Leads, leads and more leads. No matter if you plan to wholesale, fix and flip, fix and rent, subject-to, owner finance or anything else involving real estate you must have leads. Some may agree with this statement and some may disagree but any time I needed anything in real estate, it was resolved by simply finding a great lead/deal.
I have heard investors and newbies alike say that they need to find financing or private money before finding a deal. While financing is important it cannot be put to work without a deal. I would argue that it is easier to find financing than it is to find a great deal. In fact, if you think you have a real deal and can't find financing you may not have a good enough deal. Or it is possible you may not have the experience some lenders require. If this is the case and you really do have a deal there are investors out there that will partner with you. If it is your first investment it may be wise to partner with someone. Partnering with a veteran real estate investor can be invaluable. You will be making him/her money so they will be more willing to answer the hundreds of question you have been wanting to ask. Another way to tell if you have a great deal is if investors are requesting to take the deal off your hands. Sometimes when I'm approached to partner or lend on a deal, and it is a no-brainer of a deal, I ask if they would be willing to wholesale. I've always said, "You don't ask, you don't get." It is always worth asking.
I heard many newbies worrying about not knowing how to write up a contract. Find a deal and a fellow investor, wholesaler and yes possibly a lender in your network will be more than happy to assist you in putting it under contract. A fellow investor might do it to pay it forward or for a potential partnership. A wholesaler might do it for a nominal fee or the hopes that he can partner on wholesaling it together. The lender will assist you in the hopes of financing the deal for you or whoever purchases the investment property from you. Yes, you can download a generic contract online and wing it but why risk the potential thousand dollars if you have experienced people in your network. Again, in addition to simply assisting with a contract these same people can provide you with much more invaluable knowledge.
So how does one get leads? Unfortunately, there is no one simple way to get leads. You can mail postcards, mail yellow letters, use bandit signs, use door hangers, use a landing page, social media, etc. I have used all of the examples mentioned above and many other methods to find amazing deals; however, the only way to guarantee you will find a deal is consistency, with your marketing, networking, and growing.
Now go out there and get those leads!