Property Sourcing Scotland – How To Find Off-Market Deals
Guest Blog by Matt Morrison (Property Broker and Developer)
Before I discuss Property Sourcing in Scotland, I suppose I should first detail what an “off-market property” is. An off-market property to me is simply a property that is not listed with an estate agent on the likes of Rightmove or Zoopla. Dealing in off-market property is preferred by many property professionals as it enables you to get direct to the vendor usually resulting in a smoother buying process, more control and often a better deal.
Over the last 3 years, I have sourced many off-market property deals for myself and my clients and these are the 4 main key ways I have done this:
Direct to Vendor Marketing
With Scottish Property Sourcing, there are many ways in which a property professional can market to sellers directly, cutting out the middle man and getting straight to the source. For me, the methods that have worked the best are:
- Online advertising – this can be via the likes of Google or Facebook ads. These can be incredibly expensive and you really need to have 3 months’ running costs in the bank before starting a campaign. I use a specialist advertising company to run my ads to ensure quality and a good cost per lead. There are a lot of timewasters but when you do get a good lead it makes it all worthwhile.
- Leaflet Campaigns – I have undergone a few leaflet campaigns with varying degrees of success. These can often be cheaper than running online ads and allows you to target a tighter geographical area. Many people say you need to send out around 10,000 leaflets in the same area per month for 3 months before you start to see any real success, however, I have had some decent quality leads from a couple thousand.
- Bandit Board Signs – a well-made simple “we buy houses” bandit sign in a good area away from competition in my experience can yield a couple of decent leads per month. These signs cost £5-£6 to make and are easy to put up in your local area. However, it is advised to put a “burner” phone number on the signs instead of your own as it can save issues from the local authority & makes it easy to identify incoming leads.
As everyone says, property is a people business, as cliché as this is it does run true when sourcing off-market property. Having a good network of professionals, conveyancing solicitors, brokers & those involved in the trade can ensure you get the call when an opportunity becomes available. I have had a good amount of success working with career landlords who pass me a handful of properties per year that I can sell to clients. These are usually at a hefty discount due to their long-term equity in the property.
Check Out Online Portals Where Sellers Advertise Themselves
Many sites such as Facebook Marketplace, Placebuzz & local buy and sell groups allow you to contact the seller directly to strike up a deal. You can also post ads here yourself for free telling people what you are looking for. These portals are great sources where contacting your perfect clients is easy and readily available. Property Sourcing in Scotland doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s about being able to have conversations with the right people.
Take advantage of these portals and respond to adverts quickly to ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities.
Have A Good Off-Market Property Sourcer
I may be slightly biased in this one as this is my day job. However, having someone who is actively doing all of the above and more to find the right opportunity for you is in my opinion the best way to get access to good off-market opportunities. Spending thousands of pounds a month and 40+ hours a week trying to find deals isn’t possible for everyone so why not work with someone who is already doing this? Engage with someone with a good reputation in the industry, with a social media profile showing they are active in the space and tell them what it is your looking for. I’d be happy to be contacted by anyone on the below contact details and if I can’t help you I’d be delighted to pass you on to someone who can.
Off-Market opportunities can be bad as well as good. Just because something is off-market does not mean it is a better deal always carry out your own due diligence on each deal as well as anyone you are planning to work with. I always obtain a home report when going through conveyancing to ensure no massive issues and to mitigate risk. Good luck!
Property Developer / Off-Market Sourcer