How To Make Money As A Real Estate Bird Dog

There are many ways to make money with Real Estate. In my opinion, one of the easiest ways to make money with in this business is becoming a Real Estate Bird Dog. Stop before you rush out the door! You’ll still have to work at it. However, many of us believe it’s far easier with fewer headaches than many other techniques.

What is a Real Estate Bird Dog?

A Real Estate Bird Dog is a person, or in some cases a company, who locates investment property for Investors.

Why would Investors pay for a service like this? Simple. Many Investors are business people who are busy making money. They don’t have time to hunt down good deals in major real estate markets. This is where you into play.

What do I have to do?

The most important thing to know to become a successful bird dog is know your local market. To do this, bird dogs seek out relationships with real estate brokers, agents, bankers, lenders and anyone else who may have knowledge of a good investment.

In most markets, the bird dog will be a person who already works in the real estate field, for example a Agent or perhaps an assistant to a Real Estate Agent. However, I know Bird Dogs who do nothing other than find investment deals for investors.

How do you make money with this?

Normally once a bird dog finds several investments or investment leads, they then present them to the investor. When/if they buy the investment, the real estate bird dog is paid a service fee which is typically a percentage of the price of the investment or it could be a flat fee, it depends on the bird dog.

What are the advantages?

One advantage is that once you hand the property off to the investor, you job is done. You don’t have to worry about setting up financing, inspections or any other of the headaches that can come with investing in real estate.

How much can a real estate bird dog expect to make?

Obviously it depends on what percentage of the deal you decide your time and effort is worth, but some command as high as a 10% finders fee. I’ve heard of higher fees, but most that I’m aware of run in the 3 to 6% range.

Are there any disadvantages?

Well, for one, in some states, if you find real property for an investor and then charge a fee, they feel you need a real estate license. Check with the State you live in before going into this.

Whatever you do, get everything in writing. At the worse case, you’ll have to take a few nighttime classes and get your real estate license. There are worse things to do! At the least, you’ll just have to start networking with the industry in your market to get in on the ground floor of becoming a real estate bird dog.


Can Real Estate Markets Revive If Banks Are Reluctant to Lend?

As a result of my real estate activities, I am frequently questioned about the general trend of the markets. Over the past few years, my answer has been, “It’s very difficult to tell. All bets are off.”

In fact, we have been through an extremely vexing time in which banks simply do not seem inclined to lend. The lack of available capital has created a situation in which real estate markets as we know them seem no longer to exist.

Lately, however, some positive signs indicate a change is in the air. We appear to be embarking on a Darwinian process that, in time, could be quite beneficial. First, however, we need to face the facts.

Notwithstanding the outrageously low interest rates that are touted for residential loans, I know of very few people who have actually been able to obtain a mortgage and take advantage of these historically low rates. On the contrary, banks that have been burned in the recent collapse of real estate values do not appear willing to lend for real estate purchases or refinancing.

In recent years the majority of purchases have been for residential properties financed through FHA or VA loans, properties purchased with existing cash or credit lines that do not require traditional bank underwriting, or large bulk purchases made by highly sophisticated entities with ready access to investment capital. The new real estate market is a cash market in which buyers demand significant price reductions – or they buy somewhere else.

Cash is king, and the clear reality at the present time is that the lack of readily available capital and the relatively few cash buyers continue to hold down values.

But something is stirring. Real estate owners have begun to respond to the scarcity of capital by offering seller financing and other inducements to entice new buyers into the market. As this trend takes hold, prices will stabilize and values will begin to climb.

In addition, I am seeing advertisements for young technology-driven lending companies who embrace new technologies and appear intent on conducting their lending businesses in a lean and mean fashion through reliance on the internet.

The combination of seller financing and new lending businesses entering the market seem likely to alter the landscape of lending, providing access to capital and furnishing a much needed boost to the markets.

When real estate prices begin to climb, the banks will most likely realize they are missing out and resume their traditional role of lending based upon reasonable underwriting requirements. The increased competition will be good for the markets, widening access to capital and fueling growth, and that will be good for everybody.