Why You Should Work With an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
The key here is “investor-friendly.” Not all real estate agents work with investors. An investor buying a house to flip is different from a couple looking for a home to raise a family. Not all real estate agents will understand the investor mindset or have inside knowledge of real estate investing. You want an agent who understands the investor’s perspective and is familiar with all the ins and outs of the property investing and flipping business.
Working with a real estate agent to invest in property and buy and flip houses offers several strong advantages:
1. They know the market
A seasoned agent will be an expert on their real estate market. They'll know the trends – where sale prices are rising, where homes are slow to sell, how different neighborhoods are changing. This is all knowledge that comes with time and experience.
In house flipping, time is money. Working with an agent will save you valuable time, especially if you're new to the business, are looking to expand your area of business, or are considering properties in a different state. With a real estate agent, you can hit the ground running and be well on your way to success.
2. You don't know what you don't know
There are many resources and sources of information that can be useful to a house flipper. Some of these are things only someone in the business will readily have access to – like the most accurate and up-to-date listings or leads that aren't yet widely available.
Other resources are public records, things everyone has access to. But not everyone knows where to look or how to interpret what they find. A seasoned real estate agent will know exactly what to look for and will be able to pick out what is most relevant to you personally. After all, the real estate business is all about matching the right house with the right buyer.
3. A real estate agent can help you through the entire process
An agent isn’t just useful for finding and buying properties. If your plan is to buy and flip, a real estate agent can help with the selling process as well. From helping to market the home and find buyers, to offering guidance on the best times to buy and list the house, an agent can be a valuable resource for a house flipper.
Whether you’re planning to buy and flip or buy and rent, an investor-friendly agent can be helpful in getting the house ready as well. As you know — or will learn — the work doesn’t end when you take possession. You’ll likely need to have work done on the property — this could mean anything from cosmetic upgrades to a major renovation project.
A realtor who is familiar with local remodelers and contractors can be extremely useful here. They can save you time and money with recommendations and referrals that help ensure you get the best work for the best price.
4. An experienced real estate agent is a valuable resource over the long term
Don’t think of your work with an agent as ending when you close a deal. By building a strong working relationship, you and the agent can collaborate successfully for years to come.
Working with an investor-friendly real estate agent will both save you time and offer access to information and knowledge you might not be able to get on your own.
Preparing to Work With an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
Before you start networking or reaching out to agents, get prepared. You want to be sure to make a good first impression, showing that you understand the business and are ready to work a deal.
This means you should already have your plans and strategies in place – an idea of where you're looking, what types of properties you're interested in, and how your finances and cash flow will work. You'll need to be able to show proof of funds, whether that's cash on hand, loan pre-approval, or other creative financing that is in place and ready to go
Where to Look for an Investor-Friendly Real Estate Agent
Where do you go to find a real estate agent? If you're breaking into a new market, especially one out-of-state, your established network might not be of help here. So, you'll need to begin expanding that network.
Expanding your network may include connecting with the following:
- Brokerages and individual real estate agents
- Title companies and banks
- Real estate attorneys
- Individual investors
The Direct Approach: Connect With a Real Estate Agent or Brokerage
The most straightforward way to find an investor-friendly real estate agent is to talk to real estate agents themselves. If your network already includes agents or brokers, they may be able to point you towards the right people for the market in which you're working.
Some brokerages may advertise themselves as investor-friendly and make a point of marketing to investors and house flippers.
There are also individual agents who work with investors, even if their brokerage does not specialize in it. You can find them through their own advertising or by connecting with their broker.
You should also consider networking events. Any public event, presentation, or seminar that brings together local real estate investors is likely to bring agents as well. These events can be good opportunities to meet with local agents face-to-face without having to get on their calendar first.
Other Approaches: Finding an Investor-Friendly Agent Through Networking
It may be difficult to connect with a real estate agent directly or to find one who fits with your needs and your approach to real estate investing or house flipping.
In that case, you’ll want to use your network. Just as your connections can help you find promising real estate leads, they can also help you find an investor-friendly real estate agent.
The real estate business is an interconnected ecosystem with many moving parts. Someone involved in one part of it — brokers, mortgage officers, fellow investors — is likely to be highly familiar with the other parts, and to know who to talk to and where to go when you need help, advice, or a new connection.
Join the Local Real Estate Investment Association
Most large cities and metro areas will have at least one real estate investment association (REIA). An REIA is made up of investors networking, sharing knowledge and expertise, and seeking new business opportunities.
Participating in your city's REIA will give you access to a wealth of information and connections, both through personal networking and through presentations and marketing at REIA events.
Networking with like-minded investors at REIA events can get you advice, leads, and introductions to investor-friendly real estate agents.
In addition to this, you will likely meet agents actively looking to work with investors, both experienced closers and those who, like you, are just breaking into the market and are seeking out new connections and opportunities.
Work With a Title Company
As a vital part of the property-buying process, title companies can be helpful in connecting you with the right real estate agent. A title company works closely with buyers, sellers, lenders, and anyone else involved in a real estate deal. They'll know the agents working in a given area and which ones might be a good fit for an investor looking to flip houses.
If you’ve already closed deals, you likely have a pre-existing relationship with a local title company. Reach out to your contacts there for guidance on finding the right people.
Connect With a Real Estate Attorney
Not every home buyer chooses to work with a real estate attorney – and it's not always necessary. But, real estate attorneys can be involved with all aspects and sides of a home sale, representing the buyer, the seller, or the lender when there’s a mortgage or loan involved.
As a result, an experienced real estate attorney will have deep knowledge of the real estate market in their area, in addition to working with many different real estate agents. This means they should have a good idea of who might work well with you. In fact, they'll probably know of agents already working with investors to flip houses and can help connect you with them.
Meet With a Mortgage Officer at a Bank
Just like title companies and real estate attorneys, bankers, especially mortgage officers, have many connections with real estate agents and the real estate business in general.
And just as with local title companies, if you’re already working in real estate investment in the area and have closed deals, it’s likely that you’ve worked with local banks as part of the process. Sitting down with your local mortgage officer can be helpful in finding the right agent for your real estate investment business.
While not strictly necessary, working with an investor-friendly real estate agent offers a number of advantages.
- A deep knowledge of your market
- Expertise in all the ins, outs, and potential pitfalls of the real estate investment process
- An opportunity for a long-term collaborative partnership that benefits both of you
With these factors in mind, working with an investor-friendly real estate agent is something you should consider, especially as you look for ways to grow and expand your business. There are multiple ways to find and establish a relationship with an agent, starting with getting in touch with agents and brokers.
You can also find a real estate agent by growing your network and expanding your circle of investment contacts by working with banks, title companies, real estate attorneys, and by participating in your local real estate investment association.
However you choose to do it, consider the advantages of an investor-friendly real estate agent, and begin looking for ways to add that tool to your real estate investment toolbox. This will help ensure continued success while you build your real estate business.