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Finding An Investor Friendly Buyer’s Property Agent
One of the key figures that can greatly determine your success as a real estate investor is the property agent you hire.
While a lot of people prefer to switch and change agents in every deal they do, do recognize that the more you work with a specific agent, the deeper the relationship you build. And the more priority you get when these agents have first hand news and knowledge that can present life-changing investment opportunities.
Most agents in any state will do everything from serving buyers, to listing for sellers, to selling on the sales floor of new development launches, etc.
Yet when you have been in the real estate business long enough, you will realize there are generally 3 types of real estate agents.
- Expert buyer agent
- Listing specialist
- Jack of all trades
While almost all agents you meet will declare themselves as experts in everything real estate, you should intuitively know that that is simply impossible.
In a specialist trade such as real estate, you’d want to hire an agent that solely focus on buying activities so as to serve your needs better. This is made possible by their in-depth knowledge in buying activities and experience in understanding exactly what you want.
They spend 100% of their time serving buyers. What else can you expect other than service of the highest quality to buyers?
Moreover, because they operate primarily on one side of the coin, they usually have no qualms over screwing selling agents ruthlessly in order to get the best deals for their customers.
Specifically, a great buyer’s agent should:
- Provide deep insight and analysis on niche and local markets
- Provide historical, recent, and current transaction sales data
- Have almost unlimited access to listing services like the MLS
- Negotiate deals expertly, crafting attractive offers
- Manage the process of due diligence and closing
The challenge in finding an investor-friendly agent arise when most specialists are more accustomed to serving regular home buyers instead of hardcore investors. This is understandable as the volume of that buyer’s market strongly outstrips the number of investors doing regular deals.
Because of this, highly competent buyer’s agents can sometimes fail to foster great relationships with investors due to a lack of understanding on an investor’s goals and objectives.
For example, an average homeowner will be looking for a home that meets several emotional aspects of life. While an investor will be focused on the bottom line with little (if any) emotional needs.
So although you might want to find an agent who is a specialist at serving buyers, it would be tough to find buyer’s agent who also specialize on serving investors.
Sourcing with referral
The best way to find great agents is through referral. This would help you weed out incompetent agents with questionable ethics from the really good ones.
If existing investors are already using them, they must be doing something right.
The main problem you might face is when investors refuse to share their best contacts with you. This could be due to them viewing you as a competing investor, or that they fear referring more clients to their usual agents could make them busier than normal.
Thus, affecting the agents’ performance while working on their deals.
Moreover, after spending so much time and resources in finally landing a reliable agent, why give you the shortcut to finding competent people to work with.
This makes networking with other investors to build rapport and relationships more crucial than ever.
The other concern you might have to think over is whether such high-caliber agent would even accept you as a new client.
As you might expect, such professionals attract a lot of wealthy individuals and customers. And this inevitably leads to a justification of higher fees and commissions.
Will a great buyer’s agent be even willing to step out of his/her comfort zone and entertain a new client who could turn out to be a disaster?
You could very well turn out to be a complete waste of time and riddled with limitations.
Evaluating the agent
Let’s say you have managed to convince a respected investor to recommend and refer his agent to you. And you received a positive response from the particular agent.
You still cannot jump straight into a working relationship yet.
You have to evaluate whether this person is a good fit to serve you.
The last thing you want to become is to be a waste of time for the agent. So be prepared when meeting him/her for the first time.
Here are some things you might want to explore further during that meeting:
- What geographic areas do they cover?
- How long have they been working with investors?
- Do they invest in real estate too?
- How many investors do they work with? And do they set a personal limit?
- Do they even have time to take you on as a client?
- What types of deals are they more efficient with?
- Do they provide research and analysis data?
What not to expect
I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that property investors can be some of the toughest clients to deal with.
We want the best of both worlds. And when someone is not looking, we are tempted to snatch more from the negotiating table just to make a good deal a great one.
So please. Have a fair expectation on your buying agents or you could very well drive them away from ever working with you.
The value they bring to you is concentrated on bring attractive deals to you, and helping you close them in double quick time.
So don’t burden them with the expectation of being a slave to you. You don’t pay them by the hour anyway. And the rewards they get is solely tied to the real estate deals they help you close.