If you are a real estate investor looking to drum up business through marketing campaigns, you are tasked with creating prospect lists that convert. One of the two kinds of prospect lists you are likely to create are called “niche lists.”
Before you hit ‘send’ on any marketing campaign, you must put time and effort into your prospect lists. If you are not narrowing down your list of recipients by their unique situation, you will likely strike out when you make contact. The more personal your marketing campaign, the better it will perform. If someone has recently inherited a property, they are a high-quality prospect, and you will want to speak directly to their situation to get them on board. Casting too wide a net will not get you the results you are looking for, which will waste both your time and your money.
So how do you make those personal connections without sending a personalized message to each prospect? You utilize niche lists.
Niche lists are exactly what they sound like. These lists aim for specific situations that signal a sale is most likely to occur. There are a lot of scenarios in life that may cause a homeowner to be more willing to sell. Niche lists target those circumstances so you can directly and personally appeal to people who are the most willing to listen. You could see significant conversion if you assemble a great list and craft an effective real estate marketing campaign.
Though these lists are often time-consuming, they are generally full of high-quality prospects that are more likely to convert. If you spend the time, you will also reap the reward of less competition – fewer investors are likely to spend time creating niche lists.
There are several different kinds of niche lists that appeal to different investors in different areas. Focusing on a couple of them can be a huge advantage in your ability to generate quality leads.
The Types of Niche Lists
Not all niche lists are created equal, and not all are feasible for real estate investors in every area. Not every investor needs to take the time to create a list for each type, but there are plenty to choose from and invest some time in assembling.
Did you know that you can create a great, high-quality prospects list with information from the post office?
The United States Postal Service maintains a list of properties that they consider unoccupied. Properties are added to the list when a mail carrier sees a mailbox that is overfull with mail or when they are notified that a home is vacant. Vacant homes are high-quality prospects because their owners would rather sell than let them sit unoccupied, collecting tax bills.
Driving for Dollars
For this niche list, you will need to hit the road – literally! Driving for Dollars is simply the act of driving around your desired area looking for homes that appear to be in distress and noting them.
Assembling a list like this will require a good amount of grunt work, but it could pay off in the long run. Driving for dollars enables you to see properties that may not be up for sale yet or are headed into the foreclosure process. Catching these properties early could nab you a great deal on the price and eliminate your competition.
Code Violation List
A great, high-quality list to spend some time on is a Code Violation List. A property owner gets a code violation when their home is not up to code. A violation can be issued if the home is distressed, uninhabitable, or for a much lesser reason, like overgrown grass or a disheveled exterior.
Whether the reason is large or small, this is a great list to pull and start marketing. You can find the properties that have received code violations at your local Building Department, either publicly available or through a FOIA request, depending on your location.
Fire House List
If you are looking to pull a high-quality list that other investors don’t have experience with, you should pull a Fire House List. This type of niche list comprises properties that have experienced fire damage. A homeowner of a house that has suffered some fire damage may be more inclined to sell and move than stay and undergo serious repairs. This is also great if you want land to build in a desirable area.
In most municipalities, you can assemble a Fire House List through the city’s firehouse by a FOIA request. If you get your hands on the information, you will get the date of the incident, the property address, the owner's contact information, and an estimate of the damages.
Deceased, Probate, & Inheritance Lists
One of the life events that can make a property owner more willing to sell is the death of a family member. A Deceased List comprises properties where the homeowner has recently died. A Probate List is made up of properties currently being held up in probate due to the owner not having a sufficient will when they passed. An Inheritance List contains properties that have gone through the estate process and are now in possession of their new owners, usually a family member.
If these lists are something you think would suit your business, you can find most of the information through successorsdata.com or your local municipality. These lists are considered high-quality because when someone inherits a property, they are more likely to want to offload it quickly instead of investing in upkeep and paying property taxes.
If you are a builder or developer, an Expansion List is something you should spend time creating. This type of niche list is made up of homes that are built on oversized lots. These are the perfect buys if you want to flip and expand a home or build a subdivision in a desirable area.
To find properties on oversized lots, you want to utilize online public records, which allow you to search by house size. Focus on homes less than 1,000 square feet on a lot double the size of a conforming lot. By doing this, you will be able to buy a small house for around market value and turn the larger lot into a subdivision that will net significant profit.
If you are interested in developing condos or conversions, the Zoning List is a great place to look for leads. This type of list looks for properties in zoning areas that will allow some kind of expansion, including single-family homes on multi-family lots. You can find this information through your local Building Department.
An Eviction List is a great niche list to pull, but it could be significantly more time-consuming, depending on your location. You will want to assemble a list of properties that have received eviction notices. Some states report these notices through court records readily available online, and some make you go to the court to pull them manually. Though a high-quality list, this may only suit the needs of some investors depending on where they look and their available records.
State Lien List
A State Lien List is only possible in some states, but many have the information available. This type of niche list comprises residents that owe the state more than $25,000. If you can get your hands on this list, you can cross-reference it with property records to see if any of these residents own property in the area. People who owe a considerable amount of money to the government might be more likely to sell their homes if approached.
Tax Lien List
Another great niche list to pull is a Tax Lien List. This list is made up of people who owe property taxes to their municipality. The ideal records will be homeowners who owe the most money for the most prolonged period. You will want to focus on people that have been delinquent for more than two years because they will likely face action by the municipality within a year if they don’t pay or sell the home.
To create this list, you will probably need to submit a FOIA request to your local treasury department. This list may take a little persistence, but it is worth the time.
If you want to create powerful prospect lists full of high-quality leads, you will want to spend the time crafting niche lists. While they may take some time to assemble, these lists will only require periodic updating every quarter to add new properties that fit the criteria. Once you have learned how to create a niche list, updating it will be much easier and will add more valuable prospects to your database.
Some lists may be more fruitful than others, depending on your location. It is worth assembling at least one of them to complement your more general list pulls.