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1/18/15: Building Broker Relationships – Finding and Working with the RIGHT Agents

Finding great deals is just ONE of the many valuable services your real estate brokers will provide to you.

And as you might guess…not all real estate brokers are created equally.

In the studio tossing around the topic of building profitable relationships with great real estate brokers:

  • The right host for the job, Robert Helms
  • His broke co-host, Russell Gray
  • The oldest known living broker, The Godfather of Real Estate Bob Helms

It’s often said that real estate investing is a TEAM sport.  We agree.

And some of your most important players are your real estate brokers.

Yes…it’s plural.  But not like you think…

Because at the foundation of a great relationship with a top performing professional is LOYALTY.  So you shouldn’t have 10 guys “competing” for your business.  You’ll get crushed…because none of them will work for you.

They’ll work with the clients who are also top performers…the one’s who close the deals they get into, don’t major in the minors, GLADLY pay a generous commission and liberally provide referrals.

If YOU were a top performing agent with a strong network of leads sources and all kinds of “pocket” (non-public) listings…would you call the more-talk-than-walk, nit-picky, penny-pinching new guy in town with your BEST deal?

Or would you call your loyal, generous, referral-providing, brand-building testimonial-giving, long term client who’s THRILLED when you make a big, fat commission?

Get it?  There’s no room in top tier deal making for win-lose, scarcity mentality deal-making.

Now that doesn’t mean you don’t negotiate for the things you need in the deal…and sometimes a great agent will give a little too in order to get a deal done.  But don’t LEAD with that.

So that’s arguably the MOST important aspect of having a GREAT relationship with your broker.

But there’s more…

Like a great coach, you want to put your players in a position to be successful.  So don’t ask your single-family home agent to handle your big commercial transaction (or vice-versa)…or go outside the market place they know best.

Another aspect of a previous point is that you help your agent find you deals when you actually make offers that close.

Think about it.

If your agent is going into the market competing for the best deals…and he puts you out there and you fail to follow through…you make your agent look BAD in the eyes of his local market place.

“Don’t take any offers from Joe…his clients never close…and they’re a pain to deal with.”

On the other side of the coin…

When your agent has a reputation for getting deals done, other agents in the local market KNOW it…and who do you think they’d rather work with?  Those other agents might not know YOU, but they know your agent.

Make your agent’s success YOUR priority….because if he’s successful, so are you.

But wait!  There’s more…

In a typical transaction, there could be several service providers…appraisers, lenders, property managers, title reps, escrow officers to name a few…who all get paid when the deal gets done.

So obviously, if you don’t perform on a purchase and sale contract, then you disappoint everyone in the food chain.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should do a deal you don’t like.  We’re NOT saying that.

Just remember how small any industry is…even in a large community…and how quickly your name can be gold…or mud.  Keep that in mind ALWAYS.

Because ALL of these people are sources of “insider” deals.  They all have networks.  They can help you find better deals…and can hold a difficult transaction together IF they like you.

Of course, all of this presupposes you can actually win the attention of a top tier broker in a community.

So how do you find that guy or gal?  And more importantly, how do you get their attention?

Ideally, you are referred by someone they already know and trust.  This gets you in, but as we previously discussed, you still need to behave properly.

If you don’t know anyone in a community, then it can take a little longer to get established.  We always recommend building relationships BEFORE doing deals.  So if you’re new to a market, look for trade shows and conferences you can attend.

Often, some of the best people will be there.  Of course, top tier people are also very busy, so they may not be there.  But SOMEONE from the community will be there, so you can begin to network and ask for referrals.

In the internet age, you can quickly research the referral, and if they look good online, you can make contact and get to know them better.

Remember, you’re building a TEAM.  So it’s like dating with marriage in mind.  You’re looking for someone who’s compatible…shares common values…that you’ll enjoy working with for the long haul.

You need to trust your team members in TWO areas…ethics and competency.  Because someone who is competent, but unethical will abuse you with machine like precision.  Someone who’s ethical, but incompetent will apologize profusely and feel terrible when they screw up your deal.

The BEST team members are both ethical AND competent.  When you find a good team member…be loyal, be generous and be thankful.

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