It’s not always an easy task to identify or find a so-called investor-friendly real estate agent. It takes a good amount of training, investment-specific knowledge, and experience for an agent to qualify as a member of this sparsely populated category. But if you’re a serious investor, you do indeed want to find an investor-friendly real estate agent to help your business operate more efficiently and profitably. The simple fact is there is quite a difference between a traditional agent and an investor-friendly agent. So here are 6 characteristics every investor-friendly Floresville real estate agent should have.
1. General Characteristics
Let’s begin with the general characteristics every Floresville real estate agent should have. Without these skills and qualities, even a putative investor-friendly agent won’t do you much good. Here, then, according to The Balance Small Business, are the must-have characteristics for any agent of any stripe:
- Honesty and integrity
- Knowledge of purchase process
- Knowledge of the LOCAL real estate market
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
“There are others, including people skills and technical skills, but the above are the top items.” Now, let’s move on to the characteristics that are specific to investor-friendly Floresville real estate agents.
2. Full-Time Agent
The basic rule of thumb here is that your investor-friendly real estate agent should always be a full-time agent. Typically, part-timers are brand new to the business and aren’t established and making a full-time income, or they simply don’t have what it takes to make a full-time income as an agent. Your chances of getting a better agent are increased with a full-timer.
3. Licensed for Several Years
Chris Dawson at BiggerPockets puts it this way: “I wouldn’t work with an agent who has had their license for less than 4 years UNLESS they are working on a team where the team leader has more experience and will be available to help if needed.” Longer licensing is better because the simple fact is that it takes much more experience for an investor-friendly agent to become good at what she does. In every state, licensing information is available to the public and can often be accessed free online. In Texas you can search all the agents at Texas Real Estate Commission. It takes time to become seasoned and it takes a special skill set to understand investing. There are different types of properties for sale and offered for sale. A seasoned agent can recognize the potential traps or potential issues of some that are offered for sale for an investor. There are some real items to be aware of when buying investment properties.
4. High Percentage of Business Working with Investors
Obviously, a large percentage of an investor-friendly real estate agent’s professional experience should be working with investors. “If the answer is 60% or less, I would find another agent. It it was my money being invested, I wouldn’t settle for any agent doing less than 85% of their business with investors” (BiggerPockets).
While I don’t agree with this statement in particular I do understand where is he coming from. Investors don’t realize that they demand a lot of time from an agent with little return. An investor is going to look at a LOT of properties and possibly not buy any. But a buyer looking at a lot of properties versus an investor is different. In the normal course of events, the buyer intends to buy something; the investor ONLY if he finds a property that meets his criteria. That means an agent one does a lot more work for an investor without seeing a payday versus getting a payday on almost every serious buyer. That is a reason for an agent to only want to work with a select few investors. Retail real estate pays a lot better so while this writer says that most of an agent’s business needs to come from investors he evidently is not a real estate agent having to pay bills. Plus while I hate to say it most investors are not loyal. They are looking for the best deal so they agent hop. That does not lead to a trusting atmosphere for as an agent working for their living.
5. Large Number of Completed Investor Transactions
As with percentage of business working with investors, more is also better when it comes to the number of completed investor transactions over the past year. A top-notch investor-friendly real estate agent should probably have closed several deals over the past 12 months. For multi-family investment deals that figure may be lower, but then the amount per transaction will be a great deal higher.
6. Proof of Transaction
Your investor-friendly Floresville real estate agent should also be able (and willing) to provide proof of those claimed completed transactions. Asking for proof may take the agent off guard, but it’s your investment money being put on the line. You can ask to see an MLS report to see transactions there. Or if the agent’s transactions were outside the MLS, you can ask to see some of those contracts. Either way, you really should get some proof of performance because, well, people do tend to stretch the truth at times. Hopefully you know how to read the reports.
Bonus Characteristic – Agent as Investor
If the agent herself is also a real estate investor (and some investor-friendly agents are), that’s a plus. It also inserts a certain amount of caution because the agent may try to pick off all the really good deals and leave the not-so-good ones for you. Still, an agent who is an investor almost always knows what she is doing when it comes to real estate investment, and you can turn that to your benefit. Look at it this way: “if an agent hasn’t invested for themselves, then how will they truly know all the ins and outs to investing? Look for an agent that has invested in the past or currently is investing, but one who won’t be competing with you for deals” (BiggerPockets).
It’s definitely a good thing to know the 6 characteristics every investor-friendly real estate agent should have. But it’s not always so easy to find an agent who possesses all the necessary characteristics. You could ask for referrals from those in the business, but demand is greater than supply for these agents, so that may not work out so well. Another option is to use an agency that can provide what you need. Be very cautious of companies that cater only to investors. Some can be good but if they buy the properties to sell to their investors, be very cautious. IF they are awash in deals, be cautious. Horror stories abound. You have to be savvy yourself if you want to invest and not rely only on a real estate agent or company. Be around investor groups, they will tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. Once you have found an agent that you trust, hang onto them. If you’re ready to do that and cash in on the advantages of working with an investor-friendly agent, contact us today! (210) 216-7722