# Initiated week - Merav Regev-Weisblut - Post number 2 - How to find properties?
I'm sure there were a lot of conversations about finding assets here, but given a question that came up - dedicating this post to this all-important topic is that a good deal is mostly determined at the acquisition stage.
If you buy at a good price and take enough in Ephraim for the underwriters (the unexpected is the most likely thing in real estate .. just unknown what it will be ..) promise yourself that it will be a good deal.
So where do you start looking for assets?
Let’s start by differentiating between assets that are on the market and assets called Off Market.
Properties that are on the market are the same properties that are advertised on all sites such as Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Realtor and the like, which have uploaded them to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) system and from there they are distributed to the sites I mentioned above.
It's a system that helps realtors advertise properties that have exclusivity in their representation - all exposed to assets, all realtors and buyers.
When we are looking for a reality, we really want to find properties whose seller is highly motivated to close a deal and be flexible in price. If everyone is exposed to the same assets at the same time in MLS - competition for the good assets increases which reduces the attractiveness of the deal.
It is precisely in MLS that I would recommend looking more at the "poor" assets - a bad situation, not selling for a long time (the more time the asset in the market is more likely to sell its lower price because it incurs costs on it).
The less interesting and perhaps even more interesting market is the Off Market. These are all assets that are not public to everyone. That at least people are accessible - and there are many realities.
There are a great variety of sources for finding off-the-market properties, and the more effort you put into getting interesting listings - you'll find the better deals.
So where can you go to find these assets?
Mostly through Holsler (those people who advertise / search for highly motivated property sellers and lend to investors)
Or property owners who advertise their properties, or contacts who can reach potential property owners.
Look for sites that advertise assets outside of the MLS system: Craigslist, Myhousedeals, Facebook - Local Investors / Holsellers, Rent / Sell Groups in the area of interest to you
Holsler's Websites - Enter their mailing list and start receiving properties by email
For sell by owners - Sellers who upload their assets on sites such as Zillow
Property listings for rent - you can always ask if you want to sell
Your contacts - The real estate world is a world that everyone is in contact with and everyone does more than one thing. Each contact has the potential to become acquainted with an asset owner who might want to sell. I once even got off-market assets from my lawyer whose very specialty is working with property owners. Not to mention contractors, realtors (they sometimes have access to lists that are not uploaded to MLS of property owners who want to sell).
Another way is to pay for area people (students / locals who are willing to work for the hour) - take turns on the streets that interest you and search for abandoned homes - and find out the details of the property owners. If you open your eyes you will start to see abandoned houses in your area as well. I once heard about a couple of entrepreneurs in Israel who came upon an abandoned apartment following pigeons entering and exiting unlimited through the windows that were constantly open, and noticed that there were no lights in the apartment.
And of course - use public information that can be obtained directly from the various municipalities or authorities or buy lists of property owners according to criteria that can signify what the property owner may want to sell (for example, any debt holders, long standing in possession of the property for many years, abandoned properties, etc.). There are many services that make it possible to buy records like Propstream - you can initiate contact with property owners from the lists, in a variety of techniques - SMS, letters, emails, leaving a voicemail message, initiated calls and more. There are endless options - it's easy to find them online.
Other Places to Find Properties - Putting street signs in charge of foreclosed property banks, inheritance / divorce lawyers, any person / place that you think has any touch to any property anyone might want to sell - is a relevant and interesting place to go.
People will always divorce / relocate / inherit / incur debts and the like.
Look for the contacts that will bring you to these people, or access these lists.
The real estate world is creative and there are lots of assets out there that are under the radar. Just need to know where to look and who to ask.
I would love to share comments on other creative ways to find properties off the market, always happy to hear more ideas (-: