An investment real estate agent is a realtor who helps investors find promising opportunities in their desired market. Investors who are feeling bogged down by the double-whammy of short home supplies and rising prices might do well to team up with a specialized agent.
That said, investment realtors aren’t as widely available as traditional ones. To find one quickly, you might want to use a free agent matching service, like Clever Real Estate. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on your network to find one or search out an REI-certified Realtor near you.
What’s an investment real estate agent?
An investment real estate agent specializes in properties like distressed homes, foreclosures, fixer-uppers, or rentals. While traditional realtors help buyers and sellers as needed, investment agents are always hunting for potential opportunities to bring their clients.
Many investment agents are investors themselves and look at a property’s metrics to find promising opportunities, including:
- After-repair value
- Estimated cap rates
- Net operating costs
How do you find an investment real estate agent?
Agent matching service
An agent matching service is the best way to find an investment real estate agent.
A few agent matching services you might want to try:
- Bigger Pockets connects you with investor-friendly agents, but without a cash-back option.
- Clever Real Estate is a free service that can connect you with top investment agents in your desired markets. You can also get up to 0.5% of your investment back when you buy with a partner Clever agent.
- Pellogo has around 75% of its agents specialized in investment (note: most agents live in California, Florida, and Washington).
Once you give some information — like your ZIP code and types of properties you’re interested in — the service will pair you with a batch of investment agents almost instantly. You can scan the list, read each agent’s “about me” section, and choose two to three to interview.
Find an REI-certified Realtor
A Realtor (a member of the National Association of Realtors) with a Real Estate Investing (REI) certificate has completed 14 hours of coursework on real estate investing. REI-certified Realtors are hard to come by, though.
The REI certificate can give realtors insight into the real estate investing world. Still, without hands-on experience, REI Realtors may not see properties like an investor does.
See if someone in your own network knows an investor-friendly realtor. You can increase your chances of meeting one by joining vocational organizations, such as:
- Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) attracts investor-friendly agents, investors, perhaps even sellers. Many cities and major real estate markets have at least one REIA.
- Real Estate Investing Club (REIC) events are a hotbed for meeting like-minded investors and agents. Many REICs have online forums, too, to help you connect with other investors faster.
Pros of hiring investment real estate agents
✅ Deep knowledge of the local market. They’ll find off-market deals, inform you of rental trends, and help you decide if a property is a good investment.
✅ Skilled at property analysis. They know the right metrics to help you predict your ROI.
✅ Special access to property deals. Teaming up with an investor-friendly agent could mean finding new deals faster.
✅ Could connect you with home buyers. If you’re house-flipping, your agent might be able to market your property to their network of buyers.
Cons of hiring investment real estate agents
❌ Possible competition. If your agent is also an investor, you might be competing with them for the most promising opportunities.
❌ Might be difficult to find one nearby. Investment agents aren’t as widespread as traditional realtors. Try using a free agent matching service to see what’s in your area, or ask your network for contacts.
What should you look for in a good investment real estate agent?
How can you tell if your investment real estate agent is truly good at finding good deals? Below are some of the most telling signs that your agent is an expert at investment properties.
👍 Hands-on investing experience
Investment agents who buy or manage their own investment properties will likely know how to look for property deals. They’ll also know the special challenges you face and help you navigate common investing pitfalls.
👍 Large networks at their disposal
The best investment agents have large networks beyond their brokerages: general contractors, architects, other investors, agents, wholesalers, home buyers, and other experts.
👍 Proficient at metrics analysis
A good investment real estate agent will help you predict potential returns, whether you’re house-flipping or buying a rental. They’ll analyze property deals using metrics such as:
- Cap rate
- Gross rent multiplier
- Net operating income
Questions to ask an investment real estate agent
- Are you a full-time agent?
- Do you have investment properties right now?
- How much investing experience do you have?
- What markets are you investing in?
- How do you find investment properties? What strategies do you use?
- Can you provide me with references?
- Are you a solo-practicing agent, or do you work on behalf of a brokerage?
- Do you also offer property management services?
The Best Questions to Ask a Realtor. Before you hire a realtor to help buy or sell your home, you should interview them.
How to Choose a Realtor: Expert Secrets. We talked to the pros to learn the best way to choose a realtor when buying or selling a home.