Real Estate Marketing

5 Ways I’m Still Finding Deals in Today’s Real Estate Market

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Many real estate investors complain that there are few deals to be found in the market today. It’s wise to be more selective, and there may be more competition for some properties in some markets. Still, I’m keeping my pipeline full with leads. Here’s how.

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5 Ways I’m Still Finding Deals in Today’s Real Estate Market

1. I’m focusing on multifamilies.

One of the biggest changes I’ve made to my investment strategy in the past few years is switching to multifamily. It can still be great to hold single family rentals if you’ve already got them like me. Still, anybody and everybody is looking for homes to buy or flip and rent today—and many are far overpaying because they need inventory or don’t know better.
Multifamily changes that. Overbidding and competition still happens, but there are more serious buyers and sellers. Plus, just one closing can put 20 (or 568) units in your portfolio.

multifamily-benefits

Related: 5 Reasons I’m Not Worried About the New Real Estate Market Correction5 Reasons I’m Not Worried About the New Real Estate Market Correction

2. I’m sticking to tried-and-true marketing techniques.

I know a lot of people are paying for Facebook ads and other more modern strategies. Personally, we find that cold calling is still our most preferred method of initial contact. It just works. Cold calling is certainly not dead.

To cold call, you will need to track down the property owner and their contact information. If the property is held in an LLC, you can Google search it to get the owner or manager’s name and information. If the property is under the actual owner’s name (the case for many mom and pop owners), then you can use a source such as BeenVerified.com or another skip tracing service to find their contact details.

For those of you who absolutely dread the thought of a cold call or rejection, you can find someone on Upwork or Fiverr to make the calls for you. You can hire a virtual assistant to help track down owner information on those platforms too!

We also use a mix of direct mail, texting, and social media—though after cold calling, personal visits seem to be the most powerful.

3. I’m exclusively buying off-market deals.

One hundred percent of our deals are off-market. The publicly listed properties we see advertised are consistently overpriced. So, the real objective and most profitable strategy is to reach the owner even prior to them deciding they want to sell.

4. I’m focused on selling myself.

Ultimately, even though you are buying, you have to sell why you are the right buyer. There is a lot more to this than price.
You have to know how to sell yourself. You have to know how to brand yourself. You have to get good at understanding what is most important to that seller. As an example, on a recent deal we closed, the seller could have gotten $300-400K more by listing on the market. What set us apart from others in touch with the owner was the constant creative followups on our part and solid rapport-building.

short-selling
Related: How I Landed a Solid 4-Plex in Denver, One of the Hottest Markets in the Country

5. I’m following up religiously.

If the owner is not interested initially, then it all comes down to the follow-up. This is where the vast majority give up. Anything can change. For example, a husband and wife who owned a property said they would never sell anytime soon. Just four months later, they were selling because they were going through a divorce. Another buyer swooped in prior to our next outreach. Lesson learned. We should have followed up within that time period, multiple times. You have to be there on the day they do become ready—or at least motivated enough to explore their selling options with you.

At the end of the day, staying top of mind is important. There are lots of ways to do it. And when competition gets high, you’ve got to be more creative to stand out and be memorable. As a direct mail piece, I started to send Rubik’s cubes with a small note saying, “Let’s figure this out.” It helps us stay top of mind and differentiates us to the recipients.

Summary

There may be more competition. It may be more challenging to find deals where the numbers really work. Many investors, including me, are experiencing these things in today’s market. It takes discipline to stay on track with solid deals. But I truly believe with creativity and commitment, you can find opportunities. Don’t expect magic to happen on day one or overnight. If you keep doing the right things and take action day after day, the results will show up.

Don’t follow the herd or think you have to copy me to find deals and keep up your volume. This is just what works for me and the investors I work with. Just remember: If you’re willing to do what others won’t, you can get the results that others can’t.

What are you doing to find deals that others aren’t in today’s market?

Comment below!

Sterling is an multifamily investor specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.

