“I will always choose a lazy man to do a hard job because a lazy man will find an easy way to do it.”
– Bill Gates (maybe)
The first thing a lazy man does when writing a blog post is start out with a famous quote.
Unfortunately, according to Quote Investigator, Bill Gates never said, “I will always choose a lazy many to do a hard job because a lazy man will find an easy way to do it.” Neither did Walter Chrysler, Frank Gilbreth Sr. or Clarence Bleicher.
If you have no idea who these other men are, well, neither did I until I did a little research on Bill Gates’ misquoted quote for this post.
Maybe I’m not so lazy after all.
Finding Fix and Flip Deals the Hard Way
Spend any time studying how to fix and flip houses? Then you’re probably aware of the various methods REI clubs and gurus teach to find distressed property sellers.
There are thousands of books, blog posts and courses devoted to the subject.
Most of these methods require you obtain some sort of list (i.e. foreclosures, out of state property owners, probate, non-owner occupied properties). The next step is to send letters to the people on these lists. These letters, usually yellow, are pre-printed with your own handwriting so they look folksy and original.
Of course, there are other ways to find distressed property leads.
If you don’t mind breaking the law (in most cities) you can put up bandit signs that say “We Buy Houses” on busy street corners.
And if you’re really motivated you can print out a foreclosure list and go door knocking. I spent my first two years in the real estate business approaching homeowners in foreclosure at their front door. Almost every weekend from 2003-2004 I traversed the greater-Phoenix area and did about 40 deals just by meeting the distressed property owner face to face.
Deal Sources for Lazy Fix and Flip Investors
But here’s the problem with all of these strategies…
They’re hard. Well, they’re hard for me. In order to be a successful distressed property buyer you must be consistent, persistent, patient, kind, a good listener, aggressive, and have impeccable timing. Basically, you’re a traveling salesman (or woman).
The truth is many of these skills don’t come naturally to me, and may not to you either.
Rather than do something you’re not good at, and don’t enjoy, focus on your strengths. My strength is finding people, and stuff (i.e. information, products, systems, properties).
To learn more about how to find the right people for your fix and team check out this post.
So in 2009, I gave up on all the guerilla-marketing strategies and built a team of people (sources) for distressed property deals. They are:
I have a massive amount of respect for wholesalers. They’re the salesmen and women that do the work I’m not good at, and don’t enjoy.
Where do you find wholesalers? They’re all around you. Go online, search your area and sign up for their buyer’s lists. Buy them coffee, take them to lunch, get to know them and start building a relationship.
Just keep in mind you’ll have to sift through a lot of bad deals to find a diamond in the rough.
In order to get Realtors calling you with distressed property deals you need to be a problem solver, decisive, and someone that can follow through. This means having the cash to close quickly. Most of the Realtors we work with call me because they know I don’t ask a lot of questions and can offer their clients a swift solution to their problems.
The Realtors that feed us fix and flip projects do so because they trust us. If a Realtor brings us a deal we always re-list the property with him or her, so they get paid on both sales (the sale from the distressed seller to us and the sale from us to the retail buyer).
Although this doesn’t happen very often, occasionally a distressed property will fall into our laps from one of our coaching students, contractors or family members. These deals are like pennies from Heaven. But, you can’t count on them.
That said, send a clear message out to everyone you know that you’re a distressed property buyer looking for deals.
69th Drive – Peoria “Lipstick on a Pig” Rehab
Watch the video below. A Realtor we work with brought us this fix and flip deal. It’s a tract home, built in 1998 and needs a major modern makeover.
It took us 12 hours to respond to the seller and make an offer. And a week later we closed. That sure beats bandit signs and banging on doors.