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Investing Strategies

Sneaky Foreclosure Getting Trick: Tapping the Capillary

y u noFrom JP Moses, Director of Awesome and Jamel Gibbs, Foreclosure Advisor...

I want to share a great little REO-getting trick I gleaned recently in a private conversation with fellow faculty and flipping ninja Jamel Gibbs. It's a "sneaky little trick" he’s been using lately to tap directly into the REO inventory most folks aren't aware of.

This is one cool trick that most folks are clueless about, works in today’s arena, and can give you an extra edge in tapping into foreclosure deals most aren’t even looking at yet.

{Side Note for Mogule Elite members: You can download and listen to our actual conversation about this in the Power Pack tools for this lesson. Look for it in the sidebar.}

The REO Arena – Things Are Tougher Out There

The lifeblood of your real estate investing business is having access to an endless flow of deals, REO (Real Estate Owned) properties – taken back by lenders through the foreclosure process – are still a great way to reap tremendous financial rewards in today’s market.

“But wait,” you argue, “Isn't the market saturated with investors lining up at banks trying to get their hands on REO inventory?”

The answer is yes and no.

Look, I’m sure it’s painfully obvious to you by now that, generally speaking, things have gotten tougher than ever lately for the mom & pop investor out there to pick up REO inventory through the traditional methods.

Lots of Investors Are Lined Up at Major Arteries

bank noMost real estate blood flows through major arteries – big banks. And because these banks are so big, the lion’s share of REO deals can be found by tapping into these arteries.

The problem?  

The competition for deals can be fierce at times. And nowadays when to you try tapping into the arteries, you find big institutional buyers and hedge funds are often your biggest competitors. And these guys are known for having millions or even billions on hand (think Blackwater) and purchasing huge blocks of REO inventory.

Having a tough time tapping into the artery? Maybe you should consider seeking your lifeblood from another place. ;-)

Solution: Tapping the Capillary

It’s no secret that a healthy body needs to move blood throughout the entire body, not just along the major arterial line, right? But all banks aren't huge national interests that serve the masses – the arteries. The real estate body also has capillaries – small community lenders, regional banks and credit unions – to provide the extremities with the financial blood they need to thrive (and survive).

Capillaries Don’t Carry As Much Blood…But They Still Bleed Red

Because community banks, regional lenders and credit unions aren't nearly as large as the huge mega-banks, most real estate investors (the big players and even most of the “regular” guys) look beyond them when they’re seeking REO inventory.

So even though these smaller lenders have less REO inventory, in many cases there’s hardly anyone trying aggressively to purchase their properties.

This is one case where “ignorance” (theirs) equals “bliss” (yours). By seeking out these smaller lenders directly, you’ll find that in most cases they’re willing to (gasp) actually talk with you about REO purchases!

How to Tap the Capillaries

 tapping the capillaryIt’s deceptively simple and straight forward really.

How do you get the small local banks to start talking to you?

Just walk right in and say, “Hi, I’m an investor in the area looking to buy some foreclosures. Is there anyone I can talk to today who can go over the properties with me? Who’s in charge of your bank’s real estate owned?”

Typically smaller lenders don’t have the massive staffs of larger lenders, and in many cases a single real estate Asset Manager handles everything. So more than likely, they’ll immediately do one of two things:

  1. Connect you directly with their in-house asset manager, or
  2. Direct you to the broker/agent handling their REO listings.

If the first thing happens, then score!

If the second thing happens, it’s not the end of the world. But it could still benefit you to deal directly with the asset managers if/when possible. So you may want to try another little tactic to tap directly into the capillary…

There’s a magical phrase I've found that almost universally grabs the attention of most real estate Asset Managers.

Wait for it…


“I may be interested in purchasing a small REO bulk package. What do you have available?”

This is a door opener. Agents don’t typically handle bulk purchases, Asset Managers do. And these guys are savvy professionals who want – need – to move their REO inventory quickly and efficiently. If you have the ability to purchase a small block of properties (or they think you do), in many cases they’ll throw open the doors to their offices and treat you like a king.

So suddenly, you’re in. And there’s typically very little competition for these properties. Once you’re in, you’ll have access to the capillary and the fresh blood you need to breathe life into your real estate business.

So to Quickly Review

  • Basic concept: Going directly to the smaller, local bank for REO properties
  • Works best with: Smaller local banks, some regional banks and most credit unions
  • Why:  Larger banks typically won't give you direct access to their REO inventory. But many of the smaller, regional banks will actually open up and give you access to their REO inventory.
  • How: Literally just call or walk in and ask.
  • Gatekeeper Tip: "I may be looking to buy a small bulk package"
Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Here’s what I want you to do today:

  • Locate: at least three smaller, local institutions to target – or maybe even one of each type – a local community lender, regional bank and credit union (two really great resources for this are the FDIC Bank Find List and US Bank Locations.)
  • Call: or even walk in and say, ““Hi, I’m an investor in the area looking to buy some foreclosures. Is your REO asset manager available please?” Or “Is there anyone I can talk to today who can go over your REO properties with me please?”
  • Work it: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit pay dirt right away. Just do this once every week or two, and I can almost guarantee you’ll start tapping into some little known capillaries of REO profit your competitors aren't even aware of.

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