Successfully Working with Realtors

Since over 80% of real estate is sold through realtors, it is important to learn how to work successfully with realtors.

First, let’s look at what an agent can do for us:

  1. Promptly provide complete and accurate comps.
  2. Literally unlock the door to potential deals so we can see the property at our convenience.
  3. Submit all our offers immediately as requested with our amount and our terms.
  4. Promote our low offers to the seller and other agents, improving our chance of acceptance.
  5. Help us get the seller to finance the deals.

Realtors can help you find properties using the MLS (multiple listing service).  Not only can realtors help you find properties to make offers on, they can also help you obtain information on similar or comparable sales, also known as comps, using the MLS.  Comparable sales can give you an idea of what investment houses will sell for.  Realtors provide the most up to date and accurate comparable sales.  These comparable sales are one of the most important items to know when calculating offers.

Anyone serious about wholesaling or rehabbing properties needs to look at properties that are vacant and in need of work/repairs. Realtors can help you here. Realtors are the only legitimate way to see listed properties that meet the criteria of needing work and being vacant. Here is where a realtor can help promote your low offers to the seller and dramatically increase your chance of getting your offer accepted. Your offer is much stronger if you include as an addendum captioned pictures up close and ugly showing what is wrong with the property. This can make an amazing difference in getting your offers accepted.

While it may seem that all realtors will be happy to work with you, such is often not the case. Eighty Percent (80%) of new agents are out of business within the first year.  Worse, some realtors don’t even want to submit offers or give the third degree about your credit worthiness. They do this because they fear doing a lot of work and not getting a sale. You need to train them to work with you your way. Does it make sense to invest in learning how to buy at wholesale and then let a realtor teach you how to buy at retail and they make a big commission while you lose money?

A new investor will often come across to the agent community with what is referred to as “rookie-breath.” The agents think the newbie investor doesn’t know what he or she is doing and will attempt to get rid of them. This is a sign to them that they must do a lot of work with no commission money in return. Further, they see your low offers as an embarrassment in front of the seller who was expecting them to get them “all the money.” Hence, they refuse to submit those offers, don’t return your phone calls, or insist you do things that are difficult, costly or even impossible, such as making a huge deposit and proving you have cash ready to complete the transaction.

Finding good agents, and training them is the first, best, and easiest way to become successful in investing, especially wholesaling. The good news is that even if they don’t want to submit your low offers, they have a fiduciary responsibility to do so. It is not their job to decide the acceptability of offers. They are merely there to submit the offer presented to them and let the seller decide.

You can remind them of their responsibility. You can present the problem to their broker or/and the local real estate association. Do this and see how quickly they decide to submit your offer.

Don’t let realtors get away with submitting your offer verbally over the phone.  Remember that verbal offers will never work. Your offer must be submitted in writing to have a chance. Further, you will want to resubmit your offers ever two weeks or so. As high as 75% of the investment deals that are done are either on resubmitted offers or offers submitted as a back-up to a deal that is under contract. Hence, you will want your agent to resubmit your offers.

Finding agents who are also investors can be a great strategy. They see and understand what you are doing. They may even be willing to partner with you on deals. Hence, they will be quick to recognize the value of getting seller financing. Typical Realtors see seller financing as negatively delaying their commission collection.

To find investing realtors just ask receptionists if they have any realtors that are also investors. Then ask to visit with them. Not only are you more likely to get your offers submitted, these realtors can often show you where the bones are buried. Just a little selectivity and training of realtors can dramatically increase your success in real estate investing.

Understanding the Investor’s Mindset as a Realtor

Most of your traditional buyer clients are probably very similar in what they’re looking for in a property.  They want a property that is within their budget (or below their budget), that has as many bells and whistles as possible, and that is in a prime location.  Most of your buyers want as much as they can get for a price they can afford.

When you work with buyers like this, who are looking for a residential property, you will likely discuss various finishes, square footage, and building features.  Many of these buyers will purchase based on whether or not a property feels like home to them.  Little research or thought may be put into figuring out whether their dream home is a good investment, even though their home purchase is often one of the largest investments that they will make.

