If you talk to any real estate investor right now, chances are the toughest part of their business is finding the deals. In such a hot seller’s market, there is tremendous value in getting off-market deals at a discounted price.
About a year ago, I published an article about how and why I created a deal funnel to source off-market leads in Oklahoma. To quickly summarize the article, I started the deal funnel because I wasn’t finding any deals on the MLS or through wholesalers, so I had to find a way to directly contact the owners of properties and encourage them to sell to me. I started by hiring a virtual assistant to cold call property owners and eventually started doing SMS (text) campaigns to message owners directly.
It’s been about 18 months since I took the initial steps to build the funnel, and I’m still learning, tweaking, and improving it every single day. We have used the funnel to source leads that have resulted in a successful flip and a BRRRR property that we’re almost finished with. We have also earned some revenue by collecting marketing fees paid by other investors who were interested in buying some of our leads.
One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is you must have excellent people on your team, otherwise, you will never be able to grow your business.
It all starts with Propstream. This is where we search for properties that fit our criteria within a given location and export the data.
We use Batch Leads and Skip Genie to skip trace the list of properties. This helps us locate the owners of properties and gives us phone numbers associated with the properties.
Next, we upload that list of numbers and properties into REIReply. REIReply is a CRM (customer relationship management) system that connects with another software system called Twilio which enables us to send text messages. Twilio is what gives us access to cellular networks. It only costs about $.02 to send one text message.
When I started using this system, I was doing 100% of it myself. I would pull the properties from propstream, skip trace them through batch leads, upload the campaigns to REIReply, build the campaigns within REIReply, and chat with all the owners to see who was motivated to sell. As you can imagine, this was very time-consuming for someone with a full-time job. I was preparing and running the campaigns in the morning before I went into work, and I would respond to property owners throughout the day when I had free time. I did get some leads this way, but as you can imagine this was not something I could do long-term and get serious results. I was only able to do 300 or so properties per week.
While fully immersing myself in the process allowed me to learn the ins and outs, after a couple of months of this, I realized that I had to outsource this task to allow me to spend my valuable time on other parts of the business. That’s what led me to seek out and eventually hire a great team of virtual assistants to do most of the work for me. I still pull the lists from Propstream, but the VA team runs the campaigns, screens the initial leads, and sends me the viable leads via email.
While this new system is more expensive than doing it myself, they are able to reach more leads with more reliable and prompt follow-up while I am focused on other revenue-generating activities including my full-time job. I’m generating many more leads than I was before while spending less overall time on the funnel, so it is money well spent.
You may be thinking, why would I pay the money and spend the time to create a deal funnel when I can just buy off the MLS or a wholesaler? My reasoning is, you’re going to pay a premium for acquiring properties one way or another. If you buy from a wholesaler, you’re paying extra for their time. If you buy off the MLS, you’re competing with other investors who might be able to pay more for the property than you can.
By getting in touch with the sellers directly, I can eliminate a lot of the competition, and cut out the middle man.
How are you finding deals today? Reach out to us on Instagram @honorandequity. We would love to hear from you!