As a real estate investor, your goal should be to land the best and most profitable deals on properties you purchase – buying them significantly below their current market value. To do that, you’ve got to focus your efforts on marketing to find people who are motivated to sell. No matter what experience level, every real estate investor needs a consistent flow of motivated seller leads in order to be successful. Motivated sellers are those homeowners who need to sell their home fast (versus only wanting to sell), and are willing to sell at a discounted price.
The key is to capitalize on every opportunity while using the least amount of resources and energy as possible. Here are a few ways to advertise online and let people know what you do:
Social Media: We live in a society where the majority of people check their newsfeed multiple times daily. Make sure you have a Facebook page for your business, and an Instagram and Twitter account. Advertise and let the world know that you buy houses!
Blog: Blogging about the services you provide is a great way to generate seller leads. If you write an article about helping homeowners out of foreclosures in California, and someone searches Google for selling homes in California, then guess what that person will see?
Craigslist: This online classified site sees over 50 billion users each month. This is a huge opportunity for free marketing. Not only can you create ads looking for sellers, but you can also look at the ads listed by sellers to generate leads. Most often, the properties you find here will be listed by homeowners who may be facing financial distress and are trying to rent their properties as a last effort to save them.
Other than advertising your home buying services, you can also log on to websites like Craigslist and Zillow.com to search for motivated sellers. Here are a few additional ways you can find motivated sellers online:
Find FSBOs (For Sale By Owner Listings): FSBOs are listings that homeowners post themselves. Most websites allow you to filter for houses being sold by owners. However, it’s important to note that many homeowners typically don’t have a realistic idea of the prices their houses can truly sell for; so you may find listings much higher than you would like to pay.
Search for Estate Sales: Many times, you will find that people set up an estate sale before they actually list the house for sale. There could also be some probate properties that haven’t been processed through the legal system, yet and those deals can serve to be very profitable.
Talk to Landlords: Some landlords you come across can easily get tired of renting their properties. You never know if they would be open to selling to you for a good price, just to get rid of the headache. However, you’ll need to be sure the properties you are interested in are owned by an individual, and not a property management group.
Use Premium Listing Sites and Lead Providers: These are services that market for homeowners and real estate investors to list their properties for sale on their website, to get exposure and attract potential buyers. Some sites will require visitors to pay a monthly fee to access their listings. This is on a first come first serve type basis – so the first person to contact the seller and strike a deal will get it. Other sites will have you pay for a territory, so either you and/or one of two other users will have access to that territory of leads.
As an alternative to using a U.S. national listing company, do an online Google search and type in “local foreclosure list provider, (your county or city name)” and then expand to the state level. You are also able to search local online publications in your area. The following websites provide people locator and street address information online:
- Lookupusa: www.lookupusa.com
- Switchboard: www.switchboard.com
Gain Access to the Multiple Listing Service: The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is what real estate agents use to list and sell properties. In order to gain access to the MLS, you need to either be a licensed real estate agent or at least have one on your team. The key to the MLS is to make offers and make them often. Not all offers will be accepted, but keep in mind–it’s a game of numbers. You have to be very aggressive. Real estate investors make hundreds of offers per month. Following up is key, and since you’ll probably be finding many properties selling at or around retail price, you’ll have to set up a plan to find the deals within.
Auction Websites: Websites such as Auction.com, HUBZU.com, HomeSearch.com are great places to land deals and easily find sellers. Just be ready to take some risk, and face a good amount of competition.
Finding motivated real estate sellers online takes a little research and consistently advertising to them in order to increase your investments.