So, I’m on a ninja kick. This thought flashed through my head the other day, and now I just can’t let it go . . .
Can you imagine a real estate investor ninja?
From the methods they use to find real estate property all the way to selling the flipped house, REI ninjas would be fast, efficient, and deadly accurate in everything they do.
Houses would get flipped so quick, it would be like the investor was never even there.
I don’t know what’s with my recently developed ninja obsession, so please don’t ask. They’re just cool. Maybe it’s the upcoming 2014 TMNT movie or something.
Anyway, of all the cool ninja-stuff that could be applied to real estate investing, I think how a ninja prepares for a fight takes the coolness cake over everything else.
Since investors prepare for their “fight” by first finding the right properties, this post is about how to find real estate property — the ninja way.
They’re Shurikens, Not Horseshoes
Ninjas have unique, specialized tools to get their jobs done, tools like nunchakus and shurikens (throwing stars). And all of a ninja’s weapons are designed for extreme precision. That’s what makes them so effective.
For finding properties, REIs also have specialized property finding tools.
The MLS is probably the most well-known and most used tool to find a real estate property, but tons of investors out there search on the MLS so broadly that they miss out on the time-saving precision the tool offers.
This would be something like ninjas lobbing their stars like horseshoes, instead of whizzing them straight at their targets the way shurikens were designed to be thrown.
MLS search operators are how to maximize the precision of your MLS searches.
One example of a search operator is the * asterisk symbol (Shift + 8). In a string of search terms, the asterisk acts as a “wildcard” placeholder for any word or words that could appear in front of, behind or between other words. Example Search: “recently remodeled * “.
There are a number of other search operators supported by most MLS search engines.
- Find out which search operators your MLS database supports
- Start using them right away
Crouching Investor, Hidden Motivated Seller
Every time someone says “ninja”, the first image that pops into my head is that moment in every ninja movie right before the ninja strikes.
I see the ninja crouched, stalking its prey, ready to anticipate every movement.
REIs need to find the most motivated sellers possible, and again, the MLS search offers investors an easy way to find and stalk the most motivated sellers in the market.
When using MLS search databases, add a comments section keyword search to your other search parameters. I’ll explain.
Most MLS listings provide sellers with a comments section. These comments sections are full of buzzwords that indicate highly-motivated sellers. So in addition to the other property details that you’re looking for, throw in a comments search for the kind of seller you want to find.
Here are some examples of keywords I would use to search for motivated sellers:
- “make offer”
- “need to sell”
- “needs work”
- “third party approval”
It blows my mind how many REIs don’t use this tactic. Put it to use right away, and you’ll find yourself magically seeming to spend much less time finding the good properties before the other REI ninjas get to them.
More Tips to Find Real Estate Property
I’ll be honest, the strategies that I’ve shared in this post are the kinds of advice I normally reserve for the investors who borrow from us or who join my coaching program.
I shared these tips today because — although widely overlooked — they are fairly obvious. They’re also just the tips of the iceberg when it comes to the other property finding tactics that I teach.
At The Investor's Edge, we believe it’s our responsibility to maximize the success of every investor who does business with us. I started out in fix and flip investing, so passing on my REI experience is the best way I have to help our borrowers flip fast and make a big profit.
See how it all works by attending our next webinar.