Episode #3 – How Real Estate Wholesalers Can Find Cash Buyers for Free
Welcome to EarlToms podcast. On this episode, we’re going talk about the ways to find buyers that the majority of them are free, that you don’t need to spend any money to locate these buyers. And we’ll also discuss ways to actually get that personal connection with a buyer. There are some services out there that are paid for. You can have monthly subscriptions, things like propstream or REI blackbook. There are places you can skip trace, find them with listsource or somewhere else to get that information. One of the reasons that I’m very selective of the subscriptions and paid service is that I join is because there was a lot easier way to do it. If you’ll spend maybe 30 minutes a day, you’ll be able to find all of this information for free. You just kind of have to be a little bit creative to do it and be willing to spend a little bit of time doing it. So if you think about kind of bootstrapping your business when you first get started because you don’t have a lot of money to put into it. You can do this whether it’s the first day or you’ve been in this business for five years and save yourself a lot of money. At the end of the day, real estate is a personal relationship, whether it’s with the seller or the buyer. It’s a personal relationship. So whether either side trust you or not, it depends a lot on if you’re going to get that deal, what you’re going to get it for and how much would be able to make it on it. So let’s kind of look at the free ways and some steps to where you can actually find these buyers that you won’t have to spend money.
You can get a 30 day trial with a website called leadpropeller. Leadpropeller gives you the ability to download up to 1000 contacts, whether it be buyers or sellers in their in their program. So if you’re hoping to actually find some buyers and you want to test out some of these paid service, leadpropeller gives you that 30 day free trial. So you don’t actually have to spend any money up front. What I’ve done and what I know a lot of people do is they’ll go and get a free trial of leadpropeller, download a list of their buyers to get information. They have the addresses. They have all of the addresses that buyer has purchased in that area. Instead of let me go get a single record here, single record there and try to match them up, you get all of the addresses that specific buyer has purchased. Whether the last six months, the last year, or the last month. Whatever it may be that you set your criteria to you’re going to get all of those records. That’s really all that you need. Once you get past that, you just get to the point of happened to do a little leg work. Spend that 30 minutes a day, research these records.
What a lot of people don’t realize is there’s something called an Excel feed from every courthouse across the country. Some courthouses will push that spreadsheet out to all these different data providers once a month, once a week, once a day, by-weekly, or by-monthly. It all depends on the courthouse where you’re located. If you have a courthouse in an area that’s only sending out that that data feed every three months, your information is not going to be up to date. So what’s gonna wind up happening is, you’re going to get stale records by the time you get your hands on it. This is what every provider gets whether it’s lead propeller, whether it’s propstream, or Zillow. They all pay county courthouses for this information. So what you need to do is make sure your courthouse is actually sending out records once a week or least once a month, because if they’re only sending records out every three months it’s useless. By the time you get to a pre foreclosure lead, they’re already in foreclosure and you can’t help them. That’s what no one else will tell you is because they want you to think that their data is the best. Now some providers will get mortgage liens. They’ll pay for that information as well. But if they’re paying for it and it’s three months old, it’s useless because by that time, the owner of that property has already made a decision. They looked on Google and called around. They found somebody to buy their house. So you’re actually wasting money if your courthouse is not providing up to date information and sending that excel spreadsheet out in a timely fashion.
What I would suggest everyone do is find a way, and you don’t even really have to go to lead propeller to do it. You can actually go to Zillow if you’re looking for your buyers. Zillow will provide that to you and it’s free. You just have to be able to put the work in to be able to find them. You don’t have to pay to Skip Trace them. I’ll show you how to do that in a little while. What I wind up doing here, and I don’t know if it’s if it’s like this in other places, but what I always do here is instead of doing a list view of of everything that’s sold. Always pull up a map because on Zillow there is a little pull down screen at the top that says more. Once you click on that more tab, you scroll down a little ways, you can actually determine how old your records are. You can say last 30 days, last 90 days, last six months, last year, etc. So if you want to look at the records, the properties that have sold in the last three months, you just click that more tab and scroll down. Now you select sold in the last three months, click apply, and now you’re looking at a map with everything that that sold within the last three months. What you wind up doing on there in my market anyway, you’ll see one area that should be selling for $100,000. But you see these records, they’re sitting over there. That’s a $500,000 or $2.5 million sale. What a lot of these buyers do is they’ll go by all these properties individually. Then when they actually go to record, they’ll bundle them up and record on the same deed and give an overall price for all of the properties that they purchased because they’ll pay $100,000 for a house then they’re going to put $50,000 renovation in it. Whenever that total money is known they may have five or 10 houses that are finished now, they go instead of recording every property individually, they go on record all five or 10 of these properties on the same deed. That’s where you see these larger numbers going through. So what you want to do is search the $2.5 million sale that you know wasn’t $2.5 million. You find the address a lot of times without any kind of contact information or anything like that on the sale other than it was listed on the MLS. You’ll have the old agents information on there. You can actually call that agent a lot of times and say, Mr or Miss Agent, I’m a local investor here and I sell a lot of properties. I’m sure that you would like to have the listing for these properties. If I could supply you some listings for your buyer to purchase, would that be beneficial to you? Some agents will brush you off. Some don’t wanna work with. You you have to take it as it comes. If an agent brushes you off, that’s fine. But what I’m about to explain to you how to do is find find the contact information for these buyers.
