Select Page

How To Generate Real Estate Wholesale Leads


By: Chris Lewis

Posted On: November 19, 2020

How To Generate Real Estate Wholesale Leads

Your wholesaling business will be dead in the water without a steady and reliable pipeline of motivated seller leads. Your pipeline is the source of your deals and profits. So, knowing how to generate real estate wholesale leads for motivated sellers should be at the top of your To-Do list.

Once you create your marketing plan, it’s time to implement your strategy to generate real estate wholesale leads and start getting sellers calling you and submitting their information on your website and marketing forms. After all, it’s not like the first seller you speak with will turn into a deal, in fact, you likely need to speak with as many as 30 to 50 sellers before you get a deal under contract.

So, let’s talk about the most effective ways to generate real estate wholesale leads to find more motivated sellers.

Wholesale real estate lead generation can be broken down into 2  general categories:

1)     Online Lead Generation
2)     Offline Lead Generation

Any successful wholesaling business will utilize both of these methods to find motivated seller leads. Although, it is fairly common to see a wholesale company depend on just one of these methods of lead generation that they have “perfected.”

What’s The Difference Between Online and Offline Lead Generation to generate real estate wholesale leads?

Offline Lead Generation: This is simply anything that doesn’t involve the internet to generate real estate wholesale leads, such as direct mail, bandit signs, driving for dollars,  referrals, networking, door hangers, etc.  Mos offline lead generation is considered outbound marketing. This is because most of the time using these methods, you are reaching out to potential sellers. The exception is Bandit Signs because people who see your sign call you, but it is still considered offline marketing because it does not involve the internet.

Online Lead Generation:   Online lead generation is simply anything that does involve the internet to generate real estate wholesale leads. Online lead generation has evolved over the years and when properly applied can be very cost-effective and provide a steady flow of incoming motivated seller leads. Examples of online lead generation to find motivated seller leads include SEO (search engine optimization), PPC(Pay Per Click – google adwords), GMB (Google My Business), Facebook Ads, Social Media Marketing, business listings such as Yellowpages, yelp or bbb, as well as Craigslist and other similar classified sites.

Implementing both online and offline marketing to generate real estate wholesale leads is the most effective method to generate real estate wholesale leads. If you buy a lead list and send direct mail, you should also consider using that same marketing list to send ringless voicemail, voice broadcast, and running targeted facebook ads to the same list. This way, a seller who may be receiving a postcard from you and another competing we buy houses company, will also get your marketing message via telephone, voicemail, and facebook. This not only puts your brand and message in front of the potential lead, but it also adds additional credibility to your company and can make a smaller brand seem like a larger company since they are receiving your ad multiple times, through multiple mediums. This can be the deciding factor between a motivated seller selling to you

So let’s talk about the best methods to generate Real Estate Wholesale leads to find Motivated Sellers that you can implement right away to start generating more leads and closing more deals. 


# 1:  Driving for Dollarsdriving for dollars

Driving for dollars is a tried and true method to generate real estate wholesale leads, and it also happens to be the cheapest. All it requires is time and knowing what to look for. Properties in disrepair are always a good indicator of a potential motivated seller lead. Keep an eye out for boarded-up doors and windows, tall grass and/or unkempt landscaping, piled-up trash, and/or other indicators of distress like rotted wood, peeling paint, and missing or worn out roofing shingles.

You’ll need to get the house number, then you can check your city or county tax records to find the homeowner’s name. Then, use a skip tracing service to locate the homeowner and give them a call and/or send them a letter.

Pro-Tip:   instead of doing this yourself to generate real estate wholesale leads, you can hire a “bird dog”.  A bird dog is someone who will do this for you by locating potential motivated seller leads and pass the leads along to you in return for a finder’s fee or portion of the assignment fee. Many successful investors have multiple bird dogs who do this for them and can be a great resource to help you generate real estate wholesale leads without you having to leave your house!

