What To Look For In A Real Estate Agent
The best real estate investors typically surround themselves with the best team. They understand that in business you are only as good as the people around you. One of the key members of any investing team is a real estate agent. Finding the right agent gives you access to more deals as well as the ability to close the deals you really want. The right agent for you is based largely on your goals, time commitment and experience. An investor with ten years’ experience often has different needs than one looking for their first deal. However there are a few universal qualities that most investors can agree on. If you can find a realtor that checks all these boxes you should do everything possible to keep the relationship going for as long as possible. Here are five important qualities to look for in a real estate agent.
- Responds Quickly. The most important quality for anyone in sales is the ability to respond quickly. You can have the best offer or product but if you don’t respond quickly enough it may not make a difference. In real estate time is always of the essence. A deal that hits the market at 9:00 may be gone by the end of the day. A real estate agent that drags their feet or doesn’t respond quickly is not someone you want to work with. This doesn’t mean you should expect an immediate response every time you reach out to them. However if you pick and choose your spots you are well without your bounds to expect a return message. In these day and age of multimedia and handheld mobile devices there is no excuse not to send a quick reply through a text or email. A good real estate agent will update you every step along the way and always respond within a few hours.
- Knows Investing Business. A good residential real estate agent may not necessarily be a good agent for an investor. It is not out of the question that a successful local real estate agent has minimal knowledge of what exactly an investor does. This can present a problem when it comes to finding, structuring and eventually closing deals. A good investment property has a completely different set of criteria than a good residential property. Often times this starts with knowledge of local investing markets. Don’t be afraid to ask your real estate agent what they know about the investing business. If you are satisfied with the response you know you have an agent you should hold on to. If the investment side of the business is not their strength you should part ways as friends and find someone else. The more your real estate agent knows about investing in general the easy they will be to work with.
- Patience. It is absolutely important that your real estate agent knows exactly what they are getting into. Regardless of experience most real estate investors are micromanagers by nature. They want to be in control of the entire process from start to finish. Because of this you need to let your real estate agent know just how much of a pain you may be. If you are new to the business you should tell them that you will need some help on your first few deals. You are certainly willing to do your due diligence but there are some things in the process that you simply can’t read about in a book. If your real estate agent sees the potential in the relationship and is willing to work with you it is a sign that you have a keeper. On the flip side if your real estate agent seems disturbed with all of the questions they are not the best fit for you.
- Willing To Accept Below Asking Offers. Real estate agents are paid on commission. The higher the sales price the more money in their pocket. A real estate agent that works with investors needs to balance their desires with what is in the best interest of their client. A good investor agent is more than willing to present whatever offer you want even if it is below the asking price. They understand that your relationship is based more on volume than any one transaction. They accept the fact that they need to work just as hard on the smaller deals knowing that there are bigger ones down the road.
- Negotiates For Me. With anyone on your team you should feel confident that they have your best interests in mind. There should be no doubt as to what their motivation is during the transaction. As an investor you need to know that your real estate agent will fight for you every step of the way. They will not take the easy way out during negotiation. On smaller deals this is probably the last thing they want to do but it is important to you. Getting a property for even a few thousand less than asking reduces monthly cash flow and improves your bottom line. A real estate agent that is willing to fight to make this happen is an invaluable member of your team.
Even if you pay cash for your properties there is a need for a reliable real estate agent. Your real estate agent is too important to settle for the best available one that comes your way. Take your time to make sure you are completely comfortable and they are the best fit for you.