I remember witnessing the influx of tech companies in NYC in early 2000 and the subsequent inflation of prices in both in-demand neighborhoods and lesser-developed surrounding areas. The sudden spike in property listings in the Upper East Side, as well as Queens, turned just about anyone with some pocket change into eager wholesalers—including me.
Being a resident of Long Island for more than thirty years, I assumed that finding distressed homeowners for wholesaling real estate would be easy. I was already familiar with quite a few NY neighborhoods to start searching for properties in. So, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to drill it down and get some leads. Well, I was wrong.
Wholesaling real estate in NY has always been competitive. I’ve been at this so long now that I’ve tried just about everything. Let me tell what actually works—and what doesn’t—for getting leads on wholesale deals here.
Why Wholesaling Real Estate in NY is So Competitive
Consistent demand from buyers has made New York among the most expensive real estate markets in the world. That makes investing enticing to many who see the potential for big returns. But, to achieve any returns, you need to find a distressed property that you can put some elbow grease into. Those can be few and far between, especially with a glut of investors all eyeballing the same opportunities.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to beat the competition, though. Here are a few lead generation ideas to get you started on your wholesaling dream.
Real estate investing clubs
Networking is crucial when wholesaling real estate, especially here in New York. You need to connect to industry experts and your peers. That’s why many new investors usually join local real estate investing clubs in hopes of coming across any potential deals or meeting cash buyers. It’s not a bad idea, really.
Some good conversations can happen. You will probably learn a thing or two about the New York real estate market. Or, perhaps you will get some ideas about how to streamline your business. One thing you are not likely to get, though, is leads that are worth your time.
The first challenge is narrowing down the meetings in NY that are worth attending to and then go to multiple club events to come across any potential lead. That, in and of itself, is time-consuming and potentially expensive. Then, if there is a lead floating around, you’ll face stiff competition from all the other minglers who are also keeping their ears to the ground.
I’ve seen this turn into an emotional roller coaster where you get excited by a lead only to be disappointed so many times that you buy the first house that may pan out—whether there really is upside to the opportunity or not.
There are numerous foreclosure auctions across NY and, for many new investors, they seem to be an easy inroad for getting houses to wholesale. There’s lots to choose from and bidding usually starts out pretty cheap. It’s easy to dream about snapping up a fixer-upper for a low price and selling it off quickly to a wholesale buyer.
But, there’s likely to be a few snags along the way if you source your leads from auctions. First, while you may spend hours doing your due diligence online, you will probably not be able to actually inspect the house before you buy it. The auction in Bronx County, for instance, doesn’t even let you know which properties will be for sale until right before the auction starts.
And, more likely than not, these houses are in pretty bad shape. They were foreclosed on for a reason. Someone couldn’t afford taxes or liens. Do you think they paid for maintenance? No, because they couldn’t afford to do so.
If you are like most people, you are on social media anyway so why not leverage it to get wholesale deals? There are plenty of groups online where you can swap tips and ask around for opportunities. The Next Door Mogul’s NJ/ NYC/ Philly Wholesale Real Estate Group on Facebook, for instance, has almost 8,000 wholesalers, brokers, cash buyers, and other affiliated professionals to network with. That is a lot of networking potential.
But, frankly, social media marketing for real estate wholesaling demands quite an investment of time. The interest you receive in terms of “likes” and comments from prospective leads will not be exclusive to you—there are hundreds to thousands of other investors in these groups vying for the same.
And, then you have to watch out for the bad apples. I won’t call them scammers, really, but they do misrepresent the truth to get your buy-in. I’ve seen some investors grossly overstate the after-repair value of a house when they want to send you a lead they aren’t buying themselves. Now, whether that’s because they actually don’t know how to calculate the value of a property or because they are pressured to sell fast, it’s hard to tell. Either way, you don’t need to get caught up in their mistakes. You should always do your own due diligence.
Driving for dollars in NY neighborhoods
This is how I started looking for one-off properties during my early days as a real estate investor. Back then, I was living near Queens so I’d spend hours cruising the northwestern side in neighborhoods like Long Island City and Sunnyside. There’d be some rundown houses. You know, the kind with unmowed lawns or peeling paint. They looked abandoned—and usually were.
Therein lies the challenge, even today. You have to somehow track down the homeowner to see if they want to sell. Sometimes, you can have some luck just by looking through county records online. Other times, you have to turn into a kind of private investigator to get the contact information you need. Be careful, though, because there’s a fine line between legal and illegal when you are digging up private information on people and contacting them.
Over the years, I’ve tried all these strategies for getting leads to wholesale in NY and more. Needless to say, I was not able to create a sustainable full-time investing business with them. That is, until I discovered a one-stop solution.
One-stop Solution to Real Estate Wholesaling Leads in NY
A chance meeting with a former corporate colleague who had successfully made a career transition into real estate investing introduced me to the nationwide network of independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisees. Since becoming a member of the well-recognized and highly-effective “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team, my lead generation strategy has simplified. Even in competitive NY, finding leads on wholesale deals doesn’t have to be hard.
You see, HomeVestors® is a nationally known and trusted brand. It’s the one that distressed homeowners call on when they need help getting out from under an “ugly” situation. And, when they need help here in New York, those qualified leads come to me. So, now, I spend a lot less time chasing ‘iffy’ leads and more time focusing on wholesale opportunities that are actually worth my time.
Simply put, the best way to get started wholesaling real estate here in NY is to call HomeVestors® about franchise options today. Opportunities in the Big Apple are limited, so don’t wait.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.