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A great deal on a multi-family property doesn’t just fall into your lap. It is also fairly impossible to take a one and done approach and come away with a bargain or valuable property. In reality, finding a great property takes a ton of time and effort, as well as research and outreach. The following list breaks down the best approaches to generate possible leads. For a truly successful approach, employ as many of these strategies as you can. 

Cruise the Neighborhood

If you know where you’d like to find a property, take a drive around the area and look for signs that state a property is for rent or for sale by owner—but don’t stop there. You can also look for buildings that seem a bit dilapidated or neglected. If they aren’t generating income, their owners may want to sell them and reaching out could land you a great deal. It never hurts to ask. 

Keep an Eye on Old Ads

Similarly to identifying old buildings, keeping a close eye on old “For Rent” ads may introduce you to owners willing to sell their property. If an apartment has continuously been listed, the owner may be having a hard time filling the vacancy and become frustrated. While this may seem like a long shot, it can pay off in amazing ways from time to time. 

Peruse Eviction and Notice of Default Announcements

Besides looking at old “For Rent” ads in your local paper, reading through eviction and default notices can help point you in the right direction. Landlords who find themselves dealing with the evicting tenants often sell the property soon after in order to cover their losses. If your newspaper doesn’t list eviction or default notices, you can also find such information at the courthouse. 

Look to the Past (of Aging FSBO Ads)

Instead of looking at all the new, hot commodities on “For Sale by Owners” (FSBO) sites, sort the listings by date with older properties listing first. The longer a property has been on the market, the more likely the owner is to sell it at a reduced price. Keep in mind that old properties are not necessarily a bad deal, especially if repairs are low and the neighborhood is profitable. Keep an open mind, especially on FSBO sites.