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If you asked every real estate investor and entrepreneur in the nation what their biggest challenge is, an overwhelming majority would likely say they struggle the most to consistently source deals.

It’s what keeps investors lining up to attend seminars, boot camps, and monthly REIA meetings. We’re all searching for the holy grail of marketing that will finally produce consistent, profitable deals and get us to the next level of our business.

There are several marketing methods that investors use, and each one has given success at one time or another.

But you want to start generating leads now!

We get it. But unfortunately, there is no magic bullet when it comes to marketing for off-market real estate deals. What works for an investor in one market may not be as successful for you, and vice versa.

However, we’ve laid out the most common marketing strategies for sourcing deals, along with tips for success in this article. This outline will provide the framework to find the technique that works best for you.

The investors that become successful marketers are those that take action and adapt until they see results. Whether you’re looking to wholesale, buy rentals, or fix and flip houses, these strategies will give you the tools to start consistently bringing in profitable deals!

Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing involves sending mail, usually postcards or letters, to homeowners to let them know you are interested in buying their house.

Mailboxes in various stages of disrepair.
Direct mail is likely the most common form of marketing among real estate entrepreneurs. Why? Because anyone can generate a list of potential motivated sellers and have postcards printed and mailed to them. Many real estate investing software even handles the entire process for you, from generating lists to mailing postcards.

The key to success with direct mail marketing is being unique. If you are in a market that is saturated with investors, it will likely be challenging to rise above the noise.

Because many other investors are sending out mail, you need to do something that will set you apart. This could include the design or messaging of your mail pieces or the lists that you send them to. If you can find a pocket of motivated sellers that other investors are not marketing to, you will instantly have a leg up on the competition!

Perhaps you have a specific area or neighborhood you want to invest in. If so, the USPS offers a service that allows you to send mail to every home within a selected area. They even allow you to filter your list using demographic information from U.S. Census data. Although this approach is not as targeted as other mailing lists, if you cover a large enough area, it is likely that someone will be looking to sell their house.

Cold Calling & Text Messaging

Maybe direct mail is a little too old school for you. After all, it takes several days to have postcards printed and then finally get delivered to your recipients. If that’s the case, cold calling and text messaging might be more your style.

Just beware. People who aren’t interested in selling their houses will just simply throw your postcards away. If you get them on the phone, some will tell you they’re not interested in colorful language.

Nevertheless, many real estate entrepreneurs have significant success using this marketing strategy to find off-market real estate deals.

It is essential to be consistent when cold calling potential sellers. This strategy is all about the statistics. If you reach out to enough people, you will eventually find the ones who need to sell their house.

If you are serious about this marketing technique, you should consider investing in a solid CRM system. This tool will help keep track of all of your contacts and conversation histories. When sending out text messages, you can even set automations that trigger different events based on how the recipient responds.

Driving for Dollars

This method goes hand-in-hand with the two strategies above. Driving for dollars involves driving around areas you are looking to invest in and taking note of houses that appear to be distressed. Instead of reaching out to computer-generated lists, you will be reaching out to owners of homes you know are in disrepair.

The benefit of driving for dollars is that you can find off-market real estate deals in distressed situations before they show up on any motivated seller list.

A distressed home with peeling paint and roof damage, which might be a great opportunity for a real estate investor.
To get started, you should choose an area you want to invest in and begin methodically driving through each neighborhood, taking note of each house that looks vacant or distressed. Here are some signs you should be looking for:

  • Tall grass and overgrown vegetation
  • Damaged siding/roof
  • No vehicles
  • No personal items
  • Broken windows

Once you generate a sizeable list, it’s time to contact the owners. If you plan to send them a postcard, most real estate investing software will allow you to find their home address. If you want to call them, you can run a skip trace to find their phone number.

Working with Local Real Estate Professionals

Fund That Flip employees and clients at a golf tournament.Networking is often overlooked as a marketing strategy. But the more people who know what you do, the more business they can send your way. Here is a list of professionals you should be building relationships with and how they can help you.

  • Real estate agents: Have clients that need to sell fast or have homes in disrepair
  • Property managers: Can refer tired landlords to you
  • Home inspectors: Often inspect homes with issues that cause the buyer to back out
  • Contractors: Work on homes that need major repairs

The key to building beneficial relationships with these professionals is to think about how you can help them in return. For example, if a real estate agent refers a good deal to you, you can list the house with them after fixing it up. Letting people know you intend to make your relationship mutually beneficial will make them much more willing to work with you.


The trouble with most of the marketing methods already mentioned is that even if all of the signs are there that would indicate someone needs to sell their house, sometimes they still aren’t interested in selling.

What if instead of you reaching out to people who may or may not want to sell their house, the ones that did reached out to you? That is the purpose of SEO and PPC marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for real estate investors involves building a website that ranks on Google search pages for the keywords motivated sellers search for. Some of these keywords are “sell my house” and “we buy houses.”

One of the primary benefits of SEO is that most people who reach out to you are at least somewhat motivated to sell their house, because they took the initiative to find you. Also, once you begin ranking on Google, the leads you receive through SEO are free.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO. With PPC, instead of waiting to rank organically on Google, you can pay to be placed in the ad space at the top of search queries for the terms you want to target. Since it can take a while to rank using SEO, PPC is a great way to bring in leads during that waiting period.

It’s Time To Start Finding Great Deals!

This has been an overview of the marketing methods that the most successful real estate investors use to fill their pipeline with profitable deals.

The key to successfully finding off-market real estate deals is taking action. You won’t know what works for you until you start developing strategies and tracking results.

Some investors have great success using cold calling and text messaging, while others rely solely on SEO. Once you find what works best for you, you can double down on that strategy and perfect it.

There is an abundance of homeowners out there who need your help. It’s up to you to find them!

Get fast, reliable funding when you find that next deal. Apply today, and get a loan commitment within 24 hours, pre-approved up to $5M so you can make a winning bid!

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Jordan Fulmer is the owner of Momentum Property Solutions, a house-buying company in Huntsville, AL. They specialize in buying houses in tough situations and renovating them to either sell or rent. Jordan also runs the SEO side of their business and regularly writes content about real estate investing, home improvement, SEO, and general real estate topics.

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