When it comes to real estate investing, off-market deals are the holy grail for those in the market for acquisitions. Off-market properties are not listed on MLS, and are therefore not available to the public, and as a result can be extremely difficult to find. If you want to be a successful professional real estate investor, it certainly helps to have sources for finding these hidden gems on a consistent basis. After all, properties that aren’t listed publicly aren’t likely to attract any attention from traditional homebuyers seeking a primary residence.
That said, developing sources for finding off-market real estate deals can take a fair amount of work. Those who are able to get creative with it are often most rewarded. If you’re looking for a somewhere to start, we’re going to highlight 4 methods for finding off-market deals in this post.
Networking: It’s About Who You Know
The easiest way to stay in-the-know is to develop a strong network of like-minded individuals – if you surround yourself with dedicated real estate professionals, you’re more likely to be successful if you aren’t already achieving your goals. Whether it’s other investors, contractors, real estate agents, wholesalers, or title attorneys, making strong connections within the real estate industry can only benefit you in the long run. These people can serve as valuable sources of referrals for off-market deals that they’re aware of, whether they want to work on them with you or are just passing a potential project along to a connection for a mutual benefit.
There are a lot of great ways to build a referral network – one of the most fun, perhaps, is attending networking events for real estate professionals. While there typically is a cost associated with attending these events, the connections made are worth every penny (it also doesn’t hurt if dinner and an open bar are included in the cost of admission). These events often attract very serious professionals who can either give you great advice for growing your own business, or could become partners on projects down the road.
Stay Connected with REIAs and Virtual Groups
Whether online or in person, real estate investor associations provide valuable connections and near constant communication about what’s happening in any given area’s real estate market. Some groups focus on specific cities, towns, or neighborhoods, while others are much more broad in geographic scope. For example – you can find a MeetUp group for Baltimore REIs, or you can find other online communities covering the entire DC-Maryland-Virginia area.
If you do take part in these groups, you’ll see a lot of people posting and discussing off-market real estate deals. It’s not uncommon for wholesalers to use these groups to find cash buyers, or at least buyers who can close on a property on a relatively tight turnaround. These can be great deals to find, but it’s also important to be careful when initiating any discussion online about possible properties for sale. Scams and fraud are not unheard of, so make sure you’re doing your research and vetting your connections and their alleged deals prior to signing any paperwork or agreeing to make any form of payment. Wherever possible, make sure you’re seeing properties in person before you agree to take on a new project from an online source.
Market Yourself as a Homebuyer to Contact Sellers Directly
You’ve probably seen the lawn signs, billboards, or even television commercials advertising cash for homes in any condition. This is a tactic commonly used by professional investors seeking to contact home sellers directly. In these cases, investors are prompting homeowners who are looking to make a quick sale to call them rather than to list the home for sale through more traditional means. In certain cases, it makes sense for homeowners who are looking to make a quick sale to call one of these numbers rather than to pursue more traditional means of selling their home. This is a great way to find excellent deals where sellers are generally willing to take a bit of a discount for expediency’s sake.
Of course, if you’re going to market yourself this way, it’s best to make sure that you do in fact have either the cash on hand or a good relationship with a hard money lender to close quickly on these deals. Efficiency is generally very important to these sellers, so they typically aren’t willing to wait several weeks or a few months while you’re processing a loan with a bank. If you can develop a reputation as being quick and always following through with funding, this can end up being a great lead funnel for your business to find new properties.
Hire a “Bird Dog” Real Estate Agent
No, we’re not hunting ducks – we’re hunting for houses! Having a professional partner who can act as your guide to local real estate deals can help you make your business much more efficient in finding off-market opportunities. Often, real estate agents are the first professionals that homeowners call when they’re thinking about selling their property. In some cases, a real estate agent may realize that a homeowner needs to sell their property quickly, and are happy to serve as a link between potential cash buyers and the seller. Real estate agents who engage in these deals are likely to take a small commission for each property, so this can be a relatively inexpensive way to widen your lead funnel and keep the off-market opportunities coming.
Need Financing for Off-Market Real Estate Deals?
If you’re seeking a partner to help fund your off-market acquisitions quickly and conveniently, Pimlico Capital is the perfect hard money lender in Baltimore, MD. We’re guaranteed to provide funding on approved deals, and our 5-star customer service rating goes to show that we’ve worked with hundreds of satisfied partners. Whether you require extra cash to complete a project, or are simply looking to leverage your projects in order to conserve your own cash, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at 410-855-4600 today, or fill out our online rate calculator to see what terms you may be qualified for on your next off-market real estate deal!