Let's stay in touch!

Close Search

Property Locator Business Idea

If you’re considering a small business in the real estate industry but don’t have a realtor’s license, consider becoming a property locator.

Property locators, also called property jobbers or, most commonly, bird dogs, hunt for properties that owners want to sell, and refer those properties to investors.

For their work, property locators are paid a commission.

Now, before we go further, know that getting paid to refer property may be illegal in some states. Thoroughly check in your area to make sure this practice is acceptable before you proceed.

How a Property Locator Works

If you’ve ever seen the show “Flip This House,” you see how investors will buy a house cheaply, upgrade it, and sell it for profit. How do they find the houses? They often use property locators.

Property locators spend their time finding houses that may not be on the market yet, or may be in foreclosure, or for whatever reason, need to be sold quickly. As they drive around and spot potential homes, they will do a property search to find out the owner’s name. They will contact the owner and see if he is amenable to selling.

If the owner is interested in selling, the property manager will continue to review the condition of the property, compare it to similar properties in order to establish a market value, and prepare an estimate of the cost of getting it ready for re-sale.

Once this package is complete, the property owner contacts an investor with the information. If the property matches the investor’s needs, a deal is struck and once the investor purchases the property, the property locator gets paid.

Finding Properties

Some property locators work for real estate agencies, and therefore have access to a wealth of information for finding properties. However, when becoming a property locator there are a number of resources you can use to get information about properties.

An address locator through the US Post Office or Census Bureau websites can give you neighborhood information.

Use a real estate directory to find foreclosure agents who may be able to provide you with leads. Send letters of introduction to personal representatives handling estates, to see if they are ready to sell.

Becoming A Property Locator – Finding Investors

Once you’ve found a property, you have to find the right investor to sell it to. Networking is essential in establishing a relationship with an investor. Join a real estate investors association.

The National Real Estate Investors Association ( is a trade association supporting real estate investors, with local chapters throughout the country. Attend meetings to get to know investors and what type of properties they need.

Real estate auctions are another place to meet investors.

Tools Needed for the Job

Some of the benefits of this job are the low overhead, the ability to work from home and the flexible hours. Much of the work can be done from your home office, but a computer with Internet is essential. Excellent research skills are needed to gather property information.

You will also need transportation to visit homes and homeowners.

It takes persistence and hard work, but coupled with people skills and a “bird dog” mentality, you can be successful at becoming a property locator.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment