Real estate investing is a numbers game. The more leads and potential deals that come your way the better chance you have of turning one into an actual deal. If you ask any successful investor they will tell you that only a small percentage of their leads close. For a variety of reasons even seemingly slam dunk deals fall through the cracks. It is essential to spend time constantly building your pipeline and bracing for the potential fallout.
There are literally dozens of things you can do every week to generate leads that cost little to no money. Even if you are currently busy and have a few deals in the pipeline you still need to stay on top of lead generation. Deals fall out, closings blow up and rehabs eventually close. Without a seamless transition from one deal to the next you will find too many gaps in your business. Here are five things you can do to find investment property deals.
- Social Media: You don’t need to be an IT wiz to take advantage of social media. Every investor should be doing something online every day to build their network or find potential deals. Something as small as a quick post asking if there are any deals in a specific area at a specific price point can do the trick. On Facebook alone, you will find numerous real estate groups, clubs and pages. Join as many of these as possible and interact whenever you can. The same is the case with Instagram, Twitter and any other social media you are part of. It is not a stretch to say that you can reach more people on social media than any other type of marketing you will do. The more people see, and hear from you, the more likely they will want to work with you and the more likely you can find a potential deal.
- Network: Increasing your social media profile is important, but nothing takes the place of face to face networking. Just as there are numerous groups and clubs on social media the same is the case in your local area. You can probably find a handful of dedicated investing clubs that meet on a monthly basis as well as a few weekly networking groups. Sure, showing up to every meeting can be a chore sometimes, but you should consider it a necessary evil. All it takes is one new contact to change the course of your business. You never know when you will talk to a new builder who has several projects or a mortgage broker who has distressed borrowers. Like anything else in business, you need to stay consistent. You may not get as much as a business card exchange for months and then two valuable contacts in one meeting. Networking for just a few hours a week is something every investor should do not only to grow their business, but to find new deals.
- Rental Listings: Every rental listing has numerous options for potential deals. On the surface it may appear that every landlord is thriving with their rental property. The reality is that there are many landlords who started renting by default. Many lived in the property and were forced to explore renting as an option because the monthly payment got too high. They don’t know, or understand, all the nuances it takes to be a successful landlord. The same is the case with out of market owners. They quickly realize that it is much more work and far less cash flow then they bargained for. Both of these landlord groups would love to get out of the property without getting slaughtered and move on. By calling rental listings you will be surprised at how much opportunity is out there. For every eight landlords that quickly hang up on you there will be two that are interested in selling. Spend an hour a week calling rental listings and you will probably get a handful of interested sellers.
- Attorneys: Attorneys are often the first call for many people. This is especially the case with divorce and probate. With divorce there are many homeowners that don’t want to go through the process of listing their home and waiting for a sale. They may want to keep their divorce private and don’t want the exposure that a home sale brings. A divorce attorney can recommend investors who will pay cash and close quickly, often at a discount. The same is the case with probate attorneys. Probate is a long and sometimes painful process that can be a burden on family members. They would welcome a fair market deal just to move on. Every investor should spend time networking with probate and divorce attorneys in their area.
- Mortgage Broker/Lender: Mortgage brokers talk to several different types of borrowers every week. They often get more leads than an average lender based on their ability to close different types of loans. This is a great contact to connect with. There are many applicants that don’t fit typical lending guidelines. They may be late on their mortgage but don’t want to go through the foreclosure process. They would welcome a quick, cash offer to avoid short sale, and ultimately foreclosure. A mortgage broker can provide these types of leads and a variety of others.
Do something every day and every week to keep your pipeline filled. You don’t need to break the bank with direct mail or other pricey options. As long as you do something, there are more than enough deals out there.