Many homebuyers are accidental investors.  They’re looking for a home that appeals to their “American Dream” ideal, and they end up making one of their biggest investment decisions in the process.  Although the real estate investor is looking at the same market as Sue and Joe first-time homebuyers, the investor is looking at the market through a very different lens.  By understanding the differing mindset of the investor, you will be able to serve your investor clients more effectively.  While Sue and Joe first-time homebuyers want to know about school districts, landscaping, and kitchen layouts, your investor client is less emotional about the transaction and more focused on these particular questions in his/her decision:

  • What is the potential value in a property?
  • How much will it cost financially and in terms of resources to receive the property’s potential value?
  • What are the risks associated with this acquisition?

Typical buyers (accidental investors) may end up making profitable decisions and coming out ahead simply because their goal of finding an appealing property means that they acquired a hot property that will most likely appreciate at a steady pace.  This is the mindset of many buyers.

The strategy of real estate investors, however, is very different from this “ideal property” mindset that most of your buyer clients possess.  Investors are looking for deals.  They are looking for properties that will return more than the initial investment.  If investors lose sight of their wealth-building goal and purchase a property on a whim or because of its “bells and whistles,” they may end up making a dangerous, costly investment error that will take them a long way from their wealth-building goal.

5 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper

Who is the gatekeeper? The individual who perceives that it is her/his job is to control the flow of information or limit what information is shared. A person or “technology” that blocks or withholds information needed to complete a job.

Gatekeepers are just doing their job, trying to be efficient and protect those in their office from distractions. So, how does one get around the gatekeeper who is doing a great job?

Below are five suggestions to help you navigate around the gatekeeper. These ideas are not in any particular order, however, the first two are ALWAYS critical.

  1. Treat the gatekeeper as a person. Call them by name and treat them with respect. Don’t be awkward or demining. Actively engage with them. Don’t get too personal, don’t pry, but you can gently probe. When they sense you are a professional and respect their position, your ability to accomplish your job increases. Treat Gatekeepers Like Gold.
  1. BE HONEST because integrity counts. They are honest, and they leave nothing for the listener to disagree about in evaluating if they will send you along (to the person or a voicemail). Be direct but truthful about the purpose of your visit and why you hope to connect with them (remember, you are there to help THEM make money).
  1. Practice good communication skills; learn to listen more than you speak, and be prepared with a simple, rehearsed script of why you are calling/visiting. Let the gatekeeper take the opening position. Listen carefully to their thoughts and concerns. Great negotiators learn to flip the discussion around politely and quickly – then ask.
  1. Relax! If you are nervous, stressed or tense, you will show those emotions and it might transfer to your voice, your behavior and your choice of words. If you are stumbling for words or for control of yourself, this will have an impact on how the gatekeeper perceives you and how they receive your request for access or information. Take some deep, slow, quiet breaths to put yourself at ease. When the Gatekeeper answers or greets you, smile and confidently tell them with energy and ease why you are calling (or visiting the office).
  1. Keep it short and sweet: no long speech for the gatekeeper. They have great deal of important information about the potential cash buyer or real estate agent. The gatekeeper has positional power and influence. One of them has the power to connect you with the right person. However, they do not hold any authority. When the gatekeeper asks, “may I tell him/her what it’s regarding,” it is not the time to fill in the gatekeeper. It will waste your time and it might irritate them because they still cannot make the decision. Using a relaxed and calm voice, speak slowly and articulately and don’t divulge more than necessary.

Three Common Obstacles for New Investors

The career of a real estate investor is riddled with obstacles. The very job of an investor is to find and fix problems and overcome obstacles. However, there are difficulties that can blindside new investors and stop them before they even start. This article will illustrate three common obstacles investors will face upon entering the business.

