Once you reach the point that you seriously want to start investing in real estate, it’s time for you start searching for the real estate investment that best fit your investment goals.
In this article, I want to discuss why it could benefit you to develop a working relationship with an investment Realtor to help locate investment property, the qualities you should look for, and how you can find that person.
Why Use a Professional?
Let’s start at the top. Why would you want to use a real estate professional when you can find your own rental properties?
Foremost, because the right Realtor can guide you from your initial goal setting phase through the selection, acquisition, and subsequent management of your investment. They can direct you into investments you may not have discovered on your own and then negotiate the purchase for you (generally more easily than when a buyer and seller meet face-to-face). Moreover, they are equipped with the tools like real estate investment software and the expertise to help you crunch and interpret the numbers.
Who is a Right Realtor?
Most importantly, you are not looking for a licensed agent who sells houses for a living without ever having become active or knowledgeable about investment real estate. You do not want a house salesperson with no or minimal clue about rental property.
You want an agent who works full time in the business and not only understands and practices real estate investing, but also knows the market.
The Realtor you want understands investing and is familiar with such things as taxation, depreciation, financing and tax-deferred exchanges. You want a specialist who can create rental property cash flow, rates of return, and profitability analysis presentations and then help you to interpret that data against your investment goals. A real estate investment might be the largest sum of money you will ever spend, and you want a broker who not only cares how you spend your money but also handles it amply as if it was their own.
How to Find the Right Realtor
You can locate agents in your area qualified to work with investment property in any number of ways.
Contact the brokerages and ask if they have an investment specialist in their office with background education in real estate investing; contact the CCIM Institute; contact the MLS and see who regularly lists rental property, the local Board of Realtors, and maybe a local appraiser, property management firm, or perhaps a friend or colleague who has been investing. You should have little trouble building a short-list of potentially qualified candidates that specialize in commercial and investment real estate full-time that you can meet with and interview. How you make your selection afterward will probably boil down to chemistry; whom do you prefer to work with.
As an investor, especially if you are a first time investor, you will discover that having a good investment specialist on your side will truly benefit your investment goals and well worth your effort to locate one and utilize their services.