When inventory is low, you have one of two options for your buyer. You can have them wait out the dry period or you can go and find properties that are not listed yet. Often times, investors are drawn to areas where demand is high for rentals and those areas get short on inventory very quick. Beyond a rental cap, many times buildings start wait lists in order for the owners to
be able to rent out their spaces. But you for sure don’t ever want to disappoint a buyer or leave them hanging, so most real estate agents do what they call “bird dogging”. Any buyer agent knows, being in “the know” of what is coming to market or sniffing out sellers ahead of the game, keeps buyers working with them. But it isn’t an easy practice. It’s a follow up game that can take six months to a year to get rolling. So taking the right steps will help both investors and sellers find each other and fast. A real estate bird dog is a person who invests their time trying to locate properties for current and future buyers. They know the market and which buildings investors would be interested in and they know a good deal. There are people out there who have given the term “bird dog” a bad name by scamming the system, but when done right, it can be a huge advantage to both the buyer and the seller.
The role of a real estate agent is to inform and / or educate people onthe market. When they know what buyers and / or investors are looking for but see a shortagein the market, its in everyones best interest if they inform potential sellers of the opportunity that lies right under their nose. The action steps to becoming a great bird dog is all about your network. An agent can market
to specific buildings that do not have rental caps or have caps that are not met yet, and inform owners of the current market around them. Agents who have investors looking for deals but are short on inventory, should write personal notes to expired leads. Let them know they have a buyer who is interested in their home and have them come take a look. An expired lead is
someone who wanted to sell their home but it didn’t sell for 1 of 3 reasons. The price was too high or two low, it was a result of bad marketing, or the home is in need of renovation. A hand written note will go a long way in helping them rebuild trust in you that may have been lost in their last realtor.
No one can tell an investor exactly what their investment property criteria should include. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference, while others follow the demand. Looking at criteria around the town, neighborhood, property size in square feet, lot size, property conditions, number of units, cap rate, cash flow, and appreciation potential, are all on top of mind for an investor and finding a great property. Real estate agents are not the only bird dogs out there looking to help investors. Anyone can be a bird dog. Between using the internet and some good ol’ networking, people can put an ear to the ground to find properties coming to market before they get listed. Look for a well connected partner who is a savage when it comes to market knowledge. Any investor looking for a new area to invest in will want to know how long inventory is sitting on the market, average sales prices in the neighborhood, and what spaces are typically renting for. A great bird dog will also know about upcoming development projects and amenities that attract renters / buyers to the area. Knowing your facts about the rental market will give both potential sellers and investors confidence in your abilities to help them. Both agents and investors know their next deal can come from anywhere. Being knowledgable and doing the work beforehand allows you to capitalize on the opportunity when it presents
itself. Being knowledgable allows you to stay ahead of the game and have investors come toyou. Know which neighborhoods and or buildings are the best investment deals and inform those owners of their options. Come from a place of service, and people will know you are genuine in looking to help them find that next deal or get a great price on their home.