Some Realtors may view real estate investors as competition, and the same goes the other way around. There is finite real property in the State of Oregon, and short of new developments appearing on the outskirts of towns, we must work with what we have. This means that there is perpetual competition for this finite resource. So, are real estate investors your competition? Short answer, yes, but to the same extent your fellow Realtors in your firm are also competition; even more so since the properties and clients that investors try to target can be somewhat different than yours.
If becoming a Power Team Realtor interests you, the only real questions you should be concerned with is: (1) what are investors looking for in a Realtor, and (2) where can I find potential investors with whom I can work?
What is in a Power Team Realtor?
You must remember that for the investor, their Power Team is about creating an informal roster of experts with whom they can call upon to tackle the various aspects of deals. You are but one component of their real estate investment business, just as they are but one client in yours. Like all great managers and executives, they seek to surround themselves with subject matter experts in the various aspects of the real estate industry, from property managers to general contractors, to real estate attorneys, to escrow officers, and also Realtors... like you. You may never know the roster of experts that they may have, but can reap the benefits if you find yourself among them.
When it comes to selecting a trusted real estate professional, there are a handful of benefits that investors are looking to gain from a professional relationship. Here are some of the most pertinent benefits that they are looking to acquire from partnering with you:
- Working With Other Realtors - On occasion, the investor will identify a home that is listed with another Realtor and will rely on you to be the go-between. In this way, your relationship with the investor is the same as with any potential buyer in that you are working on their behalf in order to get them the best deal. What differs here is that you understand the intention of the investor, and that you will be presenting their purchase offers which will be significantly below market value. You will understand that investor mindset, yet be able to effectively communicate with your own in order to push these deals through. You should be able to engage your fellow Realtors with offers sometimes 60% below fair market value, and not even flinch as they give you that “are you serious” look. You are able to do this because you know that it isn’t about closing transactions; it is about creating deals where there were none before.
- Generating Comparables – Creating deals is about finding motivated sellers willing to part with their properties at below market value, but what is the fair market value for their property? You understand that process of producing a list of comparable properties in which to assess what a property will likely go for on the MLS, and this is similarly what investors do as well. Some investors have access to software that help them do this, while others have a broker’s license and can go straight into the MLS, while others will need assistance. In any case, with your access to the MLS, you can assist investors in generating a list of comparables for potential properties they are looking to place an offer on.
- Searching Private Remarks on the MLS – One of the biggest strengths that you have over investors ( except for those that have their license) is your ability to access your local MLS and search listings via keywords within the private remarks section of property listings. We know the meanings behind the phrases handyman’s special, needs to sell, owner willing to finance, fixer-upper, etc. These are the phrases that Realtors use to flag these properties as distressed and their sellers as motivated. These are the properties that investors strive to find, and with only a few keystrokes and mouse clicks you can produce an up-to-date list of these types of properties for them to act upon. Ideally, if you can do this for them daily, they will be able to assess potential target properties, and keep you gainfully employed in working these listing agents until their sellers accept an offer.
- Listing Investor Properties – While investors look to acquire properties below market value, naturally they won’t want to sell them at that level. As investors acquire properties, conduct rehab work, and touch up the landscaping, they will look to you as their listing agent. No doubt, if you were the one that helped secure the property to begin with, you can be sure they will seek to list that property with you when it is ready. Even if they found the property without your assistance, your professional partnership will place you above others when it comes time to put the property up for sale.
“We might have difficulty selling this property on the market. I know this real estate investor that might be able to work with you on getting this property sold. If you don’t mind, I would to arrange a meeting between the three of us to help you find a solution for this problem property.”
- Cross Referrals – There will be times in which you, as a Realtor, will be engaging with clients whose property are so distressed that you are sure that no buyer will be able to secure a mortgage for such a property. Problems financing such a property open up an opportunity to investors to utilize innovative financing solutions to the seller’s problem. As a partner with an investor, such situations like this warrant the conversation with this seller that could go something like this,
Similarly, your investor partner will be engaging many home owners that are looking to sell their properties, but not at the investor’s discounted offer. In this case, the investor would be able to refer them to you to so that you can step in to become their listing agent.
Where Can I Find Potential Investors?
Simply put, go to where the investors go. Naturally, most of the established real estate investing firms, or investors that have been in the game for quite some time, will have already developed relationships with Realtors that have lasted longer than many marriages. Your best bet would be to identify and befriend new real estate investors in your market, and the place to do this would be at investor clubs and association meetings.
Real Estate Investors Associations and clubs are generally a loose affiliation of investors in the local area which provide weekly or monthly meetings for networking purposes. At these meetings, you will see new investors looking to wholesale to rehabbers. You will find rehabbers looking to find property managers. You will find contractors looking for rehabbing opportunities. You will find Realtors looking to find their professionally significant other; an investor. While there are many official real estate investment associations in the State of Oregon, many others are small informal get-togethers. These get-togethers are created by a few dedicated investors looking to establish a network in their locality, and their tool of choice has most recently been MeetUp.com, which allows these individuals to create informal groups that can push members meetup notifications so that you can always be aware of where and when future investors meetings are being held.
Here is a list of a few Real Estate Investor Associations and Clubs within the State of Oregon. You will see some with their own websites, while others were established on MeetUp.com.
MEET UP Cities:
Working with an investor may provide you the best opportunity for repeat business within the industry. The more contacts you make within this side of industry, the more opportunities you have to really develop your real estate business, and earn those commissions checks. You may even find yourself dabbling a little in real estate investment as you get to know how it is conducted first hand. Regardless, real estate investors can be your best partners and even valuable friends, and while they may seem like competition they are in fact compatriots in the same fight; helping clients with their problems and getting paid for doing so. Being a Power Team Realtor will mean greater opportunities for business, while developing relationships with an entire segment of the industry you may not have had the pleasure of working with yet.