A vacant property list can be a goldmine for real estate wholesalers. Since vacant homes stand empty, there is a very good chance that the owner may be looking to sell quickly. Keep reading to learn how to market to these highly motivated sellers. 

In this post you’ll learn:

• What is a vacant house and who owns them
• Advantages of marketing to the owners
• How to find a list of vacant houses
• Getting the most out of your vacant property list
• Motivation factors of vacant owners
• How to market to owners of vacant property
• Automating your marketing to start scaling

Let’s get started with a simple vacant definition.


What is a Vacant Owner or Vacant House?

What does vacant mean? Simply put, if no one is living inside the building, then it’s considered vacant. However, not all vacant homes are the same. Here are a few reasons why a house might be empty:

  • Foreclosure – The owners lost the house to the bank. 
  • Damage – Whether from a natural disaster or other environmental factors, the cost to repair was too high for the owners.  
  • Death – The original owner has died, and the home is yet to be claimed or sold. 
  • Rental Property – The owners are landlords but don’t have any tenants. 

As you can see, depending on the situation, some properties will have a better outcome for real estate wholesalers than others.

For example, if a home has significant water damage, it will cost far more to renovate than one that has simply been on the rental market for too long.

When marketing to vacant property owners, you want to find out as many details as possible, as the circumstances will help you determine the best strategy to approach the owner. 


Who Owns Vacant Houses? 

Just as you should know details about the house itself, you also want to know as much about the owner as possible.

While each vacant property has a unique story behind it, here are some common types of owners that may have an empty home. 

  • Relatives – After the original owner died, the property was passed to a relative. 
  • Landlords – Many rental properties have vacant owners. These owners may be down the street or in another state. 
  • Banks – If a property has been foreclosed by the mortgage lender, the bank is now the owner.
  • In Prison – Owner may be in jail or otherwise incarcerated
  • In Retirement home – Senior is in a residential home

Again, when marketing to these individuals, understanding their situation can help you close the deal. I’ll go into motivation reasons further down.


The Main Advantage of Marketing to Owners of Vacant Houses

Regardless of the condition of the house, vacant properties often offer unique opportunities for property wholesalers.

More than anything else, the primary benefit of finding these properties is that the owners will often be motivated to sell.

The more motivated a seller is, the less you’ll have to pay. In many cases, you can purchase the property for well below the market value.

Another reason to invest in vacant properties is that there will be less competition.

Most real estate wholesalers want a simple transaction, even if it means less profit. However, as long as you have the time and resources at your disposal, you can make far more with vacant properties.


Why are Owners of a Vacant House Motivated to Sell?

There are many compelling reasons why owners of vacant homes want to sell fast if the property is sitting empty. Many of them revolve around what happens when a house sits vacant: 

  • No Maintenance
  • Code Violations
  • Rodent and bug infestations
  • Behind on property taxes
  • Theft of items such as copper pipes and A/C
  • Squatters and vandalism
  • Vacant house insurance non-existent
  • Potential for arson

Don’t let that scare you off – this is precisely why there may be less competition for these properties.

Also keep in mind that regardless of whether the property has been left unchecked for days, months, or even years, everyone has their limits, and real estate is a numbers game.

You have to find enough vacant owners, who are at the right point in their ownership, where they are fed up with that vacant property.

Now you know who vacant owners are, and what makes them highly motivated sellers.

In the next section I’ll give you some pointers on how to find vacant property owners on a large scale: through a list provider that has a vacant house database.


How to Find a List of Vacant Houses

If you’re wondering how to find vacant properties, there are vacant house data feeds out there, so which ones do you choose?

In general, most list providers of vacant leads get the data from the same place: A non-public and hard-to-find USPS vacant property list.

If a list provider that you are considering has this vacant database, does the data that you get come with phone numbers and email addresses?  In many cases it doesn’t and you have to then go out and pay for skip tracing to find that information.

This is time and money that you could be using to find more deals.

Then, what are you going to do with the data?

Does the data provider come with an integrated email marketing system and CRM to help you market to those leads at scale?

This is where REI/kit comes in.

REI/kit is a completely integrated wholesaling system that already comes with skip traced vacant property leads. This is ideal for outbound lead marketing with automated email, text and ringless voicemail messaging campaigns.

Not only that, but it also has inbound lead marketing components including a lead generation website, as well as lead generation phone numbers for your offline marketing.

All of this, including free leads every month, is included as part of your subscription, and scales as your business grows.


How to Find Vacant Houses Quickly Using REI/kit

REI/kit’s Motivated Seller Lead Lists tool, integrated with the REI/kit CRM, is an easy-to-use, but powerful, leads list generator that automatically skip-traces your leads. You’ll be able to do a vacant property search in just minutes, and create a vacant houses list:


Video of how to create a vacant property lead list in REIkit.


Once created, set your geographic radius, and layer on any other filters to fine-tune your results.

Your REI/kit vacant property leads are then automatically skip-traced as they are being processed into the CRM for:

  • Owner name
  • Property address
  • Owner’s mailing address
  • Phone number(s)
  • In many cases email address

Watch this short video for more details on the Leads List tool:



Once processed into your CRM, your vacant property list is ready to be marketed to from within REI/kit immediately.

Now, as with any marketing method, there are best practices for how to get the most out of the lists you receive.


Getting the Most Out of a Vacant Property List

Seasoned investors love the efficiency and ease of using lead lists to market to motivated sellers.

If you are just starting out, however, you might wonder how to make sure that you are getting the full benefit of a lead list.

The main concept to keep in mind when finding motivated sellers through a list provider, is that the more leads you contact, the higher the likelihood of finding a truly motivated seller.

