Finding Apartment Buildings Free/Low Cost Marketing Methods How To's Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings

Door Knocking to Find Apartment Buildings for Sale

So yesterday I actually went door knocking to find apartment buildings for sale. Crazy eh? 🙂

See here’s the deal…I’m a very in-person type of person so I like actually dealing with folks and talking to them but more importantly the apartment buildings for sale from loopnet SUCK! And yes, I knew they would because they are on the internet, duh, but its just frustrating. Because of this we’re really trying to concentrate on our direct mail campaign for apartment buildings and now, as of yesterday, I’m going to add door knocking into the mix.

Kathy had to head to the airport (AGAIN) for work yesterday so after we ate lunch I went hunting for apartment buildings so I could find out if they were interested in selling. I was in a different area from where I live because we were filling out atm’s and after Kathy left I also went into a couple of businesses to see if we could place an atm there (I’ll post about that in a new post.)

But since I didn’t want to visit restaurants and stuff at lunch time, I went apartment hunting. The good news was, I wasn’t even nervous going into talk to folks. Most of the time I knew I’d run into a manager or someone like that but I know there are some owners that are really hands on and self-manage so I was hoping I may get lucky.

I must have went into about hmmmm anywhere from 7 to 10 apartment buildings yesterday. The first one no one was in the office. But I took their flyer that had info about the apartments on them plus it had the buildings main address. The idea there was to a) get to know the rents really well in the area and b) look up the apartment building address in public records and add the owner to our direct mail list.

So a few places that I went to didn’t have anyone there. Just took down phone numbers and addresses. I went to one place that they weren’t there but they answered the intercom (weird lol) Anyway, I said to the gentleman “I was wondering if the owner of the building was interested in selling?”

The guy said “I think everyone’s always interested in selling, it’s just a matter of getting the right price.”

So I said “well how can I get in touch with the owner to determine what that right price is?”

He said “you get to the owner through me. I represent him and I’ll get in touch with him. The right price for him I know is somewhere between 3.5 million and 4 million.”

I said “Ok perfect. Now how many units are here?”

He said “60. Tell you what, fax me some information on your company and we’ll go from there, but you have the right price for now.”

I reconfirmed “Ok 60 units for 3.5 million to 4 million. Great. What’s your name and fax number?”

He gave it to me. Now, my new dilemma is ummm what the hell do I send him about my company? lmao

I think I’m going to ask Chris (Chrisbuysapartments) and see if he knows 🙂 Oh and this place…has some definite deferred maintenance and is in a B/C areas I’d say. I’m not completely sure about my B and C areas. I know how to classify the A and D areas, but the B and C areas for some reason I think are a lil trickier.

I went to a few more places to see if I could find other apartment buildings for sale. No such luck. Talked to managers, etc. But believe me, those managers aren’t going to deter me. Because I don’t really believe them all of the time. a) I find it hard to believe that they know exactly what is going on in the owners life all the time and if they REALLY want to sell or not and b) I really don’t believe that they’ll tell me the truth because they may think if I buy the building I will get new management and they’ll be out of a job.

So every apartment building that I went into to see if it was for sale, when I dealt with a management person I just wrote down information and came back home to add the apartment building to my direct mail list for apartment buildings to buy.

Oh I did find a management company that actually owned a lot of apartment buildings. Mental note: don’t hire them to manage anything cuz they’d be my competition.

I found yesterday to be fun and exciting. Mostly because if I have to go to 10 places to find 1 apartment building for sale that NO ONE ELSE KNOWS ABOUT because it’s not listed with a commercial broker and it’s not up on loopnet or anywhere else, well I think it’s a strategy worth implementing, don’t you?

I didn’t get as much computer research work done when I got home because my computer battery/charger thingy just died. And my battery on computer needed to be charged. Was going to get a new one today but oddly enough it’s working today. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

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Commercial Real Estate Brokers Direct Marketing Campaign Finding Apartment Buildings How To's Listed Properties Real Estate Marketing

Direct Mail List to Buy Apartment Buildings

So you know I’m working on my direct mail list to buy apartment buildings. Right? Well my first direct mail list, where I did sent out the first batch of mailings, as it turns out I screwed up the list. One of the counties that I was looking in broke down the apartments in 5+ units….sooo of course, my luck, all of the smaller peeps were calling me back and Kathy and I are looking for minimum 40+ unit on our first deal.

