Any real estate investor needs a good agent. Even if you get your own real estate license, you’ll greatly benefit from having a dedicated agent who is familiar with your investing strategy.
Why? An investor-friendly agent can help you find deals you wouldn’t otherwise find. They can source off-market deals, or pocket listings, that will maximize your ROI. And they can look over deals with you and provide valuable insight.
But finding an investor-friendly real estate agent can be tricky.
Where to Find Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agents
Investor-friendly real estate agents typically don’t advertise themselves as such. So it can be hard to distinguish them from agents who work better with traditional homebuyers.
When you begin your search, ask for referrals from people you trust. These could be other investors, agents, brokers, banks, attorneys, or homeowners. You can even ask within your social circle. But unless you have family members or friends who are investors themselves, they probably won’t be much help.
Go to local meet-ups. Your state will have a local Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) where you can do some networking. And you can probably find other groups that meet in person online.
You can also use the internet to find and research agents. Just do a google search or look on platforms like BiggerPockets or Realtor. Check for reviews and ratings so you can compare agents in your area.
At the end of the day, it’s best to search in all of the above. The wider you cast your net, the better chance you have at finding the right agent for you.
What to Look for in an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
Once you have a few prospects, you can narrow down your search by making sure the real estate agents fits all of the following:
- They’re local. You need an agent that knows the market first and foremost. If they don’t, they’ll be little help.
- They have experience buying distressed properties. If an agent has bought foreclosures, short sales, or real estate owned (REO) properties in the recent past, that’s a sign they’ve worked with investors before. This is because it’s usually investors who are interested in such properties for making a sizable profit after renovation. So, if an agent tends to list recently renovated properties, this is another sign they have worked with investors before.
- They understand you are not emotionally attached to the properties. That means they are willing to show you any deal that fits your requirements, and they can easily let go of any deal that doesn’t.
- They understand investing numbers. Your agent needs to know common investing measures like cap rate, cash flow, and local renting rates. That way, they’ll better understand what you’re looking for in a property and can help you find it.
- They’re comfortable with your investing strategies. Your agent needs to be comfortable making the types of offers that meet your requirements. So they need to be confident when negotiating and not afraid to make several offers and counter offers and back out when necessary. They should be upfront with you whether or not they can handle the level of aggressive buying and selling you need them to do.
Though it may seem daunting at first, finding the right real estate agent as an investor just takes patience. Now that you know where to look and what to look for, you can rest easy that you’ll find the right one sooner or later. Just don’t give up and refer back to this guide when you need to.