For many years, I studiously avoided using divorces as a source of leads for homes to flip. I didn’t want to enter into contentious disputes just to make a buck, I wasn’t confident enough in my ability to be diplomatic, and I didn’t fully understand how tough it can be to find real estate leads from divorced couples.
As it turns out, my skepticism was entirely warranted. It’s entirely true that finding and making the most out of real estate divorced leads is difficult. Still, if you can master the niche, you’ll have nearly uncontested access to a very interesting slice of your local real estate market.
And that’s exactly what makes for strong and highly durable real estate investing and flipping. So, let’s take a look at the merits of divorces as real estate investing leads and evaluate whether focusing on them is the right move for you. Even if you don’t end up actually pursuing real estate divorce leads, understanding their intricacies is a good skill to have in your investor’s kit.
The Pros And Cons Of Real Estate Divorced Leads
For the most part, you’ll be finding real estate divorced leads from public documents. Not all jurisdictions make these records public, but most are obligated to provide records relating to property ownership.
In my experience, your best results will come from areas where you have both a public and regularly-updated set of divorce filings—as well as a robust set of property records. You’ll first conduct a search for fresh divorce records. Then you’ll cross-reference those records with property information and your valuation model to determine whether the recent divorcees owned homes that could be worth trying to buy and subsequently flip.
This process can take a lot of time, not to mention negotiating skills, emotional intelligence, and patience, but the best leads from divorced couples won’t be on your competitors’ radars. Plus, you can sometimes close deals quickly, depending on the case.
In general, the pros of divorce leads for real estate investing include:
- The potential presence of motivated sellers
- Minimal competition from other real estate investors and members of the public
- Higher average property quality and therefore lower renovation costs
Realizing any of these benefits requires actually validating the lead and then closing a deal. There are a few obstacles that tend to get in the way of that goal, though.
In terms of the cons, investors should recognize that real estate divorce leads:
- Aren’t always easy to find
- Require navigating emotionally difficult situations to close the deal
- Aren’t necessarily any more lucrative than leads derived from other sources
- May get derailed before it’s time to close the deal
It’s okay to be intimidated by these issues, so long as you are clear-eyed about what’s possible.
When everything goes smoothly, the deals you make from divorce leads will be more or less indistinguishable from your bread-and-butter deals from other lead sources. The only difference will be the amount and type of work that’s required from you to initiate and close the deal.
The key thing to remember when you’re trying to gather and follow up on real estate divorced leads is that you’re walking a narrow path.
The conflict between the divorcing couple might be an opportunity for you to purchase a great piece of property, but getting entangled in other people’s personal problems isn’t good for business. And you will owe the homeowners a significant amount of politeness, courtesy, and tolerance if you decide to proceed with a deal.
As I mentioned before, leads from divorcing couples are not guaranteed to be any juicier than any other type of lead. You’ll need to have a strategy for flipping the home before you even reach out. If you don’t, you’ll inject yourself into a volatile situation without a plan, and success will be difficult.
It’s Better To Let Leads Come To You
In my experience, chasing real estate divorced leads as a main lead-gathering strategy is extremely difficult, and it isn’t a great way to grow your business.
Most of the time, you’ll need to comb through far too many public divorce records and property records before you find a suitable lead. Then, you’ll still need to reach out to the homeowners and see if they’re interested in selling. Only after will you have a chance to negotiate with them and potentially proceed to make a profitable flip. Nonetheless, I believe looking through divorce records can be a good supplemental way to gather leads, and it just might bear fruit when your regular sources are coming up dry.
A far more effective strategy is to work with a national real estate investing franchise like HomeVestors® to find leads and cultivate your dealbook. With HomeVestors®, all independently owned and operated franchises get the benefit of a national marketing campaign designed to generate inbound leads. That means you’ll be in the position of having real estate divorce leads come to you rather than needing to reach out to them. Aside from making the entire process much easier, the partnership also supplies an ample amount of leads so you can filter through them and pick the cream of the crop.
Similarly, HomeVestors® franchisees have access to some of the country’s best real estate investing financing sources, not to mention an initial week-long training program and a wonderfully active investor community. You’ll have the tools and the skills your business needs to grow, no matter what kinds of leads you choose to pursue.
If you want to start your real estate investing business or know more about finding real estate leads from divorced couples, request information about becoming a HomeVestors® franchise owner today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.