‘How do I create a buyers list for wholesaling?’ 

That is a question many starting real estate investors are asking themselves.

And there is one more question.

What is more important? Having a real estate buyers list or having a deal? 

And if you look around the web, follow different real estate investing “gurus,” and read books, you will find many different opinions on the matter. 

Some say it is more important to first focus on finding a deal.

Then the buyers will come, or if you have a bunch of reliable hard money lenders at hand, you won’t need a buyers’ list that cuts your profit on a deal.

The other opinion is that having a buyers list first is more important because it gives you leverage when negotiating with motivated sellers.

In this article, I will try to solve these questions and hopefully bring clarity and confidence about whether deal first or cash buyers first is more important.

And how you can generate a nice cash buyers list by knowing what to focus on

My decision grid, which you can access via Google Drive below, will help you with the latter. So you avoid losing time and money with potentially wrong methods and tactics. 


What’s The Purpose of a Buyers List for Wholesaling?

So first things first.

In the context of real estate wholesaling and creative real estate investing, a buyers list for wholesaling is a list of real estate investors or entrepreneurs interested in or looking for attractive investment opportunities in a particular area.

This list should usually contain their essential contact information, such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

A healthy list should also be updated regularly.

So you don’t use a dead list when you want to propose deals you have under contract to your investors to assign them.

How to Create a Buyers List for Wholesaling

Buyers List for Wholesaling First vs. Deal First

There has been a debate among real estate investors for a long time: what should come first – the buyers’ list for wholesaling or the deal?

So, let’s see if we can analyze this situation further and conclude about that.

Buyers List for Wholesaling First

By doing active real estate investing, in contrast to passive real estate investing (e.g., buy and hold), you do things repeatedly, such as selling properties or contracts (e.g., the option to buy).

Since selling real estate is unlike selling lemonade or hot dogs on the streets, you can’t just have a realtor do all your work. 

Easier and Less Risky

So, a more accessible and legally safer way (Disclosure: I am not an attorney or your attorney) is having a healthy buyers list for wholesaling ready.

It helps you partner with other wholesalers that might be stronger financially.

If you were financially strong with a lot of cash in the bank, you wouldn’t need a buyers list in the first place and could read this article just for pure entertainment.

Fast Turn Around

A good and healthy buyers list allows you to sometimes move a deal in a matter of hours and, thus, is worth a lot of money. You won’t be in much need of real estate agents or property portals.

Legally Safer

And then there is the legal part (Disclosure again: I am not an attorney or your attorney). Because in the U.S., without a real estate license, it is not allowed to advertise a property you have under contract as if it were yours without disclosing that you are selling the contract.

This could get you into trouble with the board of realtors.

A real intent to purchase the property at the end should be there by signing an option to buy a contract with a seller. 

This gets easier with the help of or by partnering with a cash buyer.

A Better Position When Negotiating With The Seller

The other advantage of having a buyer’s list is improved leverage when negotiating deals with motivated sellers.

In contrast to not having a buyers list, you can tell the seller that you are negotiating and working as a team (with your cash buyers). 

You can move the property fast and know that you (well, actually, your partnering cash buyer) can follow through at the end by buying the property, showing real purchase intent.

So you can negotiate with more confidence and create a better deal with a likely higher profit margin.


Deal First

Then, there is the other school of thought, which tells you that your focus should be on finding, negotiating, and controlling a great deal first, and the buyers will come.

Because, without a great deal, why should anyone want to do business with you?

This approach makes sense at first glance.

It’s a nice option to have reliable access to cash via hard money lenders or your own money, so you can follow through with the deal (showing purchase intent).

Maybe I am wrong, but I think it carries more risk if you don’t have access to cash. 

And even if you have access to cash, what happens if you don’t find another wholesaler (e.g., a fixer and flipper) to whom you can sell the property via a double closing?

Yes, your profit margin could be higher that way, but so is your risk of not finding a buyer. 

And then having to deal with interest and your liability regarding your hard money lender (hint: risk/reward ratio).

The other thing is, when you have a hard money lender, you have quite a short time window to market the property to find a buyer.

If you don’t have one and can’t do a double closing, you might face legal issues with the board of realtors. 

So, you may want to prefer the buyers-list-first approach if…

  • You follow the contract-flipping strategy and don’t want to risk your money first.
  • You don’t want to be liable for a hard money loan, 
  • You want less stress and legal risks regarding marketing the investment property.

Here, your main work is generating, growing, and nurturing a buyers list and finding deals that your wholesale partners or buyers can follow through with.

There might be less margin per deal.

But you might do more deals simultaneously than with the second approach compensating for the lower profit margin due to your cut with your cash buyers.

In conclusion, you can consider these two approaches as not even directly competing. 

