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Mastering Prospecting: Tips for New Real Estate Investors

Starting out in real estate can be tough. One of the most crucial aspects is figuring out how to get paid. Without income, you can’t sustain your business. So, it’s essential to prioritize activities that lead to closing deals.

Prioritize Getting Paid

When you’re new, the focus should be on getting paid. It’s the lifeline of your business. Without income, nothing else matters. The key to getting paid? Prospecting. You need to find those potential leads that can turn into lucrative deals.

Effective Prospecting Strategies

Here are a couple of critical prospecting strategies:

  • Driving for Dollars: This involves driving around neighborhoods to find distressed properties.
  • Water Shut-off Lists: This less-tapped resource can be a goldmine for potential leads.

Using Water Shut-off Lists

Water shut-off lists are a fantastic tool for finding properties in distress. Here’s how you can use them effectively:

  1. Open Records Request: Submit a request to your city’s government for a list of properties where the water has been shut off.
  2. Narrow Down The List: Focus on properties where the water was shut off in the last 30 days and those where it has been off for over a year without being turned back on.

Analyzing the Water Shut-off List

After obtaining the list, you need to analyze it to find valuable leads.

Properties with Water Shut-off in the Last 30 Days

This list can provide several types of potential leads:

  • Financial Issues: Homeowners who can’t afford to pay their water bill.
  • Vacant Homes: Houses vacated by owners who no longer live there.
  • Emergency Shut-offs: Properties with significant water leaks, leading owners to request shut-offs.
  • Recent Sales: Homes that have just been sold may not be solid leads but can still offer useful insights.

Properties with Water Shut-off for Over a Year

Properties where the water has been off for over a year are often abandoned. Here, you may find:

  • Absentee Owners: These are properties owned by someone not living there, often a sign of financial strain.
  • Foreclosed Properties: Homes that are no longer occupied might be in pre-foreclosure stages.

Refining Your List

Once you have your target lists, it’s time to refine them:

  • Eliminate Retail Sales: Remove properties that have been sold through retail channels.
  • Check the Central Appraisal District: Look for absentee owners by comparing the property address with the owner’s mailing address.

Converting Leads to Deals

With a refined list, you’re ready to take action. Here are the steps:

  1. Contact Sellers: Reach out to potential sellers through calls, emails, or direct mail.
  2. Evaluate the Property: Assess the property’s condition and the financial situation of the owner.
  3. Make Offers: Present offers to owners, focusing on solving their problems.

Conclusion

Getting paid should be your primary focus when starting in real estate. Prioritizing effective prospecting strategies, such as driving for dollars and utilizing water shut-off lists, can significantly increase your chances of closing deals. By diligently analyzing and refining your leads, you can identify distressed properties and convert them into lucrative opportunities. 

Remember, consistent effort in contacting sellers, evaluating properties, and making compelling offers is key to building a sustainable and successful real estate business.

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