How To Maximize Your Opportunities As An InvestorBy Paul Esajian on June 8, 2015
One of the biggest complaints among inexperienced investors is that there aren’t enough deals available. There may not be as many slam dunk deals as you would like, but there are deals out there. Not every deal will be a foreclosure that you get at a great price on. In most cases, you need to work to find the hidden gems. To do this, you need to reach out to channels besides your local real estate agent. If you do this, you will find that there are dozens of avenues to get deals that you may have never thought of. Here are some alternative ways to increase your pipeline:
1. Real Estate Listing Sites: To get new leads you need to outwork or outsmart your competition. There will be many times when you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do. Between Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia, there are dozens of properties you can target. Craigslist alone can be a consistent lead source. There are two ways to generate leads. The first is to reach out to every rental or for sale listing, and find out if they have any interest in selling. This can’t be something you do just once and hope you get a response. If you do this every day for a month, you most likely get at least a few leads. The other way to get leads is to create a post stating that you buy properties. In much the same way as you would reach out to listings, this needs to be done every day. The posting itself is repetitious and boring, but it will take you just a few minutes every day. All it takes is one new contact for it to be successful. If you have ten minutes a day to complain about not being busy, you can find time to post.
2. Expired MLS: Almost every new investor waits for their realtor to call them with the next hot foreclosure or short sale lead. These can certainly be profitable deals, but there will also be increased competition. Instead of waiting on new listings, take a look at old or expired ones. The longer a property sits on the market, the less demand it has. By targeting expired listings, you can capture leads that may be out of options. Regardless if they are bank owned or traditional listings, any listing that has been on the market for 90 days or more should get a call. You never know if they had a deal fall through or have a change of heart from a few months ago. If you have an established relationship with your realtor, they should be able to provide you with old listings. From there, all it takes is a phone call to get the ball rolling.
3. Classified Ads: There is a large segment of new investors who do not understand just how big newspaper advertising once was. The rise in technology and internet use has diminished the reliance on daily newspapers, but they are still around. In fact, many buyers, sellers, realtors, investors and local contacts still read newspapers every day. A small “we buy houses” ad in a weekend edition will cost you less than what you may spend on lunch every week. Not only can you advertise in large publications, but there are many local newspapers that can be effective. Most small towns have weekly newspapers. These can be great for promoting your investing business. Call and find out the costs but to reach thousands of eyeballs – it may be worth it.
4. Mortgage Brokers: New investors will often make a point to visit attorney and real estate offices. These are obviously great contacts to have but you may be missing another great lead source. Mortgage brokers can provide you with leads a number of different ways. For one they come in contact with dozens of borrowers every week. Some of them may not have any loan options available and may need to sell. Instead of passing them off to a hard money lender from a friend of a friend they can give your contact information. They can also put you in touch with local realtors, attorneys and accountants in their network. An added bonus is that they may also have new loan programs that you were not aware of. Mortgage brokers are always looking for new investors. Make it a point to meet with five new mortgage brokers next week.
5. Bandit Signs: How many times have you stopped at a busy intersection and read a sign in a yard or on a telephone post? You may not have known what they are called, but those are bandit signs. Instead of trying an expensive marketing campaign, you can get hundreds of these signs for the costs of the stamps. The key is positioning them in highly populated areas. Not every town will allow you to post them wherever you see fit. Call your town hall and see what the restrictions are. Even if you can’t get price location you can certainly find high traffic areas either with properties you own or people you know. A hundred signs around town should get your phone to ring.
There are probably more than enough deals to go around in a specific area. The key is to go out and get them. This could mean trying new things or thinking outside the box. The deals are there if you put the work in.