I’m often asked the best ways to find investment properties for sale. In today’s tight real estate market, that can be a real challenge. Let’s explore the various ways to find rental real estate for sale in 2021.

The number one way to find investment properties for sale is by networking. You may not be as fortunate as I am in this regard, but I’ll bet if you search your list of contacts, you’ll come up with a few people who might be in a position to know when a great deal becomes available. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to keep a list of the people you meet who might, at some point in the future, be in a position to bring you a great opportunity. Who might these folks be?

Keep an eye out for contacts or friends who might inherit property. When they do, if they are not real estate investors, they’ll be looking to sell, often quickly. Lawyers and CPAs are also great referral sources. Let them know who you are and that when they have a client who needs to sell a rental property or a potential rental property, call you first.

There are places you can search online for potential investment opportunities. Here’s a shortlist of some of the top sites – Loopnet.com, Auction.com, Realtor.com, Trulia.com, RealtyTrac.com, and PropertyShark.com. Each of these websites offers different things in various ways.

Property Shark allows you to search for residential or commercial property for sale and lookup detailed information on the neighborhood and any comparable properties. This includes recent sales data, socio-economic demographics, and even the height of the surrounding buildings. The site also has extensive foreclosure listings, including vital property information (such as the amount of any liens on the property and when and where the property is being auctioned.)

Trulia.com is a user-friendly website. You can enter a location for a basic search or type in variables such as the type of property you’re interested in, your price, and foreclosure status to do a more specific search. You can see the school statistics, crime statistics, comparable properties, and median home values for any particular area you search.

Realtors are a great source of investment property leads. Remember, not all properties appear on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Get to know one (or several) realtors in the area where you would like to buy an investment property. Often a realtor is the first to know when an investment property is available to purchase.

Newspapers and online classifieds can contain hidden investment gems. You especially want to pay close attention to the “For Sale By Owner” section of the paper or database. Craigslist is an excellent example of the type of website that contains For Sale By Owner listings.

Property auctions are another excellent way to find deals on real estate. There are several types of auctions you can participate in. Physical auctions, like Sheriff sales and private auction companies, are good options to explore.

You might also bid for a property remotely through an online auction. Generally, these auctions remain open for several weeks, allowing all bidders a fair chance to participate. If you do win, you’ll have to pay a non-refundable deposit online and sign contracts immediately.

The challenge with auction properties is the risk. Since you can’t get inside to conduct inspections before purchase, you may not realize what shape the property is in. If you choose to find a new rental home via auction, be prepared to invest in property improvements that increase its market value and ensure renters’ structural safety.

Last but no means least, there is the old fashioned “driving for dollars” strategy. The idea is super simple – hop in your car and start driving around neighborhoods that you want to invest in and look for properties in a state of disrepair.

Overgrown grass, peeling paint, broken windows, drooping gutters, and window AC units are all great signs that an owner has been neglecting updates and might be interested in selling their property. Once you find one of these properties, you can send the owner a letter or look up their phone number and give them a call to express your interest in purchasing their property.

At Sterling Property Solutions, our team can answer all of your property management questions and address any challenges. Please give us a ring at 914-355-3277 or send us an email at info@sterlingpsi.com.