Very early on I’d read Luke Weber’s The Flipping Blueprint and one section that jumped out was on how to find an investor-friendly real estate agent. Having built and bought and sold a few houses I didn’t think finding an agent would be all that difficult, but when you’re new at something, you think all sorts of things that turn out to be wrong. In his book, Luke Weber talks about using Zillow to find agents by reverse sorting them and sending emails to those folks who end up on page 30 instead of page 1 – find the “go-getters” and not the cushy “promoted” folks. So, I did.
I emailed about 50 agents over the course of two days. It’s important to note that this was after emailing dozens of agents that I’d found just by going to real estate broker sites and finding profiles that included what I thought to be investor-friendly language. Let’s say in total I emailed about 75 agents in my area. Do you know how many got back to me in any capacity? Five. Yeah, that’s it – five. Of those five, three got back to me by putting my email address in a drip campaign meant for typical homebuyers, but never actually reached out themselves. Two of the five reached out and promised to follow up as they were out of town or busy that day, and both flaked after their first outreach. So in the end, 0 for 75. Holy crap! I figured contractors would be difficult, not agents. Wrong.
Finally, I found the site biggerpockets.com (BP) and jumped in with a pro account so I could access calculators and watch old webinar content (and in my opinion, it’s worth it), and it was there that I found a few more leads to agents in my area who might be a good fit. I reached out to three agents that recommended at BP all three connected within 2 days. Unfortunately, all three dropped the ball right after that again. At this point, all I can figure is that it’s me. But I can’t do this (yet) without agents, so the search continued.
Next, I posted some ads on craigslist looking for contractors to help with rehab projects. I had a few who responded to the ad and when they did I asked them for referrals hoping that someone would surface an agent, and that worked pretty well. I get a few agents from those folks all of whom were eager to talk with me about investing and about contractors, so that was like killing two birds with one stone.
Finally, I reached out one more time to the BP agents and one immediately perked up, apologized for dropping the ball, and jumped right in to help me. So at this point, I have three agents who I trust for advice and knowledge about specific areas they’re working in (and in some cases, investing). In total it took about 2 months to find the three and have enough meaningful interactions with them where I felt good about the go-forward relationship. Hope that experience helps some of you who are looking. Good luck!