Finding deals does not have to be rocket science. Sure, it can be very frustrating and difficult at times, but at its core, finding deals comes down to networking and following up. Many investors develop elaborate systems and have intricate means of gaining access to deals, but the reality is that anyone can find deals just as easily by getting their name out there and letting people know they are an investor. Sometimes the simplest and most obvious means are the most effective. If you are looking for deals, start with yourself and the people around you and go from there.
Do your friends and family know you are an investor? Even if you have not made the commitment to invest full time, you should start by reaching out to the people closest to you. A quick post on Facebook or twitter can get the ball rolling. You can follow that up with a simple letter to your contact list letting them know what you do. For less than $100, you can have your core of 100 friends and family that will surely think of you and pass your name along if anyone they know is looking for a quick sale or has a property they need help on. This basic step is often overlooked by investors, new and old.
In addition to friends and family, you should make a commitment to constantly put yourself out there on social media and in your local community. You don’t have to post your investing prowess three times a day, but a few times a week should do the trick. Additionally, you should be ready to network in your local community. People you meet at weddings, T-ball games, networking meetings, and local businesses should know what you do and how you do it. Obviously, there is tact to telling people you are an investor, but once conversation turns to business and employment, they should leave knowing you are at least a part time investor. Always have a business card in your pocket ready to hand out and don’t be afraid to tell them if they know anyone that may need your services.
If you are not using the internet and its many real estate listing sites, you are lagging behind the industry. Between Craigslist, Trulia and Zillow alone, you have numerous listings of people selling or renting their properties. If you take the time and find out exactly what these people are looking to do, you may be surprised to have a deal or two fall on your lap. This may not happen overnight, but if you follow up and keep a prospect list you never know when they may want to sell down the road. The only cost for these leads is your time.
You can always hop in your car and visit local real estate offices and introduce yourself to realtors. Like anything else in business, investing is a numbers game. You never know when the next person you meet could be the one that changes your business. If you find the right realtor who knows and accepts that you are an investor, they could have access to a banks listings and is looking for a new investor to work with. You would never have access to this if you didn’t get in your car and put yourself out there.
Finding deals is difficult, but far from impossible. Start with these basic things and work from there. Sometimes the simplest steps are the ones most often overlooked.