Finding a great Realtor

What is the best way to find a Realtor that really specializes in Investment properties?

Checked, some national franchise sites, but it seems that every Realtor has “investment” in their key word search. Any good ideas?


I found mine by luck. My suggestion is to look in the local phone book for different agencies. Find 5 and call them and ask if they have a realtor that specializes in investors. Each agency should have at least one or two agents that do that. Good luck!!


A second related question…Why would Realtors funnel leads for investment properties to someone else to make money off of them, rather than buy them themselves?

Silly question? ???

“Find 5 and call them and ask if they have a realtor that specializes in investors.”

Good advice…I’d add;

Try to get hold of the Broker (not the floor person or receptionist). Calling early in the morning would be best.

Tell the Broker you need an Agent who REALLY specializes in working with investors…an Agent who’s familiar with creative financing techniques. The Broker is the best person to talk to initially in this regard.

“Why would Realtors funnel leads for investment properties to someone else to make money off of them, rather than buy them themselves?”

Because, Agents see more opportunities than they have time or money for. Moreover, not every Agent invests. I work in an office of 55 Agents & you’d be surprised just how few own investment property. Some find Buyer’s & Seller’s enough to deal with…they don’t want fussy Renters to boot!


I just trained a few of mine hired them right out of realtor school and taught them what I was looking for!

I’m glad to see this post. The first place I plan on looking is at the REI club that I will be joining soon. But my question is how does someone with no “track record” sell himself? If any of you, as an agent was approached by a new investor, what is it that would convince you to work with them?

Another question, if I happened to find a property and needed comps, what would it take to get them, as far as money…if I hadn’t done a deal yet? Money is not an issue if I can get a deal, just wondering about how to get them, and how to approach a realtor about it. The issue is why would they want to do this if it’s not a listed property, and there is no commission involved. Again, I don’t mind paying for them, just wondering if it’s even worth their time to do it.

Basically, I am trying to see this from an agents point of view, so I can figure out the best way to go about this. Trying to find out why an agent would do the above, and how to talk to them about it.

Thanks in advance for any opinions, Tony.

“If any of you, as an agent was approached by a new investor, what is it that would convince you to work with them?”

Regarding New Investor’s:

First: I’m not so much interested in how much an investor knows, but what they’re qualified to buy (i.e., credit rating, are they pre-qualified, cash on hand, etc.).

Second: I’ll want to know a little about their investment strategy, and what their expectations are. After that…I want to know if they’re a talker or a listener.

Example: We have investor clients who approached us recently to purchase another investment property. They’re relatively green…they have a primary residence & a SFR next door they bought via seller financing (a disaster initially).

They originally wanted to buy another SFR up to $250k, but after asking some questions…we learned their children were also interested in buying & they’d always had an interest in Adult Care Homes (the Husband’s a Nurse).

We found a $480,000 REO - 4,000 + SF that had previously been used as an Adult Care Home. It has a great view of the Puget Sound & Whidbey Island. Upper end Adult Care Homes offering view amenities command anywhere from $4,500-$6,000 a room monthly & this property contains 6 rooms!

We asked questions & listened…and when we offered suggestions they listened (communication is key).

Now they’ve got a pending contract on an Adult Care Home that they & their children will operate for thousands of dollars in profit a month. Their monthly payments will be just over $3,000 a month - cash flow is between $27,000 to $36,000 a month!!!

Needless to say…they’re very excited.

MORE THAN “just a salesperson

Infowell I always work by the thought process of SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD!!!

“Infowell I always work by the thought process of SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD!!!”

Very well put

Your local REI club is a good place to look for an agent. The suggestion about calling and talking to a broker is also a good idea. You might also find one by looking at some of the local listings. If there is a certain type of investment property you are looking for (multi-family, rehab, etc.) see if there are a few agents that have these types of listings in your area. They might work with those kinds of properties a lot.

As an agent, I look for investors that can close the deal and that don’t waste my time. I don’t want a client that wants to write lowball offers on dozens of properties hoping to get one. I’m perfectly willing to show investors (especially new investors) lots of properties so that they can get a feel for what’s available. If they are interested in rehabs, I’ll even show them some homes in the area that don’t need work so that they start to get an idea of market values, common amenities, etc. After a while, it’s pretty easy to tell which ones are serious and which ones are still going to be “looking” a year from now.

