Newbies, Want to Succeed at Wholesaling? Focus on Finding Deals! Here’s How.

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I’m not going to lie to you, real estate investing isn’t easy—especially wholesaling. I cant sell you on some simple formula to get started. It has to be a combination of learning enough to be dangerous, being self-driven, and kicking yourself in the butt to take massive action. I’ve easily met with 500+ brand new investors in my career, through my local BiggerPockets meetup I run and conferences. The #1 thing I hear from the majority of those new investors is this:

“I’m going to start with wholesaling and build enough capital to fix and flip/buy and hold.”

If it’s someone local and we have met over coffee (or a beer—let’s be honest), chances are I will never see them or hear from them again. Maybe I should take out “missing newbie” ads at the grocery store.

“Have you seen this aspiring wholesaler?” No? Me neither. Oh well.

Back to wholesaling not being easy. Sure, it’s sold as entry-level and relatively easy, but I got to say that’s mostly hype. Can you do it with less money than other real estate investing strategies? Sure. Is it easier?  Nope.

But WHY, Anson, WHY!?

Because wholesalers have to find better deals than the average investor.

It boils down to finding deals and being an expert at it! If you have a fix and flip investor and a wholesaler going after the same deal, the wholesaler would have to buy it for less than the fix and flip guy because that’s where his profit margin is.

So, what should new wholesalers concentrate most on in the beginning?

Finding deals!

Well, analyzing their market, then finding deals.

Forget fancy websites, LLC setups, huge buyers lists, and all of the ancillary distractions.

As a wholesaler, you don’t have anything if you don’t have deals!

Let’s just address the first 3 months or so for a new wholesaler.


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Analyzing Your Market

Before you find deals to lock up and sell to another investor for a profit, you have to know where investors are buying. A restaurant, instead just cooking random dishes and then trying to sell them to their waiting customers, takes the customer’s specific order and then delivers exactly that. This is what you should be doing when you start out wholesaling.

Related: 5 Compelling Reasons You Should Think Twice Before Wholesaling Properties

This leads me to my favorite market analysis tool a new wholesaler should be using: reverse wholesaling.

This involves networking, getting out there and rubbing elbows with real investors who are actually buying properties in your market. Meet as many investors as you can at your local real estate clubs, BiggerPockets meetups, meetings, etc.

What you do when you meet them is ask them a few simple questions:

  1. Tell me about your last few deals.
  2. What are your favorite zip codes/neighborhoods to buy in?
  3. What is your ideal bedroom/bathroom count in that area/neighborhood?
  4. How much did you pay for your last project in that area/neighborhood (if you don’t mind)?
  5. How much was the fix up cost?
  6. So you are saying if I find a fixer-upper in Huntington Heights that was a 3-bed, 2-bath for around $100,000 that you could repair for $25,000, it would be a deal you might buy? (Basically, sum up all the info you got from the investor here.)

Now you have a ton of info on where, what, and for how much the investor likes to buy, as well as a new buyer for your buyer’s list. Do this enough times, and you should have a good idea what a few dozen investors are buying, and from my experience, much of it overlaps.

One more trick to get a good concentration of cash buyers is:

Ask a friendly real estate agent to do a quick pull on cash sales in the last 3-6 months and email it to you. This data will quickly show which area of town investors are buying in.

Take your reverse wholesaling data and your cash sales data from the agent, and now you know where to go in your market for deals. Start out small—one zip code or 2-3 neighborhoods should be sufficient. You can’t blast out mail in a 30-mile radius when you are a newbie (well, you can, but it won’t be very effective).

Related: The Top 5 Tools Real Estate Wholesalers Can’t Live Without


You have your areas. Now what?! You have to find motivated sellers in these areas to talk to and eventually lock up the deal under contract. How do you find motivated sellers quickly?

  1. Driving for dollars: For the areas in town that have both reverse wholesaling data and a large number of cash sales data, nothing beats getting in your car to go find a few dozen potential houses — beat up exteriors, overgrown lawn/landscaping, bad roof, looks vacant (after a year or so in this biz, you just KNOW), etc. Write down the addresses. Driving for dollars works best when you can look up the owner at each address before you mail. Try your county tax records online.
  2. Buy a high equity absentee list: Whether you are using, your local title company, or one of 100 list sellers, getting your hands on this list is pretty easy.


Between these two sources, you should have enough properties to market to in your target areas to be dangerous.

Any one of these methods will work. Pick one and roll with it — in each case, make sure you state what you are after and a call to action. The general message and call to action should be: “I’m interested in buying your house. Call me at 555-555-5554.” Of course, you SHOULD make it a bit longer and personal, but search BiggerPockets for one of 320,489 ways to message your letters.

  1. Handwrite your letters.
  2. Hire someone to handwrite your letters.
  3. Print out your letters.
  4. Outsource your mailers (use,, or one of 100 mailing services online).

No matter which way you go, make sure you have a little bit of capital in your marketing budget to mail your list at least 6-8 times or once a month for 6-8 months. Don’t be one of those one and done newbie wholesalers, shooting out 2,000 mailers and then giving up. I always advise to mail at LEAST 500 a month, a big enough list to get some calls rolling in and some forward action in your business. Mailing takes time, consistency, and determination. The snowball you start today will get bigger on each mailing; your momentum of success will only build as you stay consistent.

Don’t make me put up missing newbie posters looking for you.

Learning to find great deals is one of the hardest aspects of becoming a successful real estate investor. In Finding and Funding Great Deals, seasoned real estate agent and investor Anson Young guides you through his tried and true methods for finding deals in any market. Inside, he outlines his own methods as well as other techniques to help new and seasoned investors alike improve their real estate business. 

This is not a magic pill that will turn you in to a successful investor overnight; instead this is a practical guide to several approaches to use in each step of your real estate deal finding journey. Hard work required (but not included with the purchase of this book). Finding and Funding Great Deals will launch July 13, 2017 and is now available for preorder here!

Newbies: Any questions about this process?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

Anson Young

Anson Young is the owner of Anson Property Group based in Denver, Colorado, which specializes in distressed property purchases, and author of Finding and Funding Great Deals. As a full-time real estate investor and agent for the past 10 years, he has completed over 100 wholesale deals and 75 flips. Anson Property Group is committed to changing communities, helping homeowners, and building long-term wealth. When not working, Anson can be found exploring the wilds of Colorado by hiking the Rocky Mountains with his family, reading favorite books to his son, and attending loud rock concerts.


  1. “Wholesalers have to find better deals than the average investor.” – that right there is the most critical job of a wholesaler. Excellent article Anson! Love that simple script to use when talking to investors. In just a few questions, you can learn an investor’s business model. I love that tip on reverse engineering where the cash buyers are focused on. Any tips on how to best approach a realtor to pull that information for you? Take them out for more coffee or a beer in your case 🙂

    • Anson Young

      Thanks O’Brian! With agents, (and most people you are asking a favor of), I always advise to add value to that person before asking anything. Whether you can help them with something, team up so you can give them luke-warm leads that want just to list their house, or whatever you choose, make sure you give and take… and not take take take. People wont work with you for long if you arent providing reciprocal value!

    • Anson Young

      A little of column A and a little of column B. Some fix and flip or landlord investors have no interest in a deal finding skill set, and rely on agents and wholesalers for their deals. Some market directly and compete directly with wholesalers in their area. Just depends on who is in your market and what they are up to!

  2. Kayth Wurz

    Anson, thanks for a great article. I have a question only a Newbie would ask: What do I look for on the website of the county tax office? I have not wandered onto that suggestion before. Instinctively, it seems like a really good source of information, but the site looks like gibberish on first glance.

    • Anson Young

      County websites are, on average, terrible. Unfortunately for an article going out across the nation, its the best resource I could point nearly everyone towards.

      Most have an address lookup, so when you drive for dollars you can enter in the addresses of the houses you find, and get the owners information (in my state, its name, mailing address, etc).

  3. Pete Perez

    I enjoyed the post Anson! You gave a good explanation of why new wholesalers fail, and what to do differently. Do you think there is a better way to begin investing other than wholesaling? The article seemed like this is what everyone says and very little people have success.

    • Anson Young

      I think its a great way to start, if you can find better deals than the average investor, it can only be a great skill set when you go on to fix and flip or be a landlord. Finding deals is always an in demand skill. MANY people say they will start with wholesaling, without knowing how tough it is to get started, unfortunately!

