code violations

14 Replies

Hi I'm trying to start up investing and find my first deal. I was taught to find properties with code violations and market to them because they may be motivated to sell and so I was able to get a list of properties with active code violations from the city department. I have 10 pages worth of properties and the violations range from junk and trash in the yard, to deteriorated roofs, and unpermitted work. So now that I have this list what should my next step be? Like how do I know which ones are worth marketing to? and whether I can find my first deal through this method?
Thanks for the help everyone!

Market to all of them except those that are maybe more than a year old. Once you start, figure out how often you want to update (add to) your list, how often you want to remail letters to existing list members, and how you are going to rotate your mailings. Keep mailing. It is more important to keep mailing to the same recipient rather than mail to a lot of prospects. If there are too many people on your list, weed through your list more. Perhaps mail only to multiple offenses or some other criteria. Keep mailing and read a lot here. Search @Michael Quarles and @Jerry Puckett for marketing knowledge.

My crystal balls twin brother is a bowling ball so I would market to them all. 10 pages isn't a big number.

As to which type of marketing.

If you can determine a common denominator geographically bandits might be a good hit.

If common also spend some time knocking the doors. Most will be tenants. Ask for the owners contact info. The tenants would probably like their residence fixed.

Either way a zip would be perfect Followed by yellows.

Nothing easy in REI.

it was real easy for my city. I just went to my city hall in Whittier, CA and told them I was looking for properties with code violations on them not knowing how they would respond. they were actually really helpful and told me sure that's public information you just need to fill out a public records request and well print out all the properties with c.v's and have them ready for you in a week.

Well you could do what I did in one California city a long time ago. When the clerk told us they could only check by address I said fine. I was a broker and investor but I had my secretary with me, she wanted to learn investing, and did become a successful investor, any way I came back with a telephone book and had my secretary requesting one address at a time and finally when the light went on in the clerks brain she said come back tomorrow I'll have a list for you.

Another time in another city they tried the old we can only check so many, pick a number files a day, and these clerks were used to a 6 hour a day coffee break and found this was a good take a hike ploy and I politely got her name, asked for the boss, got his BS and name all the time with a recorder sitting on the counter, then asked for his boss who of course was not in. I said that is OK I can question him when he is called before the city council to explain why he is not disbursing public information as required by law plus the reporters I'm going to invite will think it will be a good story to report on. Just for me, they said they would compile a list. You guessed it a computer print out that took a couple of minutes to print out, heavy work load, now the clerk only got a 5 hour and 47 minute coffee break. But don't burn bridges, I brought her a gift certificate for See's Candies a couple blocks away "to thank her for her help" and later she would keep a list of new cases in her desk to hand to me when I came in to check out a single property.

Just one tip add checking for code violations as part of your due diligence list no matter what the property looks like.

I know down here in Miami, if your driving around you will see the yellow tag on the houses and I know right away it is a code violation. The one type of property I won't deal with is unsafe structure have you guys had any luck with those? usually the city wants to demo those from what I understand

@Brian P. , I like your approach. By law, the code violations list is public information and one should be able to access it by asking their city's building department, or health department. It also took me a while to find the list because I was given the run around by the city but once I got the list, it was a goldmine.

I have response rates of 20-30% when I send direct mail to owners of properties with code violations.

Account Closed When you have the code violations list do you usually just mail directly to that list, or dig deeper to find out if the owner is absentee and mail to them?

I would guess that a lot/most of the ones on the list would be absentee?

By the way, Brian, I like your technique. It's bold to call them out when they're not helpful and it got you results. Good tip on the gift cert too.


If you tried that trick here in Texas security would escort you out of the building after they ran a background check on you...

Joe Gore


I did do it in Texas, helping a friend, told the whole story here and just as I started to post everything went screwy. So I am a hunt and peck typist and give up, but it was in Houston in late 1998.

I am in KS and I got the list here without much trouble, however they made me sign a affidavit that I should not solicit anyone with this information. Did you guys have to sign anything like this, if yes how did you get around it.



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