7 Surefire Ways To Find Real Estate Deals

by | BiggerPockets.com

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:

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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!

About Author

Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC with his wife Terron and has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Kevin invests in and manages rental properties in Memphis, TN and is a past president and vice-president of the local REIA group, the Memphis Investors Group.


  1. I have my real estate license that I use mainly for myself to buy and sell, however, occassionally I will do so for friends and family.
    I did a short sale for an old neighbor a couple of years ago and just received an email that she has another house for me to sell however this one looks like it may be good for me to buy as a rental. This probably wouldn’t happen often however you get ’em where you can.

    • Kevin Perk


      Good point,

      Keeping up contacts and getting your name out there about what you are doing is a great way to find deals. I have a friend here who asks everyone he meets, “Do you know anyone looking to buy, sell or rent a home?” Who does not know someone like that?

      Thanks for reading and sharing,


    • Kevin Perk


      I am sure this was for the other Kevin, but usually you will have to “hang” you license somewhere for a while with a broker (that will depend on your state laws and rules). Usually you can find a broker who is investor friendly and will allow you a greater latitude in how you conduct your business.

      If you really ant to be on your own then you will likely need to go for your own broker’s license after a few years. But weigh the pros and cons here as it may not be worth the time and expense.

      Hope this helps you,


  2. I buy and sell my own transactions which more than pays for having the license each year so any other transactions are just gravy. With few to none MLS listings anymore the dailies don’t help as much. However MLS have are tied to county records and mine even allows me to pull a prospect list and print labels for my target area

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