Anywho, while checking out Loopnet last night I came up with an awesome idea to build my direct mail list to buy apartment buildings.

I don’t know how many of you have ever checked out commercial properties to buy and looked at any of their listings. But the better brokers when they list these properties have a pretty decent sized information packet which contains tonssss of information. I mean they’ll have the actual income and expense figures, proforma income and expense figures, demographic information, job information including the top employers in the area, rent rolls, etc. etc.

But another thing that they have is Rental Comparisons. So what they do is they have the subject property (the apartment building for sale) listed with it’s unit mix, square footage, occupancy and rents. Then they show a bunch of other apartment buildings around the subject property with their unit mix, square footage, occupancy and rents too. I’ve been reading this information for a few months now but last night it dawned on me…ya know an “aha” moment lol that I should add those comps to my mailing list! I mean they give me the property, the address and their occupancy. I figure the ones with lower occupancies should go at the top of my direct mail list to buy apartment buildings, wouldn’t you agree?

P.S. My adsense is on my nerves. It keeps showing ummm I don’t want to say the word to give it more reason to show more of those ads but don’t they know that the majority of this blog is about real estate and investing and not ummm d e n t a l work! Am I the only one whose noticed that? It’s driving me crazy lol Maybe I should just make a post that just says real estate, real estate investing, apartment buildings, commercial real estate investing, etc. 🙂

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Goals and Planning How To's

Will It Help Your Real Estate Business Be Successful?

I was catching up on all of the real estate blogs that I read; since I wasn’t able to do so while in the hospital and there was actually a comment left on one of the posts that really gave me an aha moment.

The post came courtesy of Scott from Struggling Investor and it was about doing “busy work.” In other words, instead of doing tasks that can really help you succeed in your core business you do a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that. Ya know, busy work? We’ve all done it and I know I’m a master at it as well.

I was reading through the comments on the post and I found a comment from bilgefisher (I think his real name is Jason.) Anyway, here was bilgefisher’s comment to Scott’s “The Wrong Kind of Busy” post:

“Its good to reflect on use of time. On your to do list, highlight everything that directly affects your success in RE. If it doesn’t then either cross it out or do it after all other items are done. Has helped me a bunch lately.”

Now when I read that I was like OMG what an awesome friggin idea. It is sooo simple, yet I think it’s so powerful. All ya have to do is look at your list and if what’s on there does not directly affect your success in your real estate business (or any business that you partake in) then get if off of your to-do list! Brilliant, don’t ya think?

I’m the type who works best with the notebook and pen type of to-do lists and last night when I wrote up my to do list I wrote the date and then directly under the date I wrote: Will this directly help me be successful in my real estate or atm business?

And that’s the question I asked myself prior to putting anything on my to-do list. I think it’s an awesome tip and I want to thank Scott for putting himself out there with his “busy work” post and most importantly I want to thank bilgefisher for his wonderful and insightful comment.

So, imo, in order to make your to-do list more effective, ask yourself if what you’re putting on there will directly affect the success in your business. And if you put something on your list and you can’t honestly see how it will help you be more successful in your business then GET IT OFF OF YOUR LIST!

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Direct Marketing Campaign How To's Multi-Units/Apartment Buildings

Direct Mail Lists – Where To Get Them?

Wondering where to get your direct mail lists for your real estate direct mail campaigns? Well there’s all kinds of places you can get direct mail lists from and we’ll explore them. Plus, I’ll let you know where I got my direct mail list from for my current direct mail campaign to apartment owners.

I want you to keep in mind that depending on the focus of your business you may have more than 1 direct mail list depending on who you are targeting and why? Perhaps you target pre-foreclosures one week and maybe probates another month, etc. I don’t know what your individual direct mail campaign needs are, only you do. But there are many ways you can find direct mail lists regardless of what area of real estate investing you are interested in.

