I’m going to tell you every secret I know that has allowed me to buy dozens of self-storage facilities in recent years. Every tool I use, every tip and trick and website that helps me land great deals. Just kidding.
There is no secret, there’s no shortcut to finding and acquiring deals. I get the same question half a dozen times a week; how do I search for properties? What tools do I use? Do I go through brokers? Owners? What websites do I find deals on?
Acquiring is the hardest part of real estate. Finding properties to buy is the hardest part of what I do. When everybody’s out trying to find deals, it’s hard to find a good deal. When nobody wants to sell, it’s hard to find a good deal.
The truth is I’ve built a system that involves a ton of hard work. I’m on every self-storage broker’s email distribution east of the Mississippi River. I get half a dozen deals in my inbox every day, I underwrite all of them, and I put in offers on most of them. I cold call owners. There’s no secret to acquisitions, you just need to get resourceful. People who win will find deals, it’s that simple. I’m on Loopnet constantly, I can spot a good deal in a heartbeat. I have underwritten properties every day for over five years, I’m able to separate the diamonds from the rough. I’m able to tell immediately if I see a listing or call an owner if I’m going to end up buying that property. We have an acquisition team working for us at Bolt Storage that’s constantly calling owners, talking to brokers, underwriting deals, and doing everything they can to make a deal. It’s a ton of work.
I’ve done dozens of self-storage consults, where people pay me a couple thousand dollars to open up my playbook, models, due diligence checklist, operational handbook, the whole works as I teach them how to underwrite a deal. A fraction of these clients have been resourceful and found deals. Others were brilliant, they could underwrite and handle operations, but they couldn’t do the work to find the actual deals. Acquisitions is the bottleneck of real estate. If you can develop a competitive advantage, if you can find good deals and operate them well, you will win. It’s not easy, and the first deal is the hardest because you have no trust or credibility in the business, but everybody needs to do it, and there are no secrets.
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