When I first started in real estate investing, I was like a dog with a bone. I wanted it. And it didn’t hurt that I needed it, too. If this whole real estate investing thing didn’t pan out, I would be back to square one…again. Seriously, never underestimate the power of “NEED to” in getting the job—any job—done.
But even though that fire in my gut was burning big and bright, I still wasn’t 100% sure of anything. I understood the principles of real estate investing—I’d attended a weekend-long seminar with a friend and, after that, spent endless time reading and soaking up everything I could. Still, though, I was feeling a little shaky. Would people really give me this kind of cash to fix and flip a property? And what would I do if I actually got my hands on that kind of investment? What if I tanked? What if my properties didn’t sell? Every time I took a step forward, my self-doubt crept right back in and knocked me down a peg or two.
Clearly, I got over it—no spoiler alert there. Ultimately, what helped me get on track early on was having a few base hits under my belt. And those base hits came from building my cash buyer list and wholesaling like a boss.
Why You Need To Build Your Cash Buyer List
In my experience, lots of first time real estate investors have a similar story and a similar start. Instead of taking on the world—AKA the super hands-on fix and flips of the world—they kick off their investing career by wholesaling. It’s a great tactic because, at the very least, a few quick wholesale flips will help you build momentum and earn five or even six figures in the process. With those wins behind you, it’s easy to see a path and hop on, whether you wind up wholesaling, rehabbing or buying and holding going forward.
That said, don’t think wholesaling is a walk in the park. Just like anything else in this industry, successful wholesaling flips take time, energy, effort and, above all, a rock-solid cash buyer list at the ready. You don’t need banks or lenders and you don’t need contractors to get these deals done. But you do need a roster of ready, willing and able buyers who could—and very well might—plunk down tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash when there’s a great deal on the table. If you’ve got that, then you’ve got those first few wins all but locked up—and, if you continue to build your list, you’ve got endless potential as a wholesaler.
How To Build Your Cash Buyer List
But, again, it all starts with a cash buyer list. You can even start building your list before you’ve got a deal on the table. As you start flipping wholesale deals, more cash leads will naturally follow—they’ll approach you directly and you’ll find the best methods for building your cash buyer list in your marketplace. And the bigger and more robust your list gets, the faster and easier you’ll be able to flip any good deal that crosses your inbox. You’ll just fire off an email with the details and wait for the leads to come in. If your cash buyer list is strong, it can be as simple as that.
So how do you build a killer list like this? By scouting some familiar and, even, creative sources—essentially, go where the cash buyers are and look for leads…now.
#1. Get OUT
One of the best places to look for cash buyers for your list? Out in the world. Look online at resources like MeetUp and the National REIA (Real Estate Investor’s Association) website for local get-togethers and other industry networking events. Go to as many events as you can and don’t be shy—introduce yourself, hand out business cards and bring flyers or handouts that highlight your latest deals. You may even be able to sign up as a speaker or host for select events, giving you more visibility and enabling you to rub elbows with even more cash buyers, rehabbers and more.
#2. Scour MLS
If you’ve got an investor-friendly real estate agent in your court, tap them to help you with the heavy lifting here—though, really, it’s not that heavy.
By scouring recently sold properties in your market, you’ll be able to look for trends—specifically, the handful of names that appear over and over. Those are, more often than not, real estate investors. And if they’re the ones closing on the deals, chances are they’re cash buyers in the market to fix and flip or buy and hold. Once you’ve spotted them, don’t be afraid to track them down online and make an introduction. Most cash buyers are always on the hunt for great wholesalers who can help cut through the clutter and bring them the best deals fast.
And if you don’t have a real estate agent working with you just yet? Stop what you’re doing and find one. While it’s possible you’ll stumble on a good deal or two on your own, a smart, strategic real estate agent will know the ins and outs of your market in a big way and be able to steer you towards the best of the best—often before it hits MLS.
#3. Post An Ad Or Two (or 10…)
Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, Facebook ads, Google AdWords—there are countless low-cost outlets you can leverage to advertise your business and your upcoming flips. Test out a platform or two, adjusting ads daily to see what works and what doesn’t. There’s a lot of transparency with all of these platforms, so it’s easy to see what’s driving business and what’s falling short. In some cases, you’ll only pay for clicks or conversions—Facebook ads and AdWords are all pay-per-click (PPC), meaning you won’t pay for impressions that don’t drive traffic.
#4. Tap Your Network
One of the best ways to build your cash buyer list? Just ask. Chances are the people in your real estate investing inner circle—your real estate agent, attorney, CPA and title agents, for starters—know at least a few cash buyers. If they can’t make the connection, it’s a win, win, win—you get a great prospect on your list, their contact gets a great wholesaler on the roster, and they walk away looking like a total pro just for putting two and two together.
Building your cash buyer list is critical to getting your wholesaling business off the ground—which, in many cases, is critical to getting your real estate investing career up and running. Start building your list ASAP, even before you strike out on your own. The bigger, the better in the beginning, so keep your head down and stay laser-focused on getting those cash buyers on your contact list.
These are just four of the simplest ways to start building your list—trust me, there are tons more where this came from. We’ll unpack them all at the next session of the Nick Vertucci Real Estate Academy (NVREA). Check out my site to see when we’re enrolling next, then get ready to dig in. You’ll walk away with the tools you need to start fleshing out your list fast—and make some serious cash as a result. See you there.