What you want to do is match the address. If you have your courthouse information online, then you can go through and type in that information. I would never type in the full investors information because you never know how it’s actually listed in the courthouse. They could have LLC behind it. They could have incorporated behind it. It all depends on how it’s recorded, because sometimes their are errors in the courthouse. So you type maybe the 1st 3 to 5 letters of the company name or how you think it’s recorded and wind up going that direction. You only can do that after you search for the address to actually find the purchaser of it, the buyer of it. So once you find that you get to look at all the records off this company in the courthouse, once you have all of the addresses that this company has purchased, whether they’ve sold them or whether they still have them is irrelevant. They’re buying. That’s all you need to know. So what you do is you want to go through and start typing these addresses in Google. You’ll have records that say realtor.com. You’re going to click a lot of results because what you’re going to see a lot of these investors that will have their agent, their property manager, whoever it may be, a lot of them even do it themselves. So if you’re a hedge fund or somebody like that, more often than not, these larger conglomerates will come and put in the local office in so that they could manage their affairs in that local market. They’ll hire a couple employees but they all report back to the main office. Now you have the phone number, maybe an email address. Whatever you need that first point of contact to be able to get in touch with these groups. The first record, you may not find anything. It may be a dead end, but you have 10 addresses that you can google. So as you’re Googling all these addresses, eventually you’re going to find a phone number or an email address to get you in touch with them. You’re going to find a way to get in touch with these buyers without having to spend any money. You just have to do a little bit of leg work and spend a little bit of time to be able to do it. That’s how I find the majority of large buyers. I’ve honestly found cell phone numbers for people that work in hedge funds because when they get started in the local market they don’t have their boots on the ground. So they’re having to do everything remotely. So they’ll put someone in the office’s cell phone number on there or the main office’s phone number on there. I’ve had these people say, How did you find us? Just Googled your addresses that you purchased here. Some of them like it. Some of them don’t. And that’s just part of the feeling out. What’s going to work? What’s not going to work. If you spend the time whether it Zillow, whether it’s leadpropeller, whether it’s county records, you name it, you can find the contact information and you can find these buyers without having actually spend any money because it’s available online. It’s public information, so you don’t have to pay for it. The trend is to pay for skip tracing. You know, pay for this service. Do this. We’ve got the best. They all have the same things. Some were just paid for and some were free. So you have to decide what’s best for you. If you want a bootstrap your business. If you’re just getting started and spend the least amount of money the free way is a good option because you’re going to get the same information that you would have by paying for a service that may have the stale data that’s three months old and by now everyone else has already touched. They’re tired of getting phone calls.
