Ok, I’ve found a local investor who is willing to help me out learning the process and get me started. He’s tasked me with finding vacant houses. What are some creative ways to find vacant houses (other than just driving around aimlessly)? I’ve talked to the mailman, who gave me a lead. Utilities company was no help (hoping for list of houses not using power). Will email the city if I can get email to work. Based on census data, I’ve found several areas that have a high vacancy rate which I will go through.
How do you find them? What kind of online sources do you use?
You are wasting time driving around just looking for vacant houses. The neighbors of the vacant house are often already on it. However when you are out driving to the grocery store, always take different streets. Keep a notebook available so you can call on fsbo signs or make notes of lower end fsbo (for sale by owner) houses as you see them on the way. But don’t just drive around burning 3 dollar per gallon gas looking for vacant homes.
Instead get out the newspaper for 1-2 hours a day and start calling fsbo ads that are small and the houses are lower end. Call for rent ads in the same low end area. You’re speal will be different and you’ll have to learn yours the hard way. See if they’d be interested in selling at a discount if you took the propery as-is and closed fast. Once you get a “maybe” then you’ve got a lead that you chase until they cry uncle. Get a book and learn how to cold call. If you can do this you’ll be a good birddog instaed of a neighborhood cruiser.
The greatest book I ever read on sales is David Sandler “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar.” I’d suggest it to anyone and everyone in this business. He teaches sales opposite of everyone else. You don’t “sell” anything. You just ask lots of questions and pretend like your not that interested. It’s all based on the principle of a pendulum. If you push push push to sell they pull away. Now if you pull away then they push to sell you and in turn sell themselves. I know it may sound a little weird but it works. I was working in franchise sales and sold from a stage for 5 years before I started in this business; the education I got was priceless. If you can learn to sell the right way it’s the best skill you could ever learn. I’ll take a bird dog under my wing that has a lot of sales experience or marketing experience long before the person with a lot of Real Estate experience and none of the latter. Also, Peter Conti and David Finkel use the Sandler method and write a lot on negotiations and sales in there books on it. I’d invite you to get those as well. There sites http://www.resultsnow.com .