#058: Using Saved Searches & Automatic Email Updates to Score Mind-Blowing Property Deals

Welcome to The Accelerated Investor Podcast with Josh Cantwell, if you love entrepreneurship and investing in real estate then you are in the right place. Josh is the CEO of Freeland Ventures Real Estate Private Equity and has personally invested in well over 500 properties all across the country. He’s also made hundreds of private lender loans and owns over 1,000 units of apartments. Josh is an expert at raising private money for deals and he prides himself on never having had a boss in his entire adult life. Josh and his team also mentor investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. He doesn’t dream about doing deals, he actually does them and so do his listeners and students. Now sit back, listen, learn, and accelerate your business, your life, and you’re investing with The Accelerated Investor Podcast.

So hey, welcome back to Accelerated Investor and I’m so excited to be back inside your head wherever you’re at, whether you’re on iTunes or YouTube. I’m so excited to share with you and hopefully this case study helps you along in your journey to doing more deals, making more money, and ultimately achieving the lifestyle that you’ve always dreamed of. Thank you so much for all of you that have left comments, reviews, ratings, shared this on social media and really appreciate that. Let me know what topics, what guests that you’d like me to interview and talk about. I’d be happy to record some more solo casts or be on with a guest to help you bring you the exact content that you want to hear. Today I want to talk to you briefly about another case study that we just wrapped up. This property is Orchard Drive in Amhurst, Ohio.

What’s interesting about this property is I was actually on a live coaching class. So imagine I’m doing a live coaching class with my coaching students on a live go to webinar. That was just for my insiders, my coaching students only, and I’m going through in, basically email drip from my realtor and my realtor sends me criteria of properties in certain zip codes and certain areas that I want to look at. Certain beds, certain baths, certain square footage, certain price per square foot. I think it’s a great way to find properties if you search by price per square foot. So if you identify an area, let’s say Amhurst Ohio and you know that properties sell for let’s say $110 per square foot, and then you put into your MLS drip or you put into your realtor’s brain, hey listen, I want to buy properties in this zip code at $70 per square foot.

They can set up a drip campaign right out of the MLS that will feed you properties that fit that criteria. And you know, if you get deals that are at $70 per square foot and the average is $110 per square foot, that’s a very way to even the playing field. It doesn’t matter how big or small the property is. It could be 800 square foot property. It could be a 4,000 or 5,000 square foot property or anywhere in between. When you know that you do the criteria at about 60% to 70% to 75% of what they normally sell for on a price per square foot basis. You know if you get something at 65 to 70 cents, that’s going to potentially be a deal because you know that properties, you can buy them at 70 cents a square foot and they sell for 110 a foot that you know that there’s enough spread there for you to buy it, rehab it, rent it, whatever you want to do there, there’s enough equity or profit for you to look at that deal and say, hey, this could be a deal, okay.

So using price per square foot. I identified and I said, holy crap, this, this property on Orchard, you know, there it’s almost 3,000 square feet. They’re only asking one, they were asking $200,000 for it. I was able to negotiate them down to down to $185,000 and I thought, look at one 85 right? That is about 60 cents $60 per square foot. It’s 60 cents on the dollar. And I thought, okay, if I buy this for $180,000, $185,000, $190,000 and if I could put $40,000 grand into it, I could probably sell this thing for around $300,000 because it was 3,000 square feet at $100 a foot. That puts the value at around $300,000 grand. So immediately the bells and whistles are going off in my brain. I’m literally on a live coaching class with my students. I’m going through this MLS feed right out of my email inbox and I tell my students, hey, I’m going to make an offer on this property.

And sure enough, literally right there, I literally direct messaged my realtor and said, hey, make an offer on this property for $165,000 she’s like, okay. She sends me the docusign. Literally while I’m on the coaching class with my students, I clicked the buttons through the docusign ding, ding, ding, ding. We make the offer of $165,000 we ended up negotiating back and forth over the next day or two and we agree on a purchase price of $185,000 so I acquired the property at $185,000. And literally while I’m on this coaching call with my students teaching the method, the method works like a charm live in front of all the students. Everyone’s clapping, everyone’s excited. Fantastic.

