Many people focus exclusively on finding the best properties when getting into real estate investing. However, as any successful real estate investor can attest, it's equally important to have a professional team that you can rely on to help you through the entire process.
One of the most important members of your team is your real estate agent. A good agent will be knowledgeable about the market, have a great network of industry contacts, and be able to negotiate on your behalf expertly. Yet, sometimes investors end up partnering with agents unfit for the job.
The wrong agent can cost you time and money, so it's essential to identify the signs that you've teamed up with the wrong person. Here are eight signs that you may have partnered with the wrong real estate agent.
1. They Are Never Available When It Matters
Investing in real estate means finding partners that are available when you need them. Great real estate agents will make themselves available to their clients—sometimes even if it's outside of traditional business hours.
If you find yourself constantly struggling to get in touch with your agent, it's a sign that they aren't truly invested in your success. Good agents will always return your calls and emails within a reasonable timeframe.
2. They Don't Care About Your Investment Goals
When you partner with an agent, they should take the time to understand your investment goals and how you want to achieve them.
Are you looking for rental real estate? Do you wish to buy apartment buildings or single-family residential properties? If your agent doesn't seem interested in learning about your plans or how they can help you reach your goals, it's a sign that they aren't the right fit.
3. They Lack Reputation or Verifiable References to Back Their Work
If an agent doesn't have any references or a strong reputation, they may be new to the business or have failed to do an excellent job with past clients. In either case, it's not someone you want on your team as you establish a real estate investing portfolio.
Some investors may tend to extend the benefit of the doubt to newcomers, especially when getting into real estate investing. However, keep in mind that, instead of references, they should at least have a solid plan for how they will help you succeed.
4. They Undermine Their Commission to Get Business
A good agent will never undercut their commission to get your business. If an agent is willing to do this, it's a sign that they're more interested in making a quick buck than getting you the best deal possible. When it comes to negotiating on your behalf, you want an agent who is confident in their value and won't hesitate to fight for what they deserve.
5. They Never Bring Potential Properties to Your Attention
If you constantly have to search for fixer-uppers and rentals by hand, it's a sign that your agent isn't doing their job. Great real estate agents are proactive in finding and bringing potential properties to your attention. Working with an agent should make your life easier, not add more work to your plate.
You want to focus on investing in real estate and not chasing down your agent for help.
6. They Talk Badly About Other Agents
A good agent knows the power of networking in the industry, including working with other agents. If your agent often speaks badly about other agents, it's a sign that they're not putting professionalism first, and you may want to reconsider working with them. It can be unwise to trust a real estate agent that doesn’t demonstrate respect for others in their field and market.
7. They Don't Know Buying an Investment Property vs. a Primary Residence
There is a significant difference between searching for an investment property vs. a primary residence. If your agent doesn’t understand how to help investors find properties that are ideal for real estate investments, they probably aren’t the right fit for your goals and strategies.
8. They Don't Look After Your Interests
Agents should always have your best interests at heart. If you feel like your agent is trying to take advantage of you or isn't looking out for you (over their own interests), it's a sign that they're not the right person for the job. Your real estate investments require someone who cares about you, your interests, and your long-term success.
Complement Your Real Estate Investment Team With Privy
While having a great team is essential to a smooth and successful real estate investing experience, it's not the only thing you need. To truly master how to start investing in residential real estate, you also need access to quality information and data.
Privy is a leading real estate data provider, offering up-to-date information on residential properties across the United States. With Privy, real estate investors can find properties that fit their criteria, then work with their real estate agents to conduct more research and negotiate great deals. Reach out to our team to learn more!
If you are ready to assemble a team, download our free "Assemble Your Real Estate Investing Team: A Worksheet" to get started.