This is what the most successful wholesalers do: They contact thousands of owners, also splitting up their marketing campaigns by geographic farm area in order to track the locations with the most positive response.

It’s important to get in front of as many leads as possible to find deals, but contacting those leads only once will result in a smaller response.

Consistency is critical when marketing to vacant owners. A handful of marketing materials isn’t going to do the trick. Instead, you want to send communication regularly until you get a response.

That’s why, hand-in-hand with reaching out to your vacant owner list, you also need to follow up with those leads to maximize the impact of your outbound campaigns.


Follow-up is key with lead lists

In most industries, the average sales representative follows up once with a prospect (if they follow up at all), and then doesn’t contact them again.

There can be many reasons why owners don’t respond the first time you contact them. Following up with them gives them the opportunity to see the solution you provide.

Following up with many leads manually is tedious, so you should automate the process as much as possible.

Automated systems send multiple communications over time. As a result, you have a very good chance of being top of mind when the owner is finally ready to do business.

Getting the most out of your vacant property list through outreach, and following up with automation, will exponentially increase your likelihood of closing deals. I’ll talk about how to scale your business with automation further down this post.

But before we can get to the how, let’s briefly talk about a vacant owner’s motivation factors, and how you can use those motivation factors in your marketing.


What are the Motivation Factors for Vacant Property Owners

Marketing to vacant property owners effectively can be a challenge for real estate investors.

The reason why is because it seems like these owners all face the same problem. That problem is that they have a property that they may want to get rid of.

As a result, it’s easy to think that a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy will get results.

In actuality, each one of the vacant owners I listed at the beginning of this post, has a particular, and unique, psychological pain point that you should be aware of in your dealings with them.

These pain points could be that they don’t have money to maintain the house at all, even to the extent of water damage or rodents. Or it could be that they are scared to deal with property squatters.

The owner may be facing some or all of these potential outcomes, depending on the state of the property:

  • Assessed late fees and fines for late or no property tax payment
  • Government may have already placed a lien on the property
  • Utility companies may have shut off water, electricity, etc.
  • Depending on season and if copper pipes stolen, there could be expensive water leaks, or frozen pipes
  • Credit rating will take a hit, if it has not already

Whatever their motivation factors, getting the attention of these sellers lies in communicating that you solve their very specific issue.

Every conversation, email, and phone call should strike at the heart of their situation, and you should constantly reinforce the idea that you are the solution to their problems.

I’ve covered why it’s so important to include motivation factors in your marketing. Now let’s talk about how to market to these vacant house leads.


How to Market to Vacant Owner Lists

When considering what kinds of marketing methods are ideal for any lists that you purchase, it’s important to consider the scale of your campaigns.

You may be reaching out manually, but that will not move your business forward in any meaningful way. You’re wholesaling to help people and make money, and the more the better – right?


Automation of your marketing and follow-up tasks is the straightest path to scaling your real estate wholesaling business. Click To Tweet


I have already covered the importance of using automated systems to reach out and follow up with your leads.

What are the marketing methods that you can automate and scale to thousands of sends for practically nothing?

Emails and text messages!

While mailing marketing materials is an option, owners of vacant property are likely not checking the mail at the vacant house often, or at all

They may, however, still have the same phone number and email address, or someone is checking those for them.

That’s why emails and texts are an effective way to get the attention of these vacant owner leads.


What should you include in your marketing to owners of vacant property?

Let’s talk about those emails and texts.

What should you include in your emails and text messages to your vacant owner list?

I already outlined the types of motivation factors to take into consideration when communicating with your vacant leads.

It’s those specific pain points that you need to include, again with your company as the answer to their problems.

There should ideally be a touch for each of the pain points in your outreach campaign.

This is so that if a particular pain point received does not resonate with that potential seller, one of the others will.

Now, you may not have the time to carefully craft a series of emails that address those pain points from scratch.

If that is the case, let me introduce you to another tool within REI/kit that you can use with your lead lists right away: the Email and Text Message Campaign Automation tool.


Automated Vacant Owner Email Campaign Done For You

The Campaigns tool makes it easy to set up and send automated email (or text) campaigns to all of your vacant property leads, in just a few minutes.

We have already done the hard work for you by creating the Vacant Owner email campaign sequence.

This email drip sequence is made up of four professionally written emails that can be sent as-is, or customized to your brand.

They also already address those psychological pain points that I outlined above.

The best part is that you don’t even need to have spreadsheets to keep track of which leads you have already emailed, to manually send them additional emails.

The tool will send the emails automatically, one after another every few days – completely hands-off, until they reply.

Email marketing is one of the smartest ways to introduce yourself to your leads exactly where they already spend hours every day. Having the ability to automate the process easily means having more time to close deals.

And once you have mastered email marketing, there are even more advanced automation campaigns that you can create, including text messaging campaigns.


Owners of vacant houses are likely to be highly motivated to sell, making them one of best lead types to market to for real estate wholesalers.

In this post I pointed out the ideal way to find these leads if you want to scale your business, by generating a vacant property list.

I also detailed the motivation factors driving a vacant owner to sell, so that you can include these in your communication with them.

Finally, I showed you the easiest way to automate your marketing to these owners using email and text marketing automation and follow up, so that you can start closing more deals.


About REI/kit

Interested in trying out the REI/kit lead lists, CRM, and email, text, and ringless voicemail marketing automation tools, all integrated with the lead capture websites, virtual phone numbers, cold calls tools, robust analysis, and pro property reports?

Sign up for a free, full-featured trial for your plan, and start ramping up your deal flow today — click this link to see the list of features and benefits: https://www.reikit.com/pricing