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The LAPS System - 10 ways to find real estate deals in ANY market - part 1

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

Investing in real estate is a task that requires time, knowledge, and patience.


Brandon Turner from the "Bigger Pockets" coined the LAPS system - get Leads, Analyze them, make an offer (or Propose), and eventually Succeed.


You can't succeed without making offers, you can't make offers without making sure the deals make sense by analyzing them, and you can't analyze deals you don't have (-:


In this article, I will address the first part of LAPS - how to get leads. In more detail, I will explain how I manage to find leads and get good properties that answer my criteria.


Before I dig deeper, be sure to know what house you are searching for. There is a tendency when starting to invest to be as broad as possible in order not to miss opportunities. The truth is that the more focused you will be, i.e. by focusing on specific zip codes, focusing on specific houses type, and focusing on specific house layouts and parameters, the higher your chances to succeed and detect opportunities in the long run.


1st Method: Finding real estate deals through the MLS.

The MLS is an abbreviation of Multi Listing System. Simply put, it's where all seller's agents publish their deals for others agents to see and bring their buyers. So, in order to find real estate deals through the MLS, you will have to get them through a real estate agent.


In order to find good real estate agents, just google "real estate agents in Buffalo, NY". You can take a look at the BiggerPockets agents directory, realtor.com agents list, and zillow.com agents list as well.


Pro tip: Find an investor-friendly real estate agent, rather than a home buyer real estate agent, as investment real estate agents better understand our way of thinking and our processes.


The agent can then set you up with email alerts when a property in your criteria is published to the MLS. Have more than one set of conditions for a house you want to purchase? Reach out to several agents, tell them your criteria, and they will set you up.


2nd Method: Finding real estate deals through wholesalers.

Let's start with explaining what wholesaling is. Wholesaling is a two-sided business, in which the wholesaler is a marketplace connecting buyers and sellers. The wholesaler will earn several thousand dollars on the gap between how much the seller asks for and how much the buyer is willing to pay. It's a volume business, and there's importance to speed and being serious.


The wholesaler has to build both a buyers list and a sellers list. Building the buyers list is fairly simple, and it can be done by posting where you as a real estate buyer search for deals. The wholesaler will post something like: "I have a property in 12345 zip that will be sold for a low amount of cash and will go quick. If you want the full details including photos, send me your email and I will send you the details." active real estate investors will respond with their emails, and the buyer's list will start building up.


Pro tip: Good wholesalers prefers to work with "closers", meaning serious buyers that close fast and don't drag their feet, ask a lot of questions, etc. If you can be a closer, it will work out for you and you will get more exclusive deals before other buyers get them.


The wholesaler has to get deals as well. In order to find deals, the wholesalers will need to find sellers that don't want to go through the listing process with an agent. The wholesaler will market to the prospective sellers and will offer them a quick cash purchase, with a short closing time, with no contingencies, and will buy the houses as is. That's a good deal for some and they will take it even though it means they will not get the best and highest buck on their house.



3rd Method: Finding real estate deals through local Facebook groups.

Another good way to find deals is to connect to your local real estate groups and search there. There's also the Facebook marketplace where sellers will list their houses there.

For Buffalo, NY, the Facebook group is BP Buffalo real estate.


4th Method: Finding real estate deals through BiggerPockets marketplace.

BiggerPockets is big for real estate investors. It is a free website, a podcast, a book publisher that is responsible for a lot of very good books, and more.


The website has a lot of educational materials, and more importantly for finding deals - it has forums. Throughout the forums, you can find deals, motivated sellers with a problem, partners, etc. It is easy to set alarms on specific words, to subscribe to specific forums of a specific market.



5th Method: Finding real estate deals through Craigs List marketplace.

Craigslist is a great website to find two great deal sources:

The first one is mom-and-pop operators that are not up to date with where to list their houses. They will post their unit for rent, and you can call them! Tell them you are not searching for rent but to buy and if they are interested in selling. If they say they are not, ask them if they have another property they would like to sell. Sometimes, you will be able to find a diamond in the rough, a diamond that not a lot of buyers will find.


Thanks for reading part 1! If you have a suggestion, a comment, or an idea, please feel free to post a comment or email us.

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