For many people new to house flipping, finding properties to flip is a bit of a challenge. So with that in mind, how can you start locating potential houses to flip?
I spend a lot of time speaking with people about how to be successful in the real estate business – however if you fail to find suitable properties to begin with, you will have a difficult time jump-starting your house flipping career.
Real estate agents can play a major role in helping you to locate prime houses to flip – generally because they are actively searching for new properties each day. Along with wholesalers, real estate agents have been one of the best sources of some of my most successful flips.
Here we will discuss how to best utilize real estate agents to take your house flip business to a whole other level.
Using Real Estate Agents: To Do's and Not To Do's
When using a real estate agents in your house flips, be sure to incorporate the following tips and tactics:
- Don’t Waste their Time: Time is most certainly money in the real estate world so be sure to stay respectful by having all your materials organized and ready to go. The last thing you want to do is make a real estate agent run around to random properties. If you have them run around town looking for house flipping deals for you and you never take action, this is a formula for disaster. If a good opportunity presents itself then you must take a deep breath, make a move and take action!
- Educate: Be sure to educate your agent on the ideal type of house flip you plan on buying, fixing up and selling. Many times it's necessary to educate real estate agents about house flipping in order to set appropriate expectations right from the get-go. Talk to them about your plan to buy properties – what type of home you want to buy and the region you want to buy in. It is important to be upfront with your agent regarding this stage in the process.
- Build Relationships: Your relationships and your reputation is your number one asset. Unfortunately this is not true for all folks, especially those who don't focus on building solid and beneficial relationships with people. Locating the right people is very important – which means that you may need to go through a few of them before you settle on a real estate agent who you are on the same page with.
- MLS: MLS access is very important (the nationwide multiple listing service). This compilation of a region's real estate listings can be very helpful when it comes to finding houses to flip, as well as for use in your comps when you submit an offer. The MLS service provides info on homes and also for foreclosures. Oftentimes the real estate agent will run comps for you at your request. But better yet, a good real estate agent you develop a relationship with may give you access to their MLS database so you can get to work on your own.
- Return the Favor: When you are working with a real estate agent to find houses to flip, keep your eyes open for opportunities for them as well. Any good real estate investor always tries to give as much as he can get. Give more than your receive, and always be prepared to make a move and take action when the time and opportunity is right. That is the way to do business in the house flipping and real estate investing world.
- Mentoring: Consider enrolling in a mentorship program with the real estate agent, especially if you're new. Some real estate agents also flip houses for profit – and they make take you under their wing. After all, the two businesses of real estate brokering and house flipping go virtually hand in hand. You can leverage the fact that the agent is already in the field while also having access to the most current and up to date information around.
The bottom line with real estate agents is that if you surround yourself with some really good ones, they will become vital members of your house flipping team. Get out there and meet as many as you can. Granted not all of them will be great…some will be just plain horrible. But the real estate business is like any other kinds of business that has its share of good and bad.
The good thing is that the more real estate agents you meet, your chances increase of eventually finding a core group that will be professional and knowledgeable. These are the ones who will become a huge asset for you as you grow your house flipping business.