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No, not that bird dog. A “bird dog” in the world of real estate is a term used to describe someone who tries to locate properties with good investment potential. These people will typically search for undervalued properties to pass off to a real estate investor for a portion of the profit, and they are widely used to find houses to flip.

Have you ever been walking down the street in your neighborhood or city and seen a sign with a phone number that says “we buy houses”? Or, similarly, gotten a mailer with listings promising to pay cash for your home? Odds are that number is connected to someone who is acting as a bird dog. Their tactic is to cast a wide net to try to find neighborhoods where property is highly valued, but the owners are desperate to get out of their house and they don’t yet have ties to another real estate agency.

While it may not seem like the most glamorous position in the world, many people get into this position if they are interested in real estate.  It is frequently a position taken by people who don’t have the expertise or budget to get into real estate investment, but still want to reap the benefits. While acting as one can be a good opportunity to learn how to spot an undervalued property, it can be difficult to find success. Successful bird dogs are often well-seasoned and have been working with their network of investors for a long time, and investors are unlikely to branch out from contacts that have served them well in the past. Experts recommend that if you are interested in becoming a bird dog, you should find a real estate investor or seasoned professional to learn from.