During my first trip to Los Angeles to scope out the market, I remember being in awe of the city’s sheer endlessness. Between seeing all sorts of people and a plethora of different types of properties, I knew it would be the right place to start my business. Six months later, I would never have anticipated that I’d be struggling to find leads fast enough to beat out my competition.
At that point, I decided to start looking for off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles. Why? Because I assumed I’d be better off fighting for them instead of their on-market counterparts. Thousands of marketing dollars later, I finally found a few worthwhile off-market homes to invest in. Little did I know, life could’ve been a lot easier if I knew how to approach the off-market beforehand.
If you’re reading this and are worried that your plans to scrounge for leads in Los Angeles’ off-market might not turn out exactly how you had envisioned, it’s perfectly understandable. But if you know enough about the market and how to ferret out leads, you’ll do a lot better than most. Follow along with me as I explain how to approach off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles.
What’s Currently Going On In The Los Angeles Market?
Before we dive into finding off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles, let’s take a quick look at the characteristics of the area’s real estate market as it applies to house flipping.
The first thing to know about LA is that it’s absolutely massive, and many people refer to the city quite loosely or interchangeably with LA county as it more or less represents the entire region. So, if you see attractive properties in Anaheim or Long Beach, don’t get hung up on staying within the city’s limits as they share most of the same market.
In a nutshell, the LA market has:
- A plethora of urban, suburban, and exurban submarkets
- Plenty of buyers and sellers in all segments of the market
- Relatively new housing stock that’s largely been built in the last 40 years
- Highly competitive bidding for homes
- Average to high property prices on average
- Significant real estate investor activity in all segments of the market
- Somewhat weak neighborhood associations and community groups
Where you choose to compete within the greater LA area depends on which buyer segments you’re targeting and how much capital you can command for the flip. Expect Burbank, Beverly Hills, and Pomona to have more expensive properties and more moneyed buyers. On the flip side, look for deep bargains in Inglewood, Culver City, and Carson, but be ready to go downmarket if you do. No matter where you look in LA, you won’t need to worry about finding ample contractor labor—and that’s a big plus. But do expect plenty of competition from other investors for pretty much everything related to flipping houses.
Beyond that, some things that are important in other major urban markets aren’t as important in Los Angeles. In general, you probably don’t need to focus as much on things such as:
- Closeness of properties to public transit
- Closeness of properties to economic centers
- Access to outdoor spaces
These factors can still be a bonus, but they aren’t highly sought-after by average buyers. Of course, parking and access to major roadways are significantly more relevant in LA than they might be elsewhere, so be sure to adjust your valuations accordingly.
How To Find Off-Market Homes For Sale In Los Angeles
Now that you have a few ideas about where you might want to look for off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles, let’s learn a bit about how to find what exactly you’re looking for.
Going off market is a step that can help you get an edge over other investors and members of the homebuying public. The catch is that it’s even harder to find leads for juicy off-market properties than it is on the market. Most people who want to sell their homes list them on the market and work with a real estate agent, and most people who want to stay in their homes don’t. Expect pretty much any technique that you use to find off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles to have a very low rate of return for every ounce of effort you put in.
Nearly all off-market lead generation strategies rely heavily on inbound marketing techniques like billboards, flyers, TV commercials, internet ads, and other forms of advertisement. These mediums can reach a huge audience and direct very few eligible people to your company. Don’t expect a deluge of leads here; your ads will be invisible to most people even if they might want to hear what you have to say.
Outreach-based marketing techniques are also commonly used to find off-market leads, which means you should be ready to cold call, cold mail, and knock on doors to get in touch with homeowners of properties that may be worth a flip. If you can afford to hire a marketing agency to handle the inbound portion of the off-market lead generation process, you should. Likewise, anything you can do to increase your outreach efficiency will work in your favor.
But once again, you shouldn’t expect miracles. It’s hard to do enough research via public records or market analysis to find a sufficient number of targets that can focus your outreach strategy and keep your deal book full. And casting a wide net into an empty pond isn’t going to be a successful strategy either. But you’ll never know for sure if the pool of potential sellers is actually empty, or if you’re just getting unlucky. Either way, it’s frustrating.
Gathering Leads Is Easier When They Come To You
If you’re just starting your real estate investing business, hunting off market is going to leave you starving for leads. Thankfully, you don’t actually need to look for off-market leads yourself if you have the right help.
Today, many investors are becoming independently owned and operated franchise owners with companies like HomeVestors® to get the help they need for high-quality lead generation. With the nationally trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign and the HomeVestors® lead generation platform, franchise owners have the benefit of a powerful pre-positioned flow of leads. That means you won’t waste any time looking for the right off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles, and it also means that your business will be more efficient as a result.
As if that weren’t enough, HomeVestors® franchise owners get access to a hard money lending portal to increase their leverage, proprietary home valuation software to dial in their margins, and 1-on-1 mentorship from some of the best real estate investors in the business. They’re also trained on the HomeVestors® curriculum, which helps investors better align their businesses to their respective markets. HomeVestors® has been a game-changer for my company. And it could be one for yours, too.
Finding off-market homes for sale in Los Angeles is a lot faster with the right help. Request information about becoming a HomeVestors® franchise owner today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.