In my research through the Forums of BiggerPockets attempting to understand the needs of potential future clients as a new real estate agent, I have come across countless threads looking for “investor-friendly” real estate agents. Are they really the unicorns of real estate? I don’t think so. Let me share my perspective with you.
Let’s start with the term “investor-friendly.” This implies there are agents out there who are investor-unfriendly, and if the posts on BP are any indication, they seem to be out in great numbers since every newer investor seems to be searching for the friendly ones with no luck.
In life, if we wander around every day not being able to find a friendly person, at what point do we start looking in the mirror?
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Are You Looking for a Friend or a Professional?
It may sound harsh, but agents are not friendly or unfriendly towards you because they need a new pal. By statute, agents owe every client the same fiduciary responsibilities. These responsibilities are confidentiality, loyalty, obedience, disclosure, care, and accounting. These may vary state to state.
That being said, even though all agents are required to perform these duties for all clients, a true professional will exceed in every category. When they are exceeding in every category, they tend to make a good living, and their time becomes scarce.
In combing through these threads, the following are actual statements from investors that give me some insight into what they consider “friendly.”
- “I need someone who answers the phone.”
- “I’m a first time buyer, and I need reliable information on my market.”
- “I want an agent who will be patient and educate me on what to look for so that I will not get ripped off.”
- “I really want an agent who will help me negotiate the best price.”
I could list go on and on, but what I have learned from these comments is investors are not looking for someone who is “friendly”—they are looking for an agent who is a “professional.”
Do you agree?
Why is it Difficult to Find a Professional Who Will Work With Investors Consistently?
Now that we know a professional is what we are looking for, let me share some of the reasons straight from the BP Forums as to why agents shy away from working with some investors.
- “He wanted me to write 15 offers on pristine houses, all at 40% below retail market price.”
- “He constantly called me for weeks asking for information off the MLS, and then purchased with a different agent.”
- “They continually talked about the ‘investor boot camp’ and ignored my professional advice.”
- “I worked with an investor once, and they would call at all hours expecting me to drop all my other clients to work on what they wanted.”
Again, I could make a lengthy list, but a majority of the complaints from the agent side have a common thread. The investors are wasting their precious time and/or not respecting the advice from the agent.
In addition to the above, there were countless investors looking to enlist agents for duties suited to an assistant or receptionist. There may be agents out there who will write endless offers, drop everything to get information off the MLS, and be willing to perform whatever duties are required by an investor with the hope of closing a single transaction, but in my opinion, these will not be the most professional agents or have extensive knowledge of the market. They are individuals trying to stay afloat in their business. Is this the type of person you want working for you?
Become What You Are Looking to Attract
We want to find an investor-friendly agent, but are we agent-friendly investors? Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge our own flaws. Devote some extra time to dig in deep, and really get to know what an agent does during their daily activities. The juggling act that is discovered will most likely be a surprise and will help anyone have a deeper appreciation of the amount of time and effort that is involved to produce great results for clients consistently.
Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agents Do Not Exist
There are only professionals and non-professionals. When two professionals work together, it will naturally be a mutually beneficial relationship, and both parties will work to keep the relationship intact. The time and knowledge of both sides will be respected by the other. If either an agent or an investor finds it difficult to work with the other, there may be a need for one or both to step up the game to a professional level.
[Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article to help out our newer readers.]
If you are an agent or an investor, let me know how you feel, and share your experiences in the comments!
Leave your opinions below!