In the “good ole days,” people used the newspaper to place classified ads. Although the newspaper might still be an effective tool in some areas, a new business has emerged that is quickly putting newspaper classifieds out of business: Craigslist.
Craigslist is an online classified section where it is free to post and free to browse, so it makes a great resource for finding real estate deals. There are three strategies I want to share for using Craigslist.
3 Ways to Find Amazing Real Estate Deals on Craigslist
1. Search for sellers.
Perhaps the easiest and most passive way to use Craigslist is to simply search the site for real estate postings in your area. You can do this fairly easily and can even automate the process so new posts that contain certain words that you choose are sent directly to your email inbox (you can do this through IFTTT.com). The problem with this strategy is that there are a lot of folks doing this. If you want to get really creative, you need to go on the offensive, which brings me to the next tip in this list.
2. Post an ad.
Why wait for the deals to come to you? Instead, post an ad that says you are looking for a house to buy. Make it big, and make it flashy. Get people’s attention!
3. Search for landlords.
Perhaps my favorite use of Craigslist is actually in contacting landlords who are posting on Craigslist. Landlording is not easy, and as I often say, 90% of landlords out there suck! Many landlords lose money year after year and are only hanging on to their property because they know it would be hard to sell without first fixing it up. Therefore, you can use Craigslist to search for rental listings that appear to have been placed by “mom and pop” landlords (not professional property management companies).
Most likely, the landlord put their phone number directly in the post, so call them! Explain that you are looking to invest in real estate in their area and saw their post, and although you aren’t interested in renting it, you may be interested in buying a property. Even if they don’t want to sell that particular property, there is a chance they will have something else they do want to sell or they know someone else who does. Worst case scenario, you build a relationship with a local investor. Maybe you’ll even gain a mentor out of the deal!
Craigslist truly is a no-brainer when you are on the hunt for a good deal. Not only is it free, but it’s also where people go to buy and sell things. So why not take five minutes today and find a great deal on Craigslist?
Have you ever found a deal on Craigslist?