List Brokers – you can literally look in the yellow pages under list brokers or mailing lists. I’m talking about your physical yellow pages book (do ya’ll still get one of those? lol) or you could very well go to Yellow Pages online as well. These types of direct mail lists you will have to pay for, of course. Sometimes, you may be able to negotiate a free batch just to test the vendor and make sure that their list is current.

Online List Brokers – Gosh you could go to google and type in direct mail lists for real estate or just direct mail lists and a whole bunch of services will come up. I’ve used and there are places like and all kinds of places you can check out. You will have to pay for these services and the prices vary from vendor to vendor.

Tax Assessor’s Office – taxes suck! But the cool thing about taxes is that somebody has to pay them on a property and the tax assessor’s office needs to send them the bill for them to pay! Sooo, they’ll have the address of where the tax bill will go for a particular property. Now you may be able to get this information for free, you may be able to go in person and get the information and you may very well be able to look on your tax assessor’s website for the info if they have one.

Prothonotary’s Office – I’ve gone to this office for pre-foreclosures plenty of times. At the Chester County courthouse in my area, they have the information written down in a notebook and you have to physically take this notebook over to one of their computers to get more detailed information. It’s a lot of work, but ya know what? The information is free! Perhaps you could pay someone to do it once you know how to do it, or perhaps you’re low on funds so this would be a perfect way for you to build your direct mail lists.

Register of Wills – I’ve gone to this office in my county courthouse several times to dig up leads to add to my probate direct mail list. Again, you’ll have to physically go through folders and there are a lot! But you go through them and write down the information of the ones that have property that you want to mail to their heirs. You also could learn how to do this and then pay someone else to do it or if money is tight, it’s a great way to get these direct mail lists for free. Your only expense would be your time. Keep in mind I’m talking about MY county courthouses here. Whether you’ll have to pay a fee or not for your area you won’t know until you go down to the offices or call. Also, in different areas the offices may be called different things then what they are called in my area. I’d say to start out at the offices that I mention but if they don’t have what you’re looking for, ask the folks at the court house where you can find the information you’re looking for.

Other Government Websites – the Tax Assessor’s Office can be included here too, but I like to keep them separate. When I talk about government websites I’m really referring to your local and county government. In certain areas you can log onto county websites and get very useful information for your direct mail lists. For instance, in Montgomery County in my area, you can log onto their county website and log into the courts website and search for certain type of filings i.e. foreclosures, etc.

If you don’t know what section of the government website will have useful information for your direct mail lists then you could just mess around on the website by trial and error or you could actually call up the tax assessor’s office, the prothonotary’s office, register of wills, etc. etc. and when you get someone on the phone tell them what you are looking for and ask them if this information is available online. Keep in mind, some county websites may make you pay for this access but a lot will not. 🙂

Public Records from the MLS – I am a licensed real estate agent in Pennsylvania and because of this I pay for MLS access. This is the multiple listing service for those of you that didn’t know (this is where all of the real estate agents list their properties for sale and other agents look what’s available there for their buyers.) Now the part of the MLS that I use for my direct mail lists is the public records section. I can literally search for any types of properties, I can put a certain time frame for settlement dates; for instance let’s say I want apartment owners that have owned their properties for longer than 15 yrs. I can just input the dates, or I can just look for out of area owners, etc. There’s all kinds of way to use this data and it’s free (well not exactly, it comes with the cost of the MLS fees.) Then the beauty of it is that after I get my records together that I want to be on my direct mail lists then I can export them as a csv file or excel file right from the public records section. It’s super easy (well once you learn how to do it, of course. The first time I tried to figure it out it was a pain in the ass!)

MLS – You can also just use the MLS in general without getting into the public records. Perhaps, you want to add expired listings to your direct mail lists. Or maybe you want to have a direct mail list that you mail to property owners whose places have been listed for 60 days, 90 days or more. It’s up to you what you want your criteria to be. Now, of course, if you’re not a licensed agent, you’re going to have to hook with one that will let you utilize their MLS or you can look into becoming an assistant for an agent so you can get MLS access.

