I]f you have been following our latest series of home buyer guides, then you’ll know that we are proponent of what we call the “GoodPlace Method” –
- Identify a “hot” area with good capital appreciation potential (see these guides:- Part 1, Part 2).
- Figure out the fair market value of a property in that area (see this guide).
- Find a good deal. <– Learn how in this guide.
- If you’re in the short game, flip it (see this guide).
- Bank the moolah and make it rain like Kanye!
So where do you find the good deals then? As the Mentor would say, “anywhere and everywhere“. For an established investor like him, deals come to him because everyone in the Malaysia property industry knows that he is a prolific dealmaker. But for the rest of us, a little more legwork is needed. 🙂
If you’re starting out then there’s only one way to get yourself a “deal flow“: explore multiple avenues of property search. Some of these methods overlap with each other, some requires payments and some are downright tedious. Nobody says it’s gonna be easy, and now if you believe that making money in property is easy then I’ve got a third bridge in Penang to sell you. 😉
Here’s the list of “shock and awe” channels of property discovery that the Mentor has shared with me:-
Tip #1: Scour Property Sites
These need no introduction. The biggest sites in Malaysia in terms of traffic are iProperty, Property Guru and Prop Wall (part of Star Property now). It’s easy to drown yourself when you’ve got some 517,000 listings to look at (iProperty claims to have that many… no joke), and it’s a good source of information (and data!) on upcoming areas (these are the places where you will see lots of new listings come up every day).
Personally I like iProperty because it has more than enough listings for anyone to chew on although its interface is, well, too cluttered for my liking. Property Guru is somewhat better in terms of the usability although listings tend to be less than iProperty. Prop Wall is pretty good when it comes to detailed property information, and while the interface is somewhat boring, it’s also highly functional and clean.
Many deal makers are looking elsewhere now because property sites are fast becoming what the industry calls an “agent play” – reportedly up to 30-40% of its traffic comes from agents who are looking to broker deals. There are also lots of what’s termed as “Ghost listings” – it takes some experience to weed these out. 🙂
Tip #2: Befriend Bounty Hunters
Sometimes the listings that you see are already stale by the time they hit the newspapers and property sites. In fact, the best deals are often negotiated even before they hit “mainstream”.
To know of these deals, befriend bounty hunters: these are people who get to know potential sellers before, well, anyone else. This is often because they are in certain industries which place them closer to sellers by default. These include:-
- Barbers (my favourite).
- Condominium managers.
- Home renovation contractors.
- Tukang paip.
- Lawyers – especially those who deal with divorces, bankruptcies, etc.
Be prepared to pay a finder’s fee to these bounty hunters, and when the word goes around that you pay good money for good leads, then people will bring you deals.
Tip #3: Be Nice To Real Estate Agents
I like property agents because (like me) they hustle for a living. If you are known to make good deals then the agents will come to you by default, and you win.
Remember that agents learn about properties that are yet to be listed at property sites and newspapers, and they can bring them to you first before putting them out in the market. Also, many agencies now have “exclusive listings” where their clients will get to cherry pick the best deals before everyone else.
So: make friends with agents, be nice to them, stroke their egos, buy them Starbucks (hello Amanda), wash their cars, and most importantly, let them make some money off you. It’s worth it, trust me.
Bonus Tip #4: Be A Cold Calling Asshole
I’m saving the most interesting method for the last. OK, I have personally not done this, but I know several hardcore hustlers who do this as their day job and they make good coin.
This is what you do:
- Buy the morning paper.
- Look for notices: LAWSUITS, BANKRUPTCIES, DEATHS, DIVORCES.
- Look for the phone number.
- Remind yourself not to be a dick. (important)
- Call the number, and ask nicely (see #4) if there’s property for sale.
For the record, I do not condone this method because of the amount of dickery involved in the process. But if I ever run into financial ruin running GoodPlace (the maintenance and hosting costs are killing me) then this is probably how I’d hustle my way out. Just sayin’. 😉