Thanks to a surge in crowdfunding, reality shows that showcase house flipping and a turnaround of the housing market, even those with little to no knowledge of real estate investing have taken the plunge. Knowledgeable and seasoned real estate agents can make themselves invaluable to any investor who has little time to find and vet properties, according to Eric Krattenstein, chief marketing officer for hard money lender Asset Based Lending.

“For real estate professionals, this provides a unique opportunity to build profitable long-term relationships by becoming an indispensable member of the investor’s team,” Krattenstein wrote in “4 ways to make yourself indispensable to real estate investors” published June 16 on Inman.com.

Krattenstein offered these tips to help agents position themselves in the best light:

2. Know the area — Real estate investors have a different set of “need-to-knows” than your regular house hunter. For example, according to Krattenstein, investors will be particularly interested in knowing time on the market for comparable properties, the after repair value of the property and what changes and upgrades will best appeal to buyers. Your being able to provide the right answers to these questions will prove invaluable.

“A trusted, no-nonsense answer is incredibly valuable as it will help your client plan for the variable soft costs that come along with having to carry the property longer,” Krattenstein wrote.

“The right answer in this situation could make the difference between your client making money or not.”

2. Have a trusted team at the ready — Investors and flippers will need a team of local vendors to help them get the property ready for sale, Krattenstein noted. They’ll expect you will have trusted sources you use that you can put them in contact with.

 “Open up your network to your clients, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty — and the commissions that come with it,” Krattenstein wrote.

3. Bring deals to the table — Most investors have full-time jobs and may not have the time needed to consistently look for viable distressed properties. They will need a quick-acting agent who can identify properties for them, according to Krattenstein.

“Agents can address a major pain point for their clients by taking a more active approach to identifying distressed properties, quickly vetting their potential and funneling them to the investor,” he wrote.

4. Know your quick lenders well — When dealing with distressed properties, time may be of the essence, and investors will need you to handle offers, counteroffers and other negotiations quickly and at any time of day or night.

 “Distressed properties in desirable areas move quickly, and your clients need to know that you are willing and able to perform in crunch time to get the job done,” Krattenstein wrote.