Using “Bird Dogs” To Find Motivated Sellers

Posted on June 6, 2016 by

Using the people around you to locate motivated sellers for you is a great way to find even more deals absolutely free. Think about it, the more people you have locating deals for you, the more deals you are going to make. And personally, I always advocate “free” techniques for finding motivated sellers, especially those of you with a very limited budget for marketing.

So how are we going to find these people to find deals for us? Well first of all, look around you. Friends, relatives and co-workers are good sources of leads for you. They usually live, drive and work in different areas of town than you do and they come in contact with a lot of people that you simply won’t. So they are likely to bring you deals you would never know about otherwise.

You can also ask anyone who does deliveries to be a bird dog for you. For example, mail delivery, Fed-X or UPS delivery people are delivering packages all over your area and can tell you about vacant houses they may see. In fact, you could even give them some of your business cards to stick in the doors of vacant houses they find. Just have them write their first name on the back of the card so you can pay them if you get a deal from it.  

If you have someone who mows your lawn, cleans your home, shovels your driveway, takes care of your pool, does pest control for you, or a handy man who works for you, these are all good sources of leads for you. You just need to make sure you pay them either by the lead they bring you or by the deal when you close. You need to negotiate this with them ahead of time, then pay them promptly when you bring you deal so they will be even more willing to work harder for you.

I actually have a tenant who works for the local cable company, so he is all over our county on a daily basis. He is able to find us lots of leads on vacant houses and people who are getting ready to sell their homes. I also have a contact with a company that has storage units and they will contact me when they know of someone who has a home they need to sell. This is all just a matter of creating relationships with people around you who are likely to be able to scout deals for you. I also work with auction houses who bring me leads when they have heirs consign property to them to sell. There is usually a house involved that needs to be sold as well.

If you are a landlord, your tenants can be an excellent source of leads for you. They are usually talking to their neighbors on a regular basis and will hear about situations you wouldn’t know about otherwise. I have a tenant referral program that I use to get my tenants excited about finding leads for me. I send them a letter telling them if they bring me a lead and I buy the deal, I will allow them a $150.00 credit toward the following months’ rent. I have purchased multiple properties on the same street using this technique. The tenants knew these homes were going to be sold long before they were listed for sale anywhere else.

You can also pay friends, family or tenants to put your signage on their vehicles. I pay $30.00 per month for folks to keep our signage on their vehicles. I provide them with business cards to distribute to anyone who asks for one and also to put on the vehicle when it is parked. I have them write their names on the back of the cards. Whenever I get a call and buy a deal from one of their vehicles I pay them an extra bonus of 250.00. This is a great way to get your message out to your market. These folks with vehicle signage will go a lot of places you would never go. For example, I have one tenant with signage on her car and she works at a local building supply store so her vehicle sits in front of that store all day with our signs on it. What a great way to find leads! And they make vehicle signage that is very reasonable to purchase and does not damage the vehicle. I have resources for these companies on my website at

Here is another idea for you that will get bird dogs finding leads for you. We provided several of our vendors and friends with auto shades for their cars. On the front of the auto shade is our message, and our contact information. The people you give the auto shades to appreciate having them, and it’s free advertising for you whenever their vehicle is parked.

You can also use a Realtor, mortgage broker, home inspection person, title agent or attorneys to find properties for you. Very often my Realtor will bring me deals before they are listed. These are situations where he can’t list them because there isn’t much equity or the foreclosure date is too close.

I also have relationships with attorneys who bring me deals. They will often have a situation with a client who needs to sell a property quickly in whatever condition in order to liquidate assets and they will call me first. If you are a person of integrity, these attorneys will continue to bring you deals.

My mortgage broker is often in touch with hard money and private lenders who sometimes end up having to foreclose on a property they have financed for another investor. Usually, they want their money, not the property back. So these are good opportunities for you to buy properties as well that you don’t actively have to market for. Someone else is doing all of the work for you.

Be a little creative and think of all the people you might know who may be able to find some deals for you. The more people you have finding deals for you, the more deals you will make. This is all part of automating your systems to get others doing all the work for you.

For more information on locating motivated sellers using bird dogs, visit my website at While you are there be sure and sign up for my free monthly newsletter.

Kathy KennebrookKathy Kennebrook is a speaker, author and has been actively investing in real estate since 1999, Kathy currently resides in Bradenton, FL and is known as the “Marketing Magic Lady” because she is the country’s leading real estate marketing expert on finding motivated sellers using direct mail.

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