The 5 Lead Sources I Used to Find My 5 Latest Deals

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In the good ole days of real estate — like 2008, 2009, and 2010 — you could pretty much pick up a rock, throw it in any direction, and hit a good deal.

Cheap real estate was EVERYWHERE.

However, things have changed dramatically.

Finding a deal through a real estate agent is tough. So I had a couple choices: I could sit around and wait for the next real estate crash, or I could get creative and find some different ways to find properties.

So I shifted my lead acquisition strategy, and it worked. Today, I don’t rely on just one method for finding deals — I rely on several. And I recently discovered that my latest five deals all came from completely different sources. So today I wanted to share with you what those five sources were.

Single Family Rental House**Hey you! If you are interested in uncovering more hidden deals in your market, be sure to join me LIVE for this week’s BiggerPockets Webinar! We’ll be talking all about how to find great deals! Sign up here to hold your spot. OK, back to the post!**

1. HUD / MLS

So the first deal I’ll talk about came from the MLS — the Multiple Listing Service, which is where real estate agents post all the properties for sale.

I know I just said that I don’t get a lot of deals from the MLS, but this one is a little different. In this case, I bought a single family home that was a HUD repo. In other words, it was a foreclosure being sold by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The house was a classic “BRRRR” deal — buy, rehab, rent, refinance, repeat. It needed some work, so I was able to buy it for $70,000, put in about $30,000 worth of work, refinance it to get all my money back out — and now I’m sitting on about $60,000 in equity in that one property. Plus, I own a great cash-flowing rental in a great neighborhood. Thank you, HUD!

Related: 4 Simple Tips for Finding Incredible Real Estate Deals

Be sure to check out the latest HUD deals in your area by going to www.HUDHomeStore.com or simply talking with a local real estate agent.

find-deals-CAD

2. Zillow

The next property I bought came from Zillow.com. Now, I know Zillow often just lists properties already available on the MLS, but sometimes people post properties for sale by owner there.

That was the case with Bert, who had recently inherited a single family home and needed to sell quickly. After a little negotiation, we put the property under contract, closed on the deal, and are in the middle of the fix and flip right now.

3. Lead Gen Website

I have a pretty basic “I want to buy your house” website, but it works. In this care, Florence searched Google for “local house buyers” and came across my site. She called us up, we looked at the property, and we bought it a few weeks later. This fix and flip will likely become the most profitable I’ve ever done.

If you don’t have a lead gen website, don’t worry. It’s easier than it sounds. You can get a basic one using a site like SquareSpace.com or Wix.com, or you can opt for extra fancy and get some really great features with a company like LeadPropeller. And FYI — if you are a BiggerPockets Pro member, head to BiggerPockets.com/perks for discounts on LeadPropeller and other great services.

4. Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing in real estate is the practice of mailing letters or postcards to potential sellers, hoping a small percentage of them will say “yes” and sell you their home.

Now, I don’t do a ton of direct mail marketing yet, but it has proven fruitful. One of my latest mailings landed me this fourplex, another BRRRR deal. After the rehabs and refinance are complete, I’ll be netting nearly $1,000 per month in passive cash flow with absolutely no money down.

Related: How to Use Unique Strategies to Find Unexpected Real Estate Deals

For more on direct mail, read our free eBook The Ultimate Guide to Using Direct Mail Marketing in Your Real Estate Business at www.BiggerPockets.com/directmail or listen to pretty much any episode of the BiggerPockets Podcast.

And let’s close this up with my latest purchase — and the cheapest property I’ve ever bought.

direct-mail-automate

5. The County Sheriff’s Sale

When someone doesn’t pay their mortgage, they get foreclosed on, and later it goes on the MLS for sale to the world. But in between, the property is typically auctioned off at the county courthouse steps — yes, they often literally do the auction on the courthouse steps.

This was my first time ever buying at the courthouse, and although the process was a little confusing at times (and there was definitely some risk since I could not see the inside of the property before buying it), it paid off. I purchased this house for just $15,333.00 last month, and by next month, it’ll be rented for around $800 a month.

Not too shabby.

Now, if there is one thing I hope you take away from this video, it’s this: Finding deals is not like it used to be. Just look at my latest five deals. Five totally different methods. Now, you don’t need to be a master at every lead acquisition strategy out there, but understand that in a hot market, the winners are the hustlers.

So get out there and take some action to find your next five deals.

Where have you found your latest deals?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner (G+ | Twitter) spends a lot of time on BiggerPockets.com. Like... seriously... a lot. Oh, and he is also an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, traveler, third-person speaker, husband, and author of "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down", and "The Book on Rental Property Investing" which you should probably read if you want to do more deals.

11 Comments

    • Brandon Turner

      Hey Shanel,

      Bought it for $70,000, put about $30,000 into it, and its worth about $150,000-$160,000 now. Market rent is $1200. So it’s slightly better than 1%, so I don’t get a lot of cash flow, but it’s in a great area with great tenants – and I never have repairs, since we rehabbed the whole thing. Hope that helps!

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