The real estate investor isn’t the only one that needs to be cautious when looking for a realtor, even home owners need to be weary these days. Not all realtors are created equal, and many of them just flat out stink. The best option for the real estate investor is often this: Become A Realtor. I know that I am being hard on realtors here, but for good reason. I have been a realtor for a while now, and the broker that I am under has had a handful of realtors under her wing, only one of which ever really closed any deals. The others just played around in the office, and never really got anything done. She finally had to ask them all to leave, except for me. I don’t work full time as a realtor, and I don’t need an office in her building, therefore she kept me on. The main reason I have my realtor license is to be able to manage property for others, and to save money on fees to work my own investment properties.
So before I give you a few tips on finding a realtor, let me just pose this to you. At the end of the day, what do you think the realtor is going to provide? The MLS (Multiple Listing Service), yes. Pre-formatted (Promulgated) forms for your contract, yes. Experience and finding a buyer or seller for you? Maybe. I emphasize maybe, because often, the realtor just puts a sign in the yard and lists the property on the MLS, and that sells the house. Not a bad marketing method, however you can do that yourself – if you were a realtor… So think about it while I give you some tips on finding a good realtor:
Real Estate Market Reach
This is the most important one. The realtor that has the most weapons to market a property is the one most likely to find a buyer. So if they have a website that ranks high for location specific real estate terms, if they have many other properties currently listed, if they have billboards around town with their name on them, if they have relationships with builders in the area, if they have been in business for a long time, etc. they are going to be more likely to know people and be able to find you a buyer quickly (perhaps) than another realtor.
This is sort the antithesis to the last point. You want to get involved with a realtor that has a large reach in the community, however you don’t want to be involved with a realtor that won’t take care of you. If they are so busy that you get left in the dust, then you are going to end up very unhappy with them. And know this – the longer your house sits on the market, the worst taste you get in your mouth towards your realtor, and the less time they want to put into marketing the house. It’s just the way people are.
Try to pick someone you can get along with. If you are an investor and hope to build a long term relationship with this realtor, consider taking them to lunch, letting them get to know you personally as well as professionally, and they will be more likely to send you great deals in the future. This could be one of your best methods to finding great buys on investment property in the future. So take the time to build a relationship, it will pay off in the future.