Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

5 Deal-Finding Tricks I Use to Buy Around 100 Properties Per Year

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing
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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?”

Related: 7 Resources You’re Probably Not Using to Recruit Deal-Finding Bird Dogs

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 a 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.

Try these:

  • Auction.com
  • Hubzu.com
  • HUDhomestore.com
  • Homesearch.com

3. Look for deals on Craigslist.

Before you start looking, educate yourself on 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.

Related: How to Avoid Competition & Find Deals by Purchasing Before or After Sheriff Sales

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 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!

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.

    Peter Silvester
    Replied over 2 years ago
    You sure hit on all the great ideas. 1. I’m looking to buy homes on West Side of Los Angeles with enough margin to add sqft or build new and flip. Also looking in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Valley Village, … maybe South West Burbank. 2. Looking for large apartment buildings with any kind of issues to motivate a seller to liquidate. 3. NNN properties anywhere in California. 4. Large single tenant medical use buildings. This includes but not limited to Hospitals, Operation or out patient centers, …any buildings that has patient visits… 5. Mission Critical buildings. You will have to know what that is.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Peter, Thanks for your comment and purchase criteria. Seems like you know your target areas and investment strategy very well. Having a niche is very important in my opinion. I hope someone in your areas also reads this blog and your comments and can maybe supply you with some deals. Much success
    Tim Boehm Investor from Tillamook, Oregon
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great info! doing all that now! Some places like Portland Or. it’s hard to find deals when the tv news keeps telling people how their property values have gone up 50% in the last two years.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Tim, Start looking where others aren’t. Another neighboring state maybe? When I lived in Australia I bought houses that where 10hr drives away from Sydney. I always followed the “numbers”. Just make sure that they make sense and you can make money. Much success
    Kris Patel Investor from Arroyo Grande, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Letter warmed for me as a seller Received letter 3rd time from same person, sold in 5 minutes on phone We both were happy, so do not give up!
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Kris and well done. Much success
    Dan G. Developer from Spokane, WA
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks for he article. I’m a new investor working on a mailing. What I would suggest any other newbie is to chose one niche and one strategy and do it until successful. Save your time, don’t chase the next shiny thing. The grass is always greener on the other side. Happy Investing!
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    No worries and thanks for your comment. Very good point mate and agreed. Do one thing but do that “one thing” very well. Much success with your endeavors.
    Jeffrey Gordon Investor from Spokane, Washington
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Engelo, where are you doing 400 deals? j
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I’ve done 400+ deals over the last 5 years. Based in Ohio for the last 3 years but have done deals all around the US (Kansas, Missouri, NYC). Also doing deals in the Bahamas now, Croatia and looking to buy in Japan. What is your target market? Thanks
    Gordon Cuffe Investor from Roseville, CA
    Replied over 2 years ago
    sometimes you find deals from other little wholesalers like me. lol. I took on a rehab project here in CA so I slowed down on my marketing. It was a big big pain so I never will get so involved in a rehab project again. I will increase my mailings again with letters and postcards. I liked visiting the Bahamas so I would find it interesting to hear what are the prices and rents in the Bahamas. I remember a hurricane tearing through the area a few years ago so I wonder if home insurance is expensive. another great video
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Bahamas is cheap mate and absolute paradise. Let’s speak soon.
    Daniel Sisto Rental Property Investor from Liverpool, NY
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Inbound / Digital Marketing! Done Right is by far most cost efficient, profit-producing marketing medium.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    The future is in tech mate so I agree that anything virtual is the best way to go. We are looking to optimize this site better – http://www.sellyourhousetoledo.com/ Thanks
    Ebony Andrews from Morrisville, North Carolina
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Hi Daniel! How would you advise a newbie to begin implementing inbound/digital marketing for motivated seller leads? Thanks
    Paul Hart Real Estate Agent from Parrish, FL
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Where do I get the info on the list to do Yellow letter marketing?
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    There are cheaper options out there but these guys have been awesome to us – http://yellowletterscomplete.com/ Much success
    Craig Bell from Cypress, Texas
    Replied over 2 years ago
    @Engelo Rumora Thanks for posting this! I’m new to the industry and learning as much as I can then getting into it. Will start placing offers in June (lots of day job travels between now and then so delaying it a little so I can be in town for the start). I’m focusing on rental properties 1-4 units with flips as secondary. Currently looking for $150-180k ARV SFH or slightly higher for multi-family units. Happy to read your article and see that I’m already doing half of what you listed which is encouraging to keep going and add on the other items. Thanks again for your post!
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    No problem at all mate and thanks for your comment. I would focus on flips first and rentals second. Make some lump cash profits flipping and then invest the ‘surplus” cash in buy and holds. Make sure tho to have enough left over to keep flipping. Just my opinion Thanks and much success
    Ken
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Nice video! When doing the online auctions, (in Missouri specifically) is there a way to check for a clear title without paying for a title search? Seems like you could waste a little money before a good deal comes, but that may be the cost of doing business?
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Ken, Yep, its just the cost of doing business mate. I run everything through title and legals as I don’t know S#$% about contracts lol Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Ken, Yep, its just the cost of doing business mate. I run everything through title and legals as I don’t know S#$% about contracts lol Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Ken, Yep, its just the cost of doing business mate. I run everything through title and legals as I don’t know S#$% about contracts lol Much success Reply Report comment
    Steven Ewers from San Diego, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Really enjoyed the content and energy in your presentation! 2 Questions: 1) What are “bird dogs” as opposed to wholesalers? 2) MLS means what now? 😉
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Steven, Bird dogs are folks that find your properties for a fee while wholesalers will put the property under contract for a set price and sell to you for a higher price. MLS means Multi Level S#$% haha jokes MLS = http://homeguides.sfgate.com/mls-stand-real-estate-39342.html Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Steven, Bird dogs are folks that find your properties for a fee while wholesalers will put the property under contract for a set price and sell to you for a higher price. MLS means Multi Level S#$% haha jokes MLS = http://homeguides.sfgate.com/mls-stand-real-estate-39342.html Much success Reply Report comment
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Steven, Bird dogs are folks that find your properties for a fee while wholesalers will put the property under contract for a set price and sell to you for a higher price. MLS means Multi Level S#$% haha jokes MLS = http://homeguides.sfgate.com/mls-stand-real-estate-39342.html Much success
    Gianni Laverde Investor from Corona, NY
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Loved the post Engelo. Thanks for sharing. I’ve used a TK company up to now but looking to start working on getting my own deals. Thanks Gianni
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Gianni, Focus on the people first. It’s tough investing out of state if you aren’t buying turnkey. Keep the dream alive mate and much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks Gianni, Focus on the people first. It’s tough investing out of state if you aren’t buying turnkey. Keep the dream alive mate and much success
    Brandon Pelfrey from Boise, Idaho
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Wow, I loved those ideas! They certainly gave me some food for thought. I must say, though, the only thing better than your post/video is your nickname: The Real Estate Dingo!
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied about 2 years ago
    lol Thanks Brandon, Much success with your endeavors
    Dominic Dilello from Beverly Hills, California
    Replied 2 months ago
    Hi Engelo can we talk?
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied 2 months ago
    Sure, What about? lol Thanks