States/Counties you avoid

Hey Everyone,

I know it may be a little taboo to talk about good counties you are targeting or have had success in, but I'm wondering about any counties or states you completely avoid for certain reasons. If you do have some what are the reasons you don't mail to these counties?

Is this the spot where I list the counties that I AM mailing to to keep everyone off the scent?

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@Cory I think that's the move :)

ok I'll bite. I did a couplenof deals in Leehigh acres FL. After a long wait i got them sold and even had several opportunities to buy come through but that market is very saturated and has a lot of properties on market in my opinion. I have been killing it in a different market in another state though...

I think one of the things I'm struggling with, in thinking about the subject question, is when do I have a significant enough sample size to say that a whole county (and especially a whole state) is no good.

I haven't been at this long enough to draw any conclusions about differences on the selling side, personally, so I can really only comment on different results on the buy-side marketing response. I've mailed to something like 10 different counties amongst 4 different states, spread across the country (not in the same region), and while I have had mailings to some counties generate more high quality responses than other counties, with some counties generating zero responses at all, I'll be the first to point out that my sample sizes are way too small to draw hard conclusions from those results. In some cases, I'm mailing to such a tiny portion of the "bad" county's owners that maybe I just happened upon a list of the duds, so I'm not ready to write that county off quite yet.

On the other hand, I have certainly been wondering about factors that might make one area more responsive than another, based on the early results. For instance, I've mostly been working with tax delinquent lists up to this point, and it seems that some states are far less aggressive about pursuing tax delinquencies than others (i.e. no annual tax lien sales, apparently very lax enforcement of tax foreclosure). It seems logical to me that the owners in those less aggressive states might feel less pressure to sell their property at a relative discount than an owner of a property in another state who's possibly been getting several notices in any given year about not only their (semi)annual tax bill but also then a tax lien being issued/sold against their property, etc.

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@Cory - I wish it was that simple. You could tell the world where you've sent your mail to... but the problem is that even if we knew where you were mailing, that wouldn't be nearly enough information to make a well-informed decision about avoiding certain counties. We would also need to know things like:

  • Where you got your list.
  • How you filtered your list.
    • This one is huge, by the way. There is a nearly-infinite number of different ways to filter a single list. There can easily be multiple land investors working the same market at the same time, and if they're all filtering their lists a different way, they aren't likely to encounter each other.
  • How many mailers you sent out.
  • The exact date you sent your mail.
  • What kind of mail piece you sent out and what it said.
  • If you sent blind offers, how you priced each offer.
  • What your response and acceptance rate was.
    • Note that one campaign can produce results years into the future, so it's hard to know this number concretely without waiting a long time.

And of course, even if we had all this information (and we knew that none of the data was skewed by timing delays or user errors), it still wouldn't be that helpful... because there are FAR more land investors sending mail outside the walls of REtipster than are active in this forum. There isn't one, central place where everyone reports everything, and if you don't have all the information, it's hard to know how much to stock to put into what one person posts in a forum like this.

I'll also note one thing (just speaking from my own experience) - every time I've encountered "competition" in the same markets where I've been working, after feeling bummed out for a day or two, I've still been able to get plenty of deals in those areas. In fact, that may be why you're seeing competition there in the first place, because the area is known for having lots of deals to choose from... so the mere existence of other investors in the same area doesn't necessarily ruin anything.

Timing is also an interesting component to all of this. I've bought properties from some a lot of people (maybe you have too) who told me they had gotten offers on their property in the past, and it just wasn't the right time back then... but now it is. Sometimes, deals come to fruition not because one person's offer amount is higher than another's, but because the time is right for the seller.

@Cory Yup