How to Find an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent – and Why You Need One!
Just because a real estate agent is good at working with owner-occupant buyers doesn’t mean they’ll be very helpful to you. In fact, many of them don’t want to work with investors at all!
Why? Well, the truth is they simply may not be good at working with a real estate investor versus someone who is looking to live in their residence permanently. Sometimes, they may just not want to put in the time and energy for all the extra paperwork. Other times, the agent may not even be knowledgeable about the world of investing!
Luckily there are plenty of ways to find investor-friendly real estate agents.
What Is an “Investor-Friendly” Real Estate Agent?
While there is no specific definition of what an “investor-friendly” agent is, most seasoned investors can identify one within the first two minutes of a call.
One of the traits of these agents is that they enjoy working with investors and have a lot of experience doing so.
Investors want agents to help them find deals, not waste their time driving around town looking at the obvious properties on the MLS and dozens of other aggregate real estate sites.
These agents don’t have any problem going out of their way to find the better deal for a real estate investor, and they have a deep understanding of the investing side of the real estate market. They know that the typical investor isn’t fretting about the property landscaping or the cleanliness. Properties that need work are usually the ones investors want because they can be easily discounted. Most retail buyers don’t want to do a bunch of work before they move in.
These agents have a vast network of contacts and can find deals before they hit the market. The investor-friendly agents will go through hell and high water to get their investor’s cash deal offer on the table before any other! They know all the inner workings of real estate investing (tax implications, ROIs, tips and tricks) and have many of the same core values as the investor they are looking to assist.
These agents know how to get creative with seller offers and won’t shy away from non-traditional deals. They have worked with double closes, assignment deals, and lease options, and they don’t run the other direction when things get hairy with title.
Why Is It So Hard to Find an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent?
It can be a lot easier for a real estate agent to work with a potential homeowner than an investor. For example, a homeowner who is looking for a nice, long-term residence for their family is generally not looking to make any cash flow off the home, and they don’t have any plans to flip a house.
An investor has different priorities. For example, if they are looking for cash flow from a property, then they need to know the rental rate, the mortgage payment amount, and all of the other costs that are involved. If the investor is looking to flip a property, then they want to know how much the house will be after they finish fixing it up as well as the amount of the repair costs.
You shouldn’t trust most real estate agents to know what the best deals are. This is because they probably don’t invest in fix-and-flips or rental properties themselves.
Approaching a Real Estate Agent as an Investor
A lot of investors who are looking for help from a real estate agent are just plain lazy! They will approach a busy agent without doing much research on a property or a particular neighborhood. This type of investor will literally walk up to the agent and not know what they want.
This will make an agent who probably doesn’t want to work with investors anyway even more hesitant to do so.
The good news is that you have the power to potentially change their one-sided line of thinking into something that includes you, the motivated investor. One way to do this is by performing good evaluation and analysis beforehand. In other words, do your damn homework!
You should set the tone for the entire relationship by creating a conversation starter piece. This will give them the immediate feeling that you are not looking to dump a huge load of extra work on them just because they decided to be your agent.
Let them know you have narrowed things down to the type of property you want (condo, house, etc.), have looked in multiple zip codes and counties, found out the general rent prices in a neighborhood, and have done other research such as finding out how safe a neighborhood is.
Another good way to find investor-friendly real estate agents is to look for referrals within your own network. These are folks that you know better, so there’s a good chance they won’t let you down, especially if the referral has used that particular agent themselves.
You should also look online and on social media platforms, such as in Facebook groups. In your region, there are likely investor groups that you can join, which will allow you to search within that group for agents. Hell, the agent wouldn’t be in an investor’s group if they weren’t looking to work with potential investors, right? Certain blog sites like Bigger Pockets are also great for finding investor-friendly real estate agents.
If you are tired of sitting in front of a computer screen, then you may enjoy attending some of the local networking events in your area! For example, if you are looking to invest in the South Florida region, do a quick Google search for “Miami real estate investors association events.”
You’ll see lots of upcoming events pop up from websites like Eventbrite, the Miami-Dade Real Estate Investors Association Official Facebook Page, and the Dade Real Estate Investors Association. Meeting info will include dates and locations for in-person events for card exchanging and networking.
Some of these events will be online webinars, but it’s important not to show up on screen in the t-shirt you slept in or wearing those around-the-house sweatpants that you’ve had on since the beginning of the pandemic! Be sure to dress the part whenever you attend events on the internet as well.
Other Ways to Find an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
Traditional real estate agents don’t like dealing with distressed properties, so when viewing the list of agents in your area, you should look for agents who frequently list things like REOs, short sales, and pre-foreclosures. This way you can tell that they are in fact investor-friendly real estate agents.
Also, agents who list renovated properties regularly may be a good agent for investors. The deal may be that once you renovate the property, then the agent will get the listing, a common deal that is made between agents and investors.
Having an investor-friendly real estate agent will help you find the best deals because they will take the time to listen to the specific details of what you are looking for. In the long-term, they will save you lots of time, energy, and money!