  1. First and foremost, new investors will be hit with the realization that real estate investing is not a get rich quick program. This job can be equated to running a marathon rather than a sprint. Although a person can make sizable sums of money rather quickly, a person will not get rich overnight. In order to make it long term, a person must be persistent and consistent. There must be discipline to complete the necessary tasks to be successful. Therefore, the first obstacle is to overcome the idea that you will be able to retire with little effort.
  2. The second obstacle is gathering the right people for your power team. A successful investor will need other industry professionals to help with their business. The right person for your power team is someone that will support you in what you are trying to accomplish. We need to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and limit our interaction with negative people. There are many industry professionals that have a limiting mindset and will only serve to bring you down; therefore, these connections should be avoided at all costs. Work to bring positive and supportive people onto your power team.
  3. When a new investor jumps into the game they are usually anxious to gobble up all the information they can get. There are countless “experts” in the field that have a special way of making the business work. You can jump from video to video and article to article outlining all the “best” ways to make money in the real estate industry. This information overload should be avoided at all costs. A new investor should find one strategy and focus on it until they are comfortable enough to move forward without new information throwing them off track. It is easy to hear so much information that it places you in a state of inaction. Beware of this trap.

All new investors will encounter obstacles that are unknown until they pop up. All new investors should prepare themselves to overcome the three difficulties outlined in this article. Remember, stay focused and be consistent to meet with success.

What is a Real Estate Power Team and Who Should be on Your Power Team?

Investors who have been in the real estate business for quite some time are familiar with power teams and often belong to one. A real estate power team is the assembly of a group of people who sell products or services to the same customer without taking business from each other. This group of individuals agreed to form a team that will work together and committed to bring referrals to each other. They are important when building a business empire because they are allies that protect each other from financial harm, quickly generate finances, and assist each other in achieving business goals.

It may take a while for you to put together a successful power team, and one good way to find possible team members is through referrals. Another way to find team members is by contacting your local REIA where you will be able to meet other investors who might want to be part of your team.

There is a long list of possible people with complementary professions that would be great for your power team, and if you are just starting in the real estate industry, these people are the most important to establish a working relationship with.

Mentors 

Generally, people would be honoured if you asked them for advice, and looking for someone who has successful experiences in the local business is a smart way to become successful yourself. One thing to remember when you find someone is to offer financial compensation for his or her valuable time and never expect someone to help you for free. Time is money in the real estate industry. In fact, time is money in any businesses whether it is in real estate or not. Also, be aware that mentors are not there to do the things that you cannot do. They are there to share their experiences.

Realtors

A licensed and established realtor on your team can help you find the right properties in your local market worth investing in. They are a fountain of knowledge about the housing market conditions and the neighbourhood. Having a reputable real estate agent on your team will ensure that you will be given accurate information about the property — its condition, price and value.

Accountants

A real estate business will require a good business accountant.  They should be chosen carefully and should be able to calculate if your business is making a profit through the inflow and outflow of cash. They should also be able to minimize expenses, save on taxes and create an accounting system that you can easily use when tracking your expenditures and incomes.

Lawyers

Purchasing and selling properties is a legal process and having an attorney who is specialized in real estate law on your power team is very important. A good lawyer will be able to protect your company from litigations and assist you with any legal particularity related to your business organization.

Contractors

Finding a good contractor is tough because they are always in demand. However, if you already have one on your team then you are in possession of a great asset. Contractors can give you useful information about the building processes, like how much work a property needs and how long it would take to get that work done. They need to be really handy with repairs and remodelling of a property. They could also point you to useful and reputable sub-contractors like electrician, plumbers and landscapers that they have worked with before.

By now I hope you have a good idea about the people to look for when starting your real estate power team. As you grow in your real estate business, there will be more people that you will need on your team to help your business empire run smoothly.

Top 5 Reasons for Working with a Real Estate Power Team

In order to successfully manage a successful real estate business, a smart investor needs a good power team for help and support.  A power team is group of people with complementary professions working together with the same clients without taking business away from each other. One of the biggest mistakes rookie investors make is thinking that they have to do things themselves at the beginning of their career and build a power team later when they are successful. Working hard is not enough. It’s time to work smart!

There are plenty of reasons why good teamwork is vital to a business. Not only does it get work done on time, it also gets the job done well. Here are the top 5 reasons why investors should consider being part of a great power team.

