Bird dogs are a great resource… treat them as just that. I always pay my bird dogs a flat fee per deal. I do not pay the fee out to them until the deal closes escrow and is publicly recorded. If you get the deal under contract leaving yourself a safety net to get out like a contingency, then the investor you offer it to can not steal it from you very easily.
This business is also about establishing relationships. Work with active and experienced investors.
If a rehab investor is making $20k on a deal, they are not going to hesitate to give you $1k for bringing them the deal. Better yet, many will continually feed you a thousand bucks and sometimes much more if you “work” for them exclusively.
They would be out of their mind to cut you out of a deal as a bird-dog. Most investors only have his/her"good name" to fall back on. And no matter what city/state you work in, if you do not treat people “right” you will eventually find yourself on the short end of the stick.
Put the “rip off” factor out of your mind, that fear based and will not suit you well. Go out and find investors, find out exactly what they are looking for, find what that is and pass it on to them. Let them take care of the rest and you collect a check - rinse repeat!
I was reading another board and an “experienced” investor BRAGGED (and laughed)about purposefully screwing a birddog out of the money he was due. And this is after he recorded something on the title to keep this from happening. I don’t know much, but I would ask around about the person you deal with before giving up the goods. IMHO.
A birddog doesn’t do everything. They find the house, then turn the info over to an investor for a small fee. Kdhastedt is correct that if you’re doing it all, you’re not a birddog. You have to graduate sometime. I slipped from being a birddog to a (small time ) investor by accident. I found the house, spoke to the homeowner, they became comfortable with me and wouldn’t work through anyone else. I pulled out the list of investors I found and put a deal together. I made $5000 in a week. As a birddog I would have made maybe $500.
I can only say to make money you need to trust the people you work with. Anyone who wants to make money in any business for a long period of time can’t do so if they are ruining their name by screwing people over. If a name is good or bad you’ll find out by asking around.