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Bird-Dogging - Getting a Start in Real Estate Investing

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Real Estate
Are you anxious to get a piece of the wealth that is to be found in real estate investing? Until now, if you didn't have experience or cash it would be very unlikely that you'd be successful since real estate investing carries enormous risks and high startup costs. New investors with a lack of knowledge have lost all of their savings from a bad investment.

How can you prepare yourself to take on this lucrative market, especially with no cash?

The buzzword among investors for those making a start in this field is "bird-dogging". Don't forget it.


Bird-dogging is a system which allows those who are interested in real estate investing to gain experience AND income with no risk.

Bird-dogging combines the enthusiasm of the new investor with the money and experience of successful investors. Bird-dogs search out properties that are abandoned, lacking attention or are in disrepair and attempt to contact the owners about their interest in selling. The idea is to find home owners who are anxious to sell. This may also include owners with foreclosures, divorces or a death in the family.

Bird-dogs then show the property to the investor. If the investor is interested or closes the deal they pay a 'finder's' or 'referral' fee to the bird-dog for the service of locating the property.


Your first step would be to find a company who advertises on signs or in the newspaper that they buy houses, or take over payments.

Tell them what you'd like to do and ask them which areas they'd prefer you to look at. Drive around the area and look for 'For Sale by Owner' signs, rental homes and boarded up homes.

You will develop a sense of what individual investors are looking for over time. This is the learning phase. You will pick up what experienced investors consider 'good' or 'bad' deals based on working with them. Expect your finds to be turned down at first as you learn.


Fees paid vary from 500 to 5000 depending on the investor or the cost of the deal. Some businesses will also pay you a standard fee if you bring new investors into the business.

You can make living as a bird-dog or save your new found wealth to invest yourself when you've mastered the art of spotting the perfect deal! function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }