Competition for real estate deals is fierce – everyone is looking for them, and it’s a difficult market. For real estate investors in the beginning of their careers, a lack of money to invest in marketing and lead generation is also an obstacle to overcome. As you begin to make money, you can reinvest it accordingly. But how do you get going as inexpensively as possible when you’re just starting out?
These are three best, FREE ways to generate huge amounts of leads and get deals done at the beginning of your career:
- Use MLS (Multiple Listing Services). People say there are no deals on MLS but that is not the case. It takes work, you’ll need to spend hours scouring MLS and be ready to follow up on anything that looks promising immediately – that means getting on the phone and being prepared to check out a property in person the same day, with your ducks in a row ready to make a deal happen. This method isn’t easy, and takes dedication, but there are a lot of deals to be had if you’re willing to dig. A secondary benefit of doing things this way is you will wind up networking and relationship-building with many professionals along the way, these are people who may bring you deals later and become a valuable part of your pipeline.
- Networking can’t be underestimated. We use a wide variety of marketing to help bring in leads, from traditional print/TV/radio advertising, to SEM and social media marketing. But at the end of the year when we quantify what method brought in the most leads, nothing brings in more business than the people I’ve met through networking. It’s vital to go out and meet new people all the time. Tell people who you are and what you do. More importantly, find out what people do, and connect them with other people who can help them achieve their own goals. When you help other people, and do so selflessly, you’ll be shocked how many people will go out of their way to help you in the future. Compare this to getting a deal from a mailer. Once the deal is done the relationship is concluded and you never hear from them again. Foster the relationships you build through networking, however, and those will continue to bring you deals for years to come – maybe throughout the entire length of your career in real estate investing.
- Drive, walk, or bike for dollars. What this means is to explore your community, keeping an eye out for distressed properties. Even in upscale neighborhoods, you’ll find houses that aren’t being kept up or are completely vacant. Make a note of the address and use any of the free skip tracing utilities available on the internet to find the name and contact information of the owner. Alternatively, speak to the neighbors and try to find out what’s going on with the house or get help contacting the owner. This is a great way to make off-market deals happen. Regardless of which of the three methods above you use, persistence is key. None of these methods bring instant success. You can’t give up just because you aren’t immediately getting results. But if you keep working at it, you will get deals done.