The two short answers are: First, sit down with a seller and ask, “Why are you selling such a nice house like this?”
Next, meet regularly with other real estate investors and discuss land lording, along with creative deal structuring and financing techniques.
There’s nothing – nothing, nothing, nothing – that takes the place of simply meeting with a seller and finding out why they’re selling and what they need to get in order to sell. How do you do this? Try calling a seller whose home is advertised for sale in the newspaper, and then make an appointment to meet with her.
The method that works best for me is to knock on the door of everyone in our area who has a For Sale sign stuck in their yard. When the door opens, I say, “Hi, I’m Bill. I see your house is for sale. I’m looking for a home in this area. Would you mind telling me about yours?” After answering a couple of questions, eight out of ten homeowners invite me in. It’s simple as that.
Even if you’re green and don’t know what you’re doing – and none of us did when we started– every so often you’ll come across a homeowner who will beg you to take their house off their hands. When this happens, if you’re unsure of what to do next, partner with an experienced investor.
So where do you find experienced investors? Start attending your local real estate investors association (REIA) meetings.
For example, in the Atlanta area, in addition to our North Georgia REIA meetings, there’s Atlanta REIA, Georgia REIA and North Metro REIA. Also, Danny and Ann Williams have a south side REIA group that meets in Jonesboro, Georgia. Most of these groups charge a modest entrance fee that comes with a money-back guarantee.
What if there isn’t a REIA around you? Start one. “Start one? Who, me? But I don’t know anything about real estate investing.” you exclaim. So start one anyway. That’s what Kim and I did way back when.
In 1997, Kim and I lived in Canton, Georgia. We’d been investing for two years and had done a whopping twp deals. We were wet behind the ears. Problem was, Georgia REIA was the only investors group around, but their meetings were an hour away.
With little choice, we formed a group of like-minded investors and the group quickly grew to about 50 folks. We did the same thing again when we moved to Bartow County, Georgia. About 15 people attended our first meeting in 2002. By 2007, the group had grown to over 2,400 people. So I say again, if there isn’t a group around you, start your own group.
Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the second Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville, Georgia. For more info, go to REIoutpost.com.