Your power team can help you find deals.

In real estate investing, it is important that you find deals — most of which you will get from referrals. Referrals can easily come your way if you’ve made a strong working relationship with people in the same business industry. Sending referrals to your other team members can help you establish a good working connection with them and will make them want to help you in return by referring you to clients who might be in need of your services. Take for example, an events coordinator referring a client to a good florist and caterer on her power team. Of course, the florist or the caterer will also recommend the events coordinator to clients in need of one.

Your power team can help you set up business.

According to experts, when setting up a business you might want to consider employing the help of people who can advise and help you set up and run your real estate business. These are people who are professionals in their own fields like accountants, lawyers, and computer consultants who could do a better job that you would. To illustrate, if you are a lawyer then you can write all the legal documents of your business yourself; however, you would still need the services of an accountant to help you manage the financial aspect of your business, especially when tax season comes.

Your power team can help you market your business.

In order for you to thrive in this real estate investment business, you will need a good marketing manager. A marketing consultant in your team should be well versed with marketing strategies like online and offline advertising, including speaking engagements, direct mails and promotional pieces, to help you market your business and increase your sales.

Your power team can help you when repairing your properties.

Real estate properties will need on-going maintenance, remodelling, and repairs in order to stay on top of the game. Working regularly with a good and reliable contractor can get the job done faster and at a lower cost. Also, having a trusted contractor on your team will provide practical advice, like where to find supplies and materials at a cheaper cost.

Your power team can help you with financial planning and solving business-related problem.

Let’s face it; there are projects that are just too big for one person to handle. Sometimes it takes a collaborative effort of people who specialize in different areas of the real estate business to find the best solution to a problem. It also matters a lot if the people on your team are experienced and successful in their particular industry. For example, an insurance agent can best help you understand the ins and outs of real estate investing by educating you of your liabilities as an investor and what must be done to protect your investments.

Assembling a power team does not happen overnight. If you want to be part of a real estate power team, join a local REIC to get an idea of what services can be useful in your business.

3 Common Mistakes New Investors Make When Working with An Agent

Like any other business, real estate investing needs to be carefully planned and seriously scrutinized. In an industry where competition is rampant, it is crucial to avoid making mistakes as much as possible. While there are many new investors starting out with the best intention of making a career out in real estate, only a few succeed.

Ideally, a working relationship between an investor and a real estate agent is a win-win alliance. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about these two characters in the real estate world. These problems usually start when an inexperienced investor chooses the wrong kind of real estate agent, thinking he or she is the one best suited for the job.

Here are the 3 most common mistakes new investors make when working with an agent:

Hiring an agent with the cheapest commission.

Newbies in the real estate business tend to think that they will be saving a lot of money if they choose an agent with the lowest commission, without thinking about how marketing and advertising their property can be expensive. To equate the situation, reduced commissions often means reduced marketing resources in promoting to get your property sold. So, don’t go with the cheapest but go with the best.

Not being honest with your real estate agent.

Agents are professionals trained to appraise properties in a manner that can be different from yours. In order to get your agent to best help you, provide him with the necessary details about your plans and expectations about the property. Lying or keeping things from your real estate agent can be toxic for your working relationship, especially if they find out about your deception and decide not to work with you anymore. Bottom line here is, without the necessary information, your real estate agent won’t be able to do their work for you correctly.

Thinking all real estate agents know the same thing.

One of the most common myths about agents is that they are all the same; therefore, they know the same things. Wrong. Real estate agents have different experience levels, different skills and different specialties that they have acquired after years of being in the business. Think of it this way, a real estate agent who deals with buyers may not have as much skills to sell a property than an agent who spent years selling them. Also, choosing the wrong real estate agent can affect your financial situation for years. You wouldn’t want to be financially burdened for the next 2-5 years just because you chose the wrong real estate agent.

