There are many different ways to expand your investing business. Between direct mail, alternative marketing strategies, networking opportunities and countless other options, there are multiple ways to get your business off the ground. One of the most common approaches is to work with quality realtors and get deals from the source. If your realtor has been in the business for some time or has good contacts, they probably have relationships with lenders on bank owned properties. Even if they can’t get deals from a bank, they may know fellow investors or other sources for deals. If you can grow your realtor network, your business will grow accordingly.
Realtors come in all shapes and sizes, each with different educational backgrounds and experience levels. The first step in working with realtors is to define what type of investor you are yourself. If you don’t know what you are looking for or what types of deals to do, it will be very difficult for even the best realtors to come back with the right properties. Start with taking an honest evaluation of how you are going to finance your deals, what neighborhoods you are looking in, what condition the properties should be in and in what price range. The more you know about your deals and goals, the easier it will be for you to talk to prospective realtors.
Realtors get paid on commission and want to spend their time working with buyers who can really close. The very first thing almost every realtor will ask you is whether or not you are approved to buy. This could be obtaining a pre-qualification letter from a lender or a proof of funds from your private money source. However you plan on paying for your deals, you need to have that money available when you meet a new realtor. If you are not prepared in the step they will sour on working with you in the future or at a minimum until you have your financing lined up.
After you know your goals and have your money lined up, you can begin trying to network yourself with realtors. You can hop in your car and walk into every real estate office you see or you can do a little legwork to help refine your search. A simple internet search of realtors in a local market can tell you sales numbers and date for your area. The most successful realtors may not be the best realtors for investors, so you shouldn’t blindly look at the numbers. What you should do is to look at their website and see what kind of listings they have or if it says anything in their profile about investor opportunities. Walking into offices blindly may produce results but it could also prove to be a waste of time. Anyone can find a realtor but you want to find the right realtor for you and how you do your business.
Aside from searching realtors online, you should be active in your community and attending networking meetings. If a realtor is willing to spend time at these events, you can assume that they have a good business and probably have access to investment properties. Here is where you should have a business card and an elevator pitch loaded and ready to go. People in business often work with people that they feel comfortable with. The first impression you make with a new realtor can be the deciding factor in whether or not they want to work with you. If you have everything in line and you are knowledgeable about your market, you will make a good impression on a realtor and with proper follow up you may eventually see a deal come your way.
There are also outside the box ways to attract new realtors. Regardless of your experience level, there is nothing wrong in working with new realtors. They may not have the contacts an established realtor has, but they be more motivated to find new deals. There are local real estate schools that prospective realtors must attend before they take their licensing exam. You can either try to obtain a class list and send them an email or find out the class time and introduce yourself. Your card may be thrown in their car, never to be seen again, but all it takes is one or two new contact to be successful. All this costs is a little time on your part.
Craigslist and other real estate sites will have plenty of properties to search through. A quick email detailing what you do and how you do it should be sent to every listing you see. This should be done once a week until you get a response. You may feel that it is a waste of time because you are not getting an immediate answer, but it usually takes multiple contacts until you will hear something. These realtors are working with actual investors or investment properties and you never know when they will get an email from you and have a property they want to sell.
There are numerous ways to attract the interest of realtors. If you can grow your realtor network, you can reduce other areas of marketing and make your business realtor referral driven. This won’t happen overnight, but if you stick with you will see the results.