In slow housing markets, it can be difficult to find properties that have real potential. Off-market properties give real estate investors numerous advantages, ranging from less competition to better overall value. If you’re ready to start looking for the highly elusive and always coveted off-market deal of the century, the tips below will help you find them.
Grow Your Network
The most successful real estate investors in the world have massive networks consisting of other experienced investors, finance professionals, and most importantly, real estate agents and brokers. Realtors and brokers often gain access to what are known as “pocket listings” that they have exclusive rights to sell. These listings aren’t typically found on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), but if you are lucky enough to have a few real estate agents in your network, they may come to you with these listings first. There’s less competition, which means you can often nab these properties at highly competitive prices.
Use Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing can be a powerful tool, especially if you are targeting other investors who may be ready to sell their rental properties even though they haven’t been listed. Every now and then, send direct mail to other investors in your area or network to let them know you are looking for opportunities to buy. You might be surprised by the number of people who reach out to you with their asking prices.
Build Relationships with Contractors
Just as real estate agents have access to pocket listings, contractors can help you find off-market listings, too. For example, a contractor in your area could be renovating a home for a client who is ready to sell. If that contractor is in your professional network, you may be able to put in a bid on the home before it ever goes to market. This makes the process simpler for the seller, too, because they won’t have to pay exorbitant fees or commissions. Furthermore, building good working relationships with contractors can benefit you in other ways, such as by giving you access to quick service for your future fix-and-flip or renovation projects.
Check Public Records
Most of the time, the name of a property’s owner is a matter of public record. If you like a particular home or other property, you can easily check public records, find the owner’s name, and then reach out to them with an offer. Of course, this isn’t always fruitful because many owners won’t want to sell, but if you find just one exceptional deal, it could mean a lifetime of profits. Don’t be too pushy, and always be professional. This strategy pairs especially well with what some investors call “driving for dollars,” which involves driving around in real estate hotspots to find potentially valuable properties.
Real estate investing involves more than just scouring the internet for listed properties. In fact, the most successful investors agree that off-market properties are some of the most profitable of them all. From growing your network to reaching out to property owners via mail, there are countless ways to find extraordinary off-market deals.