Whenever you actually get in touch with the buyer, the first thing that you want to do is be professional. Don’t send an email with text message slang on. If you’re saying your spell it y-o-u-r. Don’t put ur on there because you will be thrown out the door. Spammed, blocked, you name it. You have an opportunity to make a first impression. So make the best of it. This could be the buyer you have been waiting on. This could be a buyer that only buys once every six months. But the difference is when you need a sale, this could be the buyer that helps you pay your bills that month, when things were slow so that you could stay in this business. Once you actually close the deal with the buyer, do something that no one else does, whether it’s sending them a thank you letter that’s hand written. You can pick up the phone and call them after everything’s done. Wait a week. Don’t call them the same day. Say, I appreciate your business. You know I’ll be able to look for other properties for you. Once you closed that first deal is when you really start to kind of cement that relationship, because up until that point, everything was speculative. There was nothing factual. There was nothing concrete about that relationship. The buyer, when you first approached them gave you some criteria, said If you find something like this, feel free to send it. You did that and you found something that they were willing to buy. So going forward, you need to put that down, make a note of it. I sent this buyer these five houses they didn’t buy. Why did they buy this house and not the other five that I sent? So from now on, as you’re going forward, you send a buyer available deals of the one that they bought versus the five that you sent before. One thing that investors like is basically having someone that is going to send them a property without them even having to hesitate. They say I’m interested. I want that one. If they have to work the numbers and spend a lot of time on it they’re going to get tired of dealing with it. You only send them properties that as soon as they see it, they’re ready to go. That’s going to be the type of property that you need to only send them. You may have a house every now and then that you think might work. It’s okay to send it but when you send it to them include the explanation of why you’re sending it to them. Say, I think this one might work for you. It has x, y, and z that you’ve been buying, but it also has this. I’m not sure if that will work for you but I wanted to put it in front of you just in case and let you make that decision. But do that sparingly. Don’t do it with every single buyer that you have or put them on a mass email list and send them every house that you have. That is not good business. I don’t care what anyone says. You have these companies out there, these buyers that get countless emails. Nine times out of 10 they just hit marked read or they’ll look at it to open it up so it’ll clear out of their inbox and it won’t show up unread. If you personalize every single email that you send to a buyer with the pictures and a description and asking price, you’ll have more success with these buyers than you will just throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks. These buyers don’t have time to look at all this stuff. Some may have time to look at it but a lot of times buyers want to feel like they’re the most important. They don’t want to share, they don’t want the deals everybody else sees.
You’re also not going have a lot of success when you partner with other wholesalers to do joint ventures. When you start doing that, the ones that you’re doing it with start blasting these emails to their list. You’re killing your deal doing that because no one knows who actually owns it. You may have the same buyer. That buyer doesn’t know which person actually has control of the deal or who they should work with. They don’t want to ruin a relationship hurting someone’s feelingsso they pass on the deal. It’s important with wholesalers if you’re going to JV to say, do not send this to a mass list. I have a list. If I need to send it, I will send it to specific people that you think will be interested in it and no one else. If that works great, you’ve got a deal closed. If not, send it to your list. Other than that, leave it alone. It wound up not being a deal. Move on to new money because this one right now has started costing you money. The more time that you spend on it, the more it’s going to cost you, whether it’s time, effort, or marketing dollars, it’s costing you money right now. You have to look at it in a way of, by the time I get this to the closing table am I actually going to make money on it or am I going to make minimum wage on it? Is it really going to cost me money when I could have been focused on another deal that I could have made money quickly on? That’s where a lot of a lot of wholesalers get bogged down and they can’t see what’s on the other side because every deal is a must close with them. When in essence, it’s not the case. You have to look at it in a way of, I have to find new money every single day. You will be successful because the longer you spend on a deal, the less money you make, you’re living in the past not the present or the future. So make sure you’re looking for new deals every day. New money you worked with the right buyers.
If you’re the the kind of person that likes to go out and socialize and meet a lot of people, these local meetups investor associations are a good place to do that. Some may have door fees you have to pay before you can get in. It all depends on your personality. It is good to put your face in front of buyers from time to time so that you can have that relationship because a psychological fact is it’s harder to say no to someone in person that it is over the phone or over an email. So the more you’re in front of someone, the stronger that relationship gets, the harder it becomes for them to tell you no because they will wind up helping you.
On a different note, one thing that I always hear complaints about from buyers is some of them want to know how much you have it under contract, how much you’re going to make on it. That’s easily overcome if you know how to address it. When a buyer says, how much are you going to make on this? You say, Mr or Miss Buyer, my goal is to bring you a deal that is good enough that all you have to do is make an offer that makes you comfortable. You get to make money on it, and so do I. So I think if we pay attention to you making money on a property with a price that you’re comfortable with, what I make on it won’t matter. So when they say, I don’t necessarily agree with that. Then you say, I tell you what, let’s just give it a try this time. The next deal I send you instead of you asking how much I’m making on this, I’m going to send you a property that I’m going to have an asking price on and if you’re comfortable with that price, you give it. If you’re not comfortable with that price and make me an offer, if I can sell it to you at that price, I’ll be happy to and see how that works going forward. When you have a buyer more concerned with what you’re making versus what they’re going to make, that’s not a buyer you’re going to have a good relationship with. Those are the buyers that I tend to really only included on the list because those were kind of like the last resort out of desperation. If one of my clients doesn’t want to buy something that I have I wind up sending it to a to a list most times. The people in those lists are difficult to work with. They’re not focused on what they need to focus on. They are focused on, Is this a good market? How much are you going to make? They always want to seem to find some way to complain. That’s not positive for your business.
