Every time you turn you hear of new ways to find real estate deals. But, there are a few things which remain relatively constant, from location mattering to some tried-and-true ways to find great real estate investment deals. While there are nearly as many ways to find deals as there are investors, there are a few proven methods which can work effectively even as markets shift and turn.
Sharing our best top six methods of finding great real estate investment deals that seasoned investors say work for newbies as well as the pros. Use these bread and butter techniques to find your next wholesale, lease, rental, rehab flip or commercial real estate investment deal.
Six Ways to Find Great Real Estate Deals
Street Signs. An age-old, very effective marketing vehicle is the street sign. The reason for the street signs effectiveness is the sheer number of eyeballs that see it daily. When placed at the right intersection of busy urban streets or shopping malls for example, thousands of people are exposed to the information at any given time. An even more powerful reason the street sign is one of the best marketing tools available is the relatively low cost, especially as it relates to its high returns. Though the jury is still out among many investors regarding the quality vs quantity argument, there are very few marketing tools that can match the call-in volume of the street sign.
Word of Mouth. Any salesperson worth their salt has a talent they can fall back on – the gift of gab. Among the first lessons a realtor learns is to tell everyone they know that they are in the real estate business. The wise investor does the same. You never know where your next deal will come from, so ensuring everyone with whom you come into contact knows that you buy and sell homes will prove to be well worth it in the long run. Frequently contact your tenants, particularly those in neighborhoods you are targeting, to ask if they know of any troubled properties or sellers looking for a fast settlement.
Partnering with a Realtor. Some investors might advise against this one, but no other method makes more sense than hiring a local realtor who is intimately familiar with your market. Realtors have access to the majority of homes on the market including for sale by owners – eventually. In addition, a realtor has at her fingertips the ability to ferret out exactly what you’re looking for without hassle, leg work, or much time.
One click of a realtor’s mouse brings up an MLS search for fixer uppers, homes differentiated by neighborhood or homes within a certain price range. Nothing speaks to an investor like saving money and time, and in most cases, a realtor can assist with both. For those investors concerned about the realtor’s commission getting in the way of the best deal, remember everything’s negotiable… and that the seller generally pays most (if not all) of the realtor's fee. Most realtors are more than happy to work something out with investors they know will be making multiple or frequent purchases.
Systematized Approach & Attribution. Professionals in any discipline can attest to the systems approach to running a business in general and marketing specifically. Every successful business person knows what strategies work in their business and which ones do not. Investors should follow suit, especially with their marketing campaigns and have a designated way of determining which of their marketing strategies works and how cost-effective each approach is. In marketing, this is referred to as “attribution”: tracking where leads are coming from, when multiple campaigns are operating. One tactic is for each campaign to have its own telephone extension, or to have its own URL. That way, it becomes easy to determine which campaign is bringing in the most activity and the highest quality prospects.
Once it has been determined that signs, for example, bring in more quality prospects than flyers, the money previously spent on flyers should quickly be allocated to street signs for maximum ROI. This does come at a cost however, not only in the extra labor and fees, but in potentially lowering the effectiveness of the campaigns if there is not enough consistency across them.
Direct Mail Flyers/Postcards. Some investors swear by this method of marketing properties. Beware, though, that this can be on the expensive side especially depending on the size of the area you farm. Contrary to popular belief, what matters in a direct mail campaign is not what your flyers or postcards say, rather how consistent they are. Consistency builds trust among your prospects and trust builds business.
Multiple Strategies at Once. Astute business owners know time is of the essence as it relates to the bottom line- making money. The best approach, whenever possible, is an all-guns-blazing strategy where more than one campaign is implemented at a time. Maximum results can be obtained in a very short period if executed properly, with consistent messaging.
Good Luck finding your next real estate investment deal!