• Add to Collection
7 Places to Find Great "Bird Dogs"
When most people hear the term 'bird dogs', they think of hunting. However, in the real estate market, the term is used to describe someone who will sniff out great deals for you. They drive around (or look into) areas that you are interested in, and look for distressed homes, vacant homes, and homes that are for sale by owner. It is common for investors to pay their bird dogs anywhere from $100 to $1000 for their finds within the first 48 hours of the closing date.
Bird dogs are quite different from wholesalers, who go through a whole process of marketing, negotiating prices, and actually putting properties under contract. 
Now that house flipping is becoming more popular, with newbies going well over asking price during initial bids, it is more important than ever to have a few great bird dogs working for you. 

But where can you find one? It's actually much simpler than you might imagine, and much more reliable than just asking strangers off the street if they want to earn a little extra cash.
1 - Odd Job Websites

There are many odd job websites out there now, and it's a great place to look for bird dogs. Given that this is a relatively easy job with a decent payout, many people jump at the opportunity to help find homes that you might want to flip.
2 - Consult Your REIA Group

You'd be surprised how willing people are to reach out to you when you ask for help. By simply letting other members of your group know what you're looking for and asking if they know of any bird dogs (or might be willing to themselves), you can find quite a few great leads.
3 - Chat with Your Chamber of Commerce or Local Business Network

Even though this might not directly involve real estate investors or the real estate industry as a whole, you'd be surprised how many great friendships and connections you can forge there. Oftentimes pillars of the community hear about great deals or know of people who are wanting or needing to sell their homes. They can even help send people your way!
4 - Ask a First Responder

If you know anyone who is working as a first responder, you may have a potential bird dog. They are known for helping people in distress and end up driving all throughout the neighborhoods that you want to find deals in. They often find great deals while they're on the job, and could easily report back to you at the end of their shift.
5 - Talk to Your Professionals

If you're in the real estate business, chances are you at least know a title agent, accountant, insurance agent, attorney, or banker. These are people who have wealths of information, and not just about their given profession. They know when their clients are about to sell or lose property, and can easily give you a heads up about potential deals in the neighborhoods that you're interested in.
6 - Friendly Local Real Estate Investors

It may seem counterintuitive, but if you ask your local competitors and tell them what you're interested in, they may be willing to send some deals they pass on your way. This can be a great way to find some pretty sweet deals.
7 - Drivers for Hire

Consider hiring people who already drive for a living. This can include postmen, delivery drivers, uber drivers and so on. They already service the areas you're interested in, and they already do the driving. All they have to do is keep an eye out for great deals and earn a few extra bucks for no extra effort. It's a win-win for you and them! 
So while the competition for the real estate market might be a little stiff, with a great bird dog, you can rest assured that you'll still be sniffing out the best deals in your marketplace.