BY LANCE EDWARDS— There are many terms that are thrown around in the real estate investment arena. One of these terms is bird dog.
A real estate bird dog, much like its canine counterpart, is out hunting deals. A bird dog is someone who finds something that looks like a deal and then hands it off for you to do the work. If you choose to bird dog deals, there are some things you need to know.
If you want to bird dog a multifamily property deal, the minimum you have to do is submit a deal on a submittal form. That at least shows you have done some analysis. Any sophisticated buyer wants to at least see there is some analysis behind the lead.
If you choose to bird dog deals, you can benefit from working with other bird dogs. Not only can you learn from their experience, but you can team up with them. For example, let’s say you are out scouring the area for apartments and you come across an office building. At present, you don’t have any buyers but you know another bird dog who does have buyers.
You can call up that bird dog and offer to split the deal with him. You are then building a relationship where each of you knows that you can rely on the other to keep an eye out for deals that fit your niche. Teaming up with another bird dog could also allow you to split marketing costs.
You could agree to do a massive mail campaign, pool your resources and then agree to take turns on the leads that come in or to split whatever profits you make on the deals that come in.
Accountability is also another benefit of teaming up with a fellow bird dog. You can build momentum together and hold each other accountable for doing things so you don’t lag and fall behind.
If you are working with other bird dogs, concentrate on those who are consistent and deliver on their promises. Don’t waste your time on dreamers. You need to be ethical and legal but be persistent and focused. Always deliver on value. The more value you deliver, the more money you make.
The more information you take to a buyer, the more you can expect in compensation. If you don’t know what you are doing, the buyer isn’t going to pay for that. To get maximum value, you need to demonstrate that you know the deal.
As with every other aspect of multifamily investing, bird dogging is about networking and alliances. If you concentrate on building not only your reputation but on building relationships, bird dogging can be very profitable. The key to bird dogging is to be knowledgeable and to give the buyer the information they are looking for.