When it comes to unique ways to find investment properties, you’ve got to think outside the box sometimes. Amazing deals don’t always present themselves in typical real estate listings.

Before you set out to find your next deal using one of the unusual five ways covered below, decide what your tolerance for risk is so you’re not looking at the wrong properties. Forbes says that while all investment real estate is high-risk, properties such as fixer-uppers naturally carry more risk than your typical established property.

Drive for dollars

When you “drive for dollars,” you’re driving your car around the streets you want to find an investment property on and scoping out potential deals. In this method, a deal is usually a property that looks vacant, distressed or as if it’s going through a negative transition. An apartment complex with grass growing more than a foot high, for example, usually signals the owner has checked out. A tarp on the roof of a mulitfamily property may indicate it has problems the owner can’t fix.

Write down the address of each potential property, along with its condition notes and a photo. Dig around the property via public records to find the owner.

Talk to property managers

Property managers deal with investment property owners daily. They can be a surprising source of information about which rental properties will be up for sale, and these properties have already performed as rentals.

Consider direct mail

Direct mailing is still a solid way to advertise, as noted by Entrepreneur Magazine. With inboxes now being spammed with hundreds of emails, traditional mail grabs a bit more attention. Try direct-mailing your intent to find investment properties in the areas that appeal to you. It won’t cost much, and you may just strike gold.

Go boldly online

Just about everything is up for sale on the web today, and that includes real estate. Craigslist, for example, has real estate listings, and you can sort them by bedroom number to find multi-unit properties. If you decide to meet a potential seller through an online service, make sure you follow the posted safety rules, which usually include confirming everything you’re told and verifying identities before handing over any money.

Focus on foreclosures

Just like single-family homes, apartment complexes and multifamily units do get foreclosed on. While the process varies by area, most municipalities have public postings of their foreclosure auctions prior to the sale. Find out where these notices are posted and review them frequently.

Whatever unusual method you use to find your next investment property, do your homework before buying. A little research now can save you a lot of trouble later!

Related Articles:

So, How Do You Find Those Pocket Listings Everybody Loves to Talk About?

How to Find Real Estate Deals in an Over-Heated Market

How to Stay Motivated When Looking for Investment Property

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Theresa Bradley-Banta writes about investing in real estate while avoiding the pitfalls that plague many new investors. She is a 2017 PropTech Top 100 Influencer and winner of 14 American and International real estate awards for her website and real estate investing programs. As featured on: The Equifax Finance Blog, AOL’s Daily Finance, Scotsman Guide, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, Stevie Awards Blog, Rental Housing Journal, and Investors Beat among others.

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