The first is more on the purchase option flipping side, and the other on the property flipping side, approaching the fix and flip strategy.

So, in the end, it’s a question of individual preference and risk tolerance.


What To Focus On – Your Decision Grid For Creating A Buyers List for Wholesaling

I researched this topic and found excellent articles with large lists regarding how to create a buyer’s list.

If you want to read the articles, you can do that herehere, and here.

I will spare you another extensive list.

But I will complement the work already done by getting you a tool to help you decide which marketing methods to create a buyers list to focus on.

Here is where a decision grid comes in handy. 

In a decision grid, you identify the most critical conditions to qualify the different methods as effective and give each one a weight of importance (this is somewhat subjective). 

After that, you give the different methods points in the context of these conditions. 

Each point is multiplied with each weight of the regarding condition, and all points are totaled at the end.


Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound very easy. 

I will give you concrete information with different examples.

So, I selected 16 real estate marketing methods suggested in the different articles above. 

Then I determined the following five factors and weighted them according to what I considered as essential to be effective with points between 1 and 10:

1) Low Costs

I weighed this with 5 points, as not important but not unimportant.

2)Not too time-consuming.

I weighed it with an 8 since it’s kind of important, so it doesn’t produce too many opportunity costs for you

3) Higher Barriers to Entry (Skills Necessary), Less Competition

I gave this one a 10. Yes, learning a particular method first to produce results is not fun. But if it’s easy, many others would do it too, meaning more competition

4) Testability

I gave this a ten too. Why? When you start with a marketing method, you want to have the possibility to test it fast, so you can create something that is working after several iterations.

5) Scalability

This one might be a bit redundant to “not too time consuming,” but it’s leaning more towards the opportunity to grow your business with it. So I gave it a 10, too.

And here are the 16 marketing methods to create a real estate buyers list I used in the decision grid:

  • Direct Mail combined with Trulia and ListSource
  • Call some local “For Rent” signs
  • Join some Real Estate Investor forums and get connected with other buyers and investors in your area
  • Craigslist Ads and contacting potential buyers via Craigslist
  • Facebook Groups
  • Partner with Real Estate Agents
  • Bandit Signs
  • Facebook Ads (PPC Advertising)
  • Call some Hard Money Lenders
  • Google Ads (PPC Advertising)
  • Driving for Buyers
  • Website Link in E-Mail Signature
  • FindCashBuyersNOW from Kent Clothier
  • Newspaper Ads
  • Attend some local REIA
  • Attend some Foreclosure Auctions

And here comes the partial decision grid:

Factors Weight Direct Mail Combined With Trulia and List Source Total Points   Facebook Groups Total Points
Low Costs 5 5 25   10 50
Not Too Time Consuming 8 7 56   8 64
Higher Barriers To Entry (Skills necessary), less competition 10 7 70   4 40
Testability 10 5 50   1 10
Scalability 10 6 60   4 40

Since I didn’t want to break the design, I couldn’t display all methods with metrics in this table. 

But you can access the whole google drive excel file (so you can see how the calculations were done) here.

The priorities that came out of that were these (descending order from most points to least points):

  • Facebook Ads (PPC Advertising): 379
  • Google Ads (PPC Advertising): 374
  • Direct Mail combined with Trulia and List Source: 261
  • Call some local For Rent signs: 244
  • Newspaper Ads: 236
  • Craigslist Ads and Contacting Potential Buyers via Craigslist: 234
  • Facebook Groups: 204
  • Partner with real estate agents: 202
  • Bandit Signs: 195
  • Calls Some Hard Money Lenders: 184
  • Driving for Buyers: 180
  • Join some real estate investor forums and get connected with other buyers and investors in your area: 172
  • Website Link in Email Signature: 170
  • FindCashBuyersNow From Kent Clothier: 162
  • Attend some local REIA: 127
  • Attend some foreclosure auctions: 127

You could even determine the 80/20 (Pareto principle) by having those points. To do that, you ask, of which 80% of the results likely might come from 20% of the methods above.

So 16 methods multiplied by 20% equals 3.2. 

Let’s round down to three, so you might want to focus on the first three: Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Direct Mail combined with Trulia and List Source.

Design Your Follow-Up Sequence 

Now that you have some methods to focus on to create your buyer’s list, you will also need a place to collect them (the conversion part). 

I already wrote a more extensive article about real estate marketing funnels you can use, and this is the point where they come into place. 

So, you will need your real estate website with a landing page.

It can be time-consuming to maintain, but you can also use done for your website providers

With the latteryou can have a website and/or your landing page up and running in a few minutes. 

There are two providers that I can recommend to you which specialize in real estate investors.  

