Creating and maintaining a list of buyers and investors is essential if you are at all serious about real estate investing. Any deal has a much better chance of being successful if you have a solid list of potential buyers and you are in a position to contact them as and when needed. Selling real estate can often present some unexpected scenarios or setbacks and you are in a much better position to tackle them if you have a long list of reliable names.
Meeting People Is Key to Success
If you have a potential deal, whether it’s flipping real estate or anything else, people are generally more likely to show some interest if they actually know that you are in the real estate business. And they probably won’t know that unless you make a point of getting yourself out there and letting them know, which is really what networking is all about. People are generally more willing to work with you once you start to build a mutual trust and respect, which can be achieved by simply talking to people. Find out about monthly investment clubs in your area, which can be one of the most effective ways to meet others who have a passion for rehabbing properties.
Follow the Transaction History
Your local city hall has all the records that you need to locate and identify others who are buying and selling real estate, and it should be one of your main areas of focus when trying to build your business. Ask to look at real estate transactions in your town, city or area and what you are looking for specifically is property addresses that are different from the owner’s address, or real estate transactions for cash. Both of these can be big clues that the buyer involved in the transaction is an investor. Once you have that information it doesn’t take too much detective work to discover that investor’s email address, website or actual physical address, and contacting them should be your next step. Of course, not everyone involved in flipping real estate will want to meet you face to face, but in the long run the legwork may pay off and secure you some useful contacts. All real estate transactions are on public record, and you can make those records help you when it comes to putting together a list of potential buyers.
Look For the Signs
You have almost certainly seen those handwritten signs as you drive around your neighborhood, often strategically located at traffic lights. These ‘bandit signs’ say something like ‘we buy houses for cash’ and contacting the person behind the sign can be a simple yet highly effective way to find others who are buying and selling real estate. Sure, not everyone will return your call, and not everyone you talk to will be interested in exchanging information, but even if you only end up working with 20 percent of those investors you talk to, it can be time well spent in building up your contact list. Make a point of explaining that you can potentially help each other; if you find a local real estate deal that isn’t right for you, you would be happy to pass it on to someone else. Ask your fellow buyer what exactly they are looking for in terms of condition, neighborhood and of course, price. Most investors are as anxious as you are to create a list of potential buyers, and the you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours approach really can work.
Marketing With Social Media
It seems as if you just can’t get away from social media these days, and although it can have its drawbacks, it can also be an indispensable tool when it comes to finding others involved in real estate investing. Social media can be useful at any stage of your investing career, but it is especially important to take advantage of it when you are first starting out and much of your efforts are spent on networking and establishing yourself. Even if you don’t have any active buyers at the moment, create a weekly post explaining that you are in search of potential buyers. You should then make a point of getting together with any investors who take the bait and respond to you. Meeting a fellow investor may lead to further useful introductions, even if that investor isn’t quite on the same page as you are when it comes to real estate investing.
Follow Up With Your Contacts
Having a list of contacts is all very well, but if you lose touch with them, then the list can quickly become useless and out of date. You never know when you will come across a deal that you don’t like the look of for whatever reason, although it may be perfect for one of the investors’ names on your list of buyers, and maybe they will return the favor one day. Calling for some sort of action is the best way to generate interest and increase your chances of receiving a response, whether you are emailing details of a particular property, or just sending out a general market update. It’s important to make sure that your email catches the attention and hopefully stands out from all the other often junk emails that fill up the in-box of most investors. And remember, it’s still all about networking – making suggestions about how the two of you can help each other to succeed is a good approach, and meeting face to face usually works too. A combination of attention grabbing email blasts and regular social media updates can really help your networking efforts.
If you are flipping real estate, having a list of potential buyers is one of your most effective tools, and networking should be an important part of your daily routine. You can never be sure when you might need that list of names that you put together, but it’s reassuring to know it is there when you need it.