When it comes to commercial real estate, off-market properties can be one of those lucrative opportunities you add to your portfolio. Whether as property investors or real estate agents, uncovering these properties that aren’t publicly listed can lead to numerous unique advantages. In this blog, we’ll be discussing strategies for discovering off-market commercial properties, so that you can take advantage of this gap in the market and maximize your profitability.
Why Are Off-Market Properties Popular?
Off-market properties, sometimes known as “pocket listings,” are properties that the property owners want to sell but are not actively advertised or listed on public platforms. This means they’re hidden from the public eye and will have less competition to purchase or lease.
Off-market deals can be valuable for real estate brokers and agents because:
- Lower Competition – There will be fewer people, if any, people bidding for these properties. Lower competition means better terms to negotiate on and lower prices.
- Potential to Negotiate – Property owners with off-market deals generally want to sell off their properties quickly. And since they want to keep the deal on the down low, they are more likely to be flexible on terms such as pricing and financing. You should be able to negotiate a better deal than what is being offered.
- Exclusive Properties – Off-market properties can sometimes turn out to be hidden gems. By focusing on these properties, you are opening up access to these types of off-market deals that others may overlook.
Ways To Find Off-Market Commercial Properties
1. Building a Network
One of the most effective methods to finding off-market deals is by having a strong network in the real estate industry. Brokers and agents are constantly working with people who own properties, so they are likely to come across people willing to sell their off-market properties. By connecting with local real estate agents, brokers, and property managers, you can gain insider information about upcoming listings and off-market real estate deals.
2. Targeted Marketing
Direct marketing is a good strategy for finding specific types of properties. You will need to identify property owners in your area and then send personalized letters or emails expressing your interest in purchasing their properties. You need to be affable, provide clarity on what exactly you’re looking for, and mention that you’d prefer properties that have not been listed on public records. Direct mail campaigns in your local area can help you find leads to properties, and if not, will at least keep the lines open for leads in the future. It is definitely a better alternative to cold calling, which can be tedious and unsuccessful in the commercial real estate market.
3. Make Use of Real Estate-Based Tools
As mentioned, off-market properties aren’t generally listed on public websites. But this is only for websites that the general public has access to. There are online platforms and databases that are specifically designed for real estate professionals. There are instances where off-market properties can be listed among these tools. To gain access to these platforms, you may need to pay a subscription fee or get an invite from other professionals.
4. Attending Real Estate Events
Local real estate events, conferences, and gatherings are good places to frequent as they will give you access to the people involved in the local real estate market. You can have face-to-face interactions with property owners, agents, and investors who may know of off-market opportunities. By nurturing relationships with them, you can make good use of those valuable connections.
5. Partnering with Real Estate Brokers
You can find real estate professionals, such as brokers or agents, who specialize in off-market properties. While they may be difficult to come by regularly, you should leverage your network to find these individuals. They are experts in their field and will have a suitable network in the off-market segment. By building a relationship with them, you can work together to find and acquire more off-market deals in the future.
6. Utilizing Public Information
Off-market properties are not listed, but the ownership information of any property is still available for public browsing. You will need to search through property records, county tax assessor offices, and court filings in order to uncover this information. While this may be a long shot, you could potentially identify some leads.
7. Distressed Properties
A distressed property can provide you with a unique opportunity to obtain an off-market lead. Distress properties include those that have been subject to foreclosures or probate properties. By keeping an eye on the public legal notices, you can identify distressed properties in your area. These properties are generally sold for lower values, so you may be able to acquire a good property at a bargain price.
8. Advertising Your Requirement
Finally, if your search has been exhausted and you cannot find any off-market properties, you could consider advertising your intent to purchase these properties. You can advertise through both offline and online methods. Offline includes local newspapers and business magazines where you mention your contact details and requirements. Online includes local forums, groups, and social media platforms. You may need to spend some money to advertise yourself, but you can reach a wider audience through this method.
Finding off-market properties is no easy task. We’re not here to tell you that if you put your mind to it, you will definitely find one. It requires a lot of time, dedication, and effort, but the payoff is worth it. You will need to utilize different strategies than what you may usually implement as real estate agents, and once you find a contact or build a network, finding off-market opportunities will become much easier.