Even after doing this for 20 years, I’m still open to new possibilities. I’m always looking for new deals, new ideas, new things to learn.
You’ve got to keep doing this or you get stagnant. Things start to get rote, boring, stale – and you start to lose your edge. You start to slip. And that’s no good for anyone.
So even though I’ve worked with some members of my power team for 10 or 15 years, I’m always looking for new talent – particularly with Realtors. Now, at this stage of my career, I have Realtors calling me, offering deals and asking to work with me. People know my name, and sometimes they even know my voice on the phone, so it’s hard for me to shop around anonymously. But sometimes I can get away with it, or I’ll have one of my associates do it for me. And I’m always glad when I do – because the process has connected me with some of the best Realtors I’ve ever worked with.
There’s no rocket science here – it’s a simple process that can works for anyone in any city, whether you’re just getting started or just bought your 30th property. It’s just a matter of doing your homework, doing the legwork, following through and trusting your gut.
We go into much more detail at the Russ Whitney Millionaire Mastery Training Program and show you step-by-step how to do it yourself, but here it is in a nutshell.
Step 1: Do your homework.
Pick a one mile square area that has a lot of the types of properties you’re interested in buying. Drive around that area, block by block, and keep track of all the realtor signs you see. Keep a tally – which office has the most listings in that area? Usually three to five offices will clearly be ahead of the pack.
Step 2: Ask for what you want.
Now call the top three to five offices on your list. In most offices, realtors take turns being the “floor person,” which involves helping walk-ins and answering the phones. You have no idea if that day’s floor person is a 10 year veteran or someone who got their license last week – and they’re not going to tell you. Don’t waste your time – ask immediately to speak to the broker or the manager.
Then tell the broker or the manager your story – you’re an investor, looking to buy distressed properties with low or no downpayment, preferably seller financing. Ask who in the office is best suited to help you. Make it clear you do not want to be routed back to the floor person – simply saying that and using that terminology will make it clear to the broker that you know what you’re talking about and you mean business.
Now, the best person may not be available right then – but get his or her name and find out the best time to call.
Step 3: Follow through.
Now call each of these people and set up a meeting. Be sure to tell each of them that they were recommended by their broker – if they’ve got any ambition, that will get them psyched up.
Get in there and meet each one face to face, shake their hands, talk shop. I’m a big believer in the handshake test – sometimes you know, as soon as you shake someone’s hand, whether this is someone you can work with or not. Trust that instinct – there’s plenty of Realtors out there, no need to waste your time talking to one that makes you squirm in your chair. I’ve given you lots of advice on interview questions to ask a Realtor – use them.
Step 4: Take him for a test drive.
Hey, you’re not signing any kind of long term contract or commitment here, so there’s no reason you can’t try out a Realtor before you get too involved. If you find a prospect you think may work, take him for a spin – next time you see a property that you think has promise, give him a call and ask him to check it out. See how he responds – how long does he take to call back, does he ask the right questions, all those things.
You also want to see how he responds to ideas that are a little bit out of the box. Most Realtors are like sheep – they just do things the way everyone else does them, and don’t even think about why. For instance, there’s the age-old “rule” that the 6% commission is split 50/50 – half goes to the selling agent and half goes to the buying agent. This isn’t written in stone somewhere, it’s not a law – it’s just the way Realtors have always done it. If you’ve got a property you want to flip fast, ask your prospect if he’d be willing to take 2% and give 4% to the buying agent. His reaction will tell you a lot about his long term promise as a member of your power team. A good Realtor will realize that buyers’ agents will be more eager to close a deal under this structure, and that he’ll end up selling you your next investment property and collecting another 3% faster.
See, you’ve got to keep your mind open to new possibilities all the time – and you want a Realtor that does the same. That’s good for everyone.