This is one of the least competitive niches.
Many times, the hardest part is getting good vacant home leads.
Once you get good leads, chances are you will be the only agent pursuing the owner.
Vacant homes are often still utilized as rental or lease income. A vacant designation just means this is not the owner’s primary residence, for whatever reason that might be.
Once you get vacant leads, you can show them that selling the home is their best option.
The first place to look for these leads is by searching online through your local property appraiser or tax assessor.
Smart Agents is in Jacksonville, Florida and Duval County. So I would Google "Duval County Property Appraiser."
As you can see, it's the first result. On that page, search type "estate" in the owner name box and type in your zip code then search for those results.
These estate leads are inherited homes and many times they are vacant because of this.
This is a great path to finding the vacants.
This brings up 240 properties in our ZIP code.
Some of these buildings are going to be garbage leads (or actually not leads at all).
For example, “JWB Real Estate Capital LLC” is owned by a real estate company.
Almost all of the "life estate" homes on this list won't be solid leads either.
Since a life estate is owned by a person until they die, it won't be a lead for sale. It will be inherited by someone in their will.
This is the first home on the list.
If you search that address, it is easy to find the home is for sale with a realtor.
If you search the owner's name, you can see she passed away last year.
I found who is handling Myra’s Estate by researching her probate case on the Courthouse’s Website.
From here you can see who has been assigned as the personal representative of this house. It's the last column of this sheet.
Here is that document.
This will show you who to get in touch with.
Next, I searched for the person who is in charge of the home on Whitepages. I was able to find her address and contact information.
This is how the agent who is representing her house found her.
The first competent agent to reach out to her got the listing.
You can follow this same process to find vacant leads.
If I was pursuing leads, there were a couple from that list that I would follow this process with.
I would call this owner and offer him something of value that could convince him about selling his vacant or second home.
You can mail them letters or books (for members) if you want, but since no one is living there or it's being rented, it may not get to them.
Take a look at this vacant home in Jacksonville with a Maryland mailing address.
This is the home to pursue the hardest since the owners are probably children who live way out of state in Maryland.
You could call them and go into your listing pitch about the benefit of selling the home.
Mailing them material can work as well.
Another option you can do is you can buy the leads online. It is easier to do this.
It does cost money, and sometimes the leads that you get are lower quality, or out of date.
Here are some of the websites that you can do this with:
You can get a list of vacant leads in your area for five bucks here. But it does have this disclaimer.
Number available leads will vary by location as well as time frame of search, i.e. vacant properties from the last 3 months or 9 months.
There further back the search is extended the more leads generated, also the higher probability no longer vacant.
Like I said, there is no way to see the quality of any of these leads before you buy them. The cheaper options may be worth a try.
Online vacant leads aren't always reliable.
The third option may get you the most quality leads.
Just get in your car and drive around an area looking for empty homes.
Pick a neighborhood or an area that you're trying to target.
If you see a house that's empty, write down the property address, and then go back to your office.
Or just look it up on your phone while you're driving around. You can research the owners name and mailing address on your local website.
I was driving around recently in San Marco, right here in Jacksonville, which is a pretty high-end area.
I saw three vacant homes in about ten minutes of driving around. I found this house right here.
An easy way to find the owner of that house is to go Zillow, San Marco, Jacksonville.
You also can use the property appraiser's website as well. We're right on the corner of Holly and River.
This house looked like nobody lived there or nobody cared enough to take care of it when I saw it in person.
It had long grass, and a tree in the yard looked horrible.
Then I found out it expired a year or so ago. I contacted the owners, who were out of state and sent them my book to win the listing.
You're not going to get every single one of these leads, but if you put the time in, you can get a lot of listings just by doing this.
These leads are tougher to get than other niches, but the quality of them will make it worth it.
When you do reach out to these owners, you have to give them something of value to win them over.
I gave these owners my book, and our members do that same thing.
What if you sent a book that you were the author of to these owners?
Mail out of town vacant owners your book. They'll be immediately impressed.
Books have a huge perceived value. They don’t get thrown away.
They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition.
That’s how a Smart Agent thinks!
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!