How To Find Great Investment Real Estate Properties And Leads
Shows like ‘Flip or Flop’ and ‘Fixer Upper’ glamorize the simplicity and availability of finding great investment properties to flip or hold but, real investors know it’s not as easy as the tv shows make it seem in practice. Finding great properties before they hit the market is truly a skill that must be honed and cultivated. Real Estate investing is an ever changing game, and those who learn and adapt are the ones who stay on top.
In this article we want to outline three simple rules that any investor can use to help them find great properties before the competition.
The 3 L’s of Property Lead Generation: Listen, Look, Lean-in
The first ‘L’ is often the first to be forgotten: Listen. Always keep your ears open, people are constantly mentioning interest in selling properties long before they are ever listed on the MLS. Many individuals simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling their home and would jump at a cash offer from an investor. Listen to family: grandparents, parents, and siblings are all potential sellers that you may not have even considered. Often times individuals want to keep a property in the family for sentimental reason, this could be a great opportunity to add to your rental portfolio while holding true to a family members wishes.
Listen to your friends list on Facebook: when a family announces their plans to move, when a friend is getting married, or unfortunately even a death. All of these major life events often coincide with a property changing hands.
Simply keeping an eye out really is the most powerful way to find great properties, spend an evening combing through an area you are interested in and look for signs that the property may not be inhabited: tall grass, overly filled mailbox, boarded windows. Great properties are everywhere. In fact, you are probably living in a neighborhood full of them, you just need to open your eyes. Have you seen a property that meets the criteria above on your block? Maybe on your drive to or from work? Stop, drop off a card and keep an eye out- odds are your gut was right and someone has either forgotten about the property or they are ready to give it up. If you haven’t gotten a response from your card or a friendly knock on the door (please be courteous) there are several other ways to get in touch with/find the owner. Services such as Spokeo, White Pages, and even local tax assessor records are a great way to find out who the current owner of a property is.
In person ‘looks’ are great but another way to utilize the ‘Look’ rule is to take advantage of your social media software. Facebook Marketplace is a growing tool for individuals to list their property before it reaches the MLS, additionally Craigslist classified’s are often full of off market leads.
It should be obvious but a person can’t sell you their property if you don’t talk to them. Don’t be afraid to follow up with leads. Be respectful, but it’s okay to reach out to a seller over a period of time, maybe you didn’t hit them at the right stage the first time but now they are ready to sell or maybe they have fallen into another property they will gladly let go of. Often times a dig lead- someone you’ve worked with in the past – is your greatest asset. They may continuously get their hands on new properties and by simply reaching out to them periodically you increase your chances of hitting them at the right moment. Follow-up and prospecting can be a huge time drain. We recommend using using CRMs to help you manage your calls or use email specific platforms like Mail Chimp to make sure you are keeping in touch with sellers.
Another example of ‘leaning in’ is simply letting people know you are in the business of buying properties. Announce to your friends that this is something you have an interest in and they will likely reach out to you before anyone else. After all, people won’t know you are buying unless you tell them.
Putting the L’s in practice.
Real estate investing is scalable, and your individual lead generation efforts are able to be scaled as well. At a certain point every investor has to decide exactly where their time is best spent in the investing process and whether to outsource lead generation or double down on their own personal capabilities. We at 2nd Wind reached this turning point by following the rules we will just outlined and found our time to be maximized by partnering with HomeVestors as an area franchise. This partnership allows us the freedom to do what we do best: connect investors to great properties, while HomeVestors handles the bulk majority of our lead generation for us. Our 35k monthly budget with Homevestors provides tv spots, billboards, yard signs, cold calls, 3500 postcards a month, online ads and more that culminate in providing enough leads to successfully purchase and sell 100 properties a year!
A lead generation platform the magnitude of HomeVestors isn’t the right choice for every investor but each stage of investing creates new and exciting options; by following the rules above any investor can grow their business into a true lead generation machine!
2nd Wind, LLC is dedicated to serving the needs of our local investors. We specialize in identifying and purchasing quality properties that provide unique opportunities to our growing network. We understand how difficult investing in Real Estate can be to newcomers and that even veteran investors can get burned-out in this industry. We believe that sometimes all you need is a little push to get over the finish line to financial security. The name “2nd Wind” came from our desire to provide the helping-hand our investors need to make it through the buying process and take their portfolio to the next level. If you are interested in real estate investing be sure to sign up for our email list for off market properties sent directly to your mail box.