    Elizabeth Greever from Spring, Texas
    Replied 10 months ago
    Thank you for the article, Sterling! What are some of the qualities you focus on when selling yourself? And what are some creative follow up techniques you use? I appreciate what you shared!
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great question. Track record and ability to close are biggest ones among others. Text video to owner of me touring their property, in person visits, reaching out on linkedIN, holiday cards to name a few
    Naftal S. from Brooklyn, New York
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great article, sterling! would you please elaborate how to find off market deals? Thanks in advance !
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Would be happy to. Can you be more specific on what points to elaborate on?
    Stephanie Senske from St Johns County/Duval
    Replied 10 months ago
    I don’t see the actual response to the “how to find off market deals elaboration” that Tomer said was a “great read”. Can you please repost?
    Tomer Versano
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great read, thanks!
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Anytime! What was the biggest takeaway for you, Tomer?
    John Wright real_estate_agent from Cincinnati, OH
    Replied 10 months ago
    Hey Sterling we can thank HGTV for all of the new flippers ready to overpay and drive up already inflated single family prices. Here in Cincy there is plenty of small multi family that will likely perform much better and offer more protection to investors but don’t expect to see me on TV anytime soon.
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    True! Thank you for sharing.
    Daren D Wagner rental_property_investor from Salt Lake City, UT
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great perspective on the marketing and follow up Sterling. We had a similar situation happen with a multi-family in VA. Owner thought our offer (although strong) didn’t mean much because we were out of state investors. The seller went into contract with someone who was from the same city because he “was local and a sure thing”. Less than a month later, we receive a call from the listing broker, “You guys still interested in buying? Our buyer couldn’t qualify for financing” It’s funny how things change and circumstances change. Even if a deal you like goes into contract with another buyer, still keep your eye on it every week or so. As interest rates go up and therefore many buyers DTI’s, you would be surprised how quickly someone cannot qualify for financing. Also Sterling one to add to your list that we use, although it is harder with multi-families, is buying with cash. We still consistently have found a 10% discount for buying in cash. Then after the sale is completed, doing a delayed finance exemption to get our cash back out of the property.
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Thanks for sharing your story. Great points.
    Ryan Chamberlain from Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    Replied 10 months ago
    When finding public deals, what is the morality/success rate of just finding the property owner and trying to work out a deal that way? (If there is a 3rd party.)
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Very low if you are outside of anyone besides decision maker. Can leverage gate keepers/influencers etc. to be on your side to make case to owner to sell or get your pitch heard.
    Renwick Bovell
    Replied 10 months ago
    Sterling, great read and I’m taking notes sir! Your input inspires action and I will surely make follow up contact to those I reach out to with unconventional leads. Thanks again for sharing your experience to a newby and much success to your business growth!!
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Thank you for kind words. And best wishes to you!
    Jane S. flipper_rehabber from Colorado Springs, CO
    Replied 10 months ago
    Sterling, Congrats on your 4 plex deal. I am already pursuing small multi family owners in Colorado Springs. My first push is a DM letter sent in a card-size (half of 8×11) envelope with a colorful stamp. If you hear of a smaller multi in colorado springs we are ready to make offers or partner with you.
    Andrew Syrios from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great article Sterling!
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Thanks!
    Roderick Mills Jr. from Cincinnati, OH
    Replied 10 months ago
    Hi Sterling really enjoyed reading this article! You talked about the rubix cube followup but what is another creative follow up method that you use?
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied 10 months ago
    Text video to owner of me touring their property, in person visits, reaching out on linkedIN, holiday cards to name a few
    Sheldon Francis
    Replied 10 months ago
    Sterling, Great information. I am starting my journey of looking for Multi Family properties in the NYC area and Westchester County. Your follow up points are PRICELESS. Thank You Sheldon from Bronx, New York
    Dorothy Griggs from Atlanta, GA
    Replied 10 months ago
    Great article to show this newbie that even the experienced investors have to keep at it daily with marketing. Best!
    Jordan Wright
    Replied 9 months ago
    Great article Sterling, especially the parts on focusing off-market and gaining contact information for owners. It was exactly what I was looking for when I stumbled across this post. I actually just listened to your Bigger Pockets Podcast episode this past week and I really appreciated your insights and optimism. Thanks
    James McCreary rental_property_investor from Diamond Bar, CA
    Replied 9 months ago
    I made a few hundred cold calls last year, not one person bit. The fortune is truly in the follow-up. Takes some guts to follow-up when someone cusses you out and says “We are never selling ever!” To which I think, smirkly, “Never, ever, ever?”! Be it SFR, multifamily, or selling Vacuums, the fortune is in the follow-up!