So after some research I have a pretty long list of those I should be directly targeting with a mail campaign. A lot of people on my list I can find through the yellow pages, but some I do not know where to access this information. Can someone point me in the right direction of a reliable data service for the following:
Tax Deed List
Fire Damage Property List
Code Violation List
Out of State Owners List
Vacant Property List
I am a newbie, I haven't even been able to get one property under contract yet. Any help is really appreciated. Thank you.
@Jose Sison Thank you very much.
Heather - I encourage you to "start where you are" and begin with a single list.
I started with foreclosures; Notice of Defaults, to be specific. Learn the laws, the timeline, the forms and the remedies.
Check out ForeclosureForum (dot) com and PropertyRadar (dot) com. I've omitted website portions that seems to trigger redaction by BP moderators. Also, First Tuesday Publishing sells a book on purchasing properties in default that's a bargain at under $50.
If you try and do it all, you will quickly burn out and do nothing well. Learn to become an opportunity detective. You are either trying to buy equity at a discount or cash flow at a discount.
In a hot market like this, you will most likely starve unless you focus on niches. I suggest high equity, low balance/old loan foreclosures. You will encounter problems like you won't believe and must become a problem solver, especially a people problem solver.
Remember, most would-be investors poop out and are luckily if they ever buy a single property or ever do a deal. You must be willing to prove "them" wrong and never give up, no matter what.
Also remember that real estate cycles, hot or cold, don't last forever but serious investors do. Lastly, I make money in ALL markets and so can you.
@Rick H. Thank you as well.
Hi @Heather Medina You should be able to find most of the items you're looking for in your local court clerks records. I know my county provides free online access to all records. Its not pretty, and hard to datamine but the information is there.
@Robert Curls thank you
I agree with Rick that a shotgun approach will prove too cumbersome. To be successful, there is much to learn in each category you listed. Ron Mead has excellent information on probates. Alexis McGee has some good information on pre-foreclosures and foreclosures. Due to credit privacy laws, a 30-60-90 day list is virtually impossible to get because these borrowers are not yet in "default" (generally considered 90 days since last payment. Learn the market. Buying foreclosure houses at the auction is now almost worthless in major California cities due to high bidding, collusion at the auction, and major hedge funds still bidding at or near full retail. Bankruptcy I don't recommend for beginners. It's complicated, time consuming, expensive (research costs in the federal PACER database add up quickly,) and you will need to learn some basic BK terms and federal rules. I recommend pre-foreclosures (virtually no realtors know about these or don't market well to them), or probate as good, potentially profitable niches.
@Robert Davidson thank you for your reply. I think you're right, I've got to focus on one market at a time. It is just so hard to get anything under contract. I guess I need to figure out my niche there and what works. I have seen wholesalers offering properties that I put higher offers on while they were on MLS. I just wonder what is their insider secret for getting these things under contract for less than what other offers where. Very discouraging.
The key is consistency. It just takes time. Whatever list you decide to go with you need to mail to it more than once. The money is in the follow up. Circumstances change and the person who mails to them more often is the one person that will be stuck in their mind when they do need to sell. Also don't stick to one marketing method. If you are mailing yellow letters/postcards also be putting out bandit signs etc. Always network with local wholesalers. Wholesaling is simple where anyone can do it but it's not easy...just stick with it and you will start to see results. Best of luck!
The benefit of marketing to landlords is they arent so touchy. You can also tweak your criteria and location until you have a list that fits your budget. I use Listsource.
How accurate are these list sites like listsource and usprobate lead and so on? It seems that these sites are the end-all-be-all of property values. How much weight can I put into the numbers provided?
Patrick, it depends on the list you are after. For a list of homeowners with equity, private note holders, foreclosure lists, etc., listsource, RealtyTrac, SiteX, and DataQuick are reasonably accurate. Key word is reasonably, because they all use what is called Automated Valuation to arrive at their values. Each has their own algorithm. In a rapidly rising or falling market these values will be a little behind the times. Some sites, I use DataQuick, also provide comps. The comps are more complete than an MLS because, as NAR says, 25 - 26% of all houses are not bought or sold through an agent (MLS). The services above pull from county records. But none of them are an excuse to not do your own due diligence, including driving the comps. I haven't heard of probate investors who use usprobate, but somebody must.
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