It was the "Wild-West" days of real estate! The market had just cratered, real estate agents were dropping like flies, and the implosion of "liar-loans" was decimating neighborhoods. Looking back, I sure picked one heck of a time to start!
When you begin in and survive a market like this, buying properties at the right price becomes permanently stamped on your being. It is very similar to how many people who survived the Great Depression would always keep an overstocked pantry.
So even though I have been a full-time real estate investor for seven years and the market is thriving, I still diligently seek out opportunities that will be financially sound in any market. In other words, I only buy really good deals!
The key driver of my real estate success has been OFF-MARKET properties. Using proven systems, I have consistently generated exceptional opportunities often on properties I never would have known were even potentially available!
So let's look at three sources for off-market properties.
The first is working directly with homeowners. This is generally my preferred method and this is where I focus my marketing machine. It takes a little more effort but this is where you find those "once in a lifetime" deals. If you have a great system, you will find exceptional opportunities routinely.
The second is working with high-quality Wholesalers and Wholesale Brokerages. Here you have an entire group of people scouring the area looking for well-priced investor deals. Generally, they understand exactly what investors are looking for, how to estimate repairs, and what price an investor would pay for the property. So in addition to your own lead generation efforts, you have an opportunity to capitalize on the efforts of 10 or 20 other people as well.
Lastly, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, real estate agents can be a great source for off-market properties. You will often hear these properties referred to as "Pocket Listings." A property where the agent knows the owner has an interest in selling, but for whatever reason prefers the property not be listed "on the open market" yet. This is very common with commercial real estate. If you want to learn about these opportunities before they hit the market, you will definitely need to have developed a strong relationship with the agent.
Off-market properties have incredible potential and can really accelerate your real estate investing success. They are going to take a little more effort but the payoff is definitely worth it. In today's highly competitive property market, there is a tremendous advantage in being able to talk to potential sellers first!