Real estate brokers can be a great resources for finding on-market and off-market real estate deals. However, do not expect a real estate broker to automatically put you near the top of their go-to client list, especially if you haven’t completed your first syndication deal.
After finding a real estate broker, one of the biggest challenges you are going to face is proving that you are the real deal. From the real estate broker’s perspective, there is a lot of uncertainty. They’ll be thinking, “if I begin working with them, are they really going to pull the trigger on a deal?”
Therefore, in regards to your relationship with a real estate broker, your main focus needs to be proving that you are a serious, credible apartment syndicator who is capable of closing on a deal.
Don’t just take my word for it. Thomas “T” Furlow, who is a commercial real estate investor who has specialized in apartments for years, agrees. Experience real estate brokers won’t take a newbie investor at their word. They must prove, through action, that they are serious. In our recent conversation, he offered four tactics a newbie apartment syndication can implement in order to win over the trust of an experienced real estate broker.
1 – Consulting Fee
One tactic is to offer the real estate broker a consulting fee. To show that you are serious and that you respect their time, offer to pay them an hourly fee ($150 to $200 per hour), even if you don’t find a qualified deal. In return, you can use them as a consultant, including asking them questions, sending them potential deals to review, having them run rental or sales comp reports and – ideally – having them send you prospective off-market deals.
2 – Visit Their Recent Sales
Another tactic is to get in your car and drive to the real estate broker’s recent apartment sales. Ask them to send you a list of their most recent 10 apartment sales and visit those properties in person.
After visiting the 10 properties, follow-up with the real estate broker, telling them which properties meet your investment criteria and why. In doing so, you are not only portraying yourself as a serious investor but are also giving the real estate broker an idea of what type of apartment you are interested in acquiring.
3 – How Will You Fund Your Deals?
The third tactic is to provide the real estate broker with information on how you will fund a potential deal. Since we are apartment syndicators, we are raising money from accredited investors. Explain how many people have expressed interest or have verbally committed to investing. Tell them about the strategies you are implementing to find potential private money investors
Since you will likely be securing a loan, tell them about the mortgage brokers you’ve spoken with.
Anything else related to the funding of the deal should be communicated to the real estate broker to qualify yourself as a credible investor who has the financial capabilities to close a deal.
4 – Constant Follow-Up
Lastly, and most importantly, constantly follow-up. Whenever you perform a task that brings you closer to completing a deal, notify the real estate broker. A simple email will suffice.
For example, if you have a conversation with a lender, provide the real estate broker with their contact information and the outcome of the meeting (i.e. “I met with XYZ Lending. I told them about my business plan and they told me that I will qualify for a loan.”).
Once you’ve found a qualified property management company, send the real estate broker their biography.
Before sending out a direct mailing campaign, as well as when you start receiving phone calls from interested sellers, notify the real estate broker.
However, only follow-up with information that is relevant to completing an apartment deal. The real estate broker probably won’t care much about what you had for breakfast.
Overall, proving your seriousness to the real estate broker is about communicating your effort towards and commitment to finding and closing on an apartment deal. To accomplish this, you can offer a consulting fee, visit their recent sales, communicate how you will fund a potential deal and constantly follow-up with relevant information.
How about you? Comment below: What tactics have you implemented to win over a real estate broker?
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.