When I work with real estate investors, I ask for an exclusive agreement in writing before I start searching for their next investment property. Here's why:
The San Antonio metro area is huge. There are a lot of properties for sale here, including potential flips, multi-family, and single-family rentals. Most of the good multi-family properties, the ones that are making money, aren’t for sale. Most of the bad ones are for sale because they’re not making money and/or because they are a real pain to manage. The good single-family properties will appeal to home buyers as well as other investors.
I don’t want to waste your time by sending you every single property for sale, including the bad ones. I could save a lot of my time by just emailing you every single property on the market for you to analyze, including the ones that are in sketchy areas of town—you may not even know which ones they are. Some agents, especially those who don't specialize in rental properties, will send you everything that is on the market in the hopes that one will stick.
I have access to all the properties on the MLS, including foreclosures, and I will go through them to narrow the list down to omit those I believe wouldn't meet your investment goals. Not that I am a snob, but a rental property’s location is crucial: it will be easier to manage and more appealing to prospective tenants.
I do the research for you; that is my job. I analyze rental rates and average sales prices to find opportunities for return on investment. I read between the lines of every listing to figure out if it would meet your criteria before I schedule a showing.
You could deal directly with the listing agent and not work with a buyer’s agent. The listing agent would be thrilled with that arrangement: they would represent the seller, not you, and keep the full commission instead of sharing it with a buyer’s agent. In return, you’d get to do all the legwork.
I don't want to waste my time. I work on a contingency basis. In order to have a shot at getting paid for all the work I do, I ask you to commit to working with me. I think that's fair. After all, I won't get paid at all unless I find you a great investment.
And if you don’t like working with me, then you can cancel the agreement. Just give me 24 hours' notice so I can cancel the showings.