In real estate, on a daily basis, you’re going to hear no. You have to be able to accept no and move on. You can’t let it put you in a depressive state. You can’t let your self confidence start lacking. You have to be able to move on like it didn’t even happen every single day. That’s one of the biggest things in real estate that winds up hurting someone’s business. When you find a difficult buyer don’t work with them if you can’t train them to your way as far as they make offers and what they do, then you need to move them to the list because you’re going to wind up spending more effort, more time, more money, getting them to the closing table. You want buyers that are easy to get along with, that want the relationship with you, and that appreciate what you’re doing for them because you’re making their life easy. You’re sending them exactly what they want. So if they don’t appreciate it, then you need to let them work with agents or work off of your list. Go find new money, like I said earlier, is the most important part of this buyer process.
You google of the addresses to find some form of contact form. That’s a free way. You go in and you make this relationship. You say, Mr Buyer, what is your criteria? Okay, great. I won’t waste your time. I’m new at this. I’m going to send you what I think matches this criteria. If I send you something that doesn’t match this criteria, please give me your feedback so that I can narrow down exactly what it is that you’re looking for so that in the future I can only send you what. You will have buyers that really appreciate this. You’ll also have those buyers that think, I’m so in control now. I’m the best of all time. Now I’ve got somebody that I could just kind of rule over and do whatever I want to let them think that because when they wind up being on that list and they call you and say why I’m not getting these deals like it was before. That’s when you’re in a very professional way, say, Mr or Miss Buyer, I tried in the very beginning with you on a couple of deals but the time that you took to make a decision, the things that you focused on were not, in my opinion, what needs to be focused on. I send you these deals at a price that you stated in your criteria. But yet you wound up saying, I’ve got to find out how much you’re going to make on it, or I’ve got to send five contractors over there. You’re just not moving. I have an inspection period in these deals to where I have to know something within a certain time frame to be able to make a decision on whether or not I’m going to move forward on this property or I’m gonna let it go because I have this seller’s livelihood in my hands. I take that seriously, the same way that I take seriously providing you with the best deals I could possibly find for you and letting you make a decision on it. I need you to focus more on the deal, not the external factors that you’ve been focused on. So if we can move forward that way, I’ll be glad to send you more deals. The way that things have gone because I’m in this to make money, the same way that you are to keep my doors open, I have to focus on the best ways for me to do that. Any good business person that’s out there is going to appreciate that because they know they’re not wasting time on things that are not going to make them money. So when you do that, you’re going to find some that say, don’t ever call me again. The other buyers, you’re going to gain their respect because they’re going to think to themselves, I didn’t think that this person was really business savvy, but they just they just showed me exactly what they’re made of and I respect that. That’s what you’re looking for.
When you go in and you try to find these buyers, remember, you can do it for free. If you’re willing to spend some time and some effort on it, you can build these relationships, but you have to build them in a way that a lot of other people are not building. They have to be personal relationships with these buyers because if they’re not, you’re not going to have consistent buyers that you can rely on because somebody else is taking the time and making the effort to make that relationship with that buyer personal. I’m not saying being breast best friends with these buyers, but when they know that you’re making a concerted effort to help them, that you enjoy doing it, they’re going to hold out for you to see what you have. If they only have $100,000 left for this month or this quarter and somebody sends them a deal, you’ll be surprised how many of them call and say, Hey, do you have anything? If not, I just found the deal that I like but I wanted to give you an opportunity to tell me whether or not you had anything coming down your pipeline that I may be able to get from you instead of another wholesaler in the area.
When you’re doing this, don’t buy into the hype. Keep everything simple with these buyers. Let them know you’re here for them. You want to make their life easier. You’re willing to work. And when you do that, you’ll gain the respect of these buyers and you’ll have a consistent list or consistent relationships with enough buyers that you wind up getting to the point where it’s consistent enough that you’re making money every single month. You’re paying your bills on time. You maybe be able to quit your 9 to 5 job and do this full time. But this is the same thing that I’m going to tell you just about every single episode. It’s not necessarily about real estate. It’s about the relationships that you form, whether it’s sellers, buyer’s agents, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, you name it. It’s the relationships that you’re going to build that is going to determine how successful you are in this business. When you match a work ethic with relationship building, you will be successful.
With that, I’m going to draw this to a close. We do appreciate you listening to this episode. We will be back again next week for another episode. I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions please leave a comment and we will try to address them.