You are only as good as the resources you have around you. Your ability to find buyers or sellers often determines your success. Finding good deals won’t do you much good if you don’t have the necessary contacts to push the deal forward. Every day you should do something to generate leads or find contacts to work with. This could be something small like buying bandit signs or more large scale like starting a new direct mail campaign. Even if you generate just a handful of new contacts weekly you will see a major impact in a 90-day period. With a constant flow of new leads coming you increase your chances of securing a new deal. Here are five ways any investor can improve their buyer or seller list.
- Eviction lists. Improving your buyer/seller list doesn’t always mean blindly throwing money at it. In fact, in today’s competitive environment it is more important to be creative than anything else. Once of the best ways of getting your phone to ring is by focusing on evictions. In most states there is a judicial website with all the local town filings. When a landlord files for an eviction it is documented by the court. That documentation typically has the name of the landlord, and more importantly their primary residence address. With just a bit of data retention you can store the information in a spreadsheet and start a mail campaign. The focus of your letter should be aimed at getting the owner out of a difficult situation and stop dealing with bad tenants. If they are fed up enough they may want to move on and sell at a discount. By mailing the landlord three times you can start to see some results.
- Bandit signs. Bandit signs are a cost-effective way to either promote your business or find investors in your area. You have probably seen a bandit sign this morning without realizing it. These are the small signs that are prevalent around election time. They are usually placed in busy intersections, off exits or on telephone poles. They can be as simple as “we buy houses” with a phone number. What makes bandit signs so great is that you can purchase in bulk for a reduced amount. You can scatter 30 signs all over town and put dozens, if not hundreds, of eyeballs on your contact information daily. The response may not be overwhelming but just a few calls a week is worth the expense. Another way to attack bandit signs is by calling the signs you see. These signs are done by fellow investors in your area who are actively looking for deals. By establishing a relationship you may get first crack at a deal they cannot do, or you can pass off a deal that doesn’t fit your needs. Either way, the more contacts you call the more likely you will find a good fit for you and your business.
- Social media groups. An organic way to improve your contacts is by putting yourself out there and stepping outside your comfort zone. There are numerous ways that social media has helped real estate investors. In addition to finding and promoting individual properties it has also shown to be a great way to network. With just a little research you can find a local investing group or club in your area. Regardless of how busy you are you can find an hour a week to meet people in your area. The more people see you and get to know you the more comfortable they will be passing a deal off your way. You never know where your next great contact will come from. The more people you meet on a daily basis the greater the chances of finding your next big contact.
- Direct mail. Direct mail can be one of the best ways to get your phone to ring off the hook, if done properly. Many investors think all they need to do is put a letter in the mail and wait for the phone to ring. The reality is that if not done right direct mail can be a tremendous waste of money. You need to find the right list, craft the right letter, label it the right way and commit to mailing at least four times. Depending on the size of your list this can get a bit pricey, but it is the only way to gauge results. What you will find is that it will take at least a few mailings before you start to gather momentum. If you give up after the first one you are not giving yourself the best possible chance for success.
- Divorce attorneys. A final out of the box way to generate leads is by reaching out to local divorce attorneys. When a divorce occurs one of the biggest hurdles is often how to divide the assets. If a piece of real estate is involved both parties may not want to wait to go through the traditional listing process. There is a chance they want to take what they can get and move on. By reaching out to a local divorce attorney and explaining what you do and how you can be of benefit you may just be able to find a deal. All you need to do is pick up the phone and call a few divorce attorneys every week.
These are just a few of the ways you can find leads or contacts. The more different streams you have the more likely you will find the contacts you desire.