Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

The Stupid-Simple Truth on How to Buy More Real Estate Deals

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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“I can’t find any good deals, Brandon.”

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I hear this over and over and over from individuals on BiggerPockets and out in the real world.

And I get it.

It's hard to find good deals today. Real estate is becoming more and more popular, and even mediocre deals seem to be snatched up before conservative investors ever have a chance.

However, today I want to share with you the stupid-simple truth about acquiring more deals this year.

Are you ready for this?

The stupid-simple way to get more deals is this: analyze more deals.

Let me explain.

Real Estate is a Number’s Game… in Several Ways

Real estate is a number’s game, but I’m not referring to the financial side of it.

Real estate is a number’s game in the same way that dating is. Or being a salesman is. Or begging for money on the street corner is. It’s all about the odds. 

Related: Forget the MLS… Here Are 7 Clever Ways to Find Great Real Estate Deals!

In dating, the more guys or girls you ask out, the greater the chance of one of them saying yes. The more people you date, the greater the chance one of them will become your future spouse. Therefore, if your goal is to get married, you’ll find it incredibly difficult to get there if all you do is sit at home and read about dating.

Ever wonder why vacuum salesmen still go door-to-door trying to sell vacuums? What is this, 1950?! It’s because great salesmen (and sales companies) know that it’s a number’s game. They might get 99% of the doors slammed in their faces, but that 1% can have a tremendous impact on their bottom line, so they keep knocking.

Even the homeless gentleman on the street holding the sign that says “need money for beer” understands this concept. He knows that only a small percentage of people will give him money, but that’s all he needs. It’s a number’s game.

So… let me ask you a very important question:

How Many Deals Have You Analyzed Today?

Seriously… how many?

When people tell me they can’t find a deal, this is my standard response!

The typical answer?


Look… if you want to buy more deals, you need to make more offers. If you want to make more offers, you need to find more potential deals. If you want to find more potential deals, you need to analyze more deals. 

Go ahead and read that previous sentence again. It’s life changing. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Now think about it: If you analyze two properties every day, at the end of a month you will have analyzed sixty different deals. Let’s just assume that 10% of those deals, after analysis, looked promising enough to pursue and make offers on.

That leaves you with six properties that you can make an offer on each month.

Of those six, how many of those offers will get accepted?

Perhaps one of them?

I think one out of six offers is very reasonable. Therefore, if you analyzed just two deals per day, made offers on 10% of them and had just 16.66% of those offers accepted, you could buy a new property every month.

Every. Single. Month.

So, if you are looking to do more deals, start analyzing more properties. It really is as stupid-simple as that.

Ask any of the high-volume real estate investors on BiggerPockets, and you’ll hear the same thing. They look at a LOT of deals.

How many deals are you looking at?

How to Analyze More Deals, Faster

So, what do I mean by “analyze more deals”?

For me, it’s like a funnel:

  1. I look at hundreds of properties in my area (on the computer screen) and quickly “screen out” 90% of them for being the wrong type, the wrong location, or clearly being the wrong deal.
  2. Then, of the remaining potential deals, I run them through the Rental Property Calculator or the House Flipping Calculator here on BiggerPockets. It takes about five minutes to analyze a deal, so maybe 10 minutes a day.
  3. If one of those deals looks promising, I'll pursue it with a call to my real estate agent to get more details. If I like what I hear… I'll submit an offer. It will probably be rejected, but that's okay.

It’s just a number’s game.

What If You Can’t Find a Good Deal?

Now, of course, what if you start analyzing a lot of deals and NO deals look promising?

What if 100% of the properties that are for sale in your area are too expensive and don’t look good after analyzing them?

Related: How to Find Great Deals By Seeking Out “Tired Landlords”

This is an increasing problem these days, especially in expensive areas. If you find yourself in this situation, the simple answer is: You need to get more creative in how you find properties. You won't be able to rely just on the MLS anymore.

Webinar PNGLucky for you, I’m doing a free webinar NEXT THURSDAY on this very topic and I want to personally invite you to join me as I share the Top 10 Powerful Ways to Find Incredible (and Hidden) Real Estate Deals here on BiggerPockets.

Can you make it?

Click here to sign up! 

Then, leave me a comment below. Do you agree? What would you add to this discussion?

Let’s talk!

