I have joked many times and said Atlanta has become the sixth Borough. I'm a New Yorker also and live in the Atlanta area. There are a lot of deals you can take advantage of especially coming from a market like New York. To be honest the experience of the agent is important but you also want to make sure you can establish a good working relationship free of clashing egos and drama. Talk to candidates on the phone and feel them out. Try to understand what their work ethic is like. Do they cut corners? Are they lazy? Will they represent you? Work hard for you? etc. You might have to get references which is not a bad idea in these times.
Experienced investors I have worked with in the past grilled me with questions when we first start working together not because they wanted to know the answer. They wanted to know if I knew the answer. So in your screening and interviewing. Test their knowledge of the area you want to invest in. Ask tough questions. Any agent that is secure with his/her understanding of the market they cover will give you their best and accurate answer. Hopefully this helps. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
We have owned and worked with investment properties since 1986. We work with mostly rental investments vs fix and flip types. We currently have 7 rental properties all occupied with good tentants. We also manage rental properties through my own brokerage, Key Locations Property Manegement LLC, for about 10 other investors. Our primary market is North Metro Atlanta...Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Duluth, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Milton, Dunwoody..etc. If you are looking in these areas we would be happy to assist. I agree with Lee that you need someone that has focused experience in the area you choose to invest.
Talk to you soon.
You need find someone who has local knowledge, investment knowledge, and has a team of specialized professionals that aide them and their clients in making the right decision. I am "your MONOPOLY coach". I have been an investor since 1968, have bought and sold residential and commercial property in 6 different states, including NY, CA, FL and GA. I was on an asset committee for a large international corporation, and we bought and sold every where in the world. I decided to become a Realtor in 2001, and bring my talents to those who wanted to grow their net worth through investments in Real Estate. I work with all levels of investors, from SFR to 500,000 sq ft malls. call me!
Dave Caplin, MBA, CCIM
Keller Williams Realty
As Lee said, you need to figure out where you want to be and focus there. When you speak with agents or get solicited, challenge them and cut out the ones that talk in circles, ask for their stats to ensure they are actually working and not just posting here.
Lee is an excellent in town source and Deryk is an excellent "burbs" source - both are veteran agents and both have been through the ringer with good/bad markets. Both are also "wanna be" NY'ers and that says a lot.
I will close with a strong word of advice - if you fail to do a very thorough job of research you will crash and burn. I've been appraising and selling here since '93 and the number of "investors" that have ABSOLUTELY no clue about the business is amazing. Also very popular here is mortgage fraud and all that goes with it. There are many instances when we try to appraise homes in the city and literally caonnot as the number of fraudulent sales precludes us from being able to find solid ground. As with everything, avoid all the nonsense hype about this place and work with trusted advisors. You'd do well to touch base with Lee and Deryk.
Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Prudential GA Realty
The Rootdown Group works with a number of Intown investors who invest with "buy and hold" residential real estate strategies.
If you don't know what area of the "Atlanta area" you seek to invest in, then you should start defining that area.
You will produce more effective agency relationships if you work with veteran, hyperlocal agents who know the pitfalls of geographic territories that they cover on a daily basis.
The best agents know their submarkets, and do not try to be all things to all people in the 14-17 counties and the tens of thousands of neighborhoods that make up the "Atlanta area."
There are plenty of good "Investors agents" - any agent who handles lots of transactions and has a healthy, stable business in Atlanta is an Investor's agent. They better be. Unless you want to make that definition more clear, I have a very simple one:
Are you writing lots of contracts? Yes. Then you are helping investors, right? Right.
From my perspective as a real estate professional, know how to help investors or go find another line of work.
All real estate is local and when you narrow and define your criteria, and when you make the location in the "Atlanta area" more hyperlocal, then you will find 40-50 agents who could do a job for you.
We'll do a great job with Intown Atlanta or Decatur.