Real Estate Investors Associations – If you belong to your local reia (and I think you should belong) then sometimes you’ll find folks within the group that are selling lists for you to use with your direct mail lists. They most likely pay folks to go to the courthouse for them and gather the list and then they put it in a file and sell it to you. So again, this will cost you some money as well. You may be able to negotiate a free batch of these to ensure that the leads are current (and you’ll have to cross reference the list you get at the court house to make sure they are current.)

So there’s a bunch of ways you can build your direct mail lists. Personally, I’ve used every method up there except the list brokers in the yellow pages and I never went to the tax assessor’s office either. Every other method above I have used. My favorite is public records from the MLS. That’s how I developed my apartment owners direct mail list for my current use.

When you’re getting your list from someone other than you physically going down to your courthouse or local government office and getting the information be sure that the lists you receive are current. There’s nothing like old, outdated direct mail lists that a billion other investors have already mailed too. That’s just a waste of money.

Oh and I wanted to add one more thing…for you real estate investors that are real estate agents, perhaps you can create your direct mail lists and send them out one week as a real estate investor and perhaps the next couple weeks as a real estate agent? It’s a great way to get listings! Of course, if you’re like me, you don’t really concentrate on that side of the real estate world, but hey, you have your license so you’re qualified to do it (just make sure you meet your states advertising criteria for real estate agents.)

If you have anymore ideas for developing your direct mail lists, please tell us! The more options folks have the better.

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How To's Passive Income

How to Buy an ATM Cash Machine

Here’s a new ehow article I wrote called How to Buy an ATM Cash Machine:

Buy an ATM cash machine and you’ll have an endless supply of passive income for the rest of your life.

Banks aren’t the only ones who own ATM cash machines….people just like you and me can own them too and I’m going to show you how!

1) Before buying or leasing an ATM cash machine you’re going to want to find a location to put one. I’m going to assume that you don’t own your own store (if you do, awesome, you can put the machine in your store!)

You’ll want to look for high traffic locations. Location is the key to a profitable ATM business.

Some awesome atm placement spots are convenience stores, pizza shops, bars, restaurants, etc.

You can finish the article How to Buy an ATM Cash Machine here.

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How To's Passive Income

How to Pay Yourself First and Create Massive Wealth

Here’s a new ehow article I wrote about How to Pay Yourself First and Create Massive Wealth.

Pay yourself first is not something that we all hear, but you need to listen to this advice if you ever want to have a chance of creating any wealth.

You should pay yourself first before you pay any other expense that you have in your life. And yes, I’m serious.

1) In order to pay yourself first; it works much easily if you go to your current bank and open an extra account for yourself. If your bank let’s you name your accounts you can call this your Pay Yourself First account or your Wealth account.

Read the rest of How to Pay Yourself First and Create Massive Wealth here.

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Finding REO Deals How To's

How to Buy Foreclosure Properties for Sale

Here’s a new ehow article I wrote about How to Buy Foreclosure Properties for Sale.

Learn how to buy foreclosure properties for sale and you will explode your wealth and increase your net worth dramatically.
I’ll show you where you can buy foreclosure properties for sale and give you some insight into this profitable world.

Step 1: Find a local REO (real estate owned) real estate agent in your area to locate foreclosure properties for sale. REO means it’s a bank owned foreclosure property, which means it already went through the foreclosure process, the old homeowners are out of the house and the bank now owns it again. REO real estate agents are very experienced and can help you with the process of buying foreclosure properties.

To read the rest of the article check it out: How to Buy Foreclosure Properties For Sale

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How To's Wholesaling

How to wholesale properties

Check out my ehow article on how to wholesale properties. Let me know what you think of it? Is it ok or does it suck? It’s a simple 11 step process on how to do it.

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Closing Your Deals How To's Must Read Posts Real Estate Investing

How to Sell Your House Quickly – Part 4

Yes! You have found a buyer who wants to write up an agreement on your house. Let’s see what you do now.