#2: Direct Mail direct mail to generate real estate wholesale leads

Direct mail is another tried and true method to generate real estate wholesale leads, although this method comes with a price tag. Using direct mail to generate real estate wholesale leads is one of the most common methods wholesalers use, and it is not uncommon to spend multiple thousands of dollars per campaign. However, if a seller receives your direct mail and calls you back, they’re considered a warm, or hot lead. Otherwise, why else would they have called you? Other than to tell you to take them off your list, of course

As the saying goes: it takes money to make money, and when it comes to direct mail to generate real estate wholesale leads, it takes an investment, to see a return. So, consider making an investment into direct mail to generate more motivated seller leads.

Direct mail campaigns are most effective when you target the right list of homeowners, which first requires you to create a list. The best way to do this is to use a site such as to build a custom stacked list, which allows you to choose multiple attributes to create a custom list to ensure you are targeting a list of homeowners that are more likely to sell.

Pro-Tips: Mail to the same list at least 3 times (up to 6) before you exhaust your list in order to generate real estate wholesale leads for your business.  Don’t just send one campaign then give up because you get a low response rate. It’s actually pretty common to see 1% response rate from motivated sellers when sending a direct mail campaign to generate real estate wholesale leads

Track Everything and Create Metrics!  Be sure to track:

o    # of direct mail pieces sent to a list
o   # of phone calls received per campaign
o   # of appointments set per campaign,
o   # of contracts signed per campaign
o   # of deals closed per campaign
o   and most importantly, the amount of profit per deal

This way you are able to calculate not only your response rates but also your Return On Investment (ROI). This is crucial and often overlooked, but is an integral part of your business to track if you want to continually generate real estate wholesale leads.


#3:  Craigslist ( & Other Classifieds)

If you’re short on money, you can start finding motivated sellers (as well as buyers) on Craigslist and some other commonly used classifieds websites. Craigslist is a good example to use. Here’s what to look for:

1) For sale by owner ads: This is the obvious one, but you’ll be surprised how few people regularly scan these listings.  Once in a while, you’ll come a cross a motivated seller and get a great deal that you can flip to another investor.

2) Rental Listings: This will be more hit or miss, however from time to time you will find a landlord who hasn’t been able to rent a property and is more likely to be a motivated seller willing to take an as is cash offer. Although you may need to contact a lot of people before getting a deal, it is a strategy that has worked for many. Just be sure to look for private owners, and not property managers and leasing agents.

Searching both FSBO and Rental listings on craigslist and other classified can help you generate real estate wholesale leads

Pro- Tip:  You are able to post in various sections of Craigslist, just be sure your post is in an appropriate section, with your contact information so people know you are someone someone that buys houses for cash.  This way if sellers are looking to sell their homes, and come across your ad, they will reach out to you.

#4: Bandit Signsbandit signs for motivated seller leads

At one point, bandit signs were the foundation of the wholesaling industry and was the go-to method to generate real estate wholesale leads. The idea behind a bandit sign is pretty simple – You put a sign up with your phone number along with something like “We Buy Houses For Cash” or “John Buys Houses” (not your business name). When someone sees your sign that has a property to sell they’ll call you. Pretty Simple.

Although, placing a sign in random locations won’t necessarily do you any good. You need to do some research and find out the best areas to generate real estate wholesale leads before placing your bandit signs. Just be sure to check and see if there are any restrictions in the neighborhood or city you are posting. As of late, many cities have imposed restrictions on the posting of bandit signs. Keep in mind, the city will be able to locate you, since your number is on the sign!

Pro- Tip:  Hire someone to help you place your bandit signs, use an app to track where they were placed and have them take a photo of each to ensure you are getting your money’s worth. This way, you don’t have to do it yourself.

