The MLS is an amazing resource for investors and first-time homebuyers alike.
However, as the real estate market continues to improve, deals on the MLS become harder and harder to come by. So how does the uber successful real estate investor continue to find amazing properties?
Off-market deals, of course!
(I.e. they find the good stuff before it makes it onto the MLS.)
If you’re a student of BiggerPockets, you’re probably aware of some of the ways that off-market deals can be found:
- Driving for dollars
- Direct Mail
- Social Media Advertising
Hundreds of blog posts have been written about the above methods, so I’m not going to dive into them at all. Instead, I’m going to offer up another option for the tech-savvy investor.
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IFTTT – If THIS, Then THAT
IFTTT is a web-based service that was created in 2011. To date, the company has received $38.5 million in venture capital through three rounds of funding.
I guess they must be doing something right, eh?
The concept is pretty simple. The program develops relationships between different apps and websites that you use on a daily basis. It does this by creating “If THIS, then THAT” statements, also called “recipes.”
Want your weather app to text you when it’s going to rain so that you remember to pack an umbrella? IFTTT can do that.
Want Nest to turn your lights on when the iPhone clock strikes 6pm? No worries. IFTTT can do that, too.
Essentially, it creates a hypothesis-conclusion relationship. Just like the conditional statements we learned about in high school science and math.
Although the functionality of IFTTT is seemingly limitless, I’ve listed three different ways that one can generate leads for free using the program.
1. Twitter > Text Message
This first recipe creates a relationship between Twitter and the SMS function of your phone. Whenever a realtor or wholesaler in my area sends out a tweet with the hashtag (formerly known as pound sign) #realestate, I wan’t to be notified. This recipe allows me to get a text message any time that happens so that I don’t need to be constantly checking my feed.
Since this is the first recipe we’re making together, I’ll go step by step.
2. Zillow > Evernote
This second recipe creates a relationship between Zillow and my Evernote notebook. Whenever a new property shows up on the pre-determined search that I’ve created in Zillow, it creates a new note within a notebook on my Evernote account (yes, I just realized that I used the word “note” a lot in that sentence). Personally, I use this to hunt down new foreclosures and pre-foreclosures.
3. Craiglist > Email
This final recipe is my favorite by far. It creates a relationship between Craiglist and my Email account. Every time someone mentions the word “owner-financing” or “FSBO” within the region that I invest, it sends me an email.
Lots of owner-financed properties are listed on Craigslist, and this is a great way to be the first person to know about them.
Well, that’s it for now. Remember, there is a ton of functionality when it comes to IFTTT, so I’m sure there are plenty more ways you can use it in your real estate business.
If you come up with any new recipes, feel free to post them below in the comments section or over on the forums. Best of luck!
Have you ever used IFTTT? What’s your favorite way to get leads that aren’t on the MLS?
Leave your comments, tips and questions below!