Networking by Attending Foreclosure Auctions

To most people, being a real estate investor is all about making a lot of money through buying and selling properties. Although that idea of real estate investing is not far from the truth, there’s more to it than that. To make it to the top, real estate investors need a lot of help from other people inside the real estate industry. That’s where networking comes in. Networking is the inexpensive method of establishing friendly and professional relationships with other people in order to increase their number of business contacts and future prospects.

One of the many networking events an investor must not miss is a foreclosure auction. Attending foreclosure auctions does not mean you have to join in the bidding. Instead, just get to know people. Because foreclosure auctions are a great way to acquire properties below market value, they attract a large numbers of local and non-local investors. You’ll meet serious buyers that are fast deal closers and pay with cash. These are the people you’ll want to network with and put on your growing lists of buyers. If you know someone attending a foreclosure auction, ask him or her to show you around and introduce you to different people.

For beginners or even seasoned real estate investors, having a database of people from the same business is very important in building a career. As like many other industries, the more people you interact with, the more business prospects you will get. It’s practically impossible to run a real estate business without the right contacts.

Referrals

Establishing strong business connections with the right people can be beneficial when starting in the real estate world. Accumulating a large network of real estate agents means getting many business referrals.

Mentorship

Business networking can offer a variety of opportunities such as being educated and mentored by people who have already made a successful career for themselves. Learning from these people with varying talents and techniques can help you and guide you in becoming a success investor.

Potential Business Partnerships

Networking is also a great way to meet other investors that could become potential business partners. Investors work, help, and makes deals with their fellow investors, so keep in contact with each other.
Meeting Service Providers

Reliable contractors can easily be found if you just ask around. Since most properties in foreclosure auctions are not in good shape, a skilled and trusted contractor is someone you want to have on your networking team.

The Benefits of Using a Real Estate Attorney as Part of Your Power Team

For most people, the purchase and/or sale of their home will likely be the largest financial transaction they will make. Likewise, as a real estate investor, you will be involved with numerous and large financial transactions. The amount and risk of such transactions merits the use of a real estate professional. Additionally, several states require the use of a real estate attorney in the sales transaction.

From the time you make your decision to buy a home or investment property, there are a number of important decisions that must be made and which have legal consequences. There are several aspects of the sale and different ways your attorney will assist you in evaluating, assessing and closing the real estate transaction.

Prior to closing, instructions from the lender are sent to the real estate agent and/or attorney. The attorney is responsible for evaluating the details of the sale, preparing necessary closing documents, assisting in scheduling the closing, explaining the necessary closing documents and then ensuring the title company has properly executed and recorded all the documents.

A real estate lawyer’s primary focus is to ensure that the real estate transactions are executed according to all local (state) laws and the process of document preparation and review follows correct procedures. This includes the review of sales documents, the negotiation, assessment of the terms and conditions, and finally, the transfer of titles.

Real estate attorneys may also be consulted to ensure that real estate laws and regulations are followed when buying or selling real estate. When a breach of contract or a real estate fraud occurs, real estate lawyers assist to correct the problem and represent their clients to resolve any actions or issues.

Overall, real estate lawyers serve two major primary functions in the real estate world. They either act as litigators and oversee the legal aspects of real estate transactions or they defend the rights of their clients as they try to protect their interest. Real estate attorneys focus on real property and mediate real estate transactions that have legal issues.

If you are investigating a property and have questions concerning the legal meaning of any portion of the real estate purchase contract, you should consult your attorney before engaging in the legal transaction and signing the contract. This contract is a legal document and is binding for both the seller and the buyer.

Various real estate lawyers are skilled at consulting a specific aspect of real estate law. Some attorneys focus on litigating fraud cases and others might specialize in mortgage fraud, while some concentrate on land use (including zoning laws). Their expertise can also be focused on residential or commercial real estate.

Thus, an attorney’s role in real estate is broad, but they ensure that real estate transactions are done according to the law. This work is done in coordination with the buyers, sellers, realtors (agents), and/or lenders. The attorney’s main purpose is to assure that this complex procedure is legal and assists all involved in fulling their wishes to buy and sell the property. Therefore, choosing to work with an experienced real estate attorney is essential to safely handling purchases and closing real estate transactions.