What is a Real Estate Bird Dog? AKA Property Locator
So what exactly is a Bird Dog / Property Locator? Bird Dogs, at least when used in the Real Estate lingo, are also known as Property Locators, Property Finders or Jobbers. They are the eyes and the ears of real estate investors that find properties for real estate investors to buy, properties they wouldnt be likely to find on their own.
Bird Dogs go out and find undervalued properties for real estate investors! Bird Dogs do not purchase the properties themselves; however they search neighborhoods, communities, counties, cities, and so on, looking for properties for real estate investors to buy. With a little experience, many real estate Bird Dogs advance to becoming a Wholesaler, which is actually taking control of a property (getting it under contract) and then selling it to investors.
So how does a real estate Bird Dog benefit from doing all the searching but not having to fork out a lot of moola? Investors pay Property Locators in cash when the Bird Dog finds a property the investor likes. These properties can be almost anything: single family houses, multiplexes, duplexes, apartment buildings, commercial buildings, or land.
Investors typically pay Bird Dogs what is called a Referral Fee of around $1000 or more. My personal opinion is that Bird Dogs should be paid a lot more than a mere $1000 if the deal they find makes an investor a lot of money. It should be more in the realm of 3 of the net profit the investor realizes. (Note: you need to check the laws in your state because in some of them it is illegal to pay referral fees.)
If you get good at property locating you might want to advance to the Wholesaler stage of real estate investing your reward from a deal can much more lucrative because you are doing a lot more work. Wholesalers actually gain control of the property by having some type of written agreement with the seller of the property. They then sell the contract to other investors with a wholesaling fee attached to it.