8 Killer Resources for Savvy Low-Budget Wholesalers!

by | BiggerPockets.com

In a recent article I discussed how I moved cross county and began my investing career in another state.

I discussed in the article how to overcome uncertainty, adversity, and the power of positive affirmations. In the conclusion of that article I briefly stated that I was able to close 12 transactions in 18 months; I would like to pass on the tools and skills I used to help me with each deal.

So the question is: how was I able to close 12 transactions in 18 months in a new state, and not knowing anyone?

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8 Killer Resources for Savvy Wholesalers

I wish that I could say it was easy but it was not. In addition to the character traits needed to succeed (perseverance, tenacity, humility, focus, and setting priorities) there were also numerous research tools that were needed.

Starting out broke, busted, and disgusted I did not have the huge marketing budget that I would hear many investor talk about. They would say you have to know your marketing budget…… sure no problem $0 (actually it was more like $100), so how do I get started with that? Well you can’t, so I had to start my own mailing campaign sending out 200 letters a month. Discouraging….when you hear other talking about mailing 10,000. (Well… from the 200 letters I was able to get a property under contract!)

The following are some of the tools I’ve used to find success as a wholesaler – and I hope you can use them to find the same!

Tool #1) Redfin

When wholesaling, I have to find comparable sales to the subject property so I know what my after repair value is.  If you do not have access to the MLS, like I didn’t, Redfin has a wonderful “Whats My House Worth” link on their website that will show you all the recent houses sold in the area along with the date they sold for. This is great for determining the after repair value.

(When looking at the comps, you’ll need to know about how much the repairs are. I have experience in renovating properties, so I am familiar with the process, but if you are new at it you should check out J Scott’s “The Book on Flipping Houses” and “The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs.” I hear they are good if you have no experience in this matter!)

#2) Tax Assessor

I also utilize the tax assessor’s website to get additional pieces of information about the property and the owners. I was able to use this to confirm the square footage, lot square footage, age of the house, and how long they owned the house. I also use the Tax Assessor’s site to confirm that they are, indeed, the owners.

#3) Google Maps

This may seem elementary to have this on the list but remember: I was broke; driving around looking at houses was not an option.

Most importantly I would use Google Maps to help me build rapport. Sellers would often ask me if I had seen the house and because of Google Streetview, now I could say “yes” and feel confident in my conversation with them. For some reason, psychologically, it made me feel more comfortable looking at the property while I was speaking with them on the phone.

#4) Chicago Title “Premier Services”

This is not for all areas but Chicago Title has a tool called Premier Services, which is another excellent resource I use that gives the property history, escrow profile, mortgage lender information as well as comps for the properties I am looking at. I use this because it is good for researching how much the owner possibly might owe on the property, or if they are going through a foreclosure process. This is absolutely free but you have to contact Chicago Title for a username and ability log in.

Having this great informational resources can strengthen your position when it comes to negotiating.

#5) BiggerPockets

This is a no brainer, but if you are reading this from an exterior link from BiggerPockets.com, the website provides valuable information from thousands of investors’ hands-on experiences.

#6) Podio

This is essential!  Any good wholesaler will have a CRM tool that can help you be more organized with your leads. This helps me:

  • schedule follow up calls,
  • make notes from our last conversation,
  • show if I have made an offer
  • what the amount of the offer is
  • and a lot more.

The Podio CRM is definitely the hub of my organization. There are many functions, so it can be a little confusing, but understanding the wide scope of the tools this CRM has is worth the time and effort to research this tool.

#7) Constant Contact

Once the property under contract then the next step is to immediately market the property. I use ConstantContact, which is a database that stores all my cash buyers’ emails and other contact information. This tool also makes sure that all my marketing material remain consistent and professional. Remember – this is a business and not just a hobby. As with any business, your business and product must be easily identifiable.

Some investors us a simple email and send their information out. Sure, this is ok if you are just starting out… but for a few dollars a month you can have a very professional approach.

