How to Find Real Estate Deals

Who is Sandy MacKay?

I help Canadians achieve financial freedom through real estate.

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You know what irks me lately?…

People starting off videos and articles with the words…

”People always ask me…”

It’s a line thats way overused and often not true. I’ve overused it myself to be honest with you. Which is probably why it irks me.

People really do always ask me this question though…

How do you find so many “deals?”

We’ve been actively investing in real estate for a dozen years now and because of that there are a lot of deals that simply show up on my desk out of nowhere.

Usually those come in the form of someone needing help.

They sense they have a decent opportunity in front of them, but they don’t quite know what to do with it. So they bring it to me and ask for help.

I love helping in these situations by the way. And usually it doesn’t result in me getting involved directly. But every once in a while the person just wants it off their plate and I can bring that great deal to our clients or take it on myself.

That’s my 12+ years of real estate networking, learning, team building etc coming back around full circle to me. It’s not a pipeline of business that gets built overnight.

So don’t worry, that’s not the secret I’m going to share with you here today.

The secret I want you to be aware of is the one that allows you to go find a deal TODAY.

At any given time, there are many great real estate opportunities in every real estate market. In Southern Ontario where we look, there are probably hundreds of them available right now.

The secret is hiding in plain sight…

Where do I find great real estate deals?

On MLS. 80% of my personal investments have come from MLS.

How do I find great real estate deals?

Talk with the listing realtors on MLS.

It sounds obvious, but realtors ask me this all the time and my answer isn’t going to change anytime soon. The deals are right there on MLS.

They’re hiding in plain sight.

They just don’t appear to be great deals based on their asking price.

You’ve got to dig deeper create the deal.

3 Ways to Create a Great Deals

I tell people all the time that real estate is a people business, based on solving problems. Those who solve the biggest problems for people, create the most opportunity for themselves.

So, in order to create the deals, you need to first uncover the problems.

1. Get the “why” behind the sale.

Contact the listing realtor by email/call/text and ask for more details on the sellers situation. Tell them you’re a real estate investor and you’d like to know more information about the situation so that you can make an informed decision. Some questions to ask could be:

Why is the seller selling?

What sort of closing does the seller want?

Would the seller consider a VTB (Vendor Take Back mortgage)?

Are there any tenant issues?

2. Run your own financial projections on the property.

Hopefully you can get some sort of financial proforma from the realtor. If you do, it’s safe to say that proforma will not be 100% accurate. They will likely send you the most optimistic version of a proforma. When you run your own math on the property, often it will help prove that the property is overpriced, and now you have a fair case to make in your negotiations. You’re also helping the listing realtor with this information. Many realtors are not investor focussed and don’t have the ammo themselves to convince the seller to drop the price.

3. Ask the realtor if they have any other off market deals.

I’ve always been shocked at how few people have asked me this question over the years. I’m not as active selling real estate as I once was, yet I still know of plenty of properties right now that are available to be sold, but they aren’t listed yet. If a realtor has one listed, they are likely to know of a few others that are similar.

If finding great real estate deals is important to you, then you’ve got to get good at creating the deals.

Once you’ve spent years making the calls and working the market to create deals, then you will start to earn those deals that fall into your lap.

Your local MLS is the place to look.

80% of the deals I’ve personally bought in my career have been directly on MLS.

In 2023, when information is being openly shared more than ever, even the off market opportunities are not so secretive.

Wholesale deals with multiple offers on them is normal.

You may as well focus on the place where we know good deals are available.

If you do want to search elsewhere though, then here’s a list of other options where we’ve been able to source off market deals over the years.

11 Non-MLS Places to Search for Real Estate Investment Deals

1. Wholesalers

2. Property management companies

3.Investment clubs

4. Classified ads

5. Tax sales

6.Sheriff sales

7. Social media

8. Direct mail marketing

9. Door knocking

10. Cold calling

11. Private sale companies

Until next week! ✌🏻

– Sandy Mackay

P.S. The best way to give me feedback is on LinkedIn. Want me to write about something specific? Have suggestions? Send a message to me and use the hashtag #ThrivingMillionaires so I can find it.