If you want to make money from property sourcing then one of the most important elements that you’ll need to master is how to work well with estate agents. Estate agents are going to play a critical part in sourcing property, especially whilst you are first setting up. One of the really good things about agents is that you can access properties of sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to find the kind of properties that you are looking for. Unfortunately, agents aren’t suddenly going to think of investors and give you the heads up on properties, at least not until you have built up that relationship.
Having spent nearly 12 years in agency, I can tell you that agents will not pick up the phone and contact you unless you’ve put in some serious groundwork first. Based on my years working in this field, I can tell you how it is from an agent’s point of view and give you some useful tips that will help you to nurture that relationship so that you will be the first person that they think of when a property investment opportunity arises.
1. Put in the time
This isn’t going to be a quick process, so be prepared to play the long game. All relationships are built on trust and familiarization and this takes time to build up but it will be very worthwhile in the long run.
2. Focus on only one or two agents
It is practically impossible to forge strong bonds with all of the agents in your area, so put your efforts into building the relationship with just one or two. Pop in to meet the agents and gauge how receptive they are when you discuss your concepts and select the ones that seem most likely to become a beneficial relationship.
The other reason for concentrating on just one or two is because when you move into direct to seller marketing, you cut out your marketing potential if you have a relationship with every agent. It will obviously, affect your relationship with them if you are going direct to seller for properties.
3. Buy gifts
This might sound a bit like you’re going too far but this really works. Whether you take in a box of chocolates, their favourite coffee or something else that you discover that they like, these small gestures will all pay off. You need to do this consistently. If you do it around the same time each month, this will mean they will start expecting you and you will start to get those deals coming through.
4. Weekly phone calls
In between the monthly gifts, you need to stay in touch with them so they keep you in mind. Monday afternoon is a really good time to do this, as they will probably have had a catch up meeting that morning. They will have discussed the properties that have had viewings over the weekend and talk about the ones that haven’t had much interest. Once you’ve established this routine, they’ll automatically be thinking of you when they’re struggling with a property.
5. Educate the agents
To get the most out of the relationship with agents, they have to fully understand what you are looking for, so you’ll need to educate them on this. Spend time explaining what you do and carefully explain how it will benefit both them and the seller.
If you use these five steps as a framework to build your relationship, you’ll soon start to see the fruits of your work. You’ll eventually have an excellent relationship with the agents and find it to be very useful in your property sourcing strategy.
I’ve prepared a really great free resource for you. It’s a ‘Working With Agents’ cheat sheet. Click below to get your copy sent to you.
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