Using the Internet to Find Information on Motivated Sellers

There’s no getting around this one. If a property owner’s name and contact information are not in your hand, you can go no further until you get it. No matter how motivated the seller may be, until you connect, there’s no deal.
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There’s no getting around this one. If a property owner’s name and contact information are not in your hand, you can go no further until you get it. No matter how motivated the seller may be, until you connect, there’s no deal.

The Internet

The Internet is a great tool for locating people and information. As a real estate investor, it’s your greatest ally. Everything lives on the Internet, and even if it’s buried deeply, you can find the information you need—eventually.

Are you aware of what people can learn about you by searching the Internet? Google yourself sometime. You might be shocked to learn how easy it is to find personal facts and figures. Much of your private information, some dating back to your childhood, is there for public consumption. The definition of privacy has changed forever. However, what works against you will also work for you as a real estate investor seeking information on prospects.

Here’s how….

Because of the Internet and social media, locating distressed property owners (especially owners of vacant properties) has never been easier. To say that researching this type of information was, in the past, tedious would be an understatement. It was massively time consuming and frustrating before the Internet came along. Scouring old phone books, visiting libraries, checking in with city clerks and vigorous legwork were the prices we paid as investors.

Today’s real estate investors are fortunate as the business has changed considerably, thanks to the Internet. You can find contact information on just about anyone with the click of a mouse.

Where to Start

Once you come upon a vacant or distressed property, try to get as much information as possible. Talk to neighbors. Even bits and pieces will have value as they help you put a picture together. If after your own due diligence you reach a dead end, intensify your search. Use the information you have and Google by state or city to narrow your search. By doing this, you’ll eliminate huge numbers of false identities. You might go from thousands to hundreds—still a lot, but better.

For instance, if you have a name, Google it and the distressed property address at the same time. Any association between the two will come up, even if the person hasn’t lived at that address for years. The name and address together might be enough to make an online association. Take the new information and use it to narrow your search.

If you’re lucky, your exploration will lead to a current address and phone number, and if not, you might have a list of several phone numbers. At this point, it’s process of elimination. Don’t get too excited. You might discover that all of the phone numbers were previously linked to the individual, but none may lead to a connection. It happens. The good news is you’re still hot on the heels of a prospect so keep going.

 

The Internet is a great tool for locating people and information. As a real estate investor, it’s your greatest ally. Everything lives on the Internet, and even if it’s buried deeply, you can find the information you need—eventually.

Social Media

Facebook is a good place to initiate a social media search. Some people are very easy to locate, especially if you did a thorough job gathering bits and pieces of information at the onset of your investigation. It’s possible to begin and end your quest with Facebook. However, a social media search isn’t always as easy as you might think.

If in your initial search all you came up with was the property owner’s name, GOOD LUCK. You’ll learn just how huge the world is when you search for someone by name. For instance, in the US alone there are 1,635 people with the name Amy Lee. It’s worth the time and effort to go back to GO. You will not collect $200, but you’ll save hours and often days of research time.

There are many social media platforms and they’re continually refined. If a Facebook search leaves you emptyhanded, look for others. Once you locate a motivated seller, the process is easier to navigate. Subscribe to our blog to learn more about how you can grow a successful real estate investment business that will support the life you dream of living.

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