The purpose of this posting is to give you Birddogs (Property Locator sounds better) a little help in getting started in the birddog world. I just want to outline your responsibilities as a birddog and how to avoid pitfalls, which may discourage your efforts.

STEP 1. Find an Investor to Birddog for.

      -You can find investors anywhere. ReiClub is a great start. Look at the Investor Ads for your state and find out if that Investor gives out referral/finder fees for properties that you locate for them

       - You can always advertise your services in the REICLUB Classified Ad Section. 

       - Use websites like,,, etc. One thing you will learn in the Real Estate world is that MARKETING is what drives the biz. No matter if your a birddog, or an investor. 

STEP 2. Identify your Investor’s Criteria

       - Ask them what areas they need properties in. If they say Nationwide, then you hit the jackpot because you can look anywhere. 

       - Ask them what ARV (After Repair Value) or LTV (Loan to Value) they purchase at minus the repair costs.  

           Here's an example: Let's say a property is worth $100,000 and needs $0.00 in Repairs. The investor tells you that they purchase at 70% ARV - rehab costs. 

 How much should the seller's asking price be? Your answer $70,000

 [$100,000 (Home Value) X 70% ARV - 0.00 repairs= $70,000. 

Therefore your investor will most likely not purchase this home for more than $70,000. If the seller is asking for more, Ask them if they’ll consider less. If they say No, Move onto the next one. If they say Yes, contact your investor ASAP. If they say maybe, Contact your Investor ASAP. Unless you are really skilled at negotiating, let the seller know that you’ll get in touch with your investor and he/she will be handling the negotiating offer, once you submit the deal to them.


      -This is a good way to do business, but if you can't get it in writing, then so be it. You can still do business with the Investor. Don't let that hold you back. BUT with that said, when you become an INVESTOR, everything you do should be in writing. IT BETTER BE!! LOL

Step 4. Give your Investor as much INFO upfront as possible.

      - The less info you provide, the slower the deal will probably go, because You'll be busy playing the messenger. Everytime Your Investor asks you a question, you have to run back to the seller, then you take the seller's answer and run back to the Investor to give them that. This can go on for days, before your Investor even contacts the Seller. DON'T WASTE TIME. Here's what they will most likely be looking for and forgive me if I miss anything, but you can always ask Your INVESTOR ANYWAY: 

      1. Asking Price
      2. Property Value
      3. Repair Costs
      4. Repair details
      5. Mortgage Balance (If applicable)
      6. Mortgage Payments (If applicable)
      7. Reason Why the seller is Selling!
      8. Comparables
      9. PHOTOS
      10. Full Address and contact INFO of Owner

Now, I listed 10 things that are necessary for Investors to make decisions. There are much more thing’s they’ll need, but what I listed above should keep the questions to a minimum. If anything the 1st 6 steps to include the Photos is definitely a MUST Give. Investors want the NUMBERS and PICTURES. Just Numbers will do for some of them. That is what will make them look at your deal.

Step 5. Always keep the Contact Info of the seller and the Investor.

      -If you do not hear from your investor. Follow up with them. If they can't be reached, follow up with the seller. Sometimes Investors get so busy that they may forget to update you on the status. 

      -Another thing is, if the Investor tries to go around you and cut you out the deal, then you can just follow up with the seller to find out what the status is. This is a rare situation, but it can happen this day and age. In this situation, you can let the Investor know that because he closed on the deal, he needs to pay you what was agreed to. If he ignores you, then simply move on. It would probably be less cost effective for you in the long run if you avoid courts, etc. NEVER DEAL WTH THAT INVESTOR AGAIN!! Yes, it is true that you lost out on a deal and the investor made money because of you, BUT with that said, they won't be making any more money off of you. 

Ok Enough of the Negative side to this. Let’s move on to the next step.

Step 6: When your Investor has the deal under contract, help him MARKET it. Many birddogs just rely on the Investor to market the deal and they just sit around waiting to get paid.

      -Check this out, if you find a buyer for the property then you have basically coordinated the entire thing and you should get paid as soon as they close. I say should, because you know what we discussed in STEP 5. 

      - Another reason you want to find a buyer, is because some investors offer Double Bonuses!! They'll pay you for finding the the Property and finding the Buyer!!! Ask your Investor about that....They may do it, or they may not. Don't let it discourage you though. 

      - Not only can finding a buyer for your Investor make you money, but if you just happen to find another Investor who's interested in the deal, then you just found another Investor that you can BIRDDOG for. 

      - Now Occasionally you'll get people who will respond to your ad about your Investor's property and they want to see the property, or they just want to inquire about it. Then they decide it's not for them. So what do you do.....Forget about them, right? WRONG!!!!!! You keep their contact information and start building a Buyer's LIST. These are for those future properties that you'll be finding, that just may spark their interest! Grow your list by MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING. Eventually when you move up to the investor stage, you'll have a Buyer's LIST of your own!! Make Sense???


    -Absolutely, this is the best part right? When your Investor Closes on the deal, you get PAID anywhere between $500 -$1000 per deal. If you find 5 deals a month that your Investor closes on, you could be making an extra $5000 a month that your investor.  Sometimes you can even make more. It all depends on your investor. These are just average figures

   -NOTE: You may have to wait 2-6 weeks to get paid. It all depends on the buyer. If they are a cash buyer, you should get paid within 2 weeks. If it's a buyer that is looking to close on a conventional loan or something, then you will be waiting a lot longer. But whether it is a cash buyer or a conventional buyer, you NEED TO FIND A BUYER PERIOD!! Income is Income no matter how you look at it. Patience is a Virtue!

