Finding Your First Flip!
There are many things you can buy and sell for a profit. Real estate happens to be one of the largest assets or most expensive items. Many know of real estate as an asset class that can help them build wealth. However, very few actually understand how to get started investing. There’s tons of information out there in regards to investment rental properties & managing them, but you have to find them & buy these properties first. Moving from faith to fact and into reality is much harder than reading a book. Many books discuss the importance of investing and finding undervalued assets, but they leave out how to actually uncover these deals. That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this post!
Lot’s of people make good money working in real estate, but how does a novice get started? Where are these diamonds in the rough that everyone talks about? Most houses online are listed with an agent and they’ll require expensive commissions and closing fees… How do you find the off market properties?…
Driving For Dollars
Finding a home to flip for most investors starts with “driving for dollars.” This is a phrase used in the real estate community because you literally drive around and look for properties that need a lot of work. It’s really easy to spot these houses as they aren’t well kept. It’s really easy to find these houses in the summer because they typically have tall grass or landscaping needs in addition to the needs of the house. You can go knock on the door and discuss the option to purchase the property from the owner or you could write a letter and send it to the owner. Typically when you find a property that needs work, the owner has to do something in order to protect their investment. They either need to make the repairs and fix the property up or sell it before it gets so bad that the property is worthless. Most first time investors uncover their first flip by driving for dollars in their community.
Public Records & Data
Another route that requires a little to no money is to use records to get into contact with the owner of a property in order to connect with them if they’re an out of state owner. You can look up the owner of a property from the tax assessor or county recorder. This information will help you look up the owner and you can use data companies to get possible phone numbers and email address for the owner. You can use many different companies to skip trace a property owner and most of the time you’ll find a way to connect with them via phone, email, letter or potentially in person.
Finally, you could post bandit signs throughout your community in high traffic areas. Bandit signs are essentially plastic yard signs that go in the ground or they can be hung up to a pole of some kind (telephone pole or light pole). Many companies use bandit signs to advertise (Jimmy Johns, McDonalds, Canes, etc.) You’ve probably even seen bandit signs for a party or open house before. The difference is that real estate investors will have the copy read something to the effect of, “We Buy Houses“, “We Pay Cash For Houses” or “We Take Over Payments” and then list their phone number at the bottom. If you drive around your community you’ll probably be able to spot a few of these signs out. They are a means of finding off market deals from owners that want to sell quickly. If a property owner is calling a bandit sign either they have a problem that they need to sell a house quickly, perhaps they don’t want to deal with an agent, or the property needs a lot of work or they know it’ll be hard to sell it to a traditional buyer to do the repairs needed. Callers typically know they are selling their house to an investor or house buying company when they call a number on a bandit sign.
Now that you’ve got a few methods you can utilize the next step is to get started! NOTHING works unless you do, so take action. Action is the only thing that will move you from faith to fact. Action is what separates knowledge from a practitioner. If you want to make money in real estate then you have to become a practitioner!
Here’s to your success & ours!