7  Surefire Ways To Find Real Estate Deals

7 Surefire Ways To Find Real Estate Deals

2 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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To be a successful real estate investor you have to keep your business growing.

That means finding real estate to invest in and not just any real estate will do.We investors have to find real estate deals! We have to find properties where the numbers make sense, properties which will provide a decent return for our investment.

Finding these deals however is not always easy. In fact, sometimes you really have to search for them. But that is just the way this business is. If this business was easy and deals were a dime a dozen, then everyone would be investing in real estate.

What I am saying is that finding deals takes work and effort.It takes work and effort each and every day. As an investor, you need to be tuned into and looking at many various sources to find potential deals. Just one will never be enough! Here are some thoughts on where you might want to focus part of your daily efforts to find deals:

1. The Realtor’s Multiple Listing System (MLS)

This is the database that nearly every Realtor plugs their listings into.There is simply no alternative. I have found many a good deal on the MLS simply by looking at the listings day after day.  Depending on how hot your market is, you may have to look several times a day. Looking here every day will also allow you to become very familiar with your market.  Be warned though, everyone else is searching here too so competition can be fierce.

2. Craigslist

This is a website that has grown in importance over the last few years.Many a desperate seller will list their property here rather than with a Realtor on the MLS. Again, lots of eyes looking here as well. Be ready to jump if something interests you.

Related: 5 Simple Strategies For Real Estate Acquisition Domination! (You are Going to LOVE #5!)

3. Foreclosures

I look at these listings every day. Most of the time, foreclosures are taken back by the big players like Freddie and Fannie. I can watch those go through the process and make contacts with the local realtors that will list them later on.

4. Property Sales

I subscribe to a service that provides me a list of all the deeds recorded in my county every business day. There is a wealth of information to be mined in those records.

5. Driving Around

Believe it or not, this is one of the best ways to find deals. Anytime I see something that looks interesting like overgrown yards or stacked up mail, I jot down the address and investigate further. Plus, you may find you are the only one who might know about it, which gives you a big advantage.

6. Bird-Dogs

There is nothing like having other people look for deals for you! I find bird-dogs at my local REIA meetings. Simply tell them what I am looking for and off they go. Keep in regular contact with them to let them know you are still in the market. If they bring you a deal, be ready to move as you are likely not the only one on their buyers list.

7. Marketing

Everyone should find a niche and develop a marketing program to get sellers to call you. Others have written in great detail about marketing so no need to go on about that here. The great advantage of such a program is that you are likely the only one who is aware of the deal.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Advertising to Grow Your Real Estate Business

So that is what in part keeps me busy.

How about you?

What sources do you look at every day?

Are they similar to mine?

Share your comments below!