      - Set up a PayPal account, if you'd like. You'll get paid Instantly when Your Investor closes. Instead of having to wait for the mail. But hey, Income is income, right?

Well, that’s all I can think of. I’m tired and I need to get the bed. I hope this will help you get started. Don’t be a BIRDDOG Forever. Move up Quickly! You can Do it. You’ll find that the biggest struggle that everone has when getting started in Real Estate is themselves!!


Disclaimer: This is based on my personal opinion/experience. Proceed at your own risk!

Great post. I would like to add a comment though… Many investors look at bird dogging at a bad thing or as letting too much money get away from them. This is really not the case and everyone including the experienced investors will bird dog from time to time.

I have list of other investors who I will send them the leads I do not want to pursue. If they take them and close on them, they send me a referal fee.

I believe in a 3 step system:

  1. Birddog the deals you cannot wholesale
  2. Wholesale the deals you cannot do yourself
  3. Do the deals you can do

The word “cannot” does not mean the deal is not profitable. You may not be able to do it due to knowledge, risk, time, or money.

Excellent point Fadi. You don’t want to just do birddoging and leave it at that. Mix it up when you can. It just makes that much sense.

Great post, just out of curiosity how much money have you made using these strategies?

That’s a bit personal, but trust me I made enough to back up what I’m saying. LOL

It all comes down to consistency and good follow up!

This thread should be made a sticky to avoid the inevitable request for information about birddogging that is coming in about 2 weeks, and then againg 2 weeks after that, and again…

Tell me about it. LOL :rolleyes

And how do you find the deals after you have investors that will let u birddog for them?

I have a few investors, and I know what they are looking for , but I dont know where exactly do look.

great post lots of good info

Take this answer for what it’s worth, as it is from someone who is new to REI but has read ALOT!

You’ll need to
-look for Foreclosures and preforeclosers
-Drive the neighborhoods
-go to open houses
-Post signs
-Send letters
-tell everyone you know you are looking for houses to buy
-news papers

I’m sure there are more ways, these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Looks like I missed this one, but what Scostell said is correct. Another place to find deals is through other Investors (Networking!). Other Investors (Such as myself, “hint hint”) are looking to sell their deals for profit and they wouldn’t mind birddogs helping them sell their property buy finding a buyer.

Think about it. The Investor you are woking with is looking for a property. What if you found another Investor who had a great deal. You could just put the two together and get paid twice!!

Just a little Insider Birddog Secret, if you will. :beer

As an agent (free service to investors as the seller’s agent pays our fees), we get investors attempting to go around the bird dogs and go directly to us. If you’re using us to find the 50%-70% ARV’s for your investors with comps, etc., make sure you have your fee agreement in place FIRST. A lot of title companies will not allow for bird dog fees, so make sure you’re protected up front with a separate agreement!

Agents love bird dogs, but as you’re not licensed, we are not allowed to give you commissions. Since you are not a principal, we are not allowed to give you money back.

So use us, we know what we’re doing, but protect yourself BEFORE you introduce us to the investor…you’d be amazed how many investors come to us begging for deals behind your backs!!! Non-circumvent and/or fee agreement for your finds (agent’s finds) signed FIRST!!!

Hope it helps…Linda

Good Point Linda! With that said, there are a lot of Investors that bypass properties that are listed and go straight to the FSBO seller. Again, if you can get an agreement, but if you can’t then, go with your gut feeling! Don’t let anything slow down your momentum!

thanks for the info…

So where is the line between birddog and wholesaler. It seems to me that the difference is creating the purchase contract along with the assignment agreement would be the only difference. Am I wrong???

Ability to negotiate and structure a good deal, ability to correctly evaluate the deal, ability to get rid of the deal…etc.

Right Fadi, wouldn’t the list of items lamar gave PLUS a contract and assignment make it more then a birddog deal? Please don’t take my reply other then an inquiry to learn more. I have been researching to do a couple of side wholesale deals and this very topic is by biggest concern. I mean if I were to put together a great deal and hand it over to a buyer(already lined up and meeting their requirements) wouldn’t it be in my best interest to seek more money from the deal since I did find it, negotiated it, packaged it then delivered it to the buyer? I just know from experience that i’s fine to do a lot of legwork, but getting paid from a buyer is another thing. Once performance has been done, a buyer somehow FORGETS the value you brought them and wants to renegotiate your fee. Maybe I’m over thinking it.

Absolutely. If you know how to do all that, and can wholesale it, then by all means do.

I see birddogging important in couple of situations:

  1. You are new, you do not know the ropes yet, you may want to birddog deals you can’t do to make some money and learn in the process.
  2. You find a deal that does not fit the rehab or landlord requirement, you may birddog it to sub2 buyer.

For example, a wholesaler I know got a bite on her marketing. The house was an expired listing that did not sell at $122k. Seller owed $108k. Just about every wholesaler I know would usually walk away from such deal since there was not enough equity in it. Knowing what I do, she called me. I bought it at $108k, gave her $1000 referral fee, and making about $36k profit on this deal.

For her, it was a dead lead. For me, it was a great deal. She made money where someone else would have walked away.

I hope this makes sense.

WOW Fadi, thanks! That’s exactly my mindset in lining up my buyers. Each one has their own criteria and buying goals which will allow me to find a seller then offer it to the right buyer. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

I’ve been mortgage loan officer for the past 4 years which has allowed me to analyze a homeowners variables and to quickly assess their situation. That along with my carpenter experience to evaluate the physical property should enable me to put together some really good deals!

Thanks for the confidence and happy holidays…


Do you have a sample Bird-dog to Investor agreement?
I need this for a commercial real estate investor…Thx!