Real estate brokers are the greatest asset of small investors since brokers deal with more properties than the individual real estate investor could ever deal with. That said, however real estate agents usually act for the seller so tend to act directly opposite to that of the buyer. In addition, their commission depends on the price that they can sell the property, so the higher the price they sell the more they can earn.This article acknowledges this and lists four things you can do to get the most out of the real estate agents that you meet when you are shopping for your next real estate investment deal.Tip #1- Use their knowledgeMost people know that some places have higher rental yields than other similar properties in the same class of real estate. If you are new to an area, you would want to tap on the vast knowledge of the real estate agent’s local knowledge. Ask him what areas command a better rental and why. Then ask him to show you those properties. In this way you would get a better return on investment as opposed to him showing you the properties he wants you to see.Choosing a property in a good area good as it allows you have a maximum upside when the economy turns around. Let the real estate agent know that you are a committed real estate investor and when he knows that you might be a potential return purchaser, he will let you know of any new real estate deals that come his way that might interest you.Tip #2- Go early to scout out the areaThis is a simple tip that most people seem to miss out when looking for a real estate property. If you are the potential buyer, spend some time going to the property in question earlier then the said time and check it out. You want to spend some time observing the neighbourhood and talking to the neighbours so that you can find out all you can about the neighbourhood before you talk to the real estate agent who would try to paint a glowing picture of the area. Look out for things like crime problem, bad neighbours and other things that can turn away potential tenants.For commercial property real estate investments, you might want to go there a day before so as to scout the area for the purpose of ascertaining walkthrough traffic. The greater the walkthrough traffic the higher your potential rental returns. Its no good purchasing a commercial property in an area that has no visitors since your rental returns would be very low.Tip #3- Compare stories with other agentsOnce you have figured out what type of real estate investment property you are interested in and what area you want, you would want to make appointments with several real estate agents so as to learn more about the potential area that you are acquiring property in. Since real estate agents are competing with each another so you can find out the downside of another agent’s proposed property at no charge at all.In addition to learning the downside of your possible real estate investment, some of these real estate agents can give you valuable information that you can use tell your prospective tenants to rent out your property like for instance proximity to bus stations, the proximity to the subway, low crime rate and secured vehicle parking.Tip #4- Get an agent that is qualified and in a medium to large agencyIn general novice investors should contact a long-established real estate agent that is very familiar with the area that you intend to invest in. The reason is that you want an agent that knows that area very well and knows what properties are on sale and a bargain. The agent will also be able to tell you which areas are good for rental purposes and these areas should be the areas that you should spend your energy on.Another thing to take note is that your agent should be a medium to large agency so as to gain access to a large database of properties for sale and rental. This would facilitate your search for high rental yielding properties through the agent. A medium to large real estate company would also not fold so easily and leaving you in the lurch while in the midst of a real estate transaction.In conclusion, real estate agents are a useful part of the real estate investment process but if you mentally know what you want, you can benefit greatly from their years of industry knowledge. Effective real estate investment requires education and massive action on your part.