What is the best way to find vacant properties besides driving or flying in a helicopter over the city?

10 Replies

Hey guys, your help is greatly appreciated.

Does anyone now how to find vacant houses and addresses of the people who own them besides driving (which I think is a waste of time) or flying in a helicopter all over the town ?

My team contacted multiple cities (30-40) and only Minneapolis and St Paul have lists of vacant properties. But they do not provide mailing addresses of owners. And if you do a search for  a mailing address of a property owner, it shows the same mailing address as the vacant property's address.

Guys you rock! I solute to everyone that is in the biz of RE!

Hi Pavel - Great post.

Why not hire someone to drive for $? I'm going to be working with people in the next week where I will pay them the IRS mileage rate ($.55/mile) and $1/address (the $1 get me the full address, owner's name and owner's address).

Good luck!

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Originally posted by @Account Closed :

Hi Pavel - Great post.

Why not hire someone to drive for $? I'm going to be working with people in the next week where I will pay them the IRS mileage rate ($.55/mile) and $1/address (the $1 get me the full address, owner's name and owner's address).

Good luck!

George, I though about your idea and in fact, I spoke this morning to RE investigator from the MN Department of Commerce and I asked him if I could pay anything to anybody that finds a vacant property for me and he said that $ only could be paid to a licensed RE agent and not to a Co or an individual. I also spoke to RE attorney yesterday from MN broker's hot line, because I'm a licensed broker and he told me the same thing, ''NO, you can't pay anybody anything that leads to a sale or purchase of the property unless they are licensed''.

I even went deeper and asked the investigator ''what if I pay somebody a fee for doing a marketing research for me that leads to a property purchase or sale'', Investigator said ''No'' again and referred me to a Statute 82.70 that describe this.

There should be a loop hole for this, but I was ''invited'' to the interview to the Dep-t of Commerce before 4 years ago, (nothing has happened) but had very bad taste in my mouth after that.

Thus I always double check with 3 different attorneys in regards to RE questions because they tend to give different opinions.

I suggest sending out postcards to an area. Be sure to put a return address on the cards. Since USPS typically doesn't deliver to vacant homes, you will get a stack of undelivered cards back marked "VAC" or something like that. Easiest way I know to find vacant homes...

Originally posted by @Colin LaRose :

I suggest sending out postcards to an area. Be sure to put a return address on the cards. Since USPS typically doesn't deliver to vacant homes, you will get a stack of undelivered cards back marked "VAC" or something like that. Easiest way I know to find vacant homes...

Or the carrier will toss the undeliverable junk mail into the trunk of his car. 

@Account Closed  

I am interested in finding out more about your approach to driving for dollars. Do you have the people completing this for you go home and look up each lead to find out the owner information using public records and then supply you with this list? Do you have them sign a 1099 and work as an indepdent contractor? Do you have to pay insurance for them? This sounds like a great approach however I'm trying to figure out the semantics of it.

I especially like that you pay per lead and not per hour. I can't think of exactly how the quote goes but it's something along the lines of "If you pay a brick layer by the hour, he will work a million hours. If you pay a bricklayer by the brick, he will lay a million bricks.". I am sure you see much more return for your money in the way you work it.

You can look for vacant properties with their address in Craiglist, Zillow, trulia and other real estate websites. Or if you can get a referral from someone you know or sending postcards with a return address. 

@Hawley G. Not a good idea. That's too high to see the vacant properties and the address. Unless you wear a telescopic contact lens. :D

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