21 Ways to Find Motivated Sellers

If you want a growing and thriving real estate investing business, I think the top 3 things you should be focused on are:

  • Marketing & lead generation (to find motivated sellers)
  • Raising private money
  • Ongoing education (“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Ben Franklin

Remember Pareto’s Principle?  Or the 80/20 rule?

It basically states that 80% of your results are caused by 20% of your activities.  So in business, 20% of your activities are responsible for 80% of your results.

And in your real estate investing business, those 3 activities are your 20% in my opinion.

So let’s focus on that first one this week – marketing & lead generation to find motivated sellers, which really should be your ultimate, number one priority.

Here are 21 ways to find motivated sellers …

  1. Post ads online (Craigslist, Backpage, Pennysaver, etc)

Here’s a sample ad:

Get Rid of Your Headache Property in 10 Days or Less

No waiting, no hassles, no kidding, guaranteed offer

Bob 555-1212.

         2.  Mail to Absentee Owners of single family houses and apartments.

3.  Hang out at Eviction Court – Make contact with the property owners who are going through an eviction … and ask if they might be interested in selling.  In my experience, burned-out landlords are often the most motivated sellers you can find!

4.  Mail to landowners who own property in the “path of growth”.  How do you find out that info?  Check out the County’s Master Plan, which is typically a free document made available by most counties, often right online.

5.  Mail a direct mail series to divorce attorneys.

6.  Mail a direct mail series to probate attorneys.

7.  Create a Bird Dog Network.

8.  Post a “We Buy Houses” bandit sign on properties you own.  A colleague did this on several of her properties … got 5 leads her first week … and last time I heard, was about to close on a property she could get into with owner financing for only $3k out of pocket.

9.  Print up business cards and pass out and leave wherever and whenever you can (bulletin boards, books, in your bills, everyone you meet, etc.)

10.  Place pay-per-click ads on Google, Bing, MSN, etc.

11.  Call on FSBO (For Sale By Owner) ads.  Or have your VA do it.

12.  Obtain a list from the City and contact owners with an outstanding ‘Code Violation’ on their property.

13.  Call on ‘For Rent’ and ‘For Lease’ ads and ask the owner if they might be interested in selling.  You’re bound to run into a few motivated sellers who would rather sell, than rent.

14.  Contact owners who have just received an NOD (Notice of Default), which is the first stage of foreclosure.

15.  Contact owners who have just received a NOTS (Notice of Trustee Sale), which means the auction date has been set … and is typically only a few weeks away.

16.  Target “Free & Clear” property owners.  They may be more flexible with price and/or terms, and many are older and may be in liquidation mode.  Believe it or not, nearly 1/3 of all homeowners in the U.S. have no mortgage on their home.

17.  Establish relationships with Credit Repair Agencies and Credit Counselors.

18.  Buy targeted leads from reputable mailing list companies (ListSource, US Leads List, Melissa Data, etc)

19.  Send ongoing direct mail series to Realtors.

20.  Send mailers to property owners with existing liens: Tax Lien, HOA lien. Credit Card lien, Mechanics Lien, etc.

21.  Target properties with little to no equity.  Why? Far less competition … and the opportunities are just as numerous in this arena as any other.  This is my favorite strategy and target market, so more on this in the coming weeks.

… and that’s just for starters.

There are a ton of other strategies you can employ for finding motivated sellers (which I’ll be sharing in future issues), but that should get your juices flowing for now!