Are you having a hard time finding a real estate investment property? Have you considered how important it is to diversify your efforts? Perhaps now is the time to ramp up your efforts in learning how to find real estate deals.
Savvy investors are more than aware of the benefits that coincide with a properly diversified portfolio. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a successful investor that isn’t in favor of allocating funds in a way that reduces an assets exposure to volatility. Diversification, for that matter, is no longer viewed as a trick used by a select group of investors to hedge against market volatility, but rather an essential component to any profitable portfolio.
Did you know, however, that the concept diversification transcends that of simply acquiring assets? It is entirely possible to diversify other aspects of your investing career to gain an advantage or — at the very least — to avoid making a terrible mistake.
Coincidently, expanding your real estate marketing systems can go a long way in reducing the risk of missing out on a hot lead. The more extensive your marketing strategy is, the better your chances are of finding a real estate investment property. That said, it is no longer acceptable for real estate investors to limit their marketing efforts to those properties that are listed on the MLS (Multiple Listings Service). While a viable source of leads, the MLS has become synonymous with competition. In fact, its viability has resulted in an exponential growth of competition; far too many people are forced to compete over the few properties that actually hold some sort of value to investors.
It is now more important than ever to diversify your marketing strategies if you hope to find real estate deals. Limiting your marketing campaigns to one outlet significantly reduces your chances of landing a deal. Of particular importance, however, is how well a diverse marketing strategy can prevent the competition from impeding on your progress. With he right marketing funnels in place, you don’t have to worry about your competitors eating into your workload.
Real estate is a numbers game; the more leads you have coming in, the more likely you are to close on a potential deal. Place the odds in your favor and be sure to diversify your marketing efforts the next time finding a real estate investment property is your top priority.
Understanding how to find real estate deals is certainly an advantage any investor would be grateful to have. Nonetheless, few are actually aware that finding deals isn’t as hard as they originally anticipated. If you know the where and the how, bringing in leads is as simple as executing a system. Do you know how to find an investment property with a system? Here are a few of the “systems” I constantly have in place to find real estate deals:
1. Bandit Signs: Appropriately dubbed, bandit signs are essentially small billboards placed in predetermined, high-traffic areas where their acceptance is more or less up for debate. They are relatively simple in nature and don’t consist of much more than one or two sentences, preferably stating your intent (to buy houses), accompanied by a phone number.
The idea is to illicit a response from a relatively large pool of potential sellers. In fact, the soul purpose of a bandit sign campaign is to be seen by as many people as possible. What’s more, they establish multiple points of contact with prospective customers and facilitate a relatively cost-effective method for creating brand awareness.
Done correctly, finding a real estate investment property is as simple as sitting back at letting leads call you. To get to that point, however, you must first research which areas to target. Where will your signs gain the most exposure? Which location will have the types of houses you are currently targeting? Mind your due diligence and determine the best places to post your signs.
With the signs in place, be prepared to handle the influx of incoming calls. I don’t recommend directing the calls to your own personal number. Instead, dedicate a Google Voice account to your particular campaign. Above all else, make sure every call is accounted for and tracked. Remember, there is no point in initiating a bandit sign campaign if you don’t take care of the incoming leads.
I want to make it abundantly clear; bandit signs are not legal in every city. Since most cities have ordinances governing the installation of signs on public property, industry jargon has coined the term, “bandit sign.” Please check with your local municipality before implementing a bandit sign campaign. Only once you have permission to place the signs should you even consider this style of campaign an option.
2. Direct Mail: While the whole of the real estate industry has placed an emphasis on online strategies, that is not to say there isn’t room for a more traditional approach. One technique, in particular, has the power to generate leads unlike any other: direct mail. Don’t let the nostalgia of a hand written letter fool you; snail mail is still a viable strategy for those intent on finding a real estate investment property.
In its truest form, a direct mail campaign will have investors hand write letters to distressed homeowners requesting to buy their properties. However, it is not enough to simply send a generic letter and hope for a response. You must first do your homework. Acquire a list of distressed homeowners from your local town hall, that way you are at least targeting people who are more inclined to sell. Next, craft a letter stating your intent. Don’t beat around the bush and be straight forward, but certainly let them know you can help their situation.
It is not enough to simply mail out one group of letters either; you must commit to sending out at least five more followup letters to each property, as studies have shown that it isn’t until future mailings that each letter is opened, let alone responded to. Again, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a response on your first batch. It isn’t until the fourth or fifth go-around that direct mail will help you in finding a real estate investment property.
3. Driving For Dollars: Slightly less conventional than those other strategies on this list, driving for dollars certainly has its place for anyone who wants to learn how to find real estate deals. That said, this strategy is more about making an opportunity than taking advantage of one that already exists. As its name suggests, driving for dollars literally consists of driving individual neighborhoods and seeking out potentially distressed properties.
Driving for dollars can land resourceful investors some of their best deals. Wheat’s more, all it requires is a full tank of gas, a notepad and a keen eye. All you really need to do is keep an eye out for those properties that appear to be distressed. Pay close attention to any home that looks like it could use a little more attention, or that has been blatantly neglected. Unkempt properties are typically a telltale sign that the owner has given up, or has other priorities. Either way, these homes could lead you to your next deal.
The next time you drive past a property that looks neglected, take down the address and any notes that may help in the future. You can either knock on the door and see if anyone is home or check your local town hall for information that can direct you to the owner.
Investing in real estate has become incredibly popular, and for good reason; there aren’t too many industries that can compete with the returns and freedom offered by a properly run investment company. That said, investors are coming out in droves to capitalize on what the real estate market has to offer. What’s more, each of those individuals represents additional competition. That means you must increase your marketing efforts to make finding a real estate investment property easier and more manageable for your situation. Diversify your marketing efforts, and I can assure you that you will be rewarded accordingly.