How To Find Distressed Properties To Flip For Fun And Profit


OK, before anything, I just want to state this upfront: this money making strategy I am going to share with you in this GoodPlace guide can be somewhat soul destroying. Let me explain.

A few months ago there was this chappie (let’s call him Arnie – not his real name) who came up to my office at the HackerHub to talk business. Arnie was previously an ex-colleague at this place where I had worked for a short while before striking it out on my own. After quitting, Arnie had had stints hustling products online as an affiliate marketer in a wide range of niches: from selling online courses to tangibles like electronics and e-cigarettes.

Arnie’s plan was simple enough: find desperate people who would sell us properties for sen on the ringgit which we would then either resell for a profit or to build up a rental portfolio for cash. He would get the leads using his Internet marketing bag of tricks while I would then get buyers or renters for.

To cut a long story short: we killed the project, but not because it was not successful; in fact, in seven short days, we have generated some 287 seller leads who were desperate to unload their properties. In the end, I had decided to end the project because of this reason that I am going to share with you next.

(Arnie was understandably peeved because we were practically walking away from gobs of profit, but then again, this was money that I didn’t care to make.)

Dealing With People In Distress Is Depressing As Hell

Now let’s face it – people won’t sell you their property for cheap unless they are in some shitty situation. Of course, there are exceptions to this – for example, if they are moving elsewhere for good or if they need to pay for their children’s college. But if you want to be active in the distressed property market, then be prepared to deal with people who are generally unhappy and/or in financial trouble.

Out of the 287 leads that we collected online (I’ll share with you how next), below is the breakdown of the sellers clustered around the reasons why they needed to unload their properties for cheap:-

46In financial trouble; need to settle personal debt
22Can't afford the monthly payments; bank lelong risk
16Divorce or breakup
5Moving elsewhere

As you see, at least 84% of the leads were selling their property due to “unhappy” reasons. I had personally talked to many of these sellers, and while I would hate to generalize, these people were mostly unpleasant, resentful and impatient, no doubt as a result of the situation that they got caught into.

After talking to some 50 of these desperate sellers over the span of three days, my interest in the project had completely fizzled out. I have always seen buying and selling property as “happy”, momentous occasions in one’s life, and as such, profiting from people’s desperation runs against what GoodPlace’s raison d’etre.

Huge, Huge Opportunity For The (Amoral) Hustler

Of course, it would be hypocritical for me to pass moral judgment on those who choose to play in this niche. One would argue that he or she is doing good by providing help that the desperate seller wouldn’t otherwise get from the banks, etc.

(That’s also the same reason that the typical Ah Long would give you, so…)

Now purely from a business point of view, there’s no denying that there are lots of money to be made in the distressed property market. If you’re not averse to dealing with people in distress and you have no qualms against making money out of people in sticky situations then continue reading… you’re in for a real treat.

The hardest nut to crack in this niche is to find these desperate buyers efficiently (read: cheaply), and I do believe that we have found a way to crack that nut.

And since we are already exiting this niche, I can freely share this method with you. If you decide to give this a go, then I’ll be interested to know if you can replicate our results, and how much money you made in the end. Don’t worry – I won’t ask you for a cut. 🙂

How To Find Sellers With Distressed Properties Online

The following is a short overview of the process that we have taken to generate 287 leads in seven days through Google Adwords. Next week I will be sharing the detailed steps as well as our own data as well as budgeting information.

Step #1: Research Keywords. Find out what sellers would type into Google to search for solutions, and estimate the keyword search volume.

Step #2: Set Up Your Landing Page. You’ll need a web page to capture the details of the seller: at the very least, the name and phone number. Note that the lengthier the form is, the dropout rate will be higher although in our experience longer forms generate higher quality leads.

Step #3: Buy Ads. Set up your campaigns on Adwords and direct traffic to your landing page. Benchmark your conversion rates: typically 20%+ is great, and anything less than 10% means that your landing page sucks.

Step #4: Follow Up. Time to pick up the phone and call the leads. If you have used a shorter form then this is the opportunity to further qualify the lead. Find out about the property, asking price and expected time to sell.

Step #5: Optimize. Calculate your cost per acquisition (“CPA” in Internet marketing speak) and see if you can drive it down by (1) optimizing your Adwords campaigns, and/or (2) tweaking your landing page to increase your conversion rates. The key is to reduce CPA while maintaining lead quality.

If you’re interested in following the same steps that we took then EMAIL ME (don’t leave me a message below). We have some new ideas that you may want to incorporate in your project.

Watch this space next week for detailed explanation for each of the steps above.

About Khai Yin

When I am not writing for and helping my readers find properties though the DealMatcher service, I spend time doting on my three kids: Wenyi, Qinyi and Eian. My personal stuff, some published essays and contact details can be found at

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