1) Leadpages

Leadpages provides you with the following features:  

  • A Website-Builder:  Drag-and-drop website builder
    • Website preview
    • A mobile-responsive menu
    • A drop-down menu 
    • Drag-and-drop website menu
    • Integrated conversion tools 
    • Website SEO 
    • Website templates 
    • Pre-built add-on pages 
    • Free Custom Domain 
  • Security:  Automatic SSL encryption 
    • Subaccount login 
    • GDPR Compliance 
  • Publishing:  Connect your domain(s) to third-party domains 
    • Free hosting
  • Integrations:  40+ Standard integrations (send your leads to your ESP, CRM, webinar app, and more)
    • Advanced integrations, including Hubspot, Marketo, and Salesforce
    • Link your favorite email marketing account—whether you use MailChimp, AWeber, ConstantContact, Get Response, and more
  • Education and Support:  Meet 1-on-1 with a Leadpages launch specialist 
    • Free Leadpages Virtual Workshops 
    • Phone, chat, & email support 
  • Design and Templates:  Shutterstock Premium Images
    • Built-in icon library 
    • OpenTable embed widget 
    • Countdown timers 
    • Custom branding 
    • Customizable templates 
    • Design from a blank page 
    • Global page style settings 
    • HTML & Custom Code Editing 
    • Keyboard shortcuts 
    • Mobile-responsive templates 
    • Calendly embed widget 
    • Social share buttons 
    • Thank you & confirmation pages 
    • Device-specific display 
    • Video embed widget 
    • On-page section links
  • Conversion Tools:  10 Opt-in text campaigns
    • Get a detailed picture of each campaign’s performance with clear campaign ROI 
    • Email trigger links 
    • Exit-intent pop-ups 
    • Real-time optimization tips 
    • Real-time analytics 
    • Third-party analytics (e.g., Google Analytics) 
    • Unlimited A/B split testing 
    • Unlimited alert bars 
    • Unlimited pop-ups 
  • Builder:  5 Free sub-accounts 
    • 99.9% Uptime 
    • Automatic saving 
    • Custom & hidden form fields 
    • Custom social media preview 
    • Device-specific preview 
    • Digital file hosting & delivery 
    • Duplicate & edit pages 
    • Easy drag-and-drop interface 
    • Fast page load speed 
    • Lead backup/CSV download 
    • Lead gen form builder 
    • Lead notifications 
    • Lead routing 
    • Mobile responsive pages 
    • Online sales & payments 
    • Page grouping 
    • Revert to the last published version 
    • SEO-friendly pages 
    • Unlimited traffic & leads

Leadpages offers three different pricing plans: Standard for $37 per month, Pro for $79, and Advanced for $321.

2) LeadPropeller

LeadPropeller offers you the following features:

  • Free website domain with whois protection
  • Free unlimited custom email addresses
  • Fast web hosting
  • Various high-converting templates to choose from
  • SEO-optimized website content and content packs (new content you can publish)
  • Click and change the website editor
  • Customizable form questions (form editor)
  • SMS lead notification
  • Customized text autoresponder
  • Customized email autoresponder
  • Landing page builder
  • Backend CRM to manage leads
  • Podio integration and other CRMs
  • One-click WordPress blog install
  • Blog SEO plugin
  • Online training

Prices start at $49 per month for the starter plan, $79 for the professional plan, and $299 for the franchiser plan.

Once you have a landing page or website to collect your cash buyers, you will need a nurturing tool. So you can send them your valuable deals and other marketing information.

This can be done with different email marketing or text messaging providers, such as GetResponse or SimpleTexting.

How to do a whole sequence or drip campaign and which content to use would be food for a whole separate article in the future.

I would like to close with an additional bonus hack.

It’s about using listsource.com Facebook ads with look-alike audiences to make a sniper approach to create your cash buyers list.

I won’t get into the technical part of setting up this type of Facebook campaign, which ad copy, ad creatives to use, etc. Still, I will give you a rough strategy.

A Bonus Hack With Facebook Ads and ListSource

The primary strategy is quite simple.

You get first a list of targeted areas with a high likelihood of cash buyers being active there.

Hopefully, you get several zip codes, email addresses, and/or phone numbers.

Once you have either of these contact information, head to Facebook, create a new campaign, and import this list as a custom audience.

Depending on this list’s size, you can target them directly with your Facebook campaign and/or create a lookalike audience.

Facebook’s algorithm can then do its magic and target an audience similar to the first one, such as potential cash buyers.

To get a nice list with cash buyers from Listsource, I can recommend to you this video below:




I hope I could convince you that deal first vs. buyers list first isn’t really competing with each other.

However, there is great value in having a buyers list when you want to go the wholesaling route more on the contract assignment or flipping side of things.

My decision grid approach might help you find the most effective methods to create your buyers’ list.

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This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher