How to locate off market multi-family around you

9 Replies

I’m trying to do a general search for small to medium size (~10 doors) multi unit properties in my city (Wilmington, NC) that are not listed or even offered for sale at the moment so I can just do some research before making any moves in the future. 

Tried to look for rent ads on Craigslist but all I can find are either huge apartment complex or duplexes. 

I was wondering if anyone had a good idea on how I can find properties in my criteria any other way? 

Why not just ASK one of the other complex's Management office's if there are any 10 door smaller unit complexs around your area? Wilmington huh? i had a job offer with a local nursery operation down there to run they're equipment but dont like the fact id be near the coast! lol

Originally posted by @Jared Carpenter :

@Giora Sela what type of research are you looking to perform?

 General information (location, past rental listings, tax records and other public information )

I currently own single family properties only. I track similar information over time as different listings go online to have an idea of price/rent trends in the market. 

I understand if this kind of information would be more challenging to get with multi-family but I just want to know first where are they to begin with.

Originally posted by @Sean Brady :

Why not just ASK one of the other complex's Management office's if there are any 10 door smaller unit complexs around your area? Wilmington huh? i had a job offer with a local nursery operation down there to run they're equipment but dont like the fact id be near the coast! lol

 Thanks for the advice, definitely worth trying that!

Most people will consider the ocean a plus lol

I buy apartments in Long Beach and I'd say half of what we buy is off market, yet brought to us by a broker.  I'd recommend networking with the the "big players" in the commercial market out there

@Giora Sela  I agree that your 1st step should be to contact some of the bigger Multifamily Brokers in the area that specialize in small multifamily.  (5-60 units)  You could also try to meet with a property management company that specializes in  small multifamily in the area.  Both the brokers and management companies should have the data that you are trying to collect.  Both could also be good sources for you when you are ready to buy.

@Giora Sela I agree with Tamiel Kenney. I have been bird dogging for a few year. Relationships making is the 1st step to making deals happen on the multi family side of things. Brokers are great and most of the time have off market deal. However in order to get those deal you have to have the relationship and they have to trust and know who you are. There are a couple of other ways that I use like driving for dollars. What is your focus as an investor. I live in the charlotte area and would like to connect.

You can search through a software called Realist (only available for RE agents) or obtain them online through places like listsource, mellisadata, etc. Unfortuantly the public tax record in WIlmington doesn't let you search by Multi, SFR, duplex, etc.

From experience I can tell you that many of these sources are OK at best. The data is wishy washy and the best way to go about is to build the list one-by-one and individually search and cold-call owners from the tax-record. Building key relationships with brokers, prop managers, and other investors is also pivotal.

The demand for multi family and the low supply means that you will have to know the owner. Picking up the phone and calling would be your best bet as an investor searching for multi family here.

@Giora Sela -  I am currently doing the exact same thing.  I would recommend searching for duplexes and apartments that are for rent on Craigslist then go to the map on Craigslist and avoid the big numbered locations-  those are likely commercial apartments.  Look for the single digit locations- or slightly bigger and those will usually be mom and pops for rent. If the number is the property manager's I would not bother with that.  Go directly to the County's GIS site or assessor map and find out who the property owner is and get their number from a free site on-line.  I have made some good contacts/relationships with owners and brokers/agents that focus off-market.  I have also had luck driving by the smaller multifamily that are for rent and calling them up as long as they are not property managers.  Nothing bought yet but tons of contacts made and a few offers put out.  Good luck.

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