  4. Joshua Martin

    As an aspiring wholesaler, this all seems right on point. Thanks for the tips and advice. I’ve been so focused on finding a deal that I haven’t really worried about a buyer’s list, but I’m also falling into the trap you mentioned of ‘mailing city wide.’ Next REIA and local meet up I’m at I’m going to work this reverse wholesaling you mention though. And I should just go on MLS and pull cash buyers list, should have access by tomorrow (finally!).
    In any case, thanks for all the advice, great article.
    And I know what you mean about need ‘an even better deal.’ I was talking to a seller a few days ago who was willing to sell at the cash buyer’s price, but for me to make any money on the deal I needed a deeper discount that she wasn’t willing to give.
    Getting closer and closer,

    • Anson Young

      Joshua, you are right on all fronts. I always start out small in a new market, and tell new investors the same. 1-2 neighborhoods, 1-2 zip codes. Dont overcomplicate it, and dont mail everyone and their mom. Focus on an area, and focus on what you are mailing and the deals will come. You can expand once you have some success and feedback in an area, or run out of people to market to in your first area!

    • Gary Wyatt

      Hey Joshua, great post. As far as the one deal not working out. when you first started, how long did it take for you to start going out and finding wholesale deals? Did you have doubts during that time. I am a newbie. I have a realtor that I work with, because I do not have access to the MLS, plus it never hurts to have a realtor on board. He is working with me because I told him he will be my exclusive realtor for referrals.

      Also, where did you learn what all to these sellers, and work through objections?

  5. Great post! As a newbie to wholesaling myself but not to real estate you have to become a student of the business. You have to be excited and get excited about the business. Put the blinders on the get out there. Let the world know what you are doing. That means everybody, be bold and smile. Market yourself and build your team. A old saying when I was growing up was “You got to bring some to get some”

    • Anson Young

      Absolutely Darryl! I find some of those missing newbies dont WANT to start with wholesaling, they arent excited about it, but think its the only way to get into the other areas they might be MORE excited about. I get excited about deals, no matter what kind, and that pushes me through certain tasks I dont like to do in order to get deals!

  6. Steven Davis

    Anson –

    Great post. One customer set which I think doesn’t get enough attention is the remote buyer.

    While fix and flips and local investors are competing for your deals (or using you to save on their own marketing expenses), remote investors are looking for returns that they can’t get in their own local market.

    More margin for you, potentially , but a different pitch to them /us.

    As a remote investor, I’m not looking for a turn key provider, I’m looking for the pieces I need to invest in a market with confidence.

  7. Gideon Moody

    Okay I’m coming a little bit late to the game but I don’t want to end up on a missing newbies poster. I don’t really care if I’m going after it as a wholesale or as a partnership with somebody in the area but I’m definitely going after it.
    Thanks for the Practical insight and I’m looking forward to the book which according to the banner should be out in only a couple of days. Any way to get a pre-order bonus? Never hurts to ask!

  8. Gary Wyatt

    Great information. i am that newbie you are talking about. I think I have damaged myself, but trying to learn everything about investing. I have been reading, watching webinars, and networking. My mind of garbled up with so much information. Am I overdoing it. I burned out a few weeks ago, and just getting started again, I am doubting now too.

    Any advice would definitely help. I am sure I am not the only person going through or have gone through this.


    • Gary Wyatt

      By the way, I am a newbie to wholesaling.. Without funds to get me started in fixing and flipping houses, which is what I really want to, they only way I feel is to start wholesale, but it seems to be the hardest. I just need to get my pep back.

    • Anson Young

      It is hard, dont kid yourself. Finding better deals than the next guy is a HARD business. But super important skills to learn.

      Keep it simple. Focus on getting leads in the door, and thats it for right now. However you manage to do that, just keep consistent with it. Bandit signs, direct mail, networking with agents, whatever that looks like for you. Without leads turning into potential deals, you have nothing, really. So keep leads coming in, and then work on converting those leads into deals, and those deals will turn into $$.

  9. Emily Hinkebein

    Thank you for the post!

    Im in the STL area and have recently started working for someone doing lead generation. He is very busy, which is why he hired me, but I get discouraged because I have trouble finding deals and don’t have much guidance. So articles like these really help me dial back in to the basics!

    I’ve wanted to get into real estate investing since high school, I am 24 now, so I am glad to finally be getting my start but there is definitely much to learn! If any STL members have any tips specific to the STL market… IM ALL EARS!

  10. Dustin Cady

    Thanks Anson. Great post. I have started a targeted DM campaign in my area. Round 2 went out this week (no calls yet). I have a JV partner funding the deals I just need to find some. What I am looking for now is phone numbers for the homes I am mailing to. Any ideas or direction on how to get numbers to cold call?


  11. Elizabeth Clyde

    Extremely valuable content and very well written. I was wholesaling prior to our son and so building that momentum back up, but it’s always nice to know once that iron strikes the returns keep coming it’s that consistency piece…much success to you. cheers

    We currently do more buy and hold, but wholesaling is exciting so back at it.

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