In my conversation with David Corbaley, who is a Green Beret turned real estate investor, he explained to me that Craigslist is fastest way he knows how to find deals, and how he was able to leverage a 5-step process in order to jumpstart his business in a new market.
After moving to Scottsdale, Arizona, David tried to take what he called “the easy route” to find deals, which is conducting a direct mailing campaign in order to grab the low hanging fruit. Unfortunately, Scottsdale is an extremely hot market, so his mailing campaign resulted in zero leads. David actually knew that the mailing campaign would fail before he even did it, due to the fact that when he drove around the local neighborhoods, there wasn’t a single ‘”for sale” sign in sight.
This is actually a great was to gauge the relative status of a market without having to take a deep dive into the numbers. If you don’t see a lot of “for sale signs,” it is more likely to be a hot market, while the opposite likely means it is not.
As a result of the unsuccessful mailing campaign, David admitted that he was being lazy, and made the pivot to a more complex route that he knew he needed to take, which is to fire up his business from an online perspective and take a multi-pronged approach, which included 1) Setting up a website and a landing page in the area, 2) Google ad words, 3) search engine optimization (SEO), 4) creating local listings, and 5) Craigslist ad searches.
After pivoting and losing some time due to the failed mailing campaign, David was able to complete 2 deals in the 2 months since making the move to Scottsdale. When I asked him which of the five methods were the quickest, he unquestionably landed on Craigslist.
By following his 5-step approach to Craigslist ad searches, David virtually guarantees that you will find a deal within 1 week:
- Go to Craigslist
- Select whichever market you will be investing in
- Select “owner listings only” – get rid of the real estate agent listings – and only include properties that fit your investment criteria (ex. 3 bed, 2 bath in zip code 12345)
- Utilize search terms like “motivated,” “cash,” “fixer upper,” etc. – the resulting properties will certainly be owned by motivated sellers due based on the keywords they placed in their ads
- Pick up the phone and start dialing
It is that simple. Set a goal to call 5 to 10 per day, every single day, and by the end of the week, you will have a deal.
Before undertaking this process, tell yourself that it is going to suck while you are doing it. No one likes cold calling, but then again, how badly do you want a deal?
Are you afraid that you aren’t going to know what to say? Well, take the first day to make 5 to 10 practice calls. If you find a deal, great; but at the very least, you will have the practice and experience so that you will know what to say when making the calls for the week ahead.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.