Mortgages & Creative Financing

Low Cost Real Estate Deal Finding Strategies

Expertise: Real Estate Marketing, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Investing Basics, Real Estate News & Commentary, Personal Development, Business Management, Real Estate Wholesaling, Landlording & Rental Properties
145 Articles Written

Everyone has their favorite ways to find real estate deals. I like direct mail marketing. After using it for a long time, it has proven to be very effective for me. Even though bandit signs can be very effective, I find that they are just cumbersome to put up and the local code officials in so many areas give you problems with those signs.

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What is one of the best, low cost strategies that, is most overlooked?

In my opinion, it is networking. Plain old meet and greet type of situations.

I was talking with a real estate investor friend recently, and she was showing me her “leave behind” business cards. She has these cards ready to hand out to everyone she meets. This savvy real estate investor also leaves these cards behind just about everywhere she goes.  These are not your typical business cards. They are somewhat oversized and are the type of card that folds in half. On one side of the brightly colored cards she has in big bold letters the words “CASH” and then some other text. She has additional text on all four sides of the cards.

If one of these cards were to be dropped on the floor or left sitting on a table, I can guarantee that it would be picked up. Handing one of these business cards to someone you have just met at a networking event will ensure that you will be remembered.

Networking with landlords can bring double rewards

Did you ever stop to consider the benefits of networking with landlords? I know a lot of folks haven’t.

These folks are just a wealth of information about the areas where their property is located. Get in your car one day and take a drive around the areas where you have property.  Jot down some phone numbers and give these folks a call. That’s right. Call up some strangers and introduce yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised at how they will react. There is no doubt that they can give you valuable information about the area. But there are so many more benefits that you can gain from interacting with these folks.

First of all, you can let them know that you are also actively buying property in that particular area. If they decide to retire one day or just reach the point where they are a tired landlord that wants to be out of the business, they will think of you when they want to liquidate their property. You should know that a lot of these folks will be willing to owner finance the sale of their property and collect the payments over time.

If you are a wholesaler or a rehabber, these are definitely folks you want to get to know. Some of the best people on my buyer’s list are landlords. If you have a house that’s a little outdated that just needs some TLC, they are the perfect end buyer. If you have a seller that just won’t come down to where you need to be to flip the house to a rehabber for a complete rehab, some of your landlords will still recognize that this is still a great deal for them. They really don’t care that the pristine tile in the bathroom  is a little dated. In many areas, it would be just fine for a rental.

Make it a priority to spend time each week networking with other people in your business. You will find over time that the benefits you receive from getting to know these folks will help build your business almost effortlessly.

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.

    Replied over 7 years ago
    Exelent post Sharon, very interesting…
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Thanks for reading Valerie.
    Leo Kingston
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Your comments are right in line with my own experiences, Sharon. There’s nothing like networking, is there? And direct mail has always been a solid part of my farming for investment properties, too.
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Leo – I think we sometimes underestimate the power of networking. For one thing, it may not pay off immediately. It certainly helps cement your “expert status” in your field over time. Direct mail is a very good source of leads for just about everyone that uses it properly isn’t it? I love direct mail!
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Sharon, We just picked up a property from a tired landlord. I think this is a great strategy and there is a lot of media talk right now about what great investments rental properties are right now. A few of these new investors will find that being a landlord is not the passive investment they thought it might be. Reaching out to these landlord will be a nice little area to target here in the coming years.
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Chuck – Good for you. I have heard of investors that go down to eviction court and try to find some of those landlords that are just tired and want out. If you can find one that is doing a set out, you can bet he is not a happy landlord either. There are always opportunities for those folks that look for them.
    Replied about 7 years ago
    Sharon, What have you seen as one of your best results from direct mail marketing? Letters or postcards? Great article by the way, thanks
    SHaron Vornholt
    Replied about 7 years ago
    Thanks Kris. I only use white letters for probates. I used letters for absentee owners for a long time, but I have switched to postcards now with very good results. I can give you a recommendation if you want to inbox me.