Every real estate investor has a different strategy and focus. Some buy fixer-uppers to rehab and resell; others target specific neighborhoods or zip codes; some stick to single family homes, while others prefer apartment buildings. However, one aspect that all successful real estate investors have in common is finding off-market deals to get an edge over the competition. Ask any successful real estate investor how they got started and you’ll almost certainly hear some version of “I found my first deal by meeting someone who knew someone who had a property for sale that wasn’t listed anywhere”. Finding an off-market deal isn’t easy, but if you know where to look, it doesn’t have to be rocket science either. In this blog post, we’ll share 5 proven ways to find off-market real estate deals without breaking a sweat.
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Networking is the foundation of every successful business, and real estate is no different. While most people think of networking as attending business or industry conferences, it can be just as effective (and much less expensive) to network locally with other real estate investors. By joining a real estate investing club, you can meet other investors, learn what worked for them in the past, and get plugged into a network of people who can help you find off-market deals. There are also a number of online real estate investing forums where you can network with people, as well as ask questions and gain knowledge. Real estate Slack channels are also popular and can be a great place to network and collaborate with other investors.
One can also network with people by attending professional real estate investor events. You can attend real estate investment club meetings or other events where real estate investors are present and look for opportunities to introduce yourself and get plugged in with the group. You can also start attending networking events that are specific to real estate investing, such as the National Association of Real Estate Investors (NAREI) annual conference, or the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) annual conference. At these events, you’ll meet fellow real estate investors who are looking to find off-market deals, and are likely to work together on future deals and referral partners.
Direct Mail Advertising
Direct mail advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a broad audience and generate leads for both new and repeat business. If you are planning to use direct mail advertising to find off-market deals, start by creating a list of people who are actively looking to buy a property in your target area. Direct mail advertising is not effective for everyone, so you want to be strategic about who you’re targeting. You can start by researching the demographics of the desired neighborhood and creating a list based on that. You can also target those who are behind on their mortgage payments and those who have declared bankruptcy in the past. These people are often times desperate for a solution and willing to sell their house for a lower price. Using direct mail to find off-market deals can be effective, but you don’t want to send out a generic letter to everyone in your area and expect a high response rate. Your letter should include a compelling reason why someone would want to sell their house to you. You should also have a compelling headline and offer that could help motivate someone who is behind on their mortgage payments to sell their house to you.
Craigslist is a huge online marketplace where you can find just about anything for sale, including real estate. If you are looking to find off-market deals, the best approach is to create a catchy headline, then list the type of property you’re looking for in your area. Make sure to include a compelling reason why someone would want to sell their property to you and not someone else. You can also include a phone number at the end of your ad for those who are interested in speaking with you directly. Keep in mind that you’ll typically find two types of people on Craigslist. The first is people who have an immediate need to sell their house, as they are often times more willing to negotiate on price and terms. The second are people who are not in a rush to sell their property, and may be harder to convince.
Virtual Tours and Google Street View
If you can’t find a property in your area that you can use as a lead, try to find properties that are for sale and have a “for sale by owner” sign in front of them. You can use Google Street view to go inside the house and see what condition it’s in. This can help you decide if the property is something you want to pursue or not. You can also go to Google Maps and click “view on map” to see what the property looks like from the outside. This can help you decide if it’s worth pursuing or not.
Finding off-market deals can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. If you know where to look, you can significantly increase your chances of finding a deal, and finding it fast. Whether you network with people, advertise, attend events, or perform some other type of lead generation activity, you can find an off-market deal. With that said, you don’t want to get discouraged if you don’t find a deal right away. Successful real estate investing is about being patient, persistent, and strategic. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when you find the right deal, it can make all the difference.
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