Does Your Realtor Analyze Deals Before Bringing Them to You?

I hear this question a lot. The quick answer is No.


Since the World Series (Congrats to the World Champion Houston Astros!) just wrapped up, I’ll use some baseball analogies to help answer this question. Long has been the day since this 5’8, 120 lbs high school junior kept the pine warm for those starters – wow, I’ve gained 100 lbs since then…all muscle! In the real estate investing game, I’m the player and the Realtors/Brokers are my coaches. They advise me on why they like the deal, details on the neighborhood and potentially an exit strategy.  In some sense, they are also my general manager, helping to ensure a transaction or trade goes as smooth as possible. Let me explain.

Here’s why my coaches don’t analyze deals before bringing them to me:

#1 – I want the BP!  The analytical part helps me stay current on our sought after markets and helps keep my analytical skills sharp. This is me taking swings in the cage. My daily BP! That stands for Batting Practice…or Bigger Pockets! My dad’s a huge baseball fan. Huge is probably putting it lightly. Growing up, one of his many tricks to get us invested in the game involved hanging an old tire off the back fence. I remember him wanting my brother and I to throw 100 balls a day into that strike zone. I was too interested in the couch and TV (and a little fishing) at the time but I wish I would have. Learning from that, instead of throwing balls, I’m analyzing deals, daily!

#2 – I don’t want to be traded to the Detroit Tigers!  By that I mean, I have to love the deal! And for the longest I can remember the Detroit Tigers have been the worst team in  the MLB. Analyzing is only a piece of the puzzle. Love is an emotion and if you’ve been following us I suggest removing the emotion out of the deal (something I continue to work on). However in this case, loving the deal (the location, cash flow, portfolio balance, & value add) is highly motivating. Just don’t let the love emotion compromise your numbers – be willing to walk away. For example, in the last 2 months I’ve submitted four LOI’s. Two of which are still pending but the other 2 we could not come to terms.  I loved these deals but wasn’t willing to compromise on our numbers as doing so wouldn’t yield our anticipated return.

#3 – Extra Innings.  In my dad’s words, it’s “Free Baseball” but, working a full-time job, family w/2 kids, 48 units under our umbrella and currently undergoing a personal home live-in-remodel, I don’t have a lot of spare time to filter through every deal my coaches send my way. Sad to say there are probably some gems that I quickly push to the trash bin because I knew I wouldn’t have time to review and now I’ve wasted my coaches’ time to find and send it to me. The current process I like to follow is finding the opportunity and reaching out to the realtor/broker in that market and so far that has worked very well.

#4 – Pitching Change.  We started out wanting to buy single family homes that cash flowed really well, which are typically C Class properties/neighborhoods and below and we only looked in Pensacola, because it’s local for us.  While I still look at those properties our evolution of investing has progressed like this: single family in one city -> small multifamily in another county -> apartment building in another state. All within a relative easy drive, we now own assets across 3 counties in 2 states. Staying with the value add properties the size of our deals have increasingly grown in size.

#5 – I Simply Don’t Expect Them To It’s not Brent Strom’s responsibility to throw any pitches for the Astros, that’s the players job. I understand how realtors/broker get paid – when a deal closes, not when they send me a listing. I’m very conservative on what we buy and we haven’t sold anything (except our personal home) since we REALLY started investing in 2014. In my opinion, my coaches’ or realtor’s roll is to help educate & advise me, negotiate the deal and ensure a smooth-ish transaction. If they perform these things, then they’ve represented me very well.

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Successful REI Takes A Team: Our Roster

Hopefully this relationship will continue to build, but playing a key role on the team, I plan to start interviewing additional companies now, identifying that backup option just in case.


real estate investing pensacola fl

Our Pensacola Real Estate investing is focused on buying & holding (B&H) properties for short-term cash flow and long-term wealth building. While the team members discussed here pertain to our focus and are the team members we’ve discovered to successfully invest in B&H, different investment objectives may introduce different and/or more team members. I discuss the various types of investors in the Advantages of Selling Your Home to a Real Estate Investor blog post, but here I’ll discuss what our current roster looks like to make our buy & hold investing a success.

The current players are:

  • Realtor: someone who is used to working with investors or a young go-geter who has just gained his/her license and ready to tackle the REI world for you. Nothing wrong with interviewing realtors to let them know how you plan to invest and the direction you want to take your REI. Don’t be shocked if they all say Yes to everything you ask of them – after all, they are sales people. If you’re just starting out, work with 2-3 or ever how many it takes to find that one that truly understands your investing goals.


  • Property Management: a must for Buy & Hold investors. I started our investing wanting to play this role and I still do for a few properties in our portfolio, but the tenants are AWESOME. As I started searching for PMs, I called and left messages with the top 3 Pensacola Google magic results and 1 that I met in person. In the voicemails I left, I let the prospective Pensacola Property Manager know that I had 4 properties I wanted to transition to them. I went with the only one that called me back and so far it has been a relationship where we’re learning a lot about each other. Hopefully this relationship will continue to build, but playing a key role on the team, I plan to start interviewing additional companies now. Because this is such a key role, having the backup option identified will prove to be key.


  • Tradesmen (electrician, roofer, plumber, HVAC, handyman): if you have a PM in place do you still need these? Yes. While your PM should have a rolodex of tradesmen to provide quotes on needed repairs & upgrades, having your own list isn’t a bad idea. I started building my list when I first thought wanted to be my own PM and just like any other team member, it took going through 2-3 of each to find the right one. The right ones for us are ones who provide quality work for a fair, consistent price.
  • Lawyer: just a no brainer. At some point in time you’ll need a lawyer for a very important event (title searches, evictions, closings, asset protection, lawsuits, etc.). Interview early, let them know your REI goals, but start this relationship before an event happens. I have a great one in Pensacola if you need a referral.
  • Accountant: also a no brainer…at some point. Starting out or having <7 properties this is probably not a need but as your portfolio builds, it is a must have. Ensuring taxes and tax advantages are properly gained, a licensed CPA will do a way better, legal, job of this than you will, unless of course you are a CPA :).
  • Wife / Family: support groups are key, and my wife provides the positive reinforcement needed when facing challenging times and level-headed thinking when I want to invest outside of our criteria. The MVP of our team!
real estate investing pensacola fl

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