1. Do you have any good deals?
That might sound crazy because you think that the estate agent should know what a good deal when they see one but, in my experience, an estate agent is not going to say, ‘I don’t have a good deal.’ They’re going to sell you what they have, that’s their job. It’s your job as an investor to understand what is and what isn’t a good deal.
If you’re asking an estate agent, ‘show me a good deal’ then you’re probably not going to get a good deal. That’s not to say that all estate agents are bad – I love estate agents! But in reality, most of them are going to sell you what they have and if they don’t have something, they’ll offer you something else whether it’s a good deal or not.
2. Where should I invest?
This question is crazy for the same reasons as question one. As the investor you should know where to invest. Don’t rely on your estate agent to teach you what you should already know. Sure, it doesn’t hurt to get information from them but don’t use just that to make your decisions.
An estate agent is going to sell you something that makes him money. That’s their job, that’s how they make money and you, as an investor, have to be cautious and aware of that. I’m not saying you should cut out an estate agent. I’m saying be aware of their motives.
“You should be leading an estate agent not the other way around.”
3. What should I should buy?
As an investor, I should be contacting estate agents to find out what’s on the market and then working out if they’re good deals or not. So, I should be asking my estate agent to send me over whatever they’ve got and then let me analyze it.
If you know what you’re looking for from your research, for example, ‘I’m looking for four-bedroom properties, over two floors on this street and that street, have you got anything?’ That’s where you should be dealing with agents.
Estate agents have the information to help our research and we love them for it, but you shouldn’t be asking them anything about where you should buy, what you should buy, how much you should invest into it. That’s for you to decide.
4. Ask for opinions but trust your research
I’ve never heard any estate agent ever say no to this question. The question is: will this property appreciate? And of course they going to say yes, ‘Oh, it’s going to make you money over the next five years, it’s amazing area, there’s schools coming up here, an airport coming up there, buy this and you’ll be a gazillionaire this time next week.’ Right?
No. Again, it’s for you to do that research. Do not ask an estate agent if a property will appreciate because I’ve seen it happen and I chuckle at the answers that come back from estate agents.
5. Can you get me tenants?
You might say that this is a legitimate question, asking an estate agent can they find tenants for you, but really, you should know whether you can get tenants or not before you’re speaking to the estate agent. You should have done your research; you should know the market. You should be savvy enough to know, ‘hey, in this market there is a demand for these kinds of families,’ whether it’s big families, small families, couples, individuals, whatever it is professionals, students, corporates. Whoever your ideal tenant is, you should know what the demand is in that area before you invest in a property.
So, all these five points really boil down to one thing. You should know what you’re doing and then use the estate agent to find the properties for you. You drive the estate agent not the other way around.