8 outside-the-box ideas for finding a home
No. 1: Set up an alert system"We always set up our buyers with daily automatic emails and text alerts with new listings based on their criteria from the past 24 hours," says Russ Murray, broker/owner of Buyer's Resource Real Estate in Greenwood Village, Colo. "When the market is highly competitive, I'm proactively searching for new listings multiple times a day. We're in the process of transitioning to a system that can give us and our clients immediate alerts when a property is listed."
No. 2: Contact those who bought during the downturnHertzberg says he searches his database for past clients who bought when the market was down in 2008 and 2009. "I update them on current market conditions and ask if they're interested in selling now that prices have gone up," he says. "A lot of the homes [in Miami] are second homes owned by an LLC or by people overseas, so we do detective work and use social media to locate the owners to see if they'd like to sell."
No. 3: Target rentalsHertzberg says he contacts landlords of rental properties to see if they would be interested in selling. In one condominium, his buyer was looking for a three-bedroom unit with a specific floor plan and view. Hertzberg contacted the owners of units on 20 floors before finding someone who decided to sell.
No. 4: Write a letterFrank Llosa, broker/owner of FranklyRealty.com in Falls Church, Va., says he writes letters to homeowners in specific areas where his buyers want to live.
"About two percent of the homeowners we contact [via letter] end up deciding to sell," he says. Llosa suggests asking neighbors who are walking their dogs about potential sellers."Dog walkers know everything," he says. "They may have seen a photographer at the house or a landscaper getting a place ready to go on the market."