#8) Social Media

As with other marketing pieces; content and visual ascetics should remain consistent!


These tools helped me start from nothing in a new place, with minimal resources. If you apply some of these tools in your business, they will help you tremendously.

There are many more tools, like the MLS, Microsoft Excel, other having report-building skills, that are also important and maybe even essential – but this list of 8 should get you off to a great start!

Are there other tools that are in your toolbox that you use to close deals? We would love to hear and learn new technological advances, so please share your tips and comments below!


About Author

Marcus Maloney

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who wholesales virtually in multiple states while building his investment portfolio. He has also converted some of his deals into cash-flowing rentals. Marcus holds seven rentals, two of which are commercial units. He’s even purchased a school, which was converted into a daycare center. His overall goal is to turn what is a marginal profit into a significant equity position. He leverages the equity by using the BRRRR (buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat) strategy to increase his portfolio without any money out-of-pocket. Marcus has been featured in numerous podcast such as the Louisville Gal Podcast, The Best Deal Ever Podcast, The Flipping Junkie, and many others. He contributes content regularly to his YouTube channel and blog.


  1. Tim Bishop

    Your tip about constant contact is great but I would recommend people try out mailchimp.com first. They have a forever free plan and its really just as user friendly as constant contact. I’ve used both at my day job and I would choose mail chimp over constant contact even if it wasn’t free.

  2. William Majors on


    Thanks for the great article!

    As a newbie my head is swimming trying to learn all this great information.

    Your article serves as motivation that it can be done.

    • Marcus Maloney


      It can be overwhelming, just remember to exercise your knowledge by putting some of the tools you learn to work. Do not get to focused on what you are learning and not putting it into practice. My favorite teacher always used a phrase that “you have to put theory into practice.”

      William the real motivation is when you start to see some traction, then you will become so excited because it is materializing in your life.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  3. LaToya Harris

    Great article, thank you for providing some very helpful tips!

    Q: Do you have an attorney that you can recommend that’s located in the Chicago area (south suburbs, if possible), that can review my wholesaling contract? I’ve downloaded a few different versions, but need to make sure that it is ok to use in Illinois. Thanks!

    • Marcus Maloney


      Thank you for the compliment, instead of paying a retainer fee to an Attorney go to your Title Company and inform them that you are interested in wholesaling and show your escrow agent your assignment contract and they will be able to let you know if it is acceptable.

      FYI, when I started I used a 1 page purchase agreement and some of the sellers became skeptical. I find it more reputable to use the standard state contract that Agents use, and then you can have a 1 page assignment agreement with your end buyer. It is a lot cleaner and your escrow agent will probably recommend this as well. People believe that the standard purchase contract can only be used by agents which is not correct, however I would advise you to check the local statutes for Illinois.

      To finally answer your question I do not have a RE Attorney I can recommend, I do know there are quite a few in the Orland Park area. Hope this helps

      “Enjoying the Journey”

    • Marcus Maloney


      I believe it’s psychological but I am much more comfortable looking at the property while talking to sellers. I find key things about the property that I will use as a trigger to let them know that I have seen their home. It also makes them open up a bit more. There are other psychological tools that I find that are helpful that builds rapport with the seller for example knowing a little bit about certain things that interest the seller. I wrote a article “Why Real Estate Newbies Should Shut Up” and this article discuss how to engage sellers on the phone. I added some great tips in that article about gaining rapport with sellers over the phone. Thank you again!!!

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  4. Jamie B.

    Good article, I love that you acknowledge redfin, I always hear people talking about zillow and trulia but redfin is my go to over any of the other sites. Podio is an awesome CRM that I find I like a bit more in conjunction with Zapier, which is an app that gives you the ability to say if this happens on podio then go to my gmail account and do this. It also gives you options for a variety of other actions for other tools out there too.

    • Marcus Maloney


      I have to acknowledge Redfin, this was my go to for comps because I did not have access to the MLS, and Zillow and Trulia was too unreliable for me. I still often use it even with MLS access.

