Generating deals and keeping the pipeline filled both serve as the backbone of any good real estate investing business. Fortunately, there are many ways to generate leads. Some can be rather costly, but coincide with big big rewards. There are even some strategies that will be inexpensive and still offer great rewards. No two investors are the same. What works for one in one area may be a bust for someone else. Regardless of what you do and how you do it, you need to constantly focus on finding deals. The minute you let your guard down and take your foot off the gas is when you will start to see your business suffer. Again, finding real estate deals should be your main priority.
Before you can take a look forward, you should really take a look back. Look at all the deals you have closed in the last 12-24 months and get to the bottom of where they came from. If you see a pattern of new leads, you should make a point of learning where they came from. Any sort of trend could be worth looking into. Some deals may seem like luck, but they are usually a byproduct of a few different things that you may have done. Every new lead you get moving forward should be added to a spreadsheet. Detail how you met them and note anything of importance. If you don’t know where your deals come from, it is impossible to keep them moving forward.
The MLS continues to be one of the most popular methods of finding new deals. If you know what you are looking for out of a property, the MLS can help you find it. Each listing is full of information that should be looked at and deciphered. You can focus on properties that may need a little work or may have been on the market for a prolonged period of time. There is plenty of competition in getting deals from the MLS,so the key is to find motivated sellers and be ready to act quickly. Most of the attractive deals will be snatched up in their first few days on the market. Instead of focusing on these, you can look for properties that may be collecting dust and are overlooked by other investors. The MLS can be a goldmine, but you need to look at all the information on every listing.
If you are looking to have people contact you instead of finding deals directly, you can opt for a direct mail campaign. Direct mail campaigns can be very productive, but you need to know what you are doing. If you think you can mail any letter to any list and have your phone ring off the hook you will be sadly mistaken. Direct mailings need to have a well thought out strategy. Things like the size and color of the envelope could have a real impact on the number of calls you get. You also need to have a system in place to handle the expected increased call volume. If you don’t answer your phone when homeowners call in, you won’t get the full benefit of your mailing. Mailings can be a great way to jump-start your business, but only if you know what you are doing.
You can also find deals with the type of marketing you do. Your marketing can be anything from bandit signs to an ad in your local phone book. Almost every day you will come across advertising options that you may never have thought of. In the past, your local newspaper was one of the main sources of advertising. In today’s environment, there are more ways to advertise online than ever before. Some of the websites you frequent everyday can offer advertising options that you may not have known existed. It is important to do your homework and make sure you are spending your advertising dime wisely. Advertising one day a week in a local phonebook may not have the same impact as every day on a website. Do your due diligence and know who is looking at your advertising.
There are many other ways you can generate deals. Contacting FSBO properties and renting billboard space on a local highway are just a few available options. If you are like most investors, you are working on a strict budget and need to be savvy with your spending. Some of the best lead generation you can do is in your local community. Between investment clubs and networking groups, you can find a deal or two a month just for the cost of the dues. A lead from a referral is always much more valuable than a lead you spent money on generating. If you focus on reaching out to the people you have worked with in the past or are currently on your team, you will see more new leads that have a higher chance of turning into real deals.
There are many ways to find deals, but the odds are they will not just fall into your lap. You should do something every day that will get your phone to ring, regardless of how busy you currently are. It is no secret that the more leads you have, the more deals you will end up closing.