Today I’m going to be going over four creative ways I’m finding deals in today’s market. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free 4 Tips on Finding Real Estate Deals—Even in a Strong Market 1. Cold Call and Direct Mail I’m sticking to the tried-and-true methods on the marketing side—the cold call and implementing direct mail techniques. There are other channels, of course, but those are the main ones. And with cold calls, some of you may be getting a little bit squeamish or just a little uneasy when I mention calling a complete stranger. However, it does work, and I want to stay on top of that. If you’re not able to do it, then find someone else to do it—you may have to give up a piece of the deal though. The structure of the cold call will be the greeting and the reason why you’re calling. This is where the pitch comes into play. And then you have your questions. Questions like, “Would you consider offloading your property? How many updates have you made since you’ve owned it?” These are just to determine if they are motivated to sell. If they’re not motivated, then that’s when you go to another individual. A follow up with everyone later, because anything could change. And then in terms of direct mail pieces, you can send birthday cards. Even though you may not know the person’s birthday, just send it to them. You can say, “It may be a little bit too soon… it may be a little bit late… but I just want to make sure I’ve got you covered. P.S. I am your buyer for the deal whenever you decide to sell.” So those are just things that you want to do to stay at the top of their mind. 2. Buying Off-Market Deals Now, the second one is exclusively buying off-market deals. From what I’ve experienced, anything that’s on the market is the highest and best and very competitive in terms of multiple calls to offer. So I’ve just not had much success going that route. You may also want to use deal analysis to figure out how to get more deals and get to know the ins and outs of buying. I’ve exclusively gotten all the deals that I’ve acquired off-market, which has been close to 300 units in just the last two-and-a-half years or so. That’s just by sticking to the tried-and-true methods on the marketing side and building those relationships with owners, because you reap what you sow. You have to put in the work, and it’s about the long game. So they may not be ready then and there. But this is where the follow-up comes into play. Related: Which Real Estate Investing Niche Is Right for You? 3. Focus On Selling Yourself The third is just solely focusing on selling myself. The biggest “aha” moment for me was realizing that it’s not even about the deal. You have to sell the owner, the person on the other end, why you would be the right buyer for the deal. You’re constantly selling. This even applies outside of the business world, too—selling people on what your vision is, whether that’s employees or even, for example, for those of you who have kids. I have a 7-year-old angel, and I have to sell her on why it’s important to practice gymnastics moves to get better or to do her homework. Related: Why You Should Stop Walking Away from Imperfect Deals 4. The Follow-Up And then the last one is the follow-up. This is the absolute—I would say—holy grail that separates the rookies from the amateurs, the amateurs from the pros. It’s where the money is made. Because a lot of times that person may not be interested when you first reach out. Normally, it takes six to eight touch points just to get in contact with someone, and normally they may not be interested then and there. So this is where the follow-up comes into play. I’ll give you a prime example of the 80-unit that I acquired last year. It took seven contacts just to get in touch with the decision-maker, and they were not interested. It took an additional four months of constant follow-ups, of personal visits, just having sit downs and discussing over a cup of coffee the ways I can bring value. And then I was also sending letters—not love notes or anything— just handwritten letters saying, “Hey, you just happened to cross my mind. I wanted to reach out to you, and if anything changes on your end, don’t hesitate to reach out.” It’s these multiple touch points and practicing patience to stay at the top of prospective sellers’ minds. So this is where the follow-up is the absolute game changer. And it’s always recommended to change up your pitch and be creative. Because if you’re constantly just reaching out and saying, “Are you interested in selling? Are you interested in selling?” That will turn the person off. They could put you on the do-not-call list or say, “Just don’t contact me anymore.” So always be creative with your different channels when staying in touch with someone. Figuring out how to leverage those techniques to buy deals in today’s market is the key to success. What creative ways do you use to buy deals in today’s market? Join the conversation in the comments below!