The anticipation in property investment is finding “the deal.” The deal is the savings that come from buying a home in an “as is” condition. The purchase price allows the investor to increase the value of the property through improvements.  Profit is then generated through rental income or resale.

With the constant changes in the housing market, finding a good deal on in the desired location can be a time-consuming effort. Where the real estate agent has homeowners seeking assistance to sell the home, the property investor has to locate homeowners and make them aware of their services.

The investor has to develop a creative plan to locate a potential client. This plan should include different strategies that will require patience, determination, and consistency.

Window Shop

Sometimes, the best deals are found by driving around to see what’s available in the chosen area. Just as you would window shop for merchant deals, you can window shop for property deals from the comfort of your vehicle.

Be on the lookout for:

  • handwritten curbside signs
  • lawn posted FSBO (For Sale By Owner) signs
  • house for rent signs
  • abandoned properties
  • overgrown properties
  • properties in need of repair

If you see something that may be a potential lead, be sure to consider the entire area as well. You want to make sure this will be a place where your future resident will have nearby conveniences. With an app or pen and paper, note the address and any issues about the property.

It may not be advisable to knock on someone’s door or to leave a note. First of all, it’s best to be safe. Unless you know the resident, you do not know what situation lies beyond the door and how someone may interpret your interest. Also, the people living at the residence may not be the owner.

You can research the property owner and their contact information through the property appraiser’s website for that county. If you have several addresses, create a spreadsheet to catalog the information.

After you have a list of owners with their mailing addresses, create a short template or script that can be used to express your interest along with your contact information. Apply the note to postcards or small yellow paper and mail it to the property owner. Use the spreadsheet to track your responses.

Create Engaging Networks

Networking with other professionals will develop resources for your business and allow your business to be a resource to others. The opportunity to discuss successes and challenges with other real estate professionals will stimulate new ideas to grow your business. They may also have knowledge of people in need of your service.

Agents and brokers may be aware of homes that have been listed for a long time and the owners have become frustrated with the wait. Contractors may know homeowners struggling to make repairs. Bankers and lawyers may have insight on properties heading for foreclosure. Those contacts can turn into referrals for your business.

Every state has various groups and clubs to help these professionals socialize for different events. The cost to join a group or club will be a contribution towards your business. Property investors have their own affiliations that can be a source for connecting to other professionals.  Check through the list of Florida options, contact the organization that closely fits your needs and request information about what they have to offer.

Social Media Platforms

Social media interaction is the cheapest type of advertisement for any entrepreneur. This form of networking influences potential customers by allowing them to learn additional information about the business, connect visually to the owner and services through posted photos or videos and form an opinion about the business based on customer reviews. Consistent social media activity also shows the business as being an engaged and thriving operation.

Acquiring potential customers through a business social media page is a tedious effort. Successful networking relies on the reach to the targeted audience. To grow a following, the content has to be a resource for homeowners and other property investors.

Creative approaches to building a resource for homeowners include posting:

  • Tips and tricks on home maintenance
  • The current status of the real estate market
  • The benefits and differences of real estate professionals
  • Comments about real-life business experiences that have helped homeowners
  • Photos of properties for sale or examples of properties purchased
  • The continued emphasis on how this business can assist

Of course, there is the technical side of implementing all of these ideas by using the search engine techniques of keywords, embedded social media tags on the business website, and page promotion.

Another way to broadcast your business and gain customer engagement is to join groups on Facebook. In the search box, enter “property investors” plus your state to find available groups.

Group pages can offer a sharing of ideas, information about properties deals and may lead to contacts of home sellers. Each group has its own set of rules and some may require a response in the form of a short questionnaire for approval. Be sure to read over the rules, and read posts from other members to see if that group is a good fit for your business. Most importantly, contribute to the group page so that your profile is seen both others.

Think Outside Of The Box

It takes patience and consistency to find a property at a good price. Scanning local areas and exposing your business to social media are a few ways to find hopeful leads. But the only way to become a successful investor is to have numerous methods to find property.

A good approach is to replace your property investor shoes with the shoes of the homeowner. In this role, think of all the situations that may motivate home selling. These episodes may look like:

  • Pre-foreclosure
  • Failure to keep up with property taxes
  • Inability to fix major repairs, property structure or adhere to code enforcement laws
  • Frustration with bad tenants
  • Unexpected personal/medical expenses
  • A vacant or inherited home that is an unwanted responsibility
  • A divorce or job relocation

As an investor, you may be the solution for these circumstances. The only problem is, homeowners are either not aware of your service as an option or are unsure of how the process works. The priority changes from looking for property to looking for people in need of help out of bad situations.

City officials collect information about homes that do not comply with the rules of the community. Websites offer lists of problematic properties through free or paid subscriptions. Much of the information is public record and available through the county offices. Before you get started, be sure to research how to search public property records to get the most desirable results.

Government foreclosures is another avenue to explore. These foreclosures include single and multiple family residence, vacant land, and commercial properties. They are often sold through public auction or other means, depending on property type.

Your best deal may be found on the drive to the grocery store, by participating at an event hosted by the local property investment club, as a result of a friendly post on social media or by rescuing a homeowner from a financial burden. Although the homework is never-ending, if you remain focused and consistent, the reward is worth the adventure.