In a perfect world, your real estate agent will supply you with more deals than you know what to do with. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Even the best real estate agents only have a certain amount of inventory that comes their way. Some of it will not be to your liking, while others will fall through the cracks. To build a solid business, you need to constantly find ways to get new deals. Waiting by the phone for your real estate agent to call is not a recipe for success. There are many things that you can do on your own to get leads coming your way. Here are five things any investor can do to find new deals:
1. Direct Mail: The first thought that often comes to mind with direct mail is how expensive it is. The expenses involved can certainly add up, but there is nothing saying that you need to start with thousands of names. If you shop around, you can often find companies that will start off in much smaller batches. This way, you can mail a smaller number of people more often. The most important thing with any type of direct mailing is to find the right list. Make sure that you are mailing to the people you really want to. Once your list is set, mail a small amount of people multiple times. With the right list, you should expect your phone to ring. What you do at that point is up to you, but direct mail will definitely get the ball rolling.
2. Attorneys: If you do not have the capital to invest in a direct mail campaign, there are other ways to generate leads. You can start by directing your focus to local attorneys. These attorneys are much more of a pipeline for deals than you may think. Between estate and divorce alone, they come across a handful of interested sellers every week. You should allocate one day a week to get on the road and introduce yourself to as many attorneys as possible. Even if real estate isn’t their main focus of business, you never know who they will meet that may have an interest in selling. Since most attorneys will not have the time or interest to sit down, you should have a handout documenting what you do with your business card ready to hand out. It is important that you take one of their cards on the way out. With an accurate, up to date email address, you can create an attorney database and email it every week. All it takes is one or two local attorneys to greatly increase your pipeline.
3. Newspaper: Most people currently get their news and information on their phones or somewhere online. Even if you fall into one of these categories, you can still utilize your local newspaper. Most print publications publish local foreclosures and auctions once a week. While this data may not be the most up to date, you can still reach out to these homeowners and see what the story is. The newspaper will usually have the name and address of each property. You don’t have to be the first person to reach out to a homeowner in foreclosure to get the deal. If you are the most persistent, you will find yourself with a few extra leads a week. Additionally, the newspaper will also have current rental listings. If you see the same listing for a couple of weeks, it could be a sign that the landlord may be having trouble. It doesn’t hurt to call and find out. Newspapers may be a dwindling commodity, but they can be a great source for deals.
4. Town Hall: In addition to finding foreclosures and auctions in the newspaper, you can also find them at your local town hall. Foreclosures are a matter of public record, so they will be recorded in town hall. Additionally, you can find out information about any upcoming tax lien auctions. If a homeowner falls behind on their property taxes, this takes precedence over any other type of liens, including mortgage liens. Once the town fails to collect back taxes and places a lien on the property, it goes to auction. The auctions may be held once a month, or even once every several months, depending on the number of properties. All of this information is found at your town hall. Spend an hour looking at the public records and seeing if there are auctions scheduled. An hour a week at town hall can produce great results.
5. Networking: Some of the best deals you can get are from those closest to you. In almost every local area, there are contacts you can make that will help you gain deals. Between local builders, contractors, mortgage brokers and wholesalers, there are people in your area that are looking for an investor to work with. Showing up at networking meetings and getting your name out in the community goes a long way. The more people you put yourself in front of, the more people that will know you are an investor and may want to work with you. Networking is not always the easiest or most exciting thing to do, but it has a huge impact.
If you put the time and effort in, there are many different ways to find deals. Most of these methods do not require money and need nothing more than a little hard work. There are deals out there if you are willing to find them.