I just finished reading an article about a guy in Australia that found a 12-pound gold nugget. He used a $6,000 metal detector called a Minelab GPX 5000 with Advantage plus ‘Sadie’ mono elliptical coil and Rooster Booster audio enhancer to dig it up. Apparently the precious metal was buried more than two feet below the surface. Valued at $315,000, the report states that the “specimen is said to be the largest lump of gold ever discovered in Ballarat, Australia.” Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Wow. This prospector spent $6,000 to earn $315,000. That’s a 5150% annualized return on investment. No doubt the Australian gold digger will quickly become a celebrity with gold diggers worldwide. And can you imagine the endorsement deal he’ll get from the company that sells the Minelab GPX 500 with Advantage plus ‘Sadie’ mono elliptical coil and Rooster Booster audio enhancer? I’ll bet these metal detectors will start flying off the shelves. Soon you won’t be able to drive around the block without seeing some dude in those goofy headphones swinging the long metal rod back and forth just above the ground. “Is that guy weed-eating the grass?” you’ll wonder. Nope. He’s a gold digger. A Real Estate Investor’s Metal Detector In the past week I closed four fix and flip deals for a net profit of $83,000. Needless to say, I’m pleased with the way 2013 has begun. However, I only have one new deal in the pipeline – an REO property that should close by the end of next week. That means I need to find at least another 3-4 properties to purchase and rehab. If only I had a Minelab GPX 500 to help me dig for good real estate deals. I’ve learned that one of the keys to earning a living in real estate investing is to have a pipeline full of profitable deals – deals that can be fixed and flipped or wholesaled to other investors. That’s where the gold is. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today – where banks are calling the shots with short sales and REO inventory – maintaining deal flow can be a monumental challenge. That’s why it’s so important to have more than one source for those deals. Currently, I work with four Realtors – each scour the multiple listing service in their area for short sales and REOs. And at the end of last year I began working with a bird dog that door knocks on the weekends. I also created a website for distressed home sellers. These are my real estate investment metal detectors. Where do you get your properties? Direct mail? Realtors? Cold calling for sale by owners? At auction? What works best for you? The truth is it doesn’t matter where the deal comes from, as long as it’s a deal. It’s keeping the pipeline full that counts. Do that and you won’t need to blow $6,000 on the Minelab GPX 500.