I don’t mind pulling comps for my investor clients even if I’m not involved in a particular deal. Chances are when they are finished with the rehab and are ready to sell, they are going to call me to list it.

Good luck.

I like the way you think (work), and I think I found someone just like you today from driving around an area and calling from a sign I saw.
I had a great conversation with this Realtor on the phone, and offered to take him to lunch next week to pick his brain a bit.

Thanks for the response!

By the way…you aren’t by any chance located in SE Florida, are you? :slight_smile:

If you want to see why John Smith buys what John Smith buys you have to see the world through John Smith’s eyes. ;D

Let your fingers do the walking. Go on the internet and search for the type of property are want to focus on. If you 4 plex units, look for 4 plex and call the listing agent. You want single family, call property managemtn divison of the realtor and tell them what you want. There are lots of good investment agents if you know what you are looking for. Remeber, if the deal is too good, you are in competition with any good investment realtor, and the previous satisified customer. You better do your homework first.

I’m training myself and looking to get hired out of realtor school.


There are a lot of great responses to your questions and a few new questions. First I am an investor and a realtor that has worked with investors for the past five years.

To find realtors that work with investors you will want to find several: those that sell REO’s and get on their list, a good buyers agent to watch for deals, and agent to list and sell your rehabbed houses, and possibly a newbie who has extra time that you can train.

To find the REO agents - those that sell the houses after the forclosures I would suggest looking at the web sites that list REO’s for sale and see who the listing agents are: for example or are a good start. Most of these agents don’t work as buyers agents, but they may have agents on their team who do and these would be great people to get to know.

You also want one or two buyers agents who know exactly what you are looking for and can watch mls daily for the good deals to come out and notify you asap. I say two good agents even if they are in the same area, because they may have another buyer that they notify before you, or they may have a day off and you miss out, but if you have two agents you might get further - just be sure to make the offer with the agent who calls or notifys you first.

If you are rehabbing and selling your homes through an agent, you may want a good listing agent that knows your area - that may or may not be your buyers agent from the last paragraph.

Then your last agent would be the newbie with time on their hands, these are the agents that will have more time to take you to look at houses in the area so you can know your “farm” and will be able to run comps. Just make sure you define what your comps should look like and have them send you as many as possible so you can make your own decisons.

Some agents say they don’t mind doing comps for free, but you get what you pay for. Your agents that work with investor on a regular basis may get to know that one you never buy a house through an agent as you find your own motivated sellers, and you lease to own the houses back out and never use an agent to sell. Running comps for you will be come a back burner and sloppy mess, so I suggest you pay your agents for their time. I get $15 a house with package deals.

If you run into an agent that says they cannot get paid, ask them where the broker price opinions come from that the banks pay for. Banks pay me $90 to $100 for a drive by broker price opinion and up to $150 for me to walk in the house - same thing if you pay an agent to run you comps. If you find a good agent to run you comps, but they insist on doing them for free in hopes of someday buying or selling a house for you then compensate them in other ways $100 gift certificate every so many houses so they can go out to eat or shopping etc.

Hope these ideas help!

Thanks, Kim and everyone for all of the feeedback. I have 2 REALTORS with investment backgrounds sending me info, and I will be spending some time with one of them tomorrow looking at different neighborhoods.

One last question…do REALTORS typically find it rude or insulting if I am working with more than one agent? Is this a sticky situation when I make an offer through one and not the other?

I know from a listing standpoint there is a contract, but no so much on the buying side. I just don’t want to start off offending the people I am trying to solicit to help me, nor dry up any wells of information because I made a deal through someone else.

Thanks again!

“Banks pay me $90 to $100 for a drive by broker price opinion and up to $150 for me to walk in the house”

Are you a Broker, or did you get your license relatively recently?

I made $250 for a drive-by’s last century. $400 in the early ‘90’s’ for me to “walk in the house.”

In some cases banks are circumnavigating FIRREA by using real estate agents for valuations to support their loans.

Hope you know what you’re doing…more importantly…hope you know what the banks are doing.

Personally, I don’t waste my time with valuations for mortgage loan purposes…there’s bigger fish to fry.



Are you are Broker or an appraiser and where are you from?

I have been working with banks to preform Broker Price Opinions for many years and the prices I quote are quite common across the country - I am a member of an online group of Realtors and Brokers that do BPO’s for banks and the prices I listed were actually quite high.

You quoted “I made $250 for a drive-by’s last century. $400 in the early ‘90’s’ for me to “walk in the house.””

