Real Estate Bird Dogs Part 2: How to Find & Leverage Them in Your Business

Cody Sperber
By Cody Sperber |

dogNow that you learned how to be a bird dog in Part 1 of this series of lessons, I want to show you how to breed’ bird dogs.

If you are just coming across this lesson and are not sure what a bird dog is, you can find a full definition in Part 1.  To give you a quick idea, the name bird dog comes from the dogs hunters use to sniff out prey.  Only in real estate bird dog means someone who sniffs out a good deal for wholesalers or investors.

You will want to know how to recruit or create bird dogs for your real estate business if you fall into one of these categories:

  • You are currently a bird dog and you want to expand the number of deals you find
  • You are a wholesaler and you want to expand the number of deals you find
  • You are a rehabber and you want to expand the number of deals you find
  • You are a landlord and you want to expand the number of deals you find

In short, if you are an active real estate investor, and you want more deals, then you want other bird dogs working for you.  Besides finding you more deals, bird dogs also free up your time by finding you more deals quicker.  After all, free time is the real reason all of us are doing this investing thing in the first place.

outWho Let the (Bird) Dogs Out?

Believe it or not, bird dogs are everywhere.  You just may not have ever thought of certain people as potential bird dogs – and neither did they.  Your job is to recruit them to your business.

Bird dogs hang out in the same places you frequent as a real estate investor.  The key is that they spend a lot more time in those areas than you do.  Therefore they can spend a lot more time looking for deals than you can (or want to).  Here are a few tips for finding the best ones:

  • Cruise the ‘Hoods – Where do you want to find deals?  Where do your investors want to find deals?  Drive around those neighborhoods.  Talk to EVERYBODY who lives, works, delivers, does house calls, owns a business, provides ‘female companionship’ to lonely male clientele for a fee – whatever – in that neighborhood.  Some specific examples are the UPS/Fedex guy, the old retired guy playing checkers in the park, gas station attendants, cable installers and people in laundromats.
  • Be Mr./Ms. Madison Avenue – Businesses in the neighborhoods will often have bulletin boards for flyers.  Print up flyers or hand out business cards that tell people you will pay them to bring you deals.  Try different businesses and see which ones have the most success. Every time you fill up with gas in your investing area, stick your business card in the credit card slot at the gas pump.  I bet someone will pick it up.  Think of other creative ideas to let people know you pay for deals.
  • “Going Once..Going Twice” – In Part 1 of this series, I told you to attend auctions as a bird dog to find the real players who are buying.  In this lesson, look for the people who are new to the auction.  The people who are just learning but are very interested in real estate.  Hand them your card and let them know you will pay them for finding a great deal.  You are helping them break into investing and they will be motivated to learn by finding you deals.
  • Be-A-REIA-Sight-See-Ya – Remember your first time attending a REIA meeting?  Wouldn’t it have been great if someone came up to you and offered you money just to find them a deal.  Seems like it would be a great way to start, wouldn’t it?  Well – why don’t you be that guy/gal?  The one who helps newbies gain experience finding deals.  Not only finding deals, but making money by passing them along.
  • Guru Gulch – Think real estate seminars attract a few people interested in real estate investing?  You bet they do.  And what better way for them to break into real estate than to be a bird dog for you.  You can still pick up a lot of good information at these seminars – even if you are an experienced investor.  But wouldn’t it be great to pick up a few bird dogs too?

fry“How Do I Know You’ll Pay Me?”

The number one concern of bird dogs is that they get paid if they bring you a great deal.  Make sure to tell these bird dogs that you are a professional and you guarantee they will be paid.  Besides (tell them), if you never pay your bird dogs, they will never bring you any more deals.  Just to reassure them though, tell them you will follow up with them on every deal and let them know what happened.

Another way to look good is to have professional business cards that you hand out to everyone.  The cards should explain that you will pay anyone who brings you a deal.  Make sure those cards spread out all over your investing area.

As a professional, think about how you would wholesale a deal to an investor.  You should know how to analyze a deal, comp it, and create a nice package to hand over.  You should know the investor wants the deal before you ever give it to him or her.  Why? Because:

  • It’s the type of property they want
  • In an area they want
  • And the deal has all the numbers that the investor requires

Why not train your bird dogs to do the same?  That way they don’t waste your time and you don’t waste theirs.  Because like I said earlier – time and freedom to spend it your way is why we are all in this business!

Action Steps

Put Yourself Out There – Let people know what you do.  Someone is always hearing about a deal from a friend, relative, co-worker etc.  Be the person they think about when the deal falls in their lap.

Think Creatively – Brainstorm all the different people and locations that could help you find deals.  How should you approach them?  How can you gain their trust?  How should you train them?

Be Prepared – Once you have all your bird dogs in place, make sure you are ready to act on any deals they find.  Have all your investors lined up if you are another bird dog or wholesaler, and make sure you can move quickly with any paperwork.  It’s hard to steal in slow motion.

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