No, I'm not talking about starting a kennel and going into the dog business – still talking real estate here. A new concept that I have been using for a while and one that I have seen others effectively use is what I call “Breeding Bird Dogs”. In a nutshell, breeding bird dogs is taking newbie investors under your wing and training them how to find prospective deals. The premise behind training other “would-be investors” to find properties is that they will bring the deals to you before they present them to anyone else. Some may feel as though they are training their competition, but I've never looked at it that way. The newbie benefits from this training by learning the ropes of the business, pursuing deals, and getting paid without taking any risk. At some point they may start doing deals on their own, and I'm happy for them. You, on the other hand, through your experience and the training that you provide can have many more eyes on the street locating deals for you.
I have a slew of bird dogs who take to the streets daily searching for deals that they can bring my way. On average I get about five calls a day, sometimes over ten calls a day. It's like any other method of finding properties where you usually have to get 20 leads to find one deal. When I find that deal, I make sure that the bird dog is paid well for his or her time. It is my goal to make it worth their while to continue bringing the properties to me. That's why I teach investors how to locate deals. I teach them about putting ads in the paper, driving neighborhoods, putting out signs, sending postcards, etc. When they get calls and present me with deals, I start giving them tips on how to identify deals and tidbits on negotiating a better deal.
Now I do not pay my bird dogs for handing me an address and a phone number. I want them to see the homes. I want them to talk with the owners. I want them to do their best at negotiating the best price they can. I also do not pay for MLS leads. The only time I'll pay for a lead from the MLS is when someone has the property under contract at a fair price. So if you are interested in raising your productivity a notch, train others how to do what you do, and then treat them well for it.