      Zapier I have heard investors talk about it but honestly I have never used it. I will have to look at it. Thanks for the additional source, this was one of the main reason I decided to write the post because I know there are many more resources that others can share. Much success to you!!!

      “Enjoying the Journey”

        • Marcus Maloney


          The MLS is the most reliable source but Redfin does a great job of providing reliable comps as well. If you do not have MLS access Redfin will provide you information on surrounding comps. Also there data is updated regularly. I’ve found houses that we recently closed added to the site 30 days later.

          Although you would never want to use only one source but using them in conjunction with each other will give you a solid value.

          Great, question/comment!!!!

          “Enjoying the Journey”

  5. Great information marcus, I am a newbie and i mean new lol my question is when you said you sent out 200 letters a month what did you meen by that? or can you go into a bit more detail for me.

  6. Gerry Smith

    Very informative,Thanks. I’m a newbee investor with extremely limited funds, I don’t know where to get low cost Real Estat contracts (buyer’s side & sellers side) or where to find motivated sellers in my area (Brooklyn, New York) without any kind of money. I’ve been on sites like Ctaigslist, Backpage, to name a few & don’t see any signs of motivated sellers. All I seem to find are Real estate agents selling properties. I am truly trying close on my first wholesale deal before the new year, even if it’s only $5,000. Please Help Me!!!

    • Marcus Maloney


      I’m not familiar with NY but I know in most state you can get a purchase contract from the Title Co. Actually, New York Title has all the purchase contracts and agreements on their website. Not sure if you have to be an Agent in NY in order to use the standard contract or if you have to use an attorney with real estate purchases. NY Title would be able to answer those questions for you. Or reach out to one of the NY Wholesalers on the site, and I’m sure they will be able to assist you.

      Craigslist and Backpage you will find properties for sale by Agents or wholesalers mainly, you will need to start some type of direct mail campaign. Jerry Puckett here in BP is a great source to assist with direct mail, a lead capture website will be needed as well but not mandatory in the beginning. If you reach out to Jerry he will be able to steer you in the right direction, some money will be needed.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

      • I just lost a deal because of not knowing how to put it all together. The property is an inheritance appraised @ $449K the seller wants $325K (and she is negotiable), in excellent condition,in a very desirable neighborhood in New York City, she wants to deal only with investors/cash buyers, she must sell before the 2015 new year for tax purposes, there is no mortgage on the property it’s owned free & clear, no back taxes, no liens, very,very, motivated seller. I called up a few of the “we buy houses for cash” & they just aggrivated her with lowball offers. She told me to call her when I’m serious & have a respectable offer, I don’t think I’m going to call her back because I don’t have anyone to seriously, help me with this easy deal with $100K in instant equity. And what’s even sweeter is that its a 3bdrm. 2bth.- 1,750 sq. ft. & the taxes are paid through 2014. Is this not a quick & easy sweet deal? What’s sad is i can’t even do anything with it because I don’t know any investors or wholesalers. P.S. the other 2 siblings want to sell this property just as bad as the one I spoke to on the phone.

        • Hi Gerry

          Will the house in NY need to be updated? Counters, cabinets, kitchen, baths, flooring, paint inside and out, ect? This all comes into play when the investors are looking at the home, or pics of home, to determine how much they can pay for the house and still make a certain amount of profit. the 70% rule. Sounds like the sellers are very motivated but you may need to explain why the investors need more room.

          Here’s the basic formula. Take ARV: $449,000 * .70 = $314,300 (this includes investor profit, cost of money, closing costs, realtors commissions, and cost of hold while rehabbing).

          Now subtract cost to rehab. In my area to do an update a good estimate is $25/sq ft. Let’s do $20/sq ft for ease. 1750sq ft * 20= $35,000 for rehab cost.

          $314,300 – $35,000 = $279,300.

          Now you need to get paid for your work.

          $279,300 – $5000 (your fee) = $274,300 MAO (Maximum Allowable Offer).

