By Stefan Aarnio: author, coach, award winning real estate investor.
Just like the Jungle, there is a food chain of predators and prey in the Real Estate Investor world. There are organisms at the bottom of the food chain like plants and plant eating animals. The organisms at the bottom are plentiful in number and the food they eat is abundant in nature. As we progress up the food chain, the animals become more sophisticated, larger and more carnivorous. There are far less lions in the jungle than there are gazelles because it will take hundreds of gazelles to support a few lions. The world of real estate investing is exactly the same; most investors belong to the herd at the bottom of the pack. They make very little money investing in real estate and are just producing enough money to survive.
Conversely, there are a few highly skilled lions in the real estate jungle that are constantly seeking opportunity. These lions look for weak gazelles that can no longer operate and are looking to acquire their properties at a discount. The jungle can support far less lions than gazelles because even the weak gazelles are hard to catch. Whether we are in the jungle in Africa or the real estate market in Winnipeg, Manitoba, there is always the top 1% and the bottom 99%.
Bird Dog – Lead Broker – Marketing Company
The fastest, cheapest and easiest way to get started in Real Estate Investing is to become a bird dog. Becoming a bird dog requires zero dollars to start and your job is to find and build a database of real estate investors. With your real estate database built, you will then generate leads of buyers and sellers and sell the leads to your database. These leads can be sold for anywhere between $20-$100 per lead and more if the leads close. Depending on the size of the business someone could generate $2,000 to $8,000 per month. Some bird dogs create a subscription service where for a monthly fee, they will send other investors lead flow for a flat rate. Leads are the lifeblood of any business, so as a lead broker or bird dog, you can become very valuable to the real estate investment community if you build the business right.
By selling leads alone, someone could earn up to $100,000 a year in your market by selling leads alone. You don’t even have to do any deals, raise any money or close on any properties. You are a marketing company who just sells valuable leads to other investors and stays out of the other aspects of the business.
NEW SKILL: LEAD FLOW AND MARKETING – The beauty with becoming a bird dog in the beginning is that you get to master the most critical skill of being a Real Estate Investor – lead flow. Without leads your business at any level with perish.
Bird dogs generate leads from:
- Locally placed bandit signs aka “We Buy Houses” signs – There are only two ways to sell real estate: local signs and the internet.
- The internet – because most bird dogs need to acquire leads cheaply and easily, leads for deals can be obtained by placing FREE ads on classified services like kijiji.com or craigslist.com.
- Leads can also be found by combing the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or other online classifieds. Leads and deals are literally everywhere, but they take work to find and that’s why bird dogs can be valuable.
The real estate business is full of repetitive, monotonous tasks that busy, more advanced investors simply don’t want to do. If you are willing to stick with the grind of lead flow, you will master one of the most important skills required for real estate success.
Success as a bird dog depends on activity and daily actions performed to generate sellable lead flow.
So many real estate investors decide to start their business on a higher more advanced level and never master the art of lead flow. This always hinders these real estate investors in the long run and many have to come back to the beginning to learn how to market for leads properly later in the game if they are still in business.
One thing to keep in mind is that the investors you are selling the leads to will make much more money than you off of these leads. An investor will make $15,000 to $30,000 off of the leads while you are making $20 to $500. Don’t be jealous of the disparity in earnings because:
- The investor actually has to execute the deal
- The investor has to have the skill set to make the deal successful
- The investor has to bring money to the table
- The investor has to bring their power team to the table
- The investor may have to wait 6-12 months to get paid
Real estate investing is a game where more money and more skills mean more profits. At the entry-level stage of running a bird dog business, you have minimal skills, and minimal risk. This yields minimal profits and you will evolve once you have mastered the first skill of real estate investing – lead generation.
Stefan Aarnio, award winning real estate investor, entrepreneur, author and coach was recently inducted into the Rich Dad Hall of Fame. His book, “Money People Deal: The Fastest Way to Real Estate Wealth” is currently available on moneypeopledeal.com. To learn more about Stefan Aarnio please visit StefanAarnio.com