Finding Deals by Spending Little to No Money – The Difference Between Prospecting, Marketing, and Networking

Finding Deals by Spending Little to No Money – The Difference Between Prospecting, Marketing, and Networking

There are essentially three ways to find deals: prospecting, marketing, and networking. Prospecting involves searching for opportunities. It is a thorough examination of neighborhoods, pre-foreclosure and foreclosure lists, websites, and For Sale signs. Marketing is attracting the attention of potential sellers through signs, flyers, direct mail, social media ads, and newspaper ads. Networking is building relationships with people who can help you find potential sellers.

So, prospecting is about searching, marketing is about attracting, and networking is about connecting. Prospecting and networking have low costs in terms of money spent, yet they do involve an investment of time. Marketing has a high cost in terms of money, yet it can dramatically expand your reach. If you are new to investing or are working with a tight budget, focus on prospecting and networking.

Prospecting involves walking, jogging, or driving around your neighborhood or a target neighborhood. Are there For Sale By Owner signs or houses falling into disrepair? Make contact with the owner of the property, whether by knocking on the door, calling them, or sending them something in the mail. Prospecting also involves searching the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) online or a website fed by the MLS. Prospecting likewise involves searching the foreclosure list online or perhaps in a local newspaper.

Networking involves connecting with people, most notably those who are in professions or locations that make them more likely to come across motivated sellers. These professions include lawyers, real estate agents, fellow investors, accountants, mortgage lenders, bankers, builders, courthouse employees, home inspectors, contractors, appraisers, and neighbors. Networking can be accelerated by attending investor and business events, as the room is already filled with a variety of people interested in meeting others.

You can also network on a one-to-one basis. A tip is to ask a friend who they know that is a great lawyer, and then have your friend call the lawyer to tell them to take a meeting with you. At the meeting, offer to refer business to the lawyer and then ask him or her for a referral to a great real estate agent. Ask the lawyer to call the agent to tell them to take a meeting with you. At the meeting with the agent, ask them to refer you to a great accountant. You get the picture. You can go from person to person with warm introductions connecting you all along the way.

As you build your wealth, it can make sense to increase your marketing to scale your business. The major players typically spend lots of money on marketing, and they generate a lot more calls from potential sellers. However, they’ve earned the right to do that by first building success through prospecting and networking.

The wealthiest investors create what is known as “deal flow.” They generate tons of leads, and they analyze which leads have the most potential. They have more opportunities to make offers on the promising leads. Ultimately that leads to more lucrative deals.. It’s all a numbers game – one that you can win with hard work and focus.

Tai DeSa is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He became a full-time real estate investor in 2004 after serving in the U.S. Navy.  Tai has made colossal mistakes in investing (and learned some things along the way).  He has owned over 200 properties with various investment partners, and he has been involved in over 200 more transactions as a real estate broker in both Pennsylvania and Tennessee.  Tai and his wife Amira enjoy hunting for investment properties.  Contact Tai if you need some consultation on real estate investing.  Tai may be available for coaching and speaking engagements on a variety of real estate topics.  Send an email to  Tai is passionate about helping investors make money and avoid mistakes.

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