Real Estate Investing – Finding And Working With The Right Realtor

My Realtor isn’t speaking to me. No, I don’t think I’ve done anything to offend him, but he probably wouldn’t tell me if I had. I am pretty sure I don’t owe him any money either. And before you ask, he does have the ability to speak. He just doesn’t have the desire. So what’s the problem, you ask?

The truth is there is no problem, because my Realtor never speaks to me. Well, perhaps “never” is the wrong word. Rarely is more like it. He just happens to be a man of few words, and our communication (if you can call it that) almost never exceeds 15 words total.

For example, my cell phone rang yesterday and I saw it was my Realtor.

Me: “Hello.”

Him: “Hi. Did you get the key?”

Me: “Yup.”

Him: “O.K., bye.”

Me: “Bye.”

What’s that, like, eleven words, twelve if you count “O.K.” as two, which is a stretch? The thing is, we both like it that way. This is one of the main reasons I choose to work with him. We both share the idea that business communication doesn’t have to be filled up with a lot of small talk or chit chat. We both feel like we get more done that way.

I’m not saying this is the only right way, but it is my way, and that’s one of the things I look for in my team members, especially my Realtor. It also illustrates an important point about choosing a Realtor to help you in your Real Estate Investing business. Choose someone you will enjoy working with, and who will complement the way you operate.

If I tried to work with a “Chatty Cathy” or “Gregarious Greg” it wouldn’t last for long. We would drive each other nuts. Life is too short for that. So I look for people who have a style similar to my own. I recommend that you do the same.

What Makes A Great Investor’s Realtor?

Here are a few other things to consider when looking for a Realtor.

One. What type of Real Estate do they specialize in? You are looking for a Realtor with a lot of experience working with investors and investment property, not primarily residential homebuyers. You and I, as investors, have vastly different priorities and concerns than people looking for a place to live. Your Realtor needs to thoroughly understand the difference. Some Realtors don’t enjoy working with investors. Mine does, and yours had better.

Two. Do they handle a lot of foreclosure listings? In many areas, the majority of the foreclosure listings are handled by just one or two offices. That’s the case in my town, and my Realtor works for one of those offices. His agency handles about 45% of all the foreclosures in my city.

I’m sure you can guess what that means! Not only do I see those listings first, but I get all kinds of insider information and tips when I place my offers. Not illegal or unethical information, but market insights and competitive intelligence that I wouldn’t get from anyone else, because they aren’t in a position to know. Often, this has made the difference between getting a deal and missing out.

But How Do I Find One?

Start by looking for the one or two agencies in your area that handle the most foreclosures, and then meet and talk to the Realtors in that office. You’ll quickly find the agents that know and enjoy Investment Real Estate. From there it’s just a matter of getting to know the one who will be able to work with you, and who will give you what you need.

It’s important to remember that you have a part to play in the success of your relationship. Even though you’re the customer, any Realtor with the experience you’re looking for will also expect a few things from you, and you should be prepared. During the interview process, be sure to let the Realtor know that you will be willing to do a few thing that will make his or her life easier.

The first thing is respect, especially for his or her time. These are busy professionals, and they simply do not have time to hold your hand and drag you all over town looking at property. After all, you’re going to be looking at a lot of houses, but buying only a small percentage of them. So tell your Realtor right upfront that you won’t expect them to take you through each and every house.

All you really need them to do is provide you with the listings in your target neighborhoods, get you access to houses occasionally that you can’t get into on your own, pull comps, and submit your offers. Once they understand this, most Realtors who know Investment Real Estate will be happy to work with you.

The second thing you should do is make sure your Realtor gets paid. You may be thinking, what about the commissions? Well, often in my investing business I am looking at tons of houses but not finding anything to buy. It seems to go in streaks. Even when I’m not buying, my Realtor is still doing the same amount of work for me, but getting nothing in return. To keep him happy, I will hand him a check every now and then. Nothing major, just a token to let him know I appreciate his efforts.

I’ve been laughed at by other investors because I do this. Maybe they think I’m a sucker- I’m not sure. One thing I am sure of is that my Realtor has a very few investors at the top of his mind when a really good deal becomes available. Can you guess who one of those few people is? If you want to be remembered for all the right reasons, show your Realtor- and all of your valued team members- a little tangible appreciation from time to time

Speaking of appreciation, you should personally demonstrate yours to your Realtor at least once a year. Why not take him or her and their spouse out for a nice meal? No, I don’t mean a Chicken Wrap down at the Sonic. I mean you should really spring for a nice meal at a fine restaurant. Spend a couple of hundred bucks, and don’t skimp on the wine and dessert. Let them know that what they do for you all year matters, and you consider them a very valuable resource. Trust me, they will never forget.

Third, and in my mind most important, you should follow through on all your commitments. Tell the Realtor that you won’t make offers on properties if you don’t fully intend to close- no matter what! I know investors that get offers accepted all the time, thinking to themselves, ‘If I have to back out, it’s no big deal.’ It may be no big deal to them, but to the Realtor, and other parties to the transaction, it’s a very big deal. These folks have long memories, and they don’t soon forget someone who chronically wastes their time. Apart from the purely ethical considerations, you should follow though on every commitment you make. After all, it’s your reputation on the line. At the end of the day, your reputation is really all you’ve got, isn’t it?

Now that you know what to look for in a Realtor, and how to go about finding one, I’ll expect to hear from you soon. Share your stories with me and I’ll choose the best to create a new DealFile, featuring you!

Now, go make more offers!

Tom Dunn is a successful real estate investor and author of the popular DealFiles Real Estate Investor Stories free newsletter. You are welcome to share this report, unedited and in it’s entirety, with anyone you like. You may not remove this text.? 2006 by Tom Dunn. Website: e-mail:

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