It is 100 percent possible to work with an investor-friendly real estate agent who will boost your business bottom line – so long as they are an expert in their local market and can calculate basic investor equations.
If you want help finding deals on the MLS and marketing investment properties in markets that you are unfamiliar with, working with an agent can be a great way to give your business an extra edge. Often investors spend so much time focusing on marketing their finished properties or creating lead generation strategies that they are forced to spend less time out in the market networking and closing deals. Therefore, working this a real estate agent is a sure-fire way to save you time and money (an investor’s most important assets, of course).
So, where can you find these investor-friendly agents? The best way is through a referral. So next time you’re attending a networking event or just grabbing coffee with a fellow investor, ask if they’ve worked with an agent in the past and if they are willing to give you the agent’s contact information.
While it is unnecessary to work with a realtor as an investor, there are several undeniable benefits. So without further adieu, use these tips to find an agent who is right for you and your business.
How To Find An Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
It takes time to build the right team for a real estate business, and finding an investor-friendly agent is no different. Before you even start searching for the perfect Realtor, understand that the process may involve a little trial and error. However, by putting time and thought into building a relationship with a great real estate agent, you could find yourself at the hands of some excellent deals.
The best place to start when searching for an investor-friendly agent is by asking your network. Meet with other investors in your area, or ask your mentor for recommendations. More often than not, they can point you in the direction of some potential options. You can also try searching online for agents who specifically advertise working with certain types of real estate, such as commercial or multifamily properties. In some cases, you may even find agents who have not yet worked with a real estate investor but who are willing to learn the process. Keep these options open, as they may come in handy.
Once you have a few potential agents, reach out and get a feel for what working with them could be like. It can help write down the types of experience you are looking for before you meet with a prospective agent. This way, you have a better understanding of what to look out for as you talk. Additionally, remember to ask about their communication preferences, work schedule, and the markets they are most comfortable working with. While it may take more than one sit-down to find the right agent, finding the right person to add to your network could be invaluable in the long run.
To confirm whether or not you have found an investor-friendly agent, try asking yourself a series of questions:
How punctual has the agent proven to be in the brief time you have gotten to know them?
Does the agent respond to calls with urgency and show up on time?
Has the agent demonstrated that they could calculate and understand market values?
Can the agent drop what they are doing to meet at a home or show a property?
Do they know how to write a contract and know the answers to simple real estate questions?
Is the individual a full-time agent?
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions about a candidate, there’s a good chance you have found an investor-friendly agent. To be clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good agent; only that they meet the basic needs of being investor-friendly. Investors will need to vet their agents more thoroughly than simply asking the above questions, but they are a good place to start. When all is said and done, an investor-friendly agent will not only know the local marketplace inside and out, but they will know how to facilitate all logistics and exercise punctuality.
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4 Signs You Are Working With An Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
There are a few skills and qualities that make real estate agents easier for investors to work with, and they can range from experience to skill level. Review the following “must-haves” so you can be confident you have an agent that will help you improve your business’ bottom line.
A strong understanding of the market
An ability to analyze deals
Experience with investors
Similar core values
1. They Know The Market
If you’ve used a real estate agent before to either help you find an investment property you plan to rehab or market an investment property you plan to sell, you know how important it is for that agent to have an expert understanding of the local market. There are several reasons why this is such a necessity:
The agent will be able to pull more accurate “comps”
The agent will have a pulse on what is trending in the marketplace
The agent will have a better grasp on which properties will meet your needs
If you invest in a city outside of where you live, it is even more imperative to find an agent who has had experience in the area. Even more, your goal should be to find an agent who specialized in a “micro market” (meaning a specific neighborhood, area, county, or town within a larger market). Why? Because especially in bigger markets, there will be certain areas where flipping a property will be either more beneficial or disadvantageous for whatever reason. Let’s say you’re an investor who heard that Baltimore, Massachusetts was a primed market for rehab investors. That’s great. However, the right agent will be able to point you to the neighborhood, perhaps the specific street name, that is an ideal candidate for investing. Remember, if you are new to a certain market, finding those key neighborhoods will be harder than you think without help from an agent.
2. They Know The Numbers
It’s important to remember that while both investors and agents fall under the industry of real estate, the “lingo” between the two will be varied. When trying to find an agent to meet your needs, it will help find a person who is already familiar with the verbiage involved in closing a rehab, wholesale, or rental deal. The last thing you want to do is waste your time explaining to your agent what a “cap rate” or “ARV” is and how to calculate those numbers. While these terms are not necessary to know for agents who solely sell residential properties, the agent an investor hires should be at least familiar with the terminology.
Most basically, the agent you work with should have the ability to calculate your return. After all, Receiving a high return on your investment is the reason you invest in the first place. If you’re investing in a rental property, can your agent calculate your cash flow? If you’re rehabbing a property, can your agent help estimate your cost of repairs and find your ARV? These items may seem obvious to an investor, but they can be less so for a regular realtor. If your agent is unfamiliar with these calculations to start, that’s okay – so long as you are willing to teach and they are willing to learn.
3. They Have Experience Working With Investors
This is not always possible, but if your agent has experience working with an investor in the past (or has invested in real estate personally), this can be hugely helpful. This way, you know they have gone through the process already and will be more capable of handling the common issues that arise. If your agent has had experience working with an investor in the past, he or she should have a good reputation amongst investors (and contractors, and legal representatives, and private lenders, etc.) in the market to begin with – which can be helpful for you, if you’re new to the market.
Finally, an agent with experience is typically more comfortable making offers. Agents who are used to buying and selling in the residential world usually don’t have to make multiple offers at a time. Investors know that this is a pipe dream. As an investor, you are always trying to find the best possible deal, which means making low-ball offers all day, every day. It would help if you found an agent who is comfortable with this process so you don’t lose them along the way.
4. They Have Core Values
Last, but very far from least, the agent you work with should have their own set of core values. This can vary from agent to agent, but being ethical and having integrity should be high on their list of priorities. It is important to have an honest and upfront conversation with your agent before working together. This conversation is where your agent can tell you what he or she is and isn’t comfortable with. Your agent may tell you he is comfortable with investor lingo because he’s invested in a property before; however, he is not comfortable making low-ball offers consistently. You’ll have to decide where your priorities are so you can find an agent who will ultimately boost your business bottom line. Many buyers like agents who stretch the rules, so as long as you both lay everything out on the table to start, you should work together seamlessly.
Working with an investor-friendly real estate agent can be a great way to find more deals and sell more properties. The right agent should be familiar with different exit strategies and even standard investing terms. This know-how will be invaluable as you begin working together. It may take some time to find the right real estate agent for investors, but your business could greatly benefit if you can.
Have you ever worked with an investor-friendly real estate agent? If yes, share how you found them in the comments below.
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