          Since most will negotiate back and forth investors/wholesalers will offer lower at first expecting owner to either agree or counter offer. If counter, the wholesaler/investor knows the absolute highest they can pay is, in this example, $274,300 (not necessarily accurate for your area).

          As a wholesaler, the above calculations and negotiations are what you are paid $5000 or more for. If you only find homes and pass on to cash buyers you can only expect a bird dog fee…or finders fee.

          Hope this helps. Hang in there and allow yourself a learning curve. Get to know the buyers and what they are looking for.

  7. lizette rivera


    I also thank you for the article. I am a newbie with hope and absorbing all I can. I can see that it is easy to get too much info from many and then not have a solid direction. Your article gave me some definite steps that will make some progression for me versus info for informational purposes to be used at some point…lol.

    • Marcus Maloney


      Glad the article provided you with some direction. There is tons of information on BP and you can become consumed with the Next Big Thing. Try and outline what you would like to get accomplished for the week and then monitor your progression. The tools I mention are very easy to navigate but they will pay off big dividends in the end.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  8. Hi Marcus
    Thank you for the article full of information!
    I have been having some difficulty to start doing wholesaling in the San Francisco Bay Area, but have been reading lots about it on bigger pockets and elsewhere.
    I will be looking into your links to the articles as well as the podio system.
    Thank you!

  9. I’ve enjoyed this article and I’m learning a lot and feeling confident that I can do this but my question is how so I begin building a good profitable buyers list and sellers list??

    • Marcus Maloney


      Building a buyers list consist of building rapport with other wholesalers in the area. Google “Sell my house___________ (your city)” this is how you will be able to find out the major wholesalers. Once you do this you will be able to ask them what they are looking and that will be your track to start building a buyers list. You can go to the foreclosure auctions, or build a ghost ad in craigslist, and all those that respond you can find out what and where they are looking to purchase.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

    • Marcus Maloney


      Thanks Buddy, I spread myself thin but it has always been my desire to help others. Pay it forward and it will be reciprocated. Keep moving forward, have fun along the journey and make sure you ask the right questions and you will be a successful investor.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  10. Terrell Sapp

    Thank you for this post. Very informative. A few of these sites I was not familiar with but now they’re in my arsenal .

    As far as direct mail, I sent my first DMC out a few days ago and for my next round I would like to aim at target hotspots. How would I find a hotspot, in different boroughs at that? Is there a system I can find absentee owners, inherited properties, and pre foreclosures?

  11. Marcus Maloney


    You can find absentee owners and preforeclosure if you have MLS access. If not listsource.com you can get 400 names for $50 you can pay for more if you like but that is the minimum. What mailing system or delivery service are you using? Have fun; much success to you.

    “Enjoying the Journey”

  12. Daniel Morgan

    Great post Marcus!! These tips are most def gonna help me out in my journey.
    I have MLS access (threw my old realtors account access) but im not sure how to asscess absentee owners and preforclusures on it? Is there a certain box i should be looking for to check off?

    • Marcus Maloney


      Sorry for the delay in my response. Since you have MLS access although it’s different in every market you can go to the tax link on retrieve the info this is one way we can source the leads here in AZ, also since you have access to the MLS you can pull the expired and cancelled listings and mail to them. If this don’t help in your market contact one of your Realtors in the area and they should be able to assist you. Hope this helps, keeps us posted on your progress.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

    • Marcus Maloney


      Great question, the best resource for cash buyers is your title company and the county assessor, but the title company is best. Inform them that you are looking gather data on all the recent transactions that was a cash transactions.

      It would be best to do this in person, set an appointment to meet an escrow agent if you don’t have one and inform them of your plans. Normally they have that data readily available and they are willing to provide it because it’s public knowledge they will give a list of addresses and then you can go to the assessor a site and get the mailing addresses. It would be good to have a website for them to opt in.

      Start your research and you will see how informative people are when you ask the right people the right questions.

