to better themselves are the most qualified and successful because they have used trial and error to find what strategies work, and, as a result, are very educated and equipped to be successful. Thank you for sharing!

  11. I\’m looking to invest in real estate but need to find a realtor to help me out. Thanks for the advice and questions to ask a good realtor. I\’ll have to make sure that the realtor that I pick has some experience.

  12. I agree that finding a realtor that has been in business for 10-20 years to represent you. I would imagine that finding someone who has been in business for a long time would be the perfect person to represent you. My husband and I want to sell our home so we’ll have to find someone who has been in business for a long time to help.

  13. I like your tip about finding an agent that invests in themselves and their services by getting as much education and training as possible. When you do this, you will be looking for the agent that is constantly growing and becoming better. It’s always nice to find someone who has a lot of experience, but if you can find an agent that has put a lot into growing their skills, as well, you will be much better off. My parents are looking for a new house, right now, so they’ll have to get a good agent that understands what they want in their new home and for the price they want.

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  15. Albert Mainja

    Great article, I am in the process of starting my Real Estate investing career in my local area, as a newbie, i am a sponge just learning and implementing strategies to be successful. This is an extremely helpful article and I look forward to asking my potential realtor these question so that I have a team built for success.

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