What Is a Bird Dog in Real Estate Investments?

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Written By Justin McGill

DealBloom aims to share the latest tips and strategies to help realtors, brokers, loan officers, and investors navigate the world of real estate.

If you’re thinking about getting into real estate investing, you’ve probably heard the term “bird dog” thrown around a lot. But what is a bird dog in real estate?

Essentially, a bird dog is someone who helps an investor find properties that fit their investment criteria. The bird dog does all of the legwork to locate potential investments and then presents them to the investor.

If the investor decides to purchase the property, the bird dog typically receives a commission for their efforts. So, if you’re looking to get started in real estate investing, mastering the craft of what is a bird dog in real estate can be a great way to earn some money without becoming a full-time agent.

What is a Bird Dog in Real Estate?

A bird dog is a real estate term for someone who finds properties for investors to buy. The bird dog is typically paid a finder’s fee by the investor once the deal is closed.

How to Make Money Bird Dogging

To make money bird-dogging, you should first research and specialize in a certain area. This will allow you to connect with investors who are looking for properties in that area.

You should also find motivated sellers who are willing to sell their properties at a lower price.

Finally, you should protect yourself by getting insurance and signing a contract with the seller.

This real estate investing strategy gets its name from hunters who hunt their prey.

A hunting term, a bird dog is a type of retriever that assists hunters by locating and fetching prey.

In real estate, bird-dogging is the practice of finding and passing on property investment opportunities to real estate investors.

Should You Try Bird-Dogging?

If you want to earn some extra cash while building your networking skills, then bird-dogging may be for you.

First, you should check with your local and state laws to avoid any legal trouble.

If you choose to bird-dog, it’s important to be upfront with any potential leads about your lack of real estate license. Failing to do so could result in legal repercussions.

Some experts feel that the practice of bird-dogging is unprofessional and should be avoided.

It’s important to be mindful of how your actions could affect your reputation as a real estate professional. Damaging your reputation could create difficulties down the road, so it’s best to avoid anything that might jeopardize your good standing.

Finally, it’s important to remember that without a formal contract, an agent can refuse to pay you. This leaves you with little legal recourse to claim your commission.

This is why having a well-drafted contract is so important.

It’s not all bad, there are some positives to bird-dogging. It’s a great way to learn about real estate and get started in the industry. You can also establish a network of contacts that will be helpful when you’re ready to take the next step as a professional.

Bird dogging can be very profitable! You can earn hundreds of dollars for each deal you close, and the profits can add up quickly.

While it may be a great way to earn some extra money, as you gain experience, you’ll likely want to move on to more lucrative opportunities.

To become a successful real estate bird dog, you’ll need to build a network of realtors, draft a contract, and source out properties. Since there are no age or license requirements for this, it could be a great side gig for teens who are legally allowed to work.

Bird-dogging can be a great way to make some extra money, especially if you’re already familiar with the real estate market.

On average, bird dog fees range from $500 to $1,000 upon closing, so it’s worth considering if you’re looking for ways to earn some extra cash.

Be aware that it could take months for the real estate agent to sell the property, and there is no guarantee that they will sell it at all.

Are Bird Dog Fees Illegal?

There are a few places where bird dog fees or finder’s fees are not legal. If you’re thinking about paying someone for help in finding a property, make sure to check the laws in your area first.

To ensure you can act as a bird dog in your area, it is important to reference your local and state laws. This will allow you to understand the legalities of this activity in your specific location.

How to Find Bird Dog Real Estate Deals

The real estate market has no shortage of opportunities for finding foreclosures or properties in distress.

A motivated seller is often the key to a successful real estate investment. By finding a property that is underpriced and then working with a motivated seller, an investor can often find a great deal on a property.

This can be done by searching for properties on real estate websites or by contacting agents who specialize in distressed properties.

Bird dogs may have trouble finding a property on a typical website due to the overwhelming amount of listings. Such sites are usually flooded with both agents and buyers.

What’s left, by and large, is becoming a good old-fashioned property scout in search of a finder’s fee.

When it comes to finding real estate deals, an experienced bird dog is more than a match for a professional investor. The most promising deals for a bird dog are FSBOs. Look for the sign “For Sale by Owner” in a neighborhood of undervalued properties.

By finding these highly motivated property sellers, a bird dog can skip out on the haggling and go straight to a cash deal.

You can put up some signs around your neighborhood to let people know that you’re looking for homes. They won’t need to know you’re not actually buying the house, they’ll just be happy to know you’re in the neighborhood.

Instead, you can present yourself as a representative of a real estate business, which will look more professional.

You can register your consulting services as simply a “consulting” company, which is effectively what you’ll be doing.

In most cases, talking to the homeowner and getting a sense of how much they’re looking to sell their home for is not a bad idea. That will let you know what numbers you’ll need to present to your network.

Over time, as you get better at assessing real estate and running the number of comparable properties in the neighborhood, you may even be able to make recommendations to the homeowner when you feel a price adjustment is necessary.

The hidden gem of bird-dogging is finding a property preservation company that helps banks to maintain foreclosed and distressed properties. Someone who works there will often not have the leeway to inform you of deals but the owner can become a gold mine for hot properties at the lowest possible prices before they even hit the auction sites.

Should I Start Bird Dogging Real Estate?

For those with extra time and a little bit of hustle, bird-dogging is a great way to get into the real estate market. It’s low risk and low cost, and it requires very little experience.

It will still require some requisite effort to protect yourself from liability, but you can protect yourself with the proper business structure.

Bird dog is a term that typically refers to finding investment deals but it can also be used in other aspects of real estate such as property management.

A chat with a disgruntled landlord or a quick drive through a run-down apartment building can start a conversation with a property owner.

You never know who may acquire a new client and refer you to some business.

No matter how your prospecting efforts turn out, putting in the time and effort to prospect for real estate can pay off in a big way. Whether you’re just looking to make a little extra cash on the side or you’re hoping to build enough business to one day quit your day job, putting in the work to generate leads for motivated sellers is a great way to go.

How Do Bird Dogs Get Paid?

There are a few different ways that bird dogs can get paid. The most common way is for the bird dog to receive a percentage of the total deal, usually around 10%. So, if the bird dog brings in a deal that is worth $100,000, they would receive $10,000.

Another way that bird dogs can get paid is by receiving a flat fee for each deal that they bring in. This fee is typically around $1,000 per deal.

What Does Bird Dog Mean?

A bird dog is a term used to describe someone who is good at finding things. This can be anything from finding the best deals on items to finding the perfect person for a job. Bird dogs are known for their keen eye and ability to sniff out a good deal or find the hidden gem in a group of people.

Where Can I Find Real Estate Investors?

There are a few ways to find real estate investors as a bird dog. You can search online for real estate investing groups in your area, or contact a local real estate agent and ask if they know of any investors looking for properties. You can also attend local real estate investment club meetings or events.


If you’re thinking about getting into real estate investing, becoming a bird dog can be a great way to learn about the business and earn some money while doing it! So if you’re wondering what is a bird dog in real estate, now you know!

Justin McGill