Estate Agents (Part 4)
We’re still thinking about how to find deals through estate agents and just to recap, one thing which I would definitely recommend (in fact, it’s an absolute “must”) is that you go and physically be present in an estate agent’s office.
Really, you should stop by ALL the agents’ offices in your investment area at least once a week, or, if you live outside of your target area, then fortnightly or monthly. On the weeks that you can’t go and visit in person, then you need to ring the offices and chat to them more than just once a week to ensure you stay at the forefront of their minds.
What’s going to happen when you start talking to estate agents is that you’re going to get to know them and they’re going to get to know you. And this is something you should be doing with every estate agent on your investment patch.
The reality is that you’re going to build a bond with some – but not with others. As an example, let’s say there’s a dozen estate agents’ offices in your investment area. You may find that after time, the number of property details coming to you is going to dwindle and you may end up only dealing with three or four different agents. These agents will be the ones who particularly understand what you’re trying to do – and these will be the ones you build a relationship with.
This is very much a numbers game and as such, it’s advisable to go and see as many as you can. Start trying to develop a relationship with as many as possible because inevitably, you’re probably not going to sustain a relationship with all of them. However, the ones that you do form a bond with are going to be the ones who are going to send you the deals.
It’s very, very important to do this and to go through this process. I meet so many “would be” investors who find that they just aren’t getting anywhere – and when they approach me and I ask what it is they have been doing, they reply: “Well, for six months I’ve been trying really hard.”
When I push a little harder and ask what they mean by this, they tell me they have been up at the crack of dawn every day browsing Rightmove, but they still haven’t found any deals. When I ask if they have actually been into the estate agents’ offices, they shake their heads and say: “No, but I have been on Rightmove. Isn’t that enough?”
The answer is NO! That’s not enough, because browsing Rightmove isn’t going to build a relationship with estate agents.
Don’t get me wrong, Rightmove is a fantastic tool. However, property is still essentially a “people to people business” – and if you want to be successful in property, you have to meet people. You have to get out and talk to agents; build rapport and a relationship. Brilliant though they are, you can’t solely rely on internet resources.
My advice is to use these types of resources to supplement what you’re doing. Use them to start informing yourself and to learn about your investment area. BUT, don’t rely on them because to make deals happen, you must go and see people.
For the same reason, I would suggest that you don’t just shoot an email to an agent or even to all the agents in your investment area. An email is just another message. It might not get opened and an agent might not respond. There’s no urgency with an email and it will not have the same effect as actually sitting in front of someone and asking for details. In person, you can clearly explain what it is that you’re looking for and this will help to start the ball rolling with deals.
In summary, use the internet resources that are available to you; keep an eye on Rightmove and sites such as Zoopla to stay up to speed with what’s happening in your area, but also get out there. Build relationships, keep up the contact with agents and work to ensure you stay firm in their mind space.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
By the way, I’ve rewritten and updated my best-selling e-book, The Successful Property Investor’s Strategy Workshop, which is an account of how I put together my multi-property portfolio, starting from scratch and with no money of my own, and how you can do the same. For more details please go to: www.ThePropertyTeacher.co.uk/the-successful-property-investors-strategy-workshop