10 Best Ways to Find Great Multifamily Properties
If you really want the best deals in multifamily properties, you have to increase your odds by digging deep and finding more deals. Who is more likely to get a cheap apartment building deal, an investor that looks through loopnet.com and calls it a day, or the person who has a multi-pronged marketing approach that can generate leads ten different ways?
Here are ten ways you may or may not have considered:
Real Estate is first and foremost, a relationship business. The more people who know that you are looking for properties, the better your chances are of getting referrals. First, be prepared with your “elevator pitch” and then share it with everyone and anyone who will listen. Let people know you are actively looking for multifamily properties and sometimes the properties will come to you. There are a lot of owners out there who want to sell, but haven’t yet listed their property.
2. Online Research
Go to a search engine and enter the type of real estate you are looking for, along with the city you want to invest in. You never know what you might find. Regularly check loopnet.com, costar.com, Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, FSBO.com, and even eBay. Go to commercial broker websites and check their listings.
3. Driving for Dollars
Drive around neighborhoods you would like to be in and look for “For Rent” signs, “For Sale by Owner” signs, properties that look neglected, need “a little love,” or properties that just don’t match up with other similar type properties in the area. Jot down the addresses and when you get home, cross reference the address in public county records.
4. Direct Mail
Conduct a direct mail campaign to a targeted list of owners of multifamily properties. A quick and not so free way to find apartment building owners is to buy a list of them from a list company. There are companies like ListSource.com, REISource.com and others that can provide lists with whatever specific criteria you provide. A successful direct mail marketing campaign will generate a response rate of anywhere from 2 – 5%. As with any marketing campaign, you need to analyze what works for you and what doesn’t.
5. Find old “For Rent” ads
Call if they are a few weeks old. Landlords who are having difficulty finding tenants are often frustrated and ready to sell, especially if they have a high vacancy rate.
6. Talk to bankers
You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.
7. Residential real estate agents
Sometime owners wanting to sell an apartment don’t know any commercial brokers so they contact a friend or relative who sells real estate. Agents may just take the listing and put it in the MLS.
8. Eviction and Notice of Default notices
If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can get the information at the courthouse, it can be useful. A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is a likely seller. Also, get a hold of the Notice of Default listings for investment properties and attack that list.
9. Old FSBO ads
If you browse old listings in online “For Sale by Owners” (FSBO) sites or call on two-month-old FSBO ads, and they haven’t sold, they may be ready to deal. Owners often give up the effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out!
10. Put an ad online or in the local paper
Craigslist.com or FaceBook ads can generate a significant response. Place ads that say, “Looking for investment properties to buy.” It might be sufficient to generate a few calls.
This is a list of only 10 ways. But there are many other ways to find multifamily seller leads, such as bankruptcy court, divorce court, and health code violations, to name a few. Maybe you can come up with some of your own methods. The more lead funnels you create, the more likely you are to find those amazing deals. Happy hunting!