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Optimize the Broker-Investor Relationship

By James Nelson

Working with the right investment sales brokers can make a significant difference for real estate investors, particularly those who are new. These individuals represent real estate individuals and organizations that want to buy, sell, or finance property. Typically, investment sales brokers offer advice on strategy and tactics and have a deep understanding of the marketplace. Even better, they have access to incredible deals.

Regardless of the type of investment or the level of service that’s needed, brokers always play a vital role in finding opportunities and enhancing an investor’s access. Properties aren’t simply listed online for anyone to find, and different brokers list different properties. Either way, website searches are not comprehensive and won’t include unlisted properties.

A proactive approach to engaging and collaborating with brokers will help investors increase their odds of finding the right deal and reaching their goals. How do you start working with brokers? If you’re new to the real estate investment landscape, follow these tips to get started:
 

  1. Routinely connect. Being new to the market might be a challenge but know that proactive and persistent action will pay off. Do not wait for brokers to call you. Do your research and offer to meet them. Then call them at least once a month to follow up.
  2. A two-way relationship. Brokers will be driven to find you deals, just as they’re driven to find deals for other investors. If you learn about deals that fall outside of your target area, pass those tips along.
  3. Show dedication. Demonstrate your commitment to making a transaction happen. Proactively line up the right partners, move quickly, and close successfully.
  4. Offer early. When the deal is an exceptionally strong fit for your investment goals, offer to pre-empt the property before it goes to market. An example of this would be making an offer before the date that the seller designates to start accepting offers.
  5. Dig deeper. When checking in with a broker, always ask about their pipeline. If you want to pre-empt a property, you need to actively seek out information on deals that have not yet hit the market.
  6. Let others go ahead. Depending on the investment goals, the opportunity, and the market, different strategies will get different results. Sometimes, it’s best to be the last buyer in a deal. If a seller’s situation is volatile and changes over time, for example, more time can be advantageous.
  7. Be creative. “Your price. My terms.” is a famously quoted expression in New York.
    Experienced brokers have the consultative chops to work with everyone to identify the most important terms and, as a result, put you in a position of strength.
  8. Follow them online. Reinforce your in-person interactions. Ask to get on an email list and follow brokers on social media. Not only does it enhance your communication and information flow, but you could also find a great sale through their Instagram post.

Once a specific deal comes into play, it’s essential to understand the broker’s role in the transaction. Asking questions like: Do they exclusively represent the seller of the property? If the listing is off market, do they have a direct connection to the seller? Are they instead a buyer’s representative, meaning that they are the buyer broker who is bringing you to the seller? will go a long way to help make the smartest decisions.

Any of these roles are viable mechanisms for the broker to connect investors with great opportunities, especially if they have access to the right information and can get a fair shot to purchase. Sometimes, frustrated buyers lament that they received unreliable information or that they did a tremendous amount of work only to have the rug pulled out from under them at the last minute.

It all comes down to relationships and trust. The right sales broker can provide quality information at your speed, usually offering the best opportunity to purchase. Proactively cultivating a relationship will help you become that broker’s first call.

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