Most Realtors are focused on owner-occupieds and Canadian property investors can find it difficult working with agents who don’t understand their needs and goals. CREW canvassed investors from one end of the country to the next for their take on where Realtors sometimes get it wrong, and where, quite frankly, they may need to step up their game.
1. Lumping investors in with owner-occupieds
Some Realtors just aren't taking the time to understand their client’s needs and how they differ from other buyers, says investors. A “one-size-fits-all” approach is only going to waste an investor's time.
2. Not understanding cash flow
“One Realtor did not understand investment property and advocated buying a property even if it did not have enough cash flow to reduce income tax,” says Edward Renkema, who recommends finding a real estate professional who is also a property investor.
“Every property should be run like a business, generating enough cash flow to cover costs and have enough left over to supplement the owner’s income,” he says.
3. Not doing their research.
Instead of “deal spraying” MLS listings to clients, Realtors need to undertake a small amount of research to ensure clients only got relevant details such as costs and cash flows.
“Make it easy for me,” says investor Greg Head. “If they’ve flooding my inbox with listings and leaving it to me to sift through they’re adding zero value.”
4. Going on hearsay
It's key that Realtors representing investors verify details before sending them to those clients. It takes time and accuracy to build trust between Realtors and their investor clients and unverified information is a set back to that relationship, say property pros.
Not considering potential down sides. Some realtors recommend buying pre-built condos, which can be effective when they appreciate, but if they don’t sell and leave the owner with negative cash flow the investor is in trouble.
Still, it's not always the Realtor that's the problem, say investors, pointing the finger at their own ranks. investors need to remember it’s a two way street: Realtors might be put off working with investors if they fail to close deals or don’t know what they want.
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