#5: PPC (Pay Per Click)

Just before the supposed end of the world (AKA Jan 1, 2000), Google released a new marketing platform which enabled you to place ads on the internet, based on key word searches. This new service allowed people to choose keywords that they want their website to rank for to help them generate real estate wholesale leads. It was a bit of a crap-shoot back then, as the internet then was not the internet we know now. In fact, it has only gotten better. Audience targeting has become much more advanced, and unlike Bandit Signs and Mailers, you pay based upon clicks, which are a result of a search with your key word(s). Therefore, if someone runs a search, then clicks on your ad, you can be fairly certain they are looking for your service.


Pro- Tip:  Use re-targeting to generate real estate wholesale leads. Once someone has clicked on your ad, and visited your page. Make sure you re-target them, both online and on social media. I’m sure you have seen ads floating around webpages and/or on facebook and Instagram after you had clicked an ad or visited a webpage… That was re-targeting at work.


#6: Facebook Adsfacebook ads for real estate wholesale leads

Facebook is not just a social network, it has become a powerhouse marketing platform and one of the largest data aggregators in the world. What this means for marketers, is the ability to use the billions of bits of information they have collected on its’ users behaviors, interests, jobs, connections, internet searches and offline event history, to be able to hyper target users to display ads to, which means it can be a highly effective tool to generate real estate wholesale leads.  Although over the years, many things have changed within Facebook, part as a result of multiple data breaches including the most famous Cambridge Analytica Scandal which helped to shape the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election as well as specific changes applicable to Real Estate Marketing Ads, the cost and efficacy of FB marketing to generate real estate wholesale leads for motivated sellers has also changed. However, as with anything, we adapt.

Pro- Tip:  Use your existing marketing list (direct mail, cold calling, ringless voicemail) to create a custom audience in Facebook. Facebook has enough user information to match 40-60% of most lists, and can help keep your overall ad spend down and ultimately generate real estate wholesale leads for less.

We talk much more about how to use facebook to generate motivated seller leads in this article.

#7:  Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

Generate real estate wholesale leads with SEO (Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of optimizing a website to rank high (page 1) on Google and other popular search platforms like Bing and Yahoo. You’ve probably heard the term SEO, and even know what it is and/or have hired someone to run SEO for you (or tried it yourself), however the main issue with using SEO to generate real estate wholesale leads for motivated sellers is that most people who provide SEO services, know little (or not enough to be effective) about how to optimize a website for proper SEO  results.

SEO is Fluid. A proper SEO campaign takes 2-3 months to start seeing results, and requires continually optimizing your keywords, page content, blog posts, analysis of competitor websites, proper page title headings and sub-headings, meta tag descriptions, alt text descriptions, backlinks, internal links, external links, and a number of other techniques. to help you generate real estate wholesale leads.

The beauty of SEO, is that unlike PPC, when you stop paying for ads/keywords, your page will continue to rank well indefinitely and continue to generate real estate wholesale leads for months, and years to come. Sure, to keep your highest ranking, you will need to make the occasional tweak, however well-established domains with are hard, sometimes impossible, to outrank. Don’t you wish that was your site? Imagine knowing every day that your domain will come up top of page 1 in searches and generate leads, without lifting a finger or spending another penny. THAT is why SEO is so important, so why do people ignore it? Well, probably because they don’t understand that and think that SEO is magic and those who rank high sprinkle pixie dust on their computers, say a spell and voila! Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Pro- Tip:  Use a combination of short and long-tail keywords to generate real estate wholesale leads. Although each you may have one main SEO keyword phrase, using more than one keyword within a page or post will help your SEO rankings. Example: In this post I have used the term Generate Real Estate Wholesale Leads as well as motivated sellers and motivated seller leads. Although these are different keyword phrases, they are related and using both will help with overall ranking.

We talk much more about how to use SEO to generate motivated seller leads in this article.

#8 Ringless Voicemail

ringless voicemail to find motivated seller leads

Ringless Voicemail has become a popular marketing method to generate real estate wholesale leads over the years for a few reasons:

  1. It’s Cheap – You can find ringless voicemail drops anywhere from 3-8c per drop, as low as 2c per drop. That means you can reach 10,000 people for $200.
  2. It’s Effective – For $200, you can reach 10k people, how many of those people call you back is dependant on how good of a lead list you targeted as well as your message, but ultimately at the end of the day, your phone will ring, and the cost per lead is pretty low.

