How to find a TON of Motivated Sellers…for free
By: Jim “JimmyZ” Zaspel
For any investor, especially someone just starting out, the biggest costs of doing business are marketing costs — marketing to find motivated sellers and motivated buyers. There are many great marketing methods promoted that have a significant cost to them, and I have used many of them. They are effective, but like I said, they cost money. Now let’s talk about getting sellers to come to you.
1. Marketing Partners
These are simply other investors that are spending money to get leads (prospects) calling or emailing them. If you do what I talked about on my last blog and educate yourself in real estate investing so that you know how to handle any deal that comes at you, then you will put yourself above the crowd, and once people at your local REIA meetings discover all the different types of transactions you are doing, you won’t be able to handle all the many leads that come to you. I can’t tell you how many calls, emails, and Facebook messages (hit me up on face book at www.facebook.com/jimzaspel) I get on a regular bases…”Hey JimmyZ, I’ve got a deal…”
2. REIA (Real Estate Investor Association) Meetings
You must attend every single investors meeting that you possibly can! Not only is this going to be your best source of marketing partners, but you will find qualified buyers, people that want to lend private money, and people that currently own properties that they want you to buy.
There is an unlimited number of ways to get people referring business to you, but I am going to share with you what my mentor, Jon, told me when I was starting out. He said, “Jim Zaspel, you’ve got to let people know what you do. Put the lettering on your vehicle, wear the clothes with your company name on them, go to every REIA meeting you can, make sure all your friends and family know that you buy and sell houses.” Then he said, “What you want to do is make such a name for yourself so that when anyone who has come in contact with you wants to buy or sell a house, you are the first person they think of.” Of course I only just listed a few out of many ways to accomplish this, but like Jon said, you must “brand” yourself.
This is the most simple, yet one of the most powerful methods of finding deals for free. When you look up FSBO (For Sale By Owner) ads online, be sure to look for key words in the ad headings. Words or phrases to keep an eye out for are foreclosure, must sell now, motivated seller, burnt-out landlord wants to retire, divorce, jobloss, immediate occupancy available, owner will finance, and lease-purchase. There are many good websites out there to find FSBO’s on, but ones such as Craigslist.com, kijiji.com, postlets.com, fsbo.com, forsalebyowner.com, and ownerwillcarry.com are some of the most productive websites to call ads from if you are going to call FSBO’s.
5. Newspapers and Other Offline Periodicals
I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that newspapers cost money. If you want to get it early in the morning, I’m sure it does, but people leave newspapers sitting around all the time. If you want to get a hold of used newspapers, just take a stroll through any public transportation station, restaurant, or coffee shop and I’m sure you’ll find plenty of them. You can also work something out with a convenience store manager to get some of their old newspapers. I know, this sounds weird, but if you are determined to make money in real estate without using your own money, then you must be willing to think outside the box.
When you work with properties out of the MLS, most of the time you are going to be dealing with properties that need repairs and that require cash. If you line up your private money lender and can put up a $1,000 deposit on a house (don’t worry, you’ll get it back at closing), then the MLS is a great source for finding deals. The trick is that you must be able to close on the deals that you sign contracts on.
Let’s recap. First we established that it does not take money to make money in real estate, then we learned a few basic methods of buying and selling houses, and finally we learned how to find the deals that are worth doing, i.e., motivated sellers. Whatever you do, do not forget the second point, namely, that you must first learn how to do creative real estate transactions before you can do them. Of course you don’t need to know much in order to wholesale a property, but if you want to do all the various types of deals that I have mentioned, you should invest (yes, with your own money) in real estate education.
What are we missing? What component of the business have I left out? How to sell all these houses that you are getting! More on that tomorrow
To your success,
Jim “JimmyZ” Zaspel