5 Deal-Finding Tricks I Use to Buy Around 100 Properties Per Year

by | BiggerPockets.com

I speak to so many real estate investors on a daily basis through BiggerPockets, Facebook, or phone calls and emails.

The big question I hear a lot is, “Engelo, how the heck do you buy all of your properties? How do you find all of your deals?”

Related: 7 Resources You’re Probably Not Using to Recruit Deal-Finding Bird Dogs

Today, I’m going to share with you the top five ways I find our deals and how my methods have enabled me to buy on average around a 100 properties a year and 400 deals to date.

The Top 5 Ways to Find Real Estate Investment Deals

1. Network, network, network.

Your network equals your net worth, so establish relationships with bird dogs and wholesalers in your area. Explain your criteria to them and get them to slowly start sending you the deals that they have. Once you prove yourself, these guys will absolutely flood you with the inventory they have.

2. Find deals by searching auction websites.

Buying homes through these sites require you to jump through a few hoops by registering. You have to add your address and credit card information but there are advantages.

A lot of these sites will have exclusive listings that don’t appear on the MLS, but you most likely will be able to secure them at a discount to the MLS.

These sites are another tool that we have used to buy 100 properties a year.

Try these:

  • Auction.com
  • Hubzu.com
  • HUDhomestore.com
  • Homesearch.com

3. Look for deals on Craigslist.

Before you start looking, educate yourself on a particular area. Know the numbers for the area inside and out. Diligently check Craigslist to find what you’re looking for. To seal the deal, have the cash and be ready to negotiate.

4. Get deals from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

In general, you won’t typically find the best deals on the MLS. It is a valid tool to pick-up the odd deal here and there. Remember not to get into a bidding war or bid against yourself. Keep in mind that there are opportunities everywhere.

Related: How to Avoid Competition & Find Deals by Purchasing Before or After Sheriff Sales

5. Send out a yellow letter campaign.

We send out approximately 5,000 yellow letters every month.  First, target absentee homeowners. The absentee homeowners with the oldest purchase dates will offer the most success. Second, focus on homeowners living in their homes for over 20 years. These homeowners are more likely to want move to a warmer climate (particularly those living in colder climates) or to downsize to a lower maintenance property.

Out of all the things I have mentioned, sending out yellow letter campaigns is by far the best time and money spent. While this option requires the most time and effort, you will get some absolutely amazing deals if you structure it well. Like anything, you have to put in the effort before you reap the reward.

Where are you finding most of your deals lately?

Let me know your experiences with a comment!

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora “The Real Estate Dingo" is a successful property investor, motivational speaker and serial entrepreneur that quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at 18. He is also a soon to be published author along with becoming a TV personality in his very own real estate house flipping show. To find out more go to engelorumora.com . Engelo Rumora has been involved in over 400 real estate deals and founded five businesses in Ohio. The most successful is Ohio Cashflow, a company that specializes in providing turnkey properties in several Ohio markets. The newest venture is List’n Sell Realty, a real estate brokerage based in Toledo, Ohio and soon to be known as the #1 discount broker in the country.

27 Comments

  1. You sure hit on all the great ideas.
    1. I’m looking to buy homes on West Side of Los Angeles with enough margin to add sqft or build new and flip.
    Also looking in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Valley Village, … maybe South West Burbank.
    2. Looking for large apartment buildings with any kind of issues to motivate a seller to liquidate.
    3. NNN properties anywhere in California.
    4. Large single tenant medical use buildings. This includes but not limited to Hospitals, Operation or out patient centers, …any buildings that has patient visits…
    5. Mission Critical buildings. You will have to know what that is.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your comment and purchase criteria.

      Seems like you know your target areas and investment strategy very well.

      Having a niche is very important in my opinion.

      I hope someone in your areas also reads this blog and your comments and can maybe supply you with some deals.

      Much success

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Tim,

      Start looking where others aren’t.

      Another neighboring state maybe?

      When I lived in Australia I bought houses that where 10hr drives away from Sydney.

      I always followed the “numbers”.

      Just make sure that they make sense and you can make money.

      Much success

  2. Dan G.

    Thanks for he article.

    I’m a new investor working on a mailing. What I would suggest any other newbie is to chose one niche and one strategy and do it until successful. Save your time, don’t chase the next shiny thing. The grass is always greener on the other side.

    Happy Investing!

    • Engelo Rumora

      I’ve done 400+ deals over the last 5 years.

      Based in Ohio for the last 3 years but have done deals all around the US (Kansas, Missouri, NYC).

      Also doing deals in the Bahamas now, Croatia and looking to buy in Japan.

      What is your target market?

      Thanks

  3. Gordon Cuffe

    sometimes you find deals from other little wholesalers like me. lol. I took on a rehab project here in CA so I slowed down on my marketing. It was a big big pain so I never will get so involved in a rehab project again. I will increase my mailings again with letters and postcards. I liked visiting the Bahamas so I would find it interesting to hear what are the prices and rents in the Bahamas. I remember a hurricane tearing through the area a few years ago so I wonder if home insurance is expensive. another great video

  4. Craig Bell

    @Engelo Rumora Thanks for posting this! I’m new to the industry and learning as much as I can then getting into it. Will start placing offers in June (lots of day job travels between now and then so delaying it a little so I can be in town for the start). I’m focusing on rental properties 1-4 units with flips as secondary. Currently looking for $150-180k ARV SFH or slightly higher for multi-family units. Happy to read your article and see that I’m already doing half of what you listed which is encouraging to keep going and add on the other items. Thanks again for your post!

    • Engelo Rumora

      No problem at all mate and thanks for your comment.

      I would focus on flips first and rentals second.

      Make some lump cash profits flipping and then invest the ‘surplus” cash in buy and holds.

      Make sure tho to have enough left over to keep flipping.

      Just my opinion

      Thanks and much success

  5. Nice video! When doing the online auctions, (in Missouri specifically) is there a way to check for a clear title without paying for a title search? Seems like you could waste a little money before a good deal comes, but that may be the cost of doing business?

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