Ringless voicemail allows you to send a pre-recorded message directly to the voicemail of cell phones, without the phone ringing, hence the name Ringless Voicemail. Although over the years there has been increased scrutiny and policies put in place, and states like Florida have banned Ringless Voicemail, it remains a a widely used form of marketing to generate real estate wholesale leads and target  motivated sellers.

Pro- Tip:  When running a Ringless Voicemail campaign to generate real estate wholesale leads, don’t leave long messages on people’s cell phones. You may think providing more information is useful and effective, but it tends to come off “salesy” and “pitchy” and will not yield as high of a call back rate. Be short and to the point, and offer more information when they call you back.

#9 Voice Broadcast voice broadcast to find motivated seller leads

Also known as “Robo Calling,” Voice Broadcast allows you to send pre-recorded messages to both cell phones and landlines. The difference between voice broadcast and ringless voicemail, is that voice broadcast dials a phone number and rings. When someone picks up, it plays a message with a recording, and plays a message to the recipient allowing them to press a key to transfer to you, or press another key to opt our or leave a message. When it detects voicemail, you can opt to leave a message or not and is very effective method to generate real estate wholesale leads.

Although many think voice broadcast, or “robo calls” are illegal, many are just mis-informed. The use of voice broadcast has been around for many years, and when used correctly, is not illegal. As long as you are complying with the FCC’s TCPA regulations by scrubbing against the DNC database and are not selling a product, but rather providing information or a free service to the consumer(homeowner), then you are using the technology in a compliant manner and are likely to see great results.

Similar to Ringless Voicemail, Voice Broadcast is a go-to marketing method to generate real estate wholesale leads for a few reasons:

  1. It’s Cheap(er) than Ringless Voicemail. Voice broadcasts are billed by the minute (or fractions of a minute), not by the message. Therefore, if your message is short, or less than a minute, your broadcast will be billed accordingly, and each message may only cost you fraction(s) of a penny to send. Imagine sending 10k messages, for only $50-100 or less!?
  2. Its Effective. You can reach hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of people per day, or even per hour. The more people you reach with your message, the more opportunities you have to generate real estate wholesale leads


Pro- Tip:  When sending a Press 1 voice broadcast campaign to generate real estate wholesale leads, do not transfer them directly to your cell phone. Instead, transfer them to a tracking number with a menu which offers a bit more information than your initial voice message, along with the option to transfer to a live person, leave a message, or once again to opt out. This extra steps weeds out a lot of the time consuming calls with people who may not actually be interested, or just pressed 1 to complain, or didn’t listen to the whole message. It also ensures that people who do this, and choose to speak with you and/or leave a message are more motivated “warm” seller leads.


#10 SMS (Text Messaging)text messages to generate real estate wholesale leads

Text message marketing to generate real estate wholesale leads has become a topic of many discussions within the real estate investing community lately. In fact, it is being promoted by many of the top “gurus” and influencers alike. While text massaging has an impressive open rate of 95-98%, compliance around text message marketing falls under CAN SPAM and federal TCPA regulations, and if not done in a compliant manner, can result in large fines and potential legal action.  I do not promote cold text message marketing as a message to generate motivated seller leads, however it can be a very effective method if properly used for follow up, to keep potential leads engaged.

Pro- Tip:  Be very careful when using text message marketing to generate real estate wholesale leads and always use an opt-out in every message.

We talk much more about how to use SEO to generate motivated seller leads in this article.

Not every business is the same, nor is each market, which is why your unique business requires its’ own marketing strategy. If you have any questions about marketing methods to generate real estate wholesale leads, schedule a free consultation with us.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like…

SEO For Real Estate Investing

Why Do You Need SEO For Real Estate Investing?   The first thing most people do when they are facing...

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!