What Should I Pay My Real Estate Team?

Posted on Jan 17 2015 - 8:00pm by Lance Edwards

In this week’s Q&A with real estate educator and coach Terri Dobbs, Bruce asks, “How do you determine what to pay someone on your team, especially if they know how much you made on a deal?”

Questions about payroll and how much you can expect to pay the people who help make your real estate deals a reality, from lawyers to virtual assistants, are common for beginners. Below the jump, you’ll find Terri’s expert advice on how much these people are going to cost you.


In This Lesson, You Will Learn:

  • What is customary for paying “bird dogs” for finding you real estate properties
  • How much to expect to pay brokers, CPAs, and attorneys
  • The general cost for help with your direct mail campaigns


In general, Terri says, “The bottom line, really, is whatever they agreed to.”

What to Pay a Real Estate Bird Dog

The typical pay for a bird dog, Terri said, is half a percent, but if they are reliable and you like them, it can be “a hard and fast number” like $100, $500, or $1,000 a deal.

“All that matters is what they agree to and what you agree to, and what the market will bear,” she said.

But, how can you tell if your real estate investment bird dog is bringing you the right kind of deals and if they are worth keeping around?

“If it’s a bird dog you are talking about paying for bringing attention to a property, you have to make clear any property they bring to you has to be an unadvertised property,” Terri said.

“You do not want them getting started bringing you properties they found on LoopNet or one of those local circulars you find at the door going into a restaurant.”

What to Expect in Costs for Legal Help, Real Estate Brokers

“If you’re talking anyone else on your team, like attorneys or CPAs, they will have their own fees,” Terri said.

“If you’re talking about brokers, we don’t deal with buyer’s brokers at all, so you shouldn’t be paying anything out on that. And the seller’s broker will be paid by the seller, so that should be taken out there.”

How to Get Cheap Help on Direct Mail

For direct mail assistance, real estate educator and best-selling author Lance Edwards pays local kids about $5 an hour to do direct mail letters. If you have kids, you may be able to get away with less, letting them take the car out for the weekend, things like that.

I read somewhere once it is approximately 70 cents per letter by the time you pay for their time, the stamp, the goldenrod paper, and the envelopes.

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