Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

The 5 Lead Sources I Used to Find My 5 Latest 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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In the good ole days of real estate — like 2008, 2009, and 2010 — you could pretty much pick up a rock, throw it in any direction, and hit a good deal.

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Cheap real estate was EVERYWHERE.

However, things have changed dramatically.

Finding a deal through a real estate agent is tough. So I had a couple choices: I could sit around and wait for the next real estate crash, or I could get creative and find some different ways to find properties.

So I shifted my lead acquisition strategy, and it worked. Today, I don’t rely on just one method for finding deals — I rely on several. And I recently discovered that my latest five deals all came from completely different sources. So today I wanted to share with you what those five sources were.

Single Family Rental House**Hey you! If you are interested in uncovering more hidden deals in your market, be sure to join me LIVE for this week’s BiggerPockets Webinar! We’ll be talking all about how to find great deals! Sign up here to hold your spot. OK, back to the post!**

1. HUD / MLS

So the first deal I'll talk about came from the MLS — the Multiple Listing Service, which is where real estate agents post all the properties for sale.

I know I just said that I don't get a lot of deals from the MLS, but this one is a little different. In this case, I bought a single family home that was a HUD repo. In other words, it was a foreclosure being sold by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The house was a classic "BRRRR" deal — buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat. It needed some work, so I was able to buy it for $70,000, put in about $30,000 worth of work, refinance it to get all my money back out — and now I'm sitting on about $60,000 in equity in that one property. Plus, I own a great cash-flowing rental in a great neighborhood. Thank you, HUD!

Related: 4 Simple Tips for Finding Incredible Real Estate Deals

Be sure to check out the latest HUD deals in your area by going to or simply talking with a local real estate agent.


2. Zillow

The next property I bought came from Now, I know Zillow often just lists properties already available on the MLS, but sometimes people post properties for sale by owner there.

That was the case with Bert, who had recently inherited a single family home and needed to sell quickly. After a little negotiation, we put the property under contract, closed on the deal, and are in the middle of the fix and flip right now.

3. Lead Gen Website

I have a pretty basic “I want to buy your house” website, but it works. In this care, Florence searched Google for “local house buyers” and came across my site. She called us up, we looked at the property, and we bought it a few weeks later. This fix and flip will likely become the most profitable I’ve ever done.

If you don’t have a lead gen website, don’t worry. It’s easier than it sounds. You can get a basic one using a site like or, or you can opt for extra fancy and get some really great features with a company like LeadPropeller. And FYI — if you are a BiggerPockets Pro member, head to for discounts on LeadPropeller and other great services.

4. Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing in real estate is the practice of mailing letters or postcards to potential sellers, hoping a small percentage of them will say “yes” and sell you their home.

Now, I don't do a ton of direct mail marketing yet, but it has proven fruitful. One of my latest mailings landed me this fourplex, another BRRRR deal. After the rehabs and refinance are complete, I'll be netting nearly $1,000 per month in passive cash flow with absolutely no money down.

Related: How to Use Unique Strategies to Find Unexpected Real Estate Deals

For more on direct mail, read our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Marketing in Your Real Estate Business at or listen to pretty much any episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast.

And let’s close this up with my latest purchase — and the cheapest property I’ve ever bought.


5. The County Sheriff’s Sale

When someone doesn't pay their mortgage, they get foreclosed on, and later it goes on the MLS for sale to the world. But in between, the property is typically auctioned off at the county courthouse steps — yes, they often literally do the auction on the courthouse steps.

This was my first time ever buying at the courthouse, and although the process was a little confusing at times (and there was definitely some risk since I could not see the inside of the property before buying it), it paid off. I purchased this house for just $15,333.00 last month, and by next month, it’ll be rented for around $800 a month.

Not too shabby.

Now, if there is one thing I hope you take away from this video, it’s this: Finding deals is not like it used to be. Just look at my latest five deals. Five totally different methods. Now, you don’t need to be a master at every lead acquisition strategy out there, but understand that in a hot market, the winners are the hustlers.

So get out there and take some action to find your next five deals.

Where have you found your latest deals?

Let me know with a comment!

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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    Marty L. Real Estate Professional from Burbank, California
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Awesome post! Wished there was a way to save it tho.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Marty, thanks! Someday we’ll build a “bookmarking” system on BP but until then – just bookmark on your browser! 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!
    Joe Whiteford from Murrysville, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great information. Thanks Brandon. Will definitely check out the direct mail on BP and Leadpropeller.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Joe – thanks! Yeah, check it out! I built on Leadpropeller and I was super impressed. Good stuff 🙂
    Anthony Hidalgo Account Manager from Boynton Beach, Fl
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Brandon, Do you ever get deal using Homepath?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Anthony, I have not, but it’s definitely an option!
    Shanel Wiggins Investor from New Jersey
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hi Brandon, What were the numbers on the first lead from the HUD/MLS you purchased for $70k, I.e. ARV, Refi amount?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Shanel, Bought it for $70,000, put about $30,000 into it, and its worth about $150,000-$160,000 now. Market rent is $1200. So it’s slightly better than 1%, so I don’t get a lot of cash flow, but it’s in a great area with great tenants – and I never have repairs, since we rehabbed the whole thing. Hope that helps!
    Christian Bors Real Estate Agent from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 4 years ago
    How much was the property listed for on HUD? Was there negotiation? Was your offer 85% net or higher?
    Cha Yang Investor from St. Paul, Minnesota
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Brandon, which lender do you use to refinance your deals? I have yet to find a lender that will do a cash-out refi without a 6 to 12 month seasoning period.
    Casey Murray Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Love the concept of contacting FSBO’s on Zillow. Great article yet again, Brandon.