How are you finding off market properties?

8 Replies

I want to present a question that hopefully will not only help myself but countless others. Simply answer below what you have done in a short answer form how you have landed (key word) off market multi unit property. Please provide a sample of what that was. Maybe a letter you write. Phone script you use. Postcards you send. Meet ups you attend. Or networks that contain leads. Keep it simple yet key details. Thanks and let’s see how many effective REAL LIFE ways there are to get deals off market.

Hi @Will Eagles ,

It's not rocket science.  This year we have gotten deals from direct mail, cold calls, ppc advertising, networking, bird dogs, wholesalers, pocket listings from agents, drive-bys etc.

There are thousands of articles written on how to get off market properties.  Most people try one or two for a month and then quit and say it doesn't work.  Just pick 1 channel, 2 at the most, and do them consistently for a year.  That's how you will find your first deal or your 50th. It can be an absolute grind but that's what it takes.

Good luck.

We've used Property Radar to identify properties we want to target. Usually high equity, with no recent transactions (purchased greater than 15 years ago). We've also narrowed it down to properties owned by an individual, and not a company or trust. Do not narrow down your lists by # of units using Property Radar. Most properties on there show 0 units. Instead, use property SF to approximate number of units. We'll then rank our list by owner's age, with the oldest owners being highest on our list. Instead of mailing letters, we'll go down our list and call the owners. Property Radar will have phone numbers for individual owners, but you can also use Spokeo to find almost anyone's phone number. We've had great success doing this. Just be prepared to talk for a while, even if they're not interested in selling. The information they provide is useful either way, and sometimes they'll know someone else who might be interested in selling. We don't use a script, we just have 6-7 things we want to know by the end of the call. 

We also have brokers that bring us off market deals, similar to a wholesaler. They take care of the cold calling, direct mail, and/or door knocking, and then bring us the deals. However, also like a wholesaler, you'll have to sift through a lot of bad deals. Just try to always respond to each deal they send you. Provide feedback on why you don't think it's a deal. At least once a month, walk one of their properties with them, even if it's not a property you're interested in. This will keep you on their mind, and they'll contact you first before sending out their mass emails. I'll get a text and/or phone call usually 24 hours before I see their email go out. 

I'm interested to see what others are doing. We're always looking for new creative ways to find properties. I apologize for the not so short answer. 

Good stuff @Sam Grooms !

Regarding units not being reliable, note that will vary a ton by county -- some county assessors have great unit count data, some do not. That's actually true for every data point, not just units. Because every county is different, I always recommend doing a little "backtesting" with any public records data. Find a few properties that you know are what you want, then look those up individually to see what unique data they have in common. Then use those as criteria to find all the others like them.

Anybody on the west coast not using property radar is really missing out @Sean OToole has created hands down the greatest tool I have seen in my 40 years of doing this... if I had this back in my timber days I would not be on BP right now I would be in my G 5 ....

We snagged a strict foreclosure last year that NO one else got and its looking like 300k large on the exit.

My son in law is on it every day..

@Sam Grooms   thanks for mentioning it.. I don't want to be accused of being a Homer  LOL..

@Sean OToole , that's good to know. The two counties I look at mostly don't seem to have the units correct, so I just assumed most counties were like that. 

On a side note, if you guys are ever looking to raise money, I'd love to invest. Like @Jay Hinrichs mentioned, there's a ton of value in your product, and it's only available to a small part of the country. There's so much growth ahead for you guys. 

@Sean OToole    Geez  Sean  I work and work and work to raise capital.. and these guys are throwing it at you :) @Sam Grooms    .... pretty slick what Sean has created.. It will be VERY interesting to see how it changes the world out east were public information is not so public and or user friendly like we have it out here in the west .   !!!

@Will Eagles

Paid brokers to bird dog deals. In the multifamily space, it is all about relationships. There is no magic pill, especially in this market.  Brokers want to know that you will close the deal and do it rather easily.  Brokers have their pick of buyers, and you need to make sure it is easy to do business and you will move quickly.

Our broker located a 64 unit foreclosure in March, and we went to the courthouse 3 times before we were able to close in December. We paid him for this lead.

We are signing another deal this week, 67 units with the same broker, off market deal, and going to pay him.

Our banker mentioned that one of his clients was thinking about selling their portfolio, and we are in discussion to purchase. Banker likes this because we will probably use him to purchase.

Real estate is a relationship based business, and you need to find out who the major brokers are in the market.

We have also been very fortunate to have J&G members ask to partner and bring us deals. 

Meet ups are fantastic way to get like minded people together and network


We were delivered an off-market deal by a broker in a very hot market near LA. We communicated laser-focused criteria and they were confident that we'd perform....and we were lucky enough to be meeting with the brokers a few days after Christmas when many other investors were on holiday.

I bought a dozed vacant land deals last year off-market, but find establishing a strong broker network better for multifamily.

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