Estate Agents can be very useful in securing some very lucrative deals for you. You really do not want to be upsetting your estate agent.
Yet, many people are convinced that estate agents are sly, manipulative and only think about themselves. In short, estate agents are not trustworthy.
I should mention, at this stage that I am not an estate agent, have never been an estate agent and have never worked for an estate agent.
A quick web search revealed that estate agents are the fifth least trusted profession in the UK, which although possibly true and maybe misleading, does nothing to help the profession's perception amongst the public. After all, the bulk of their commission comes from maximising the sale of the property and so we should not be surprised if all they ever offer to do is market your property at an inflated price and then seem surprised when there are no takers. I've even seen stories of agents selling houses to the buyer with the lower offer because that buyer also used the affiliated mortgage broker and solicitor.
I do believe, however, that every profession has its bad apples. Estate agents may have more than their fair share but that means that we have to be on top of our game when dealing with them.
As professional property investors, we should be able to work with agents easily and know which ones to keep hold of and who to leave behind.
But why should we be careful about upsetting them?
Well it's because estate agents come across properties all the time. They get to know the vendors very well and some understand that quick sales are sometimes needed for the benefit of the vendor. If you have the right relationship with an estate agent, you should be the first person they call if a suitable property lands with them.
So, how do you get to be the person they call first? Easy really, just be the person that upsets them the least. You see, too many so called "investors" waltz in to their local agents office and expect to pick up a cracking deal without laying down any form of credibility. If you want to use estate agents as a really good source of deals, build a strong and healthy relationship with them.
Here's how to ruin what could be a beautiful relationship:
1. Call them every day asking for cheap properties
2. Never explain exactly what you're looking for - "I want a cheap property" just will not cut the mustard
3. Immediately ask them to put you in their "little black book"
4. Tell them you can move quickly but then dawdle when they offer you a deal
5. Do not offer any form of payment for the quality lead they gave you
6. Cold call and expect everything they've got to land on the desk immediately
7. Keep making low offers on all their properties - there's a time and place for the "cheeky" offers
8. Do not listen to their advice about the area
9. Walk in and explain your "amazing" investment strategy with which you'll take over the town
10. Tell them you know more than they do about the local area
In short, if you do not attempt to build a relationship you will not gain any credibility. And without credibility you cannot hope for any form of continuous pipeline of property deals.