I can hire an appraiser her in Kanas City to do a drive by for about $50 to $100 and I can get a full blown appraisal with rental comps for $300 from one of the top appraisers in the city. You must be very lucky in where you live to be able to get the prices you are quoting - but can you buy a great house for$20,000?

You also quote “In some cases banks are circumnavigating FIRREA by using real estate agents for valuations to support their loans”

But I would have to ask you are you new to the business and have you never heard of a Broker Price Opinion? These are performed by Realtors Across the Country for Banks when a loan is in some stage of default either for a bank to determine to do a short sale or to help determine pricing for a foreclosure sale and in some cases by banks that buy defaulted mortgage for 25 cents on the dolllar. They are not circumnavigating anything as a broker price opinion is a common industry too used by every lender across the country including Fannie Mae, Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage, Country Wide Home Loans, CitiFinancial, Washington Mutial and more.

And I really Hope you know what you’re doing…more importantly…hope you learn what the banks are doing.

“Personally, I don’t waste my time with valuations for mortgage loan purposes…there’s bigger fish to fry” And I am really glad you have bigger fish to fry. But it’s kind of nice to have a lender that is starting the foreclosure process on a nice house call you and ask you to do a valuation - then I have a great lead on a home that is in some type of financial difficulty and our company can then have a great lead on a highly motivated seller that no one else in my market knows about. Here in our market a foreclosure takes 28 days from start to finish and having a 2 to 6 month head start on my competition is kind of nice.

Infowell - I want to thank you for setting me straight on how stupid I am for doing something that helps my business grow, that helps me find deals - and pays me for driving for dollars, and that has earned me quite a lot in real estate commissions as a realtor when I have ended up listing the property for a bank.

And I beleive the original question was wanting to know a little bit about how an investor could get comps find someone who would do them for free (who wants to sell the house) or paying a realtor to run comps (who is impartial if they are not the buyer or seller agent) And paying a realtor for comps or to perform a broker price opinion is one of the ways to get this information - and again I have looked across the country at pricing for realtors to rundcomps and perform broker price opionions. My research turned up that many realtors run comps for $10 to $15 a house or have a subsciption service for $199 a month. These comp services just provide a list of houses sold and do not make any decisions.


It’s all in how you present yourself to your realtor - If you have a buyers agency agreement, then you need to use your buyers agents - remember you can have different buyer’s agents for different areas of town - type of property - price range - just spell it out n the contract.

And if you are going to have the realtors bring you all your deals, then you may want to have a buyers agent. But read the contract well, standard verbage in our area includes that if you buy a house - even a FSBO - then your buyer’s agent is due commission.

Most of the investors that I know in our market do not sign buyers agency agreements. They just keep in touch with the realtors that work the area they buy and the realtors that sell the REO properties and who ever brings the property first gets to write the contract and earn the commission.

On the selling side, they do tend to use the same realtor to sell all of their houses.

The other situation is that many of the realtors that know about the good deals also buy them - I am a prime example of this. So I am up front with my buyers that I get first dibs on the houses so please make sure you are working with at least one other agent in the area that I buy. And I have sold this guy on average 10 houses a year in the same area where I buy and he has received great deals - but at the time they were for sale they just did not work for me. Another agent in my office also sold him several houses in the same are. All three of us are still friends and now I have 10 houses listed for sale from the same buyer.

So can it get sticky - yes - but if you are up front and honest about what you are doing - everyone involved will be able to work together and get along.

This is an easy one for me. I pick someone who ANSWERS THEIR PHONE when I call about a property. Although this may seem simplistic, think about it for a second. If the Real Estate Agent/Realtor (hereafter referred to as R/R) is hungry and quick and has time to work with you, they’re going to answering their phone everytime they physically can.

If they are an older more experienced and more BUSY agent, you’re going to be talking to phone machines, you’re going to be showing yourself properties, getting email lists, and waiting around for them to get time to call you back. You’re also going to wait for your deals a lot longer and you’re on their list of investors…no question about that…but WHERE are you on that list?

The R/R who is less experienced or busy can be TOLD what you want to see, and anyway, their job isn’t creative financing or re law…and you’re a lot better off not using a R/R for that purpose, just to save a little money.

This thread gives me a vague sense of deju-vu. Anyone remember the euphoria around 1999 when fund-managers were making “personal appearances” and giving autographs?

I know, I know…it’s different this time. :slight_smile: