A real estate consultant can help you in many ways. First and foremost, you can expect them to have some expertise in the local market. This is true of the myriad real estate brokers that are clawing at one another to sell you properties as well, though. They’re all experts. Amarillo Realtor offers excellent info on this. What’s the difference between a real estate consultant and a real estate broker? Anyone can call himself or herself a consultant, but the one true difference is that a consultant is objective. He or she has no stake in the property you are considering and receives no commission. This objectivity makes their expert advice much more dependable and trustworthy; after all, it’s very easy for an expert to paint a picture that leads you to believe what they want you to believe, even if it is not in your best interests.
Hiring a real estate consultant is a business transaction. It is fundamental to economic practice that when value is exchanged, both parties can benefit. The real estate consultant’s benefit is obvious; they get some of your money. To make sure you get a consultant who you will reap your share of the mutual benefit of economic trade from, you have to evaluate them before you hire them and know what you want from the relationship.
The first screening they must pass is personality-based. There are some things you can tell about someone just by talking to them; trust your gut instinct. Are they genuinely interested in improving your chances of success as a real estate investor, or just interested in taking your money? Will they ask you to do things for them, in addition to pay them, such as promote their activities and products? Either of these situations is best avoided. Your servitude is unlikely to result in some back-end benefit worth both the time and money you’ve invested in them. It’s not a fair deal. You’re in business to promote your business, not theirs.
Another thing to be wary of is real estate consultants who claim to have proprietary or unique secrets that only they know, and other real estate investors-even the most successful ones-are unaware of. The chances that they have discovered some secret of the age-old practice of real estate investment are vanishingly small. It is far, far more likely that what will work is just good, old-fashioned sound business practice. Most of the methods for finding, acquiring, renting, selling or optioning property have been around for a considerable time. It’s quite possible for someone to have a slightly different take on these methods, but highly unlikely that they have invented a truly proprietary method-at least one that actually works.
Make sure your real estate consultant has time for you. When you speak with your real estate consultant, does he or she remember your last consultation? In other words, does your conversation pick up where it left off, or do you need to start over from the beginning each time? If you need to start over every time, it may be a sign that this person is too busy to really keep track of the people they work with.