As a real estate investor, I know I take the path less chosen. A path that not many Realtors® take the time getting to know well. The vast majority of Realtors® are interested in shiny new kitchen appliances and the latest trend in new home technology. You and I, as investors, are a different breed looking at things like qualified tenants and after repair value. We’re more interested in a decent spread on sandwich lease option fees while most Realtors® are asking clients about pre-approval and down payments. But that doesn’t mean working with Realtors® as an investor can’t be a good fit.
Finding the Right Fit When Working with Realtors® as an Investor
Finding the right fit begins with both of you understanding what you each bring to the table. The one thing that all Realtors® have in common is that they are always looking for leads. Buyer’s agents are looking for the next buyer and listing agents are looking for the next seller. Their repeat business is far and few between, which means they constantly need to find new clients.
What you bring to the table is that you are a repeat client. But a client with different needs and expectations when working with Realtors® as an investor. That seldom means the real estate office “Rock Star” is going to be the best fit. They earned that title because they are the best at generating new client leads. What you want is the agent with his or her own interest in real estate investing. Many do have this interest. However, unlike you, their investing interest is usually a sideline separate from listing and showing white picket fence houses.
The key to working with Realtors® as an investor is finding agents who:
- Own investment properties. You want to know how long they’ve owned these and what types (single-family, apartments, commercial, etc.).
- Have worked with investors. Have they closed any deals for investors? How did they feel about the process and the business relationship?
- What types of investment deals were these (flips, rentals, REO, probate)?
- How many investor deals have they worked on and how many closed?
- Have they ever worked with lease options and sandwich lease options?
- Which neighborhoods, price ranges, and other attributes do they know well and are suitable for your investing goals?
- How time sensitive are they to investor needs?
. If they aren’t already familiar with lease options, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker. You may be able to draw on the experience they have putting together seller financed deals. Working with Realtors® as an investor can also be seriously enhanced when an agent has sources for third party financing.
Finding the Right Agent to Work With as an Investor
Realtors® interested in investment properties hang out at the same places as investors do. These aren’t always the open houses showcasing the most polished house in a neighborhood. However, it can be worth your time checking out Realtors® who specialize in the types of houses and neighborhoods you invest in. Drive through these neighborhoods looking for “For Sale” signs. Also, call on listings in marketing brochures. But remember they need to be able to speak your investor lingo if they are a potential fit.
Great venues for finding agents knowledgeable in working with investors are any of the thousands of real estate investor groups across the country. Most of these groups welcome real estate professionals as members. Realtors® join these groups because they want to work with investors. Even if he or she is new to the group and not yet up to speed, you know you are working with someone interested in the investment world. You will find local groups on websites such as REIclub.com and NationalREIA.com, for myself I am involved with my own local group in Michigan. You also want to check out local investing networking events, seminars, and Meetup.com.
How to Best Work with Realtors® as an Investor
One way you benefit by working with Realtors® as an investor is having them keep you current on market trends. This is where their traditional realtor knowledge helps you know what is trending with today’s homebuyers. After all, lease options are about putting an excited buyer in their new home, so current trends is a must.
You probably have your own secret formula for sandwich leases that sell fast and for top dollar. But the market is always changing. Today’s megatrend is driven by the Millennials that currently are dominating the market. Working with Realtors® as an investor is how you stay fully up to speed on buyer wants and needs in your neighborhoods.
Where are the best rental opportunities? Which neighborhoods are ‘hot’ right now for sales? Where are new jobs being created or new schools being built? This is information Realtors® are often more in-tune with than investors are.
Don’t hesitate about being clear what your needs are with a potential Realtor®. The more he or she knows about your objectives, the more effective a Realtor® will be at tailoring their efforts to help you achieve your goals. Besides knowing what buyers want, you need sources of sellers interested in sandwich lease options. This also takes a skill not often found in the average Realtor®. Working with Realtors® as an investor is a two way street. The more you educate a Realtor® about your unique advantage using sandwich lease options, the more you will both benefit. There is true value for both of you when the Realtor® gains a repeat client and you have a Realtor® working with you who is schooled in lease options.
By Wendy Patton
For more than 35 years, I’ve used the Sandwich Lease Options System to earn myself and my students multiple millions of dollars. From my experience, I know there is plenty of room and opportunity in the real estate investment market for everyone wanting to participate and find profitable deals. It’s because of that fact and my personal success that I share the Sandwich Lease Option System with others.
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