Chapter 2: Calli – How & Where to Find an Investor-Friendly Realtor In Skokie, IL

by Sep 13, 2021

Calli is a realtor in Skokie, IL, and is killing it working with Onyx Homes.  We want to tell you the story of how we met, the steps we took to develop a relationship, and how it has helped both of our careers to flourish.  To do that, you need to know what an investor-friendly realtor is, where to find one, what the roles are for both the realtor and the investor, and how both can benefit from the relationship.

What is an Investor-Friendly Realtor?

An investor-friendly realtor is a realtor who understands the real estate investment process and, is willing and able to work with investors to find and secure properties at prices that allow for a future profit.  The investor-friendly realtor should at least be familiar with real estate investing including different investment end-goals (fix-and-flip, rehab-and-rent), tax implications, and calculations used by investors.

Among those calculations are After Repair Value (ARV) and, Return on Investment (ROI).  The Investor will analyze the costs and potential profit, but the Realtor should be able to help with providing local costs of materials and repairs. The Realtor should have an established network of contractors and other professionals that can be available for necessary maintenance and repairs. Having worked on other occasions with those in their network, the realtor should be able to accurately estimate repair and maintenance costs, which is an essential part of calculating the After Repair Value (ARV) and Return On Investment (ROI). The realtor should also have proven knowledge of the market, specifically what areas/neighborhoods are best for investing, what is trending right now in real estate – what details are buyers most in search of.  They should know how to prepare a contract and, how to understand and calculate market values.

Where to Find an Investor-Friendly Realtor

Word-of-mouth is always a great place to start when looking for an investor-friendly realtor, and really, your most reliable method.  Attending area conferences, seminars or other public events is a great way to meet realtors and other investors who may be able to recommend investor-friendly realtors they have worked with. Membership in real estate and investor organizations is also an excellent way to connect with investor-friendly realtors and other real estate agents and investors who can provide recommendations.

You should also check with other real estate-related professionals in the area where you wish to purchase a property.  Brokers, bankers, real estate attorneys, title companies, etc. may be able to recommend investor-friendly realtors they have previously worked with.  You can also check with real estate organizations in the area. An additional resource for identifying investor-friendly realtors is online forums. Forums are an excellent resource for connecting with other realtors and investors.  While searching forums, watch for the names of realtors that appear multiple times.  These will be realtors who have a proven relationship – good or bad – with investors. This can give you a list of realtors to approach first and, which ones to avoid.

Roles of the Investor and the Realtor

A real estate investor, simply put, buys property – often distressed property – adds value to it by way of repairs and/or renovations, then sells it or maintains ownership and rents it for a profit. The investor secures funding for the purchase and repairs and renovations and, any other expenses involved.  They also either find a buyer for the property or arrange for renters.

An investor-friendly realtor knows the local market well and helps locate properties that have the greatest potential for appreciation of value.  Although the investor will usually run the calculations, the realtor should be familiar with calculations used to determine ARV and ROI.  The realtor should also be familiar with which areas, which neighborhoods, are the best locations for investing either in properties to renovation and resell or to renovate and keep as rental properties. An investor-friendly realtor should also have a vast local network of contractors and repair persons who can be available quickly and can quickly complete a renovation.

Both Investor and Realtor Benefit

Realtors receive a commission or an agreed-upon fee for their efforts in locating the property.  The investor, after adding value by making improvements – which often includes renovations – makes a profit upon the sale of the property, or over time if the property becomes a rental.


Calli met two of our investors at a local seminar four years ago. She is a well-respected realtor who has worked in the area for almost 10 years.  She attends seminars and other events at least twice a year to keep up with any industry changes and to continue building her network. 

Our investors were looking for a realtor to work with them and had been given Calli’s name by several of the other investors they spoke with.  They met Calli and arranged a time and place to meet with her again to continue the conversation. They were impressed with Calli’s knowledge of the area, and her knowledge of the real estate investment process. They worked out a contract that was agreeable to everyone and Calli started her search for the right properties to meet the investors’ goals.

Over the last three years, they have worked together to find and purchase several properties. Callie received a commission for each property purchased and, is currently looking for more.  Most of the properties were renovated and, sold quickly providing a nice return on investment (ROI). Two of the properties were renovated and kept as rental properties which have stayed full, providing a consistent source of income for the investor.

When investors can identify and work together with qualified, knowledgeable, investor-friendly realtors everyone benefits.  And the more they work together, the more effective they become, which increases their effectiveness and profit margin.  The realtor better understands the investor’s goals and can fine-tune their property searches based on those goals.  The investor learns more about the area, has access to more properties because of the realtor’s access to the MLS and both continue to grow their networks.  Everyone benefits.


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