How to Find Motivated Sellers & Land Great Deals in 2020

How to Find Motivated Sellers & Land Great Deals in 2020

4 min read
Nasar Elarabi

Nasar El-arabi has been involved in real estate for 12 years in a variety of capacities.

Throughout his career, Nasar has wholesaled houses, rehabbed properties, built new properties, created a buy and hold portfolio, and flipped land.

Fortunately, Nasar’s parents instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in him. As such, he identified early in life that he wanted to run his own company and was able to build a seven-figure business after being terminated from his job in September 2012.

Nasar has gone on to become a successful real estate investor in Charlotte, N.C. He also has over 100 videos on YouTube. He was also featured on episode 116 of the BiggerPockets Podcast.

Nasar earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Kean University in 2007.


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Today, we’re going to talk about how to find motivated sellers in 2020. We’re going to break that down so that this year, you can find motivated sellers and increase revenues in your wholesale business.

Many of us are looking for those wholesale deals out there, but the million-dollar question is: How do I find motivated sellers?

One thing I like about this particular skill is that, once you pick it up, you can use it in any market—whether the market is hot, whether it’s a slow market, or whether the market is cool. If you know how to find motivated sellers, you’ll always be able to make money.

So, how do we go about that?

How to Find Motivated Sellers & Land Great Deals

Ringless Voicemail

We’re going to talk about a term you might have heard: RVM. What is RVM?

RVM stands for “ringless voicemail.”

With RVM, if I call your phone, it goes directly to your voicemail. Your phone will not ring, and I will leave a message.

I might say, “I was driving around the neighborhood. I buy about three to five houses a month, and we are interested in yours. If you can, please call me back. I would really appreciate that if you’re open to selling. Thank you. Have a great rest of the day.”

That’s it, a short and simple message. If interested, that person would then call back.

They might say, “Hey, I’m not interested.” Or they might say, “Hey, I am open to selling my house.” Or, of course, they just might not call you back.

Any response is a good response. Even a “no” can get you closer to a “yes.” Always remember that.

Related: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Wholesaling


Another way is texting.

Let’s say you buy a list from a list provider. There are many list providers out there:

You can then skip trace that data by going to a site like By uploading that data into that particular site, it will spit back out phone numbers.

After that, go into a platform for texting. If you just Google “texting for real estate professionals,” there are plenty of sites that will pop up. You just pick the best one that works for you.

Let’s say you had the data with the phone numbers. You would then upload that data into one of these texting services. Once you do that, you’ll start texting and say something like, “I’m calling about 123 Main Street. I just want to see if you are open to selling that particular property.”

Most people won’t respond. Some will say no. But eventually, you’re going to get to a yes.


Cold Calling

Then we have cold calling, but I’m not going to get into too many details about this method. Every state’s guidelines are different. Look into the rules specific to your area.

Whatever you do, make sure you do not call anyone on the do-not-call list. Don’t touch them.

Drive for Dollars

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Hey, those three things that you just mentioned—RVM, texting, and cold calling—they cost money, and I don’t have any money. What can I do? I’m broke. You know, I’m living paycheck to paycheck.”

I was there, and here’s what you’re going to do—you’re going to get out and you’re going to put in some work. When I say “put in some work,” that means you’re going to drive for dollars. This is how my real estate business started out. I know guys who do five figures each month just driving for dollars.

OK, now I’m going to tell you my way I started out, and I also want to tell you much better ways you can use now.

I started out every Saturday morning because I worked a job Monday to Friday. I got a mentor and I would get up every Saturday and drive for dollars. What you’re looking for are houses with tall grass—beat-up houses, houses that need roofs, houses that are boarded up, houses that look vacant, mailboxes with a whole bunch of mail in them.

And I would find about 100 houses like that and write down those addresses. I’d repeat the process the next day. I would then go onto the city assessment site to see who owned those houses.

If you remember anything about 2011, around one in every five houses was bank-owned. So, I couldn’t contact anyone at those homes, and I couldn’t mail them. I just took them off my list.

At that point, the list had been whittled down to owners. It then took me about eight months to find my first deal.

I didn’t make a bunch of money off that first deal, but it was so refreshing because it was proof of concept. And it propelled my real estate business.

Fast forward to today, and I have a seven-figure real estate business. My first deal I made $2,000, but I had to take baby steps to get there.

Well, you’re in luck, because today, there’s a better way to land deals.

Exterior facade on abandoned foreclosed home

Related: Which Real Estate Investing Niche Is Right for You?


Nowadays, there are plenty of driving for dollars apps. Personally, I use DealMachine, but there are many other apps out there. Search through the BiggerPockets Blog or post a question on the Forums to get seasoned investors’ opinions on all the apps.

Now, all I have to do is just take my phone out. I can take a picture of the property, and I can mail them a postcard directly from there—no more cross-referencing everything. I can actually pull up in front of the house and see who owns the property. I can even skip trace them from the app and get a phone number.

So things are much simpler now, and if you can afford a drive for dollars app, I strongly recommend you get it.

If you can’t, that’s fine. Just keep going—do it with pen and paper, old-school-style like I did. I would buy 100 pre-stamped postcards from the United States Postal Service and go from there.

I hope you’re ready to get going now, whether you choose to utilize RVM, texting, cold calling, driving for dollars, and/or apps to locate motivated sellers. Good luck out there.

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