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
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    Larry Brown Investor from Liverpool, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Please explain your comment “I look at hundreds of properties in my area (on the computer screen) and quickly “screen out” 90% of them for being the wrong type, the wrong location, or clearly being the wrong deal.” I assume you are using Zillow or something comparable but are you really finding “hundreds of properties in your area” every day to look at? Are there that many new properties popping up every day in your area?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Hey Larry, Yeah, I definitely DON’T look at hundreds every day. but maybe every week or so perhaps. And yeah, pretty much I just do the “quick screen” by scrolling through the pages on Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, whatever. Looking for stuff that “Stands out” – based on location, property type, and rent/price ratio (2% test.) I might scroll through 5 pages before finding a single property that I click to learn more about. That’s what I mean by a “quick screen.” Hope that helps!
    Julie O. Real Estate Investor from Westminster, Colorado
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I totally agree with this, Brandon! I do the same thing, analyze every property that comes across my screen looking for possibilities. I totally lucked out on my last deal this past March, my agent was willing to put in an offer before we even looked at the place. The listing came live just as a Friday afternoon blizzard was making travel very difficult. The out-of-town seller got no more offers over the weekend (hah! shame on his listing agent!) so I got the deal. This after I had been outbid on my last 486 offers… 🙂
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Thanks Julie! Congrats! 486… really!!??
    Paul Thompson Investor from Little Rock, AR
    Replied over 5 years ago
    @larry brown Brandon doesn’t come right out and say it in this blog but I’ve heard him and money others say the MLS isn’t the greatest place to find deals. Most of the deals are NOT on the MLS (or sites fed by MLS, trulia, zillow, etc). As a REI we’re looking for motivated sellers. There are not many of those on the MLS that will accept wholesale offers. But it is still a great place to find example properties to run through the BP calculators. This time of year there are dozens/hundreds of new properties being added to the MLS everyday in most markets. Run those through the BP calculators and 90+% of them will not pass the basic rules of thumb. But a few might, and if so dig deeper. But also consider other ways of finding properties. I think of the MLS as Home Depot with bright shiny colors, clean displays, and beautiful tools with retail stickers. The other sources like auctions, REO lists, foreclosure lists, and wholesalers I think of garage sales where you have to find, sort and sift through your options until you find that broken craftsman tool sitting under a pile of junk… score! Cheap price and lifetime guarantee. You just have to find that hidden value that you can unlock with your wiles. But you have to search, search, search and then be able to recognize the deal when you see it.
    Troy Fisher Specialist from Kirkland, WA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Brandon, can you address your metrics? 10% of 6 properties a day? It seems as if that is high especially in some markets (ahem ahem ahem, seattle!). But I agree with you 100%, the more PROPERTIES you Evaluate the better your chance of finding a potential deal. I moved my focus to eastern Washington after focusing on the Tri-County area. I looked at Hubzu, Redfin,, Hudhomestore and loopnet every day quickly eliminating most properties 99% until I come across one or two that seem doable, and then I contact my agent and have them get more information Realist reports, CMA reports, etc. When I get those reports then I can dig into those properties by feeding them into my spreadsheet. On the other hand, I met on friday for lunch another local investor, it’s amazing what happens, when you have closed a wholesale deal. All the wholesalers come out of the woodwork! They have 6 flips that they are working, and were talking about putting another one under contract! They are one of the most prolific networkers I have met also! They are going to meeups and REIA’s in the area that not even I have heard of, and I didn’t think that was possible! TL;DR – It’s hard work but you have to set time aside to look at properties to find properties, they don’t usually fall out of the sky.
    Colin Smith Realtor from Colorado Springs, CO
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I would add that sometimes it takes a little patience as well waiting for the right deal and not having to find a new deal every day.
    John Hyatt Investor from Glendale, Arizona
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Hi Brandon, Great article, I think the only thing I would change is instead of analyze I would say write offers. It’s crazy how many people won’t even write an offer because the numbers don’t match. You do all the work analyzing and then if it doesn’t match your criteria instead of lookin for one that does, why not send an offer for what you came up with? Recently, I saw a house for sale for $175k and it is worth about 135k if you planned on flipping it. Instead of walking away we met with seller and listened to their needs and made an offer and the seller accepted ($0 down, no payments for 60 days, $500/mo for five years and the $152k in 5 years) ! If I did the analysis on the deal it wouldn’t have made sense, 175k was over priced and I should have walked away. Most people probably never made offers on this deal and it was a truly motivated seller! Just my two cents, but I understand what you meant, great article!! -John
    Lawrence Jackson Flipper from Powder Springs, Georgia
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Brandon, what do you predominately use to find deals online?
    Shaun Reilly Landlord and Rehabber from Newton, Massachusetts
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Good article that hammers home some good points. I will agree with a few others that looking at properties is all well and good but you do need to take that next step and make the offers. You will quickly discover the only way you are going to buy real estate is to tell people you would like to buy their real estate! Think of it like this. You decide you want to get into shape and run a 10K in 4 months. You come up with a fitness plan and write it down and make up a checklist to hold yourself accountable to doing the action items you set out. 1 of them is that you are going to go to the gym 4 days a week until the race. So you drive to the gym, you park, you pull out your sheet and check off you got to the gym… Then you drive home. You took an important first step but didn’t take the critical next step (Actually going inside and exercising) to reach your ultimate goal.