      “Enjoying the Journey”

  13. Eleia Roddy

    Hi Marcus,
    This is great information as we are wholesalers on a budget. Even if we weren’t I would still want to know how to go about it by saving money. We are planning to start a direct mail campaign mailing about the same amount a month. My question to you is what list did you start out using? How did you find motivated sellers?

  14. Daniel Zamora

    Hello Marcus

    I am new to investing, I live in a rural area in Georgia population about 3500 people.
    I am interested in door knocking.
    My question is based on this small town, how can I create a market here to pursue my real estate goals?
    I know any thing is possible anything!!!
    I am also involved in a real estate investment club in Atlanta which is almost 100 miles from my home.
    This is why I would like to concentrate in this area.
    What advice can you offer me, which will be appreciated.

    Thank you sir


  15. Marcus Maloney


    Assuming your goal is wholesaling; this would be challenging however your question is very common. There are many people that do not live in a big city and would like to know how they can wholesale properties and who would be end buyer. From the little knowledge that I do know about investing in a relatively condensed area I know that the dynamics are very different and your end buyer would normally be a B&H (buy & hold) Investor. So your aim should be find the landlords in your area and see what they are looking for and where else are they looking (nearby communities).

    I grew up in a small rural town about 60 miles south of Chicago with about similar population as your town and we started with rental properties. So in smaller areas this would be your target market to sell properties to. To find sellers you would more than likely target the older population who are looking to move to transitional living places. Even with this you will have a very small pool of sellers to market to. I would continue to associate myself with those in the Atlanta market and start mailing to those in the city and maybe co-wholesale with an established wholesaler in that market.

    I hope this was helpful info!

    “Enjoying the Journey”

  16. Daniel Zamora


    Thank you for your input, I am working with an investor that I met at the reia in Atlanta.
    My goal with him is to pass the home to him after I put under contract.
    Is this a good plan?
    Also can you help me in the area of finding homeowners at the courthouse, I realize their are many ways.
    Liens, taxes, divorced couples.
    What do I ask the clerk at the courthouse?
    What department do I go to for finding homeowners?
    I want to work with brokers to help me.
    Door knocking, etc.
    I am looking for my niche!
    Am I doing to much to soon?

    Thank you

    • Marcus Maloney


      Networking is always great its good to get out and meet the people that is doing the work. I would advise you to save time by not going to the courthouse and pulling a list from listsource.com or if you have access to the MLS doing a tax search that way. This will give you the opportunity to pull multiple list without leaving your home. Going to the courthouse is the old way of doing things you can also try usleadlist.com they are very helpful and from what I have heard they produce good results. I do not use them because I have access to the MLS, but if I did not they would be pulling list for me.

      You can mail to every niche you want but your script will be different when you speak with the different sellers.

      Hope this helps…..”Enjoying the Journey”

  17. Haasim Grant

    I thoroughly enjoyed the tips and will begin implementation. I think it’s great as a “newbie” to utilize all free to low cost tools there are until you’re able to step your game up a bit. It can be frightening to take that first step into investing, however with the knowledge gained through these articles it gets easier and easier. Thank you for passing along those jewels.

  18. Karen Petty

    Hi Marcus,
    Thank you so much for this article and all of the great resources. I’m new to REI and wholesaling and have explored some of the resources but I will definitely check out Podio and Redfin. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  19. cassio de almeida

    Your always putting out great articles. I live in NYC and interviewed a lawyer before I set up my first deal which hasn’t happened yet. He gave me prices of $5000 for a new purchase contract and another $5000 for an assignment contract. I thought to myself that is crazy (NYC prices at its finest), I would make no money.
    Today was the first time I heard the advice of going straight to the title company for a contract, I’m going to see what I can find. I just listened to podcast 37 and the guest on the show talks about not even using a contract, he just has the title company write something up when he gets the a deal locked. Might be tricky for new investors but something more experienced guys like you can probably do… Keep up the good work!

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