Advice needed finding owners after driving for dollars

4 Replies

I have been driving for dollars and have a list of properties that are distressed and all are abandoned. In attempts to reach out to the owners I've searched the property appraiser, tax records, and used a skip trace service. I've sent physical mail, texted, and called. It seems the phone numbers I'm getting are old or not in use and many of the mailing addresses are PO Boxes with no replies so far. Many of the owners appear to be older (70+), so I question if they are in a nursing home or something similar. Does anyone know a way to find out if the owner is in a care facility and how to locate their heirs or guardians that may want to sell the houses? What other methods of finding owners should I be using?

Hey @Mike Conner - I use NeighborScoop for any skip tracing and it works well for me. There is a cost associated but I use it for all of my due diligence etc too and it's more than worth it.

I have to say though - check out wholeseling and direct mail. You can buy and sell anywhere without visiting. It works for land and houses. I pull assessor data (with a direct link) of the type of properties in the areas I want and send ALL the property owners an offer. I scrub the list to remove things like properties with a mortgage, duplicates, etc. and spend a tremendous amount of time on pricing, because although these offers may be a lot less than retail, they are not out of the question. I explain in my offer letter to sellers that I am a serious investor, not and agent/broker, I pay cash, and are prepared to close as soon as x days.

Then I sit back and wait for the motivated sellers to call us. You can of course edit this model to fit how exactly you plan on purchasing and what specific property type you are looking for. Believe me - it works like a charm. That is how I GET THERE FIRST. By the time a deal reaches the MLS or a lead source, someone else has already beat you to it. Also, knocking on doors (aka "driving for dollars") is an outdated way of doing this and honestly isn't worth your time. It's no longer about possible subject to leads - we now have DATA and computers and direct mail to get there first.

Thanks for the reply. When you say you pull the assessor data is it pulled through Neighborscoop or directly from the assessors site? If so I've been trying to get through the data from the assessor and it is hard to get the data I'm looking for and tie it to possible motivations like lis pindens in official records. 

How do you perform due diligence from Neighborscoop without seeing the property and how to you come up with an offer price? Some of these abandoned houses I have seen are literally about to fall over and I'm curious how you would know that by sending a mailer.

How do you handle the phone calls? Is it through a google voice number or something similar? Sorry for so many questions and I'm happy to read/research any resources needed. 

@Mike Conner no worries! Honestly I love turning people on to this way of doing deals.

I pull through DataTree for houses and RealQuest for land. I know it's accurate, in the correct format, and has everything I need. I mail to everyone who fits my criteria - I don't worry about motivators. Honestly about 85% of the deals I do are with people who don't have any motivating factors that you would be able to find, it's just the right time in their life.

Due diligence kind of depends. With land it's easy and I have a full list of items I go through and resources I use and I do it all virtually. With houses, I do arrange an inspection, and I usually will only mail areas where I have a friend or someone I can hire to be my "boots on the ground" and go check out the property.

Pricing depends on comps in the area mostly, attributes, and other wholesalers. I'm able to source so cheaply from doing direct mail that I sell below anything else on the market which makes for a quick flip.

I have a phone number through Vumber, I'm also testing Grasshopper Voice. I answer my own calls for now but if I get too busy I'll have PatLive start answering them.

If you want to shoot me a message I can definitely send you some other resources to check out.