There are many ways to find deals in the real estate industry. Tax lien auctions, distressed homeowner marketing, internet leads and many other sources each offer a way for any investor to secure new deals. That being said, the most consistent, tried and true method is still networking with local real estate agents and brokers. A good realtor can not only help you find new deals, but also guide you in structuring them and presenting the offer. Regardless of whether or not you have been in the business for 10 years, securing local realtor contacts could help your business take off.
There is a common misconception that the only way to meet realtors is by showing up to their office and handing out a business card. This is certainly one way to meet them, but not the only way. Thanks to Meet Up and local real estate investment association (REIA) clubs, you can meet new realtors in different, more relaxed settings. You can also start an email marketing campaign, place a small ad in a newspaper or focus on realtors you see on Craigslist. Finding realtors to work with should not be the issue. Moving the relationship to the point where they want work with you is the difficult part. There is a certain approach you must take.
Most established realtors have a handful of investors that are on their call list when a new property comes their way. They will place preference to those investors who have closed deals with them in the past and they know are real buyers. When you meet your potential realtor, you should be ready to discuss how you will close your deals and what types of properties and price ranges you are looking for. You may not be their first call, but if you do get called for a new property, you have to be ready to act quickly. This does not mean you have to make an offer, but whatever you want to do should be done with authority and conviction.
Once you have proven that you are serious and can close if the right deal comes along, your realtor will remember this and put you up closer to the top of their call list. Building a solid realtor/investor relationship takes time and usually a few transactions together to really build trust. You should start feeling comfortable that they are notifying you of properties you really want and they will be confident that you will really close on the properties you make offers on. If you can get just one extra deal a year from one realtor, you will be ahead of the game. You do not have to limit yourself to networking with just one realtor either. Just like realtors work with several investors, you should be aligning yourself with several realtors.
The more realtors that you work with and want to work with you, the less chance your business has of fluctuating. If you can find just a handful of realtors that you develop a relationship with it will give you a base of deals every year. From there you can look to expand and grow other areas, but it all comes back to your realtor base. Take the time to network with as many realtors as possible and constantly stick with this whether you are slow or busy. A good realtor base will provide stability to your business and options you may not have thought were possible.