When you’re getting ready to send out a direct mail campaign, the more targeted your audience, the better. There are a bunch of lists you could purchase and depending on your market, some might work better than others.
You can buy lists based on various criteria, including but not limited to:

  • High equity properties
  • Zip codes
  • Tax delinquency
  • Evictions
  • Probate
  • Age
  • For-sale-by-owner
  • Expired MLS listings
  • Absentee owners
  • Pre-foreclosures

We’re going to focus on 3 of the most effective lists you can buy but again, this can vary from market to market.

Absentee Owners

There are various reasons why they are living elsewhere.
If it’s a person (not a company) who owns the property, they might have inherited the property but don’t have the time or passion to get it ready to sell on the MLS.
Other times, you’ll find that they bought a property (maybe a few) as an investment, thinking they would turn them into rentals or possibly even flip them. When life gets in the way though, these properties can sit being nearly forgotten.
A vacant property isn’t bringing in any income and is costing the owner money. Because of this, an out-of-town owner who has a vacant property can be one of the most motivated of sellers.
For properties owned by a company, this could either truly be a company or an investor who has put the title in a LLC or corporation for tax or liability reasons. If this is the case, they might be ready to sell so don’t discount them!


Investors who buy probate lists need to remember how sensitive of a time this is for the seller, as most of the executors of the estate are relatives of someone who recently passed.
Many times, the family doesn’t live close enough to the property to maintain it and don’t have plans to move into the property so selling it quickly becomes one of the top options.
This list is one of the most popular lists to purchase because these can be some of the most motivated of sellers. It is also one of the more expensive lists to acquire.

The key with probate leads are to nurture the relationship by sending letters that show your understanding of the situation and how you’d like to be a solution if they’re wanting to sell the property. Send follow up letters consistently every month or two as they may not be ready to part with the property just yet.
Properties in probate are perfect for investors because they’re usually in need of serious updates and repairs and the executor of the estate doesn’t have the time or money to spend making it ready to sell on the retail market.
There’s an entire Master Class training on Hidden Profits with Probate Leads that you can check out for free!

Tax Delinquent Properties

Similar to probate, these owners are likely going through a rough time in their lives and you need to be understanding of their situation.
If they’re having financial issues now, there’s a chance that they might correct them and it was a one-time situation but there’s also a good chance that they become delinquent again.
This is why it makes sense to continuously send follow-ups until you see that there’s been a change of ownership. If you have a virtual assistant, handling follow-up and checking the status of the property are great tasks to take off your plate and give to them.
When sending direct mail out to someone who is tax delinquent, there’s no need to mention that you know they’re in financial distress. You can be more subtle about it and let them know you’re looking at properties in the area and that you’d like to provide a cash offer if they’re looking to sell.

Follow-Up is Key!

Don’t give up on your list after 1 piece of mail goes out to them. Set a schedule and consistently mail out to them because while they may not be ready to sell today, they might be in 5 months.
If you stopped mailing to them after the first month, it’s not probable that they’ll still have your information when they’re ready to talk to an investor. Keep your name in front of them so when they’re ready, they call you first.

As time goes on, you can become less frequent with your mailings but don’t stop unless the property has changed ownership or if the owner requests to be taken off the list.
Remember – Investors get deals from leads that are YEARS old!
Don’t lose a deal because you stopped following up.

Hannah Alley

Hannah Alley

I'm the operations manager here at FlipNerd.com and have a passion for real estate investing and have a background in writing and business. I focus on providing content that is aimed for newer real estate investors and those who have the drive to become a full-time real estate investor. With so many strategies to utilize within the real estate investing industry, I aim to break down any barriers and showcase that real estate investing is obtainable and can truly bring financial freedom.

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