I’ll go ahead and post it here, hopefully somebody can learn by it.
The first part of my process is doing exactly what you said; post Craigslist ads. I get quite a few responses with each post, normally filled with spelling and grammar errors.
Below is the email I respond with. I never call these people, and so far only one guy has called me back. Take a look at my response and let me know if it needs any tweeks:
Thanks for responding to my Craigslist ad!!!
We’re looking for two people in the area to find off market real estate deals for us. The types of houses we’re looking for ARE NOT houses that are currently listed on the market; IE no deals from realtors or “For Sale By Owner.” We are looking for motivated sellers who have a problem property that they need to get rid of. These properties have become a burden to the seller. Whether it be a tired landlord, a person who is moving out of the area, or someone who inherited a house, the sellers we are targeting are motivated to sell at a discount.
We will pay $1,000 for every closed deal you bring us. We pay once the transaction has made it through closing and we own the house. We are targeting the Des Moines area, primarily Des Moines proper.
A few tips about finding properties:
• Driving for dollars – This involves driving through neighborhoods and finding houses that look vacant. Overgrown lawns, boarded up windows, piled up mail, etc. These properties will mostly be in less than desirable areas, but that’s ok. We buy in the nicest neighborhoods and the worst neighborhoods. We aren’t afraid of ugly houses. The uglier the better.
• Placing ads on Craiglslist – There are several “We Buy Houses” ads on Craigslist, make yours better
• Searching court records for tax liens
• Searching records for houses in probate – The courthouse has these records; look through them and target the ones that have property tied up in the process. You’re looking for the executor of the estate.
• Tell EVERYBODY you’re looking to buy houses. From now on you buy houses, that’s what you do. You’re not looking into buying houses, you’re not thinking about buying houses, YOU BUY HOUSES.
These are ways to find leads, now what I’m looking for is the contact information for these leads. You can do a search on the county assessor’s webpage for this information. Here is a link to the Polk County Assessor: http://web.assess.co.polk.ia.us/cgi-bin/web/tt/infoqry.cgi?tt=home/index
The best leads will have the mailing address different than the property address. This means the owner doesn’t live in the house. We’re not looking for people who “kind of want to sell,” we’re looking for people who NEED TO SELL. You need to bring us as much information about the lead as possible; name, address, phone number if possible, facebook, etc. I’m not looking for just an address, I’m looking for contact information.
I’ll create a spreadsheet on Google Docs and share it with you, and you’ll enter all your leads in that spreadsheet. I’ll maintain the spreadsheet and indicate the status of each lead.
Remember, we pay $1,000 per closed deal.
This is a great way to get into real estate investing with no money. You bring us deals, we pay you. Once you’ve proven yourself, we’ll start teaching you how to actually do the deals yourself. This industry isn’t easy, but it can be done. Especially since you are super motivated to be successful.
A little about me…
My name is Luke, I’m 36 and have a wife and two kids. After working in the technology industry for a several years I realized my true passion was real estate. I dove in head first, fell a few time but always got up. It was tough, but I persevered like many others. If I can do it, so can you!!!
If you want to get started, call me at 515-555-5555 so we can get rolling!!!