Birddogging in Austin, Texas

I am new to real estate and would like to find a local real estate investor who can educate me and show me the ropes in REI in exchange for supplying leads. I’m also a business owner of a graphic dsign studio. Can anyone help me with these questions?:

  1. Should I offer to barter graphic design/vis comm/marketing services to leverage the REI education I should expect from an investor or should I just trade leads?

  2. What do I need to have, business-wise (biz cards, etc.) to be a “birddog”?

  3. Does it really work to join REI clubs to network?

  4. Can being a “birddog” truly be effective in striving for profitable results in the long run?

Let me preference my comments by saying that I just started bird-dogging in Nov., so I’m still learning myself. But I’ll just give my 2 cents:

1- I think you should just trade leads because really that is what the investor wants. As a bird-dog you have to market yourself and you have to pay for that, as far as I know. I don’t see how you can barter with an investor for something you must do anyways to be successful.

2- You need whatever gets you good leads. I use Biz cards, Postcards(regular and oversized), letters, flyers, and I just bought bandit signs(pray I don’t get fined :P).

3- I’m not sure if it’s worth joining clubs because I haven’t…yet. I just found some club meetings on this board that I plan to attend since it’s in my area. I always think it’s good to network with people who are doing what you evenutally want to do. You know birds of a feather flock together theory.

4- I hope being a birddog is profitable in the long run. Why, do you know something I don’t…hahahaha! I look at this way. I don’t have the $$ or enough knowledge to be a serious investor and this allows me to gain experience while actually making some money. It’s better than the free internships I’ve done. You just have to know what you ultimate goal is. My goal is to eventually become an investor. Some people I guess stay bird-dogs. Also, you must use the money that you make as a bird-dog wisely. If you waste it on music, movies, etc. then you probably won’t feel like it’s worth it. Invest in your business because that is what this is.

I hope I helped a little. 8)

Howdy Design in Austin:

A birddog or the next step as a wholesaler is the way to start. I have even done partnerships with birdoggs. They found the deal and did the rehab. I supplied the money from a hard money lender and some experience. I did not have time to manage the day to day rehab or I would have just paid a fee for the lead. Finding the deals is where the payoff begins but you need to be able to do something with them. I have had money and no deals and partners and no deals and then deals with neither. For a while after my BK I did not believe I could do deals. It was not until I joined this club that I realived I could even do a small deal much less the $750K office deal I am currently doing. I had a hard time finding a deal in Austin so I started looking in Killeen, Waco, Corpus and San Antonio.

It is hard to start and job or profession. You have to get to know the market and know when you have a good deal to even look at. It takes time to search preforeclosures and make calls and track down owners. Also making offers is part of the process. I saw a duplex once for $20K and I said no way and never even wanted to make an offer. I finally called again to talk to the agent and said I would be interested at half that amount. We met and wrote it up and I bought it for $10K. Getting to know the sellers and what they will take for a property is important too and not just the asking price but what will it take to make a deal. Find the motivation. This property was vacant and condemed and ready for the bulldozer and fines from the city. They had to sell and I probably even paid too much but made a great deal anyway. It takes hard work but it is fun and rewarding.

First off, I have to say, in less than a day, I received over 5 replies and a lead to an interested investor for Bird Dogging. This website is totally worth anyone’s time.

Secondly, thank you for your advice about sticking to providing information only and barring creative services. Does anyone have any recommendations on websites to research for the Austin market? I’ve googled and have seen few sites that provided little information.