When You Find A Qualified Buyer
After you find a qualified buyer you want to write up an agreement of sale. I’m going to assume that you don’t know anything about an agreement of sale or about how to fill one out. With that in mind, my advice is to then NOT DO IT.

    You should have a competent real estate attorney that you use to help you draw up an agreement of sale and that helps you with all of the rules and laws associated with selling your house (like fair housing laws, seller disclosure forms, etc.) The real estate attorney can even do the closing for you and your buyer (they will take care of EVERYTHING associated with getting your transaction done and getting you your check in your hand.)
    To find a competent real estate attorney in your area you should ask other investors who they use. Also, it doesn’t hurt to call local real estate agents to see who they may recommend.
    If you know how to fill out an agreement of sale then you should have a title company that you want to work with to get your transaction to the closing table and get your check in your hand. They can help you with any questions that you may have, but they may not be permitted to give you legal advice in regards to rules and laws regarding selling your house, but ask, because a lot of them have real estate lawyers within their company that will be happy to help.
    If you don’t have a title company that you use yet or that you feel comfortable with then you can find one by asking other local investors who they use. You can also join a local real estate investing group and ask the folks there who they use, a lot of times there will be title companies and real estate attorneys there trying to market their services. But if all else fails, you might want to find the local REO agent in your area and find out if they know of any investor friendly title companies.

Now take your big check to the bank baby and you can now say “I can save tons of money on commissions because I can sell my house myself!”

I hope you’ve learned something from this 4 part series. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here.

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How To's Must Read Posts Real Estate Investing

How to Sell Your House Quickly – Part 3

When you implement the marketing strategies from part 2 of this How to Sell Your House Quickly series your phone should be ringing off the hook. Now it’s time to just handle the calls.

When You Get The Calls Coming In
A lot of folks are just gonna wanna know the price at first if you don’t have it listed already. Then they may want to set up an appointment to check the house out. If you’re not careful you could be wasting A LOT of time. Here’s what I do:

    First I tell interested folks to do a drive-by of the house. If they like it after driving by I tell them to call me back to set up an appointment.
    If they call me back to set up an appointment I ask them if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. If they say yes, I inform them that they must send me their pre-approval letter before I will set up an appointment to show them the inside of the home (be nice about this, not rude.)

    If they say no, then I tell them that they must be pre-approved before I will set up an appointment to show the inside of the home. I generally will refer them to a mortgage person or a small, local bank that I use. (You should do the same. Hook yourself up with a small, local bank in your area that will get people pre-approved to buy your house. You can do this with a mortgage person too, if you have one in mind.)

    Now if you’re wholesaling and looking for cash sales then you can ask them if they are cash buyers. If they say yes, ask them if they have proof of funds? If they are a real deal cash buyer they will have no problems answering your question about proof of funds and they will have no issues faxing you such proof. If they are a newbie or someone with no money they will give you attitude when you ask for proof of funds. Trust me on this..don’t waste your time with folks who don’t have the funds to close your deal.

    If they pass all of the above then you will set up an appointment. PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS. These are strangers that you are letting into your home. Always have more than one adult home when having showings and it’s a good idea to have a sign-in sheet for folks to sign and you should make them even show their driver’s license or some form of i.d. I know that you may feel uneasy asking this stuff, but it’s for your own protection.

    Word of Caution: If you ever, ever feel uneasy about someone that you are talking to on the phone, do not, under any circumstances let them into your home, especially when you are alone. Women..use that women’s intuition that you have. Fellas, use that gut feeling that you can get.
    (This is probably the scariest part about selling your house yourself, in my opinion.)

    If folks are interested in your house then write up an agreement with them! (we’ll get into that in a few.)
    If they aren’t interested, ask them if they could give you some feedback so that you can improve your chances of selling your home. Tell them to be honest as you won’t be upset or take anything personally (and hold true to that!)

Ok so moving right along…now you have a buyer. What do you do now? We’ll go over that in the final part of the series How to Sell Your House Quickly.

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