How to Haul in a Bigger Private Money ‘Catch’


Everybody needs a vacation right? A sabbatical. Time to get away.

Let’s say you decide to go fishing. It’s fun, relaxing, outdoors — fresh air — Good. But you want to go somewhere new, somewhere exciting – you want to catch some fish! So, you look around at a map, throw a dart at a board and find a lake.

A few weeks later you get to your camp, set up and head out onto the water. You pull up next to a nice, rocky shore and drop a line in…waiting for the BIG one.

6 hours later, no dice.

You pull up anchor and head to another spot. Drop your line in.

4 hours later, no dice.

Disappointed, you head back to camp. “It’ll be better tomorrow. They just weren’t biting today,” you tell yourself.

Next day – same thing

Day after – same thing.

This process repeats itself for several more days. You manage to catch a few small pan fish that don’t add up to much of a meal. Near the end of your trip, you start to think about heading home early. Maybe you can relax on the couch for a few days before heading back to work. One morning, deciding to give it one last shot for a half day, you run into an older guy as you ready your boat. A bright flash catches your eye as you glance over into his boat.

Could that be…

It is!

A giant collection of fish strung up and ready for cleaning. You’ve never seen so many fish before! Compelled to look closer, you walk over and start talking to the man. He’s a nice old guy. After a few minutes of “where  ya from?” pleasantries, you finally get down to brass tacks: “can I ask how you caught all of those fish?”

The man smiles and says: “sure, right out there.” He points to the lake – the same lake you’ve been fishing on.

You are SHOCKED. “How could that be?” you think to yourself, “I fished the heck out of that lake for 5 days and came up with a few guppies.” After a few moments of pause, you can’t help yourself: “sir,” you begin, “I have fished that lake for several days consecutively and have caught nothing worth keeping. How on EARTH did you manage to catch all of those fish in just one morning?”

The man smiles. He looks as if he is thinking about something and then asks you: “where have you been fishing?” You start to describe the spots you’ve been to (many of them multiple times). The man starts to look concerned: “show me on this map,” he says pulling out a paper map from his pocket. You begin to point the spots you’ve been to him and he starts shaking his head. Each progressive moment that passes he  shakes his head more and more, looking quite puzzled.

“What is it?” you ask him.

He hesitates for a second, looks around from side to side. Then the words come out of his mouth: “son….you are not going where the fish ARE!

“What?” you ask, not sure if you heard him right or not. “You are NOT going where the fish are, that’s why you’re not catching any,’ he replies. Suddenly, the truth hits you like a bolt of lightening between the eyes. The man is right. You know it. He knows it.

Desperate to catch some fish, you ask if he could point you to at least one decent spot to get a nice catch in before you have to leave later that day.

The man looks at you. Pauses for a second. He relents, takes out a pencil and circles a small spot your map – a spot on the north side of a small island in the middle of the lake. “You’ll be happy when you come back,” he tells you. Staring at your map wondering “why didn’t I think of that,” you see the man get up to leave. You shake his hand and part ways.

Several hours later you are…..jubilant! You have caught more fish in a few hours than you originally planned for your entire trip! You drive home happy. Plenty of fish to eat for a while. You’re eager to share your fish tales with your work colleagues.

So it goes with finding private investors. You must go where “the fish are.”

Are you posting private money deals on internet forums where real estate investors (but not private investors) frequent? Are you randomly handing out flyers at networking events?

If you want to raise private money, you must go where the private investors are – you must put your message in front of them in venues and mediums where they are. Start doing this and you will see a tremendous increase in your “catch.”

Far too many real estate investors are content to sit back and wait for fish to jump in their boat. As if, by osmosis, investors will send six figure checks. It doesn’t work this way. You must make your opportunity available (the right way) to people who are: A. ready B. willing and C. able to place funds into your business for a return on investment.

The more you drop your line where no fish are, the more likely you are to come with an old muddy boot instead of a prize catch.

Photo: cupcakes2

About Author

Adam Davis is a real estate investor, author and speaker. He teaches real estate investors how to raise capital from private investors. Adam has completed hundreds of real estate deals of all types with private money. Visit for more information.


  1. Adam,

    Great article.

    You make a powerful point in this article.

    With a small ‘shift’ or ‘re-focus’ for a real estate investor, it could result in a world of difference for them.

    Thanks for presenting this concept in such a straight forward and easy to understand manner.


  2. James Blakeley on

    Teach a person to fish, where the fish are found, not in the marketplace. But if you rub elbows with professionals, maybe they will lead you to the source of the fish. Or then again, maybe you should get a boat and go looking for fish on your own.

  3. Justin,

    Thanks, I’m going to be addressing this more in depth in future posts – starting with the next one.

    Here’s something for you in the meantime: you’re best bet is to going to be starting with changing your circle of influence to include those with or with connections to people with money.

    This begins with: professionals (attorney’s, accountants) and associations (think charities versus REIA’s).

    Here’s an example: real estate investors interested in getting private money will often spend time beating the drum at a REIA or landlord association event. A good bet is that these events are full of other people looking to do the same thing you are. Thus, not a good place to ‘fish.’

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