One of the major hurdles for investors – old and new – is coming up with inexpensive ways to find new deals. The volume and quality of the leads you produce will often go a long way in determining just how successful your business is. Throwing money at leads will not guarantee results. In fact, some of the least expensive methods you use will have a better return than much more expensive ones. You don’t need a large amount of money to get leads in your system. What you do need is the ability to work the leads you have. Here are some low cost ways to find new deals:
1. Go through old leads: In your existing pipeline, you probably have at least a few deals that you already dismissed. Recycling old leads comes down to being organized and persistent. Very few sellers are ready to act after the first or second meeting. You need to follow up with them numerous times before they may be ready to commit. Most investors will toss the lead after leaving half a dozen messages. Here is where persistence pays off. Go through all your old leads and send them an email, call or text message. The tone you take is important. Instead of sounding angry that they won’t answer your call, you should let them know you are there to help. If they are late and facing foreclosure, they will most likely take action sooner or later. By hearing your voice or seeing your contact information, they will eventually turn to you when they are ready. Don’t give up on old leads until you have an answer either way.
2. Utilize the MLS: One of the best ways to find deals is with the help of a quality realtor. Having a good relationship with your realtor allows you to find deals you really want and close on your terms. It will also help you when you need a favor. Realtors have access to the MLS (multiple listing service), which is the portal where most local deals are located. Ask your realtor for a list of all expired listings or listings that have been on the market for at least 90+ days. From there, it is up to you to put the work in and see what the scenario is on each one. Drive by the property and get a feel of the area. Only after you do your work should you ask to see the property. You never know which sellers will be desperate or looking for the next best deal that comes their way. All it takes is one accepted offer out of ten or twenty to make it worth your time. For the cost of just your time alone, you can often find good deals from expired MLS listings.
3. Craigslist: If you are looking for inexpensive leads, you should be taking advantage of the internet. Craigslist alone is filled with numerous lead generation options. First, start by looking at properties listed for sale. Read the descriptions and see who is selling the property, and if there are any unusual circumstances. If a seller is selling without a real estate agent or if they are an investor themselves, it could be a deal worth looking at. Either way, you should call if there is a number listed and send an inquiry email. Another Craigslist source is local rental properties. There are many landlords who are not active real estate investors and would like nothing more than to sell the property. They won’t come right out and say that in the listing, which is why you need to make contact first. You should also use Craigslist as a way to reach out to local mortgage brokers, realtors and investors who are active on the site. You need to develop thick skin because you will get plenty of angry responses, but if you produce a deal it is worth it.
4. Word of mouth: How many people in your community know that you invest in real estate? Have you told your friends, family or co-workers? Do people on your kid’s sports teams know that you are in real estate? The best way to generate leads is by word of mouth. You don’t have to make every post on social media about real estate, but you should make your presence felt. Instead of looking at dance recitals or weddings as a necessary evil, you can view it as a chance to talk about your business. Eventually a conversation will lead to employment and you will have your in to bring it up. You never know who may have an interest in selling that doesn’t want to work with a realtor, or knows someone that has a property they want to sell. If you want to get leads and grow your business, you will have to do a little bit of self-promotion.
Generating leads doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Regardless of what you do, the most important thing is consistency. You can spend money on an expensive mailing list, but if you only mail it once you won’t get the results. Start with the things you can do that won’t break your budget. Do these every day or every week until you see results. There are deals out there if you know how to work them.