There are many more of these investors out there than most people think, especially the long term rental investors. Who are they? Only a few are the high profile type you see on TV. The vast majority are people you see every day. They own the local grocery store, or the dry cleaners. They are doctors, chiropractors and auto repair shop owners. These people have made a success of their businesses and have cash that they want to invest.
Running their businesses requires most of their time, and they tend to rely on traditional resources like real estate agents to help them locate investment property deals. They will usually pay more than they should for these deals, as the real estate agents are working out of the MLS, Multiple Listing Service, inventory. There isn't a lot of flexibility in pricing, especially with the commissions in the deal.
Many of these investors are buying multiple properties. What would their reaction be if they were contacted by someone who said that they could bring them home purchase deals for 10% to 40% less money than what they are currently buying? In other words, if they're buying 3 BR, 2 BA $100,000 homes, this person would locate and present to them 3 BR, 2 BA homes in the same area for $60,000 to $90,000.
The answer is simple, as they're in this to make money. The less they pay for a home, the better their Return on Investment from cash flow, and the sooner they have locked-in equity. They'll want this person to bring them deals. This person is known as a bird dog. It's a bit like being a wholesaler. Through work, research and investigation, this bird dog finds homeowners who need to sell and haven't been able to, or homeowners with mortgage difficulties, or foreclosures before they're listed.
That's bird dogging, and it requires no cash to get started, just some business cards and a lot of effort. However, it can make real estate investing a business for the average person with too much debt and not much cash.
They're out there looking for homes real estate agents aren't listing. In fact, some bird dogs have real estate agents feeding them leads when a distressed homeowner hasn't been able to sell. The bird dog delivers profitable investments to the investor, and fees can run between $2000 and $10,000 per deal when it closes.