I speak to so many real estate investors on a daily basis through BiggerPockets, Facebook, or phone calls and emails.
The big question I hear a lot is, “Engelo, how the heck do you buy all of your properties? How do you find all of your deals?”
Today, I’m going to share with you the top five ways I find our deals and how my methods have enabled me to buy on average around 100 properties a year and 400 deals to date.
The Top 5 Ways to Find Real Estate Investment Deals
1. Network, network, network.
Your network equals your net worth, so establish relationships with bird dogs and wholesalers in your area. Explain your criteria to them and get them to slowly start sending you the deals that they have. Once you prove yourself, these guys will absolutely flood you with the inventory they have.
2. Find deals by searching auction websites.
Buying homes through these sites require you to jump through a few hoops by registering. You have to add your address and credit card information but there are advantages.
A lot of these sites will have exclusive listings that don’t appear on the MLS, but you most likely will be able to secure them at a discount to the MLS.
These sites are another tool that we have used to buy 100 properties a year.
3. Look for deals on Craigslist.
Before you start looking, educate yourself about a particular area. Know the numbers for the area inside and out. Diligently check Craigslist to find what you’re looking for. To seal the deal, have the cash and be ready to negotiate.
4. Get deals from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
In general, you won’t typically find the best deals on the MLS. It is a valid tool to pick-up the odd deal here and there. Remember not to get into a bidding war or bid against yourself. Keep in mind that there are opportunities everywhere.
5. Send out a yellow letter campaign.
We send out approximately 5,000 yellow letters every month. First, target absentee homeowners. The absentee homeowners with the oldest purchase dates will offer the most success. Second, focus on homeowners living in their homes for over 20 years. These homeowners are more likely to want to move to a warmer climate (particularly those living in colder climates) or to downsize to a lower maintenance property.
Out of all the things I have mentioned, sending out yellow letter campaigns is by far the best time and money spent. While this option requires the most time and effort, you will get some absolutely amazing deals if you structure it well. Like anything, you have to put in the effort before you reap the reward.
Where are you finding most of your deals lately?
Let me know your experiences with a comment!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.