Provided that you know what you’re doing, buying property and then selling it on for a higher price is a great way to earn a living. But if you aren’t able to effectively track down those undervalued, high-potential purchases, then your success will assuredly be limited.
When it comes to sourcing property, would-be investors have many different avenues to explore. Ideally, you’ll want to decide on just two or three of them, to avoid overcomplicating things and spreading your efforts too thinly.
Different sorts of purchase will require different skills. Select the few that you’re going to be good at: if you’re personable and charming, then making face-to-face contact on the doorstep might yield better results than a leafleting campaign.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the available sourcing options.
An estate agent is one of the main sources of property for most investors, and a great way to get started before you’ve developed other means of sourcing. Consequently, it’s worth fostering a healthy relationship with yours; the time investment you put into building bridges here is sure to pay off in terms of reduced stress in the long-run.
An estate agent will be able to provide an enormous amount of knowledge and experience, which may be especially useful if you’re just starting out sourcing property. If you secure yourself a good one, then you’ll be able to get the pick of all of the properties which come through the office. Naturally, they’re not going to offer their services for free – and so experienced investors might wish to cut costs by exploring other methods.
One reliable means of spreading the word is to print off a hundred thousand leaflets, each promising a quick purchase to the homeowner, and insert them into a hundred thousand letterboxes. You might adjust the scale of this operation, depending on how large an area you’d like to cover. Don’t spread yourself too thinly, and be sure to regularly distribute in the same area – even if you don’t secure a sale right away, you’ll establish yourself as a trustworthy brand, rather than a cowboy opportunist looking for a fast buck. Then, when someone does need to sell their home quickly, they’ll know who to call.
Buying in Leads from Other Deal Sourcers
If you don’t have the time or the skills to go out and hunt for leads, then you can always just pay other people to do it on your behalf. If you’ve set up a good relationship with other investors, they’ll be able to sell you information about leads they don’t have the capacity to follow up on. By working with other firms (and more likely, several of them) you’ll be able to outsource your sourcing entirely – and focus instead on capitalising on the leads you’re given.
Property auctions offer a good way to secure a bargain. Keep an eye out for undervalued, promising properties in areas where demand is likely to increase, purchase them and then sell them soon afterward for a near-instant profit.
Auctions should be handled with care, however. They carry an inherent risk, and even if you know exactly what you’re going there’s a chance you’ll get stung. The best approach is to set yourself a hard limit on how much you’re willing to spend. Remember, if you’re getting carried away, then you’ll probably be giving your money away unnecessarily; when you come to sell, on the other hand, you’ll be relying on your buyers getting a little bit overexcited!
If you don’t want to have to print a lot of leaflets, then you might try knocking on doors and talking to homeowners. This approach is very labour intensive, and might result in a lot of rejection and disinterest – but a small minority might want to hear your pitch.
By working with other people, you’ll be able to take advantage of their assets – whether those assets be deep pockets, or a skillset you lack. This might mean putting the word out indiscriminately over social media – but such an approach is probably unlikely to attract serious attention. A better one is through face-to-face networking with prospective contacts.
Networking is probably the most important skill to master as a property investor; if you’re comfortable developing a rapport with complete strangers, then you’ll have a far easier time looking for partners, and you’ll stand a better chance of sniffing out good deals when they arise.
Property meets take place regularly throughout the UK, attended almost entirely by people who are looking to meet new potential partners. Check whether there are any local to you, and make a point of regularly attending. You’ll also want to show your face wherever you’re likely to bump into the right people will be around. This generally means going to places where rich people congregate: pubs, bars, and sports clubs usually make for fertile hunting ground.
It’s possible to source property through a variety of different means. Selecting the few that your skills best match with and pursuing them will likely yield better results than opting for just one, or all of them. Once you’ve honed your approach to sourcing property sufficiently, you’ll be able to maintain a steady stream of new leads, picking out the most promising properties as you go along.
If you’re interested in learning more about property investment, then why not download our free guide to building wealth through property. It’s been written by investor and developer Andy Churchill, and is packed with real-world wisdom on sourcing and a host of related topics.
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