WHAT IS A REAL ESTATE BIRD DOG?

Written By Jennifer Wilson

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Most people have not heard of the term Real Estate Bird Dog. So what is it? Think of a real estate headhunter. An individual  who searches for under priced and often distressed properties on behalf of real estate investors. They do not typically own investment properties of their own.  A bird dog often finds properties a few different ways; online, on foot or by car or through network. Generally they are looking for foreclosure properties, distressed properties or similar “deals”.

We discussed wholesalers in a previous blog post. At first glance, they appear to be the same but in fact they are different. A wholesaler becomes the property owner with the right to transfer the contract, but the seller retains the homes title. Once the wholesaler reassigns the contract, the end buyer completes the real estate transaction with the seller. A bird dog doesn’t keep the property for themselves. They turn around and pass on their finds to an investor, collect a finders fee for their efforts.

Disadvantages

  1. Requires some level of real estate experience. They must be in the right place at the right time to find the best deal. They need to understand market trends and continuously education themselves on the industry.
  2. It can be risky. It is easy to get into lawsuits, especially if investors promise you commission and they don’t pay up. They must also formulate a tax strategy because they can’t avoid paying taxes on the money they earn.
  3. Not a consistent salary. Work is not always steady. They are not always able to find the right properties. Commissions or fees are not always guaranteed.

Advantages

  1. Can be profitable. It is possible to earn good income especially since their own money isn’t on the line.
  2. Gain exposure to the real estate industries. They learn how to locate properties that have potential.
  3. They can work full time or not
  4. It is low commitment and low risk. They are not required to purchase the property. They are able to pass a property off to their investors.

Best ways to become a Bird Dog are network, learn legal restrictions in your area, find leads, sell, repeat. This process doesn’t just happen overnight.

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