Finding the right real estate agent can be as valuable as finding a good deal. However, many agents seldom know much about the investment space. Hiring the wrong agent can cause investors to miss out on valuable information to determine if a deal is good or bad. But how do you find an investor-friendly agent? John Warren is an investor and realtor for Second City Real Estate, a brokerage that works with investors to buy and sell investment real estate. On this episode, John shares about choosing the right agents and the red flags to regard before sealing the deal. He also shares about the market condition of Chicago and the Western suburbs, managing risks, and a secret to finding a good off-market deal.
Key Market Insights:
Realtor for Second City Real Estate, focused on helping investors
A value-add apartment investor
Sees real estate as key to financial freedom and a massive portfolio
Bought first investment, and transitioned to become a realtor to get investment insights
Key Learnings from Becoming an Investor: When looking at a property, consider owning it, before making a decision; Identify when is the return of capital
Niche as a Realtor: Investors, more likely to purchase 2-6 times a year, more active, and takes lesser time than home buyers
Primarily invests in 5 units or more: 2-4 units vs. 5-unit deals & more
Estimated 20%-25% of commercial properties make it to MLS (Multiple Listings Service), make sure to build relationships to know who has the good deals
How to Identify Commercial Brokers: Go to local meetups; Go to LoopNet; Ask for people with active listings; Ask local investors
Characteristic of a Right Agent: An investor or at least has considerable knowledge about the investment you’re doing; Understands basic investing terminologies
Real Estate Agent Red Flag: Either too eager to sell properties that are too expensive or rushes you in properties that you are not comfortable with
Chicago Market – a big market with numbers of submarkets
Western suburbs – prices have gone up, margins have gone down
Hot Western Suburb Markets: Berwyn, Cicero, Forest Park, Oak Park – right outside Chicago, gentrifying suburbs
Qualities of Good Neighborhood – Upper-working class, Class B properties, emerging neighborhoods
National chains (such as Starbucks & Panera Bread) are indicators of developing areas
Managing Risk – Buying for cash flow. Rehab quickly. Lease the property. Repositioning
Bull’s Eye Round
Winning Your Market: Act quickly.
Tracking Market Changes: Be an active investor.
Daily Habit: Getting up at 4:45 a.m. six times a week.
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss & Tahl Raz
“You could’ve have thrown a dart in the past and made a good deal.”
“Spreadsheets can mislead you at sometimes.”
Place to Grab a Bite
Tastee Corner Café
Connect with John