So using this Orchard Drive a case study. Here’s the lesson. Here’s the message I want to convey back to you is there’s lots of different ways to find deals and everybody’s talking about off market, off market, off market. There’s nothing on the market. Okay, well I find that there are still things on the market. There’s things on the MLS, HUDHomeStore.com, HomePath.com, HomeSteps.com Auction.com there’s all these different websites that are available that you can still bid on properties if you have a formula, the formula here is price per square foot.

So let me give you a little more insight. What I’ll do is go to realtor.com and in the upper left hand toolbar you can type in a zip code. So just pick your favorite zip code, type it in, and then Realtor.com we’ll tell you how many sales there are, how many properties for rent there are. It will also tell you what’s the average price per square foot in that zip code so that all I do is take a look and say, okay, now I know, let’s say the price per square foot is $150 a foot or $110 a foot or $500 a foot or $80 a foot, whatever it is.

I just pull my calculator out and say, okay, multiply that times 0.7 so let’s just say it’s $100 a square foot times 0.7 now it’s $70 a square foot. Then I’m going to tell my realtor, send me anything that hits this market and send me anything that hits this zip code at $70 per square foot or under, and then I know that that’s worth looking at. It may not be worth making an offer on. It might be an awesome deal. I don’t know yet, but it’s at least it’s a criteria that very few other investors use to sift and sort through the deals. Like you can go to the MLS or go to HUD, Home Store, Home Path, Home Steps, whatever. You can go to all those different deals and make offers. But how do you sift and sort through everything and have an immediate light bulb go off that says this is a potential deal.

So instead of going through all the junk that’s in the MLS or all these websites, set up a search function that says, what is the price per square foot in this area? And what is a discount off that price per square foot that you can put in as a search criteria, your realtor can put in and just have them send you everything that fits that criteria. Now the other thing that’s cool is your realtor can go in and look at each zip code differently. So you can say, well, in this zip code I want to be at $70 per square foot. Anything under that, send me. In this other zip code, send me anything. At $110 a square foot and under in this zip code, in anything that’s $200 a square foot and under this sip code may be $50 a square foot and under right?

So be using Realtor.com to find out what is the average person per square foot. Then multiplying times 0.7 to obviously identify whether it’s a deal with equity or deal that’s worth doing. And then having your realtor plugged in and as an MLS drip can identify properties for you that you could start to look at. That worked like a charm for us. We ended up buying that property for $185,000 we had a budget of $40,000 to rehab it. We definitely went over budget. We ended up putting $60,000 into that property and the property is currently on the market for $300,000 and getting showings and we’re looking to sell it and it’s amazing, right? So it’s a very simple search function.

Test that out, try that in your own market. Look at Realtor.com and the price per square foot, multiply times 0.7 and then give that to your realtor in the MLS as a search function and have them feed you all the properties from the websites, from the MLS that meet that criteria. That’s something that very few investors that I know are doing and it works like a champ.



You’ve been listening to Josh Cantwell and the Accelerated Investor Podcast. Leave a comment on our iTunes channel and let us know what you want to learn next, or who you’d like Josh to interview. While you’re there, give us some five star rating and make sure to subscribe so you can be the first to hear new episodes. Follow Josh Cantwell and his companies, the Strategic Real Estate Coach and Freeland Ventures on all social media platforms now and stay up to date on new training and investment opportunities to start your journey toward the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of. Apply for coaching at JoshCantwellCoaching.com.

Finding property deals is probably the #1 way that real estate investors can ensure their business succeeds. Having a steady pipeline of solid deals will allow you to generate cashflow and establish long-term wealth. 

When it comes to finding deals, don’t limit yourself to just one or two methods. Networking, driving for dollars, and sending direct mail can all be effective techniques for finding deals. But never underestimate the power of the MLS and other real estate sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow, etc. 

In this podcast, Josh shares a recent property deal that he found the “traditional” way – by receiving an automatic email from his Realtor with the latest MLS listings that matched his search criteria. If you’re looking for some quick inspiration and ideas on how to find the best properties at the lowest prices, take a listen to hear what Josh has to say about this case study.

What’s Inside:

  • How Josh found this property (with a price that made it a steal!)
  • How price-per-square-foot came into play with this deal
  • How to calculate the average price-per-square foot in your specific market
  • How to use basic (free) real estate websites to set up specific searches 

Mentioned in this episode​

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