Real estate lead generation can be a tricky process. While lead generation platforms can give you a wealth of information about properties, most don’t give you a way to see the property before you visit it.
Even if they do include photos, they’re usually marketing pictures taken straight from a real estate website like Zillow. They’re not an accurate representation of the property’s condition.
If you want to know what your leads look like, you have to carve out time to visit them in person. But what if there was a way to discover, qualify, and even sign contracts on opportunities all at the same time?
It’s called driving for dollars, and if you do it strategically, it can be the perfect addition to your real estate investing or wholesale real estate strategy.
What is driving for dollars?
Driving for dollars is the process of discovering real estate leads by driving neighborhoods in search of distressed and neglected properties.
Before real estate lead generation software, it was a way to find leads without sifting through public records, attending property auctions, and networking with real estate agents to find property addresses. Now it’s become a way for investors to supplement their lead lists. It’s also the lowest-cost way for new investors to get into real estate.
However, because it lets you find real estate opportunities based on their condition, it will often generate some of your highest-quality leads.
How does driving for dollars work?
When investors drive for dollars, they pick a neighborhood and drive or walk through it to find properties showing signs of distress or neglect.
Some of the characteristics they look for include:
- Peeling paint
- Broken windows
- Overgrown grass
- Roof damage
- Siding damage
- Broken down cars
When investors notice houses with these signs of neglect and distress, they look around the property (being careful not to trespass), add the property to their list, and take notes and pictures. They’ll continue this process throughout the neighborhood, identifying new opportunities as they go.
Sometimes, investors will even try to find the owner while at the house, either by door knocking or skip tracing and calling them. Once they’re done with a neighborhood, they’ll return to their office and analyse their notes and pictures to prioritize their new leads.
Why driving for dollars will help you find higher quality leads
Driving for dollars is different than using real estate lead generation software. Instead of relying on financial and demographic indicators that suggest a property owner might be willing to sell at a discount, you can use your eyes to find properties in disrepair.
As a result, it’s one of the most efficient ways to build and qualify hyper-targeted lists of off-market properties. While the traditional canvassing process can’t tell you about a home’s pre-foreclosure status, it can tell you about a home’s condition. And in some cases, that’s the most valuable information you can find.
Because the owners are neglecting these properties or don’t have the finances to fix them, they cannot be listed and sold at market-value prices. Therefore, they’re often a great investment opportunity for real estate investors and wholesalers.
How to find distressed properties by driving for dollars
While driving for dollars is simple in concept, finding the right neighborhood to canvass can be challenging. However, the good news is that every area has distressed properties.
To find distressed properties, start by mapping your targeted investment area. Identify areas with lower-income housing, and then choose a few streets and specific neighborhoods that you want to canvass.
You can also start by choosing a large general area where you suspect there will be neglected properties and then drive around without planning a route. You’ll cover a wide area and find new neighborhoods to canvass or cross some off your list if they don’t have the specific properties you’re looking for.
Establishing the ultimate driving for dollars routine
Driving for dollars is a great way to find deals, but to take your business to the next level you should combine its accuracy with the efficiency and insights you can get from real estate lead generation software.
Combining driving for dollars and real estate lead generation
BatchService recently released a complete overhauled version with BatchLeads 3.0 , and it includes a brand new driving for dollars module and mobile real estate investing app.
Now you can access detailed property insights as soon as you find a distressed property you’re interested in. You can also add it to your lists with a tap, skip trace the owner’s contact information, and call the owner from the desktop or mobile app.
Virtual driving for dollars in BatchLeads
Easy access to property details while virtually driving for dollars in BatchLeads
Assigning driving routes to your team
BatchLeads also lets you assign driving routes to your team members and track their progress, discovered properties, and more. Instead of relying on shared spreadsheets or notepads, you can easily set up a scalable process to find potential deals and train your team in minutes.
This feature also clearly displays routes you or your team have driven in the past, so you don’t have to worry about repeating your efforts.
Virtual driving for dollars
Distressed properties aren’t limited to your local market, and with the right technology, neither are you. With virtual driving for dollars, you can discover distressed properties in any neighborhood, no matter where you are.
BatchLeads’ new virtual canvassing tool lets you leverage an in-app street view to explore neighborhoods from your computer or mobile device and add distressed properties to your list with a single click.
If canvassing isn’t part of your investment strategy, we highly recommend adding it. It’s one of the greatest ways to supplement your lists and qualify your leads as you discover them.
It won’t replace pulling lists and targeting financially distressed owners, but it’s a great way to find neglected and distressed houses in your local area. With virtual driving for dollars and a solid driving for dollars real estate app in your arsenal, neither geography nor limited information will stop you from finding great deals.