It is essential for any real estate business to have a buyer’s list; A list of all the people you would consider to be your “key” buyers which you will prioritize in your contact list. I am going to give you several ways to build a successful buyer’s list. It is also very important to have specific lists for different types of buyers; wholesale buyer’s list, realtor buyer’s list, and a preferred buyer’s list.
This is probably one of the best-kept secrets in real estate and contains a plethora of untapped resources for contacts. There are three areas you want to focus on when searching Craigslist for buyers. First, search real estate for sale in your city and look for We Buy Houses, Sell Homes in Five Days and Stop Foreclosure ads. While there, search for anyone who is offering creative financing or lease options. They are likely to be investors. You can also search Craigslist for REIA clubs.
I realize Craigslist gets a bad rap occasionally in regard to scams, etc. This is one area where you must be proactive and give due diligence in the contacts you find. Be proactive in calling these new-found resources. Build a relationship with them in order to deliver the value they need. After all, it’s not the quantity of your list; it’s the quality of your list. In a nutshell, Craigslist is a great tool for building your buyer’s list.
Take advantage of the many search engines that are readily available at your fingertips; Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. If you type in your city, state, and also type We Buy Houses in the search bar along with your city. (For example: we buy houses Hammond, IN) The first two ads are usually highlighted in light colors. You will then notice a list of people on the right of the screen who are paying to be listed there. From there, you can sometimes find websites in which you can find good perspective leads to add to your buyer’s list. Some may say, I don’t want to sell my house to another wholesaler because of potentially not getting the best price on the house. However, Wholesalers “wholesale” back and forth to each other because that business might have connections you don’t. You do want wholesalers and a variety of people in real estate who buy and sell on your buyer’s list. You never know the potential connections they have which can benefit you and vice versa.
As briefly mentioned earlier, REIA groups is one of the best ways to network with people. You can do an online search for REIA groups in your area and get a list of contacts. Attending these, as well as, seminars will help you connect with other wholesalers and/or open up opportunities for business relationships.
Another great resource in building your buyer’s list is through social media. Facebook is great because of the different types of real estate groups you can potentially join and find contacts. On Facebook’s search bar, type in “real estate investors in (your city here)”. You will find many groups that will pop up which you can ask to join. How about Twitter? Similar to Facebook, search for real estate investors in your specific area which you are looking to buy or sell. Once you get into the various real estate groups begin contacting people so you can add them to your growing buyer’s list. Find and make a connection with an internet savvy Realtor. Work with them. Many times, they will have dealt with other investors that are cash buyers. They can search properties that have sold recently to cash buyers and make connections FOR you. If you find they are a good source for you, put them on your preferred buyers list.
Bigger Pockets, Homevestors, ActiveRain
These are sights specifically geared towards realtors. If you’re not on Bigger Pockets, you need to! Bigger Pockets is the social media specifically for real estate investing. You can use this avenue of social media to write blogs and attract an audience based on your knowledge. It’s a great place to connect with people. Homevestors.com is a site that you can search specific areas in which you plan to buy. This will show you all the HomeVestors franchisees in your area, with their name and phone number. ActiveRain is a blogging service to (primarily) Realtors. Another great resource for building your buyer’s list.
Hometown newspapers are still very much alive. Don’t focus solely on the internet and overlook the information of printed material. It still works. You may not get the quantity of leads as you would from the internet, but you may find the quality of the leads you find are better. Depending on the area in which you live, you will need to try different avenues to see what works best for you. Just don’t discredit your local newspaper before giving it a chance. For many, it is a more trusted source than the internet and will, therefore, advertise their properties in a more trusted source. A great tip is to call the rent ads and speak to landlords about discounted homes. Just another avenue to build your list!
Putting your name out for the public to see is another great way to build your buyer’s list. Make We Buy Houses signs, bandit signs, flyers you can display at the local grocery stores. Vehicle decals are another great way to advertise! Display a message in which it compels people to call you about selling or buying a house. On a side note, if you are using bandit signs check with your local authorities about rules and regulations in your area.
Be observant of other’s advertisements/signs. When you see another business advertising We Buy Houses, Foreclosure properties, discounted properties, etc. Call them! These people are doing the same thing you are. By contacting them, you may find you each have something to help each other’s business.
Take advantage of the classified ads and classified newspapers. There are different types in each city. Take advantage of these as well! Then you have yet another contact to add to your list.
Deeds, Foreclosures and Section Eight
You can check your local registrar of deeds each week. Most deeds are recorded at the clerk of courts offices and/or recorded at the comptroller’s office. Look into foreclosures and tax sales at the courthouse. Obtaining these records is a great way to expand your buyer’s list. Another great way to network is to get a list of Section Eight Landlords in your area. They are always looking for good deals.
Hard Money Lenders
These guys typically know all the good connections. If you have a property, call them. Ask them if they have a buyer’s list or if they have a buyer at the moment which might be interested in buying a property from you. Hard money lenders have scores of people they work with and therefore, makes them a great way to network and get your list built.
Attend auctions. Be prepared to meet people who are serious buyers. Have business cards with you. Make sure you network with these people. Anytime you come in contact with a serious buyer make sure you put them on your preferred list. These will be people you contact first.
IRA Companies and Eviction Attorneys
Get to know the self-directed IRA companies. Their clients may be interested in buying properties from you. Also, get to know eviction attorneys in your area; their clients might be interested in buying from you.
Check into rehab houses. Get to know other investors. Make the connection. You will either find whoever is remodeling the house is working for someone or they are Contractors doing it for themselves to fix and flip. Get to know these people. If you deliver a good product, guess what happens? Referrals start to roll in. There, you’ve got more contacts for your buyer’s list.
Go to your local title company. Not just the big national title companies, although you could. I’m recommending the small title companies. Many investors prefer the smaller, mom-and-pop type title companies because they are personable. People feel they can resolve problems quickly with this type of company. Utilize them. Get a good working relationship built between you and the title companies and you will reap the benefits.
Zillow is one of the best ways to build a buyers list. Zillow doesn’t give the most accurate Zestimates, but they do give pretty accurate information if you look in the right areas. If you search for your property by address and then scroll down to the bottom of the web page you will see a map overview of your property and the properties around you. What I like about this is the fact that you can zoom in and it will show you the houses for rent and for sale. If you click on these you will find for sale by owner. You will also find those looking to rent the property. You may find property managers. Get the contact information, make the connection and many times you will find great sellers from these connections. You can use this technique for both buying and selling.
I hope this sparks your enthusiasm and pushes you to make connections and get out of your comfort zone. Once you do that, then real change can take place and you will find that you’ve created a very successful buyer’s list.