Systemize Real Estate Investing

How To Systemize Real Estate Investing with Small Goals

How to Systemize Real Estate Investing With Small Goals & Immediate Action!

A successful real estate investing career is built on small, repeatable actions that drive new leads, establish strong relationships, and compound over time.

Living in the information age, we are fed article after article that links to a YouTube video and continues a new investor down the educational path. While an important part of learning, this makes it tough to know when to stop educating yourself and start taking action.

To start building a successful real estate investing career, you need small goals.

Take the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls of the NBA as an example. While they may have had a goal to break the all-time regular season wins record simply because they knew they were that good, there is no way they only had that one goal on their mind all season long.

They had smaller micro-goals.

Goals to hit a certain number of shots before each game. Goals to have more assists than turnovers each game. Of course, their biggest goal was to win the NBA Championship.

Real estate investors are no different than the Chicago Bulls or anybody seeking to accomplish something significant.

Real estate investors must have goals.

It’s safe to assume that the end goal for a first-time real estate investor is to actually invest in real estate.

Let’s look at how first-time investors can systemize their life to end up purchasing their first property.

#1: Find 15 Driving for Dollars Addresses Per Day

Collecting addresses by driving for dollars is an action-packed adventure that will fill your daily to-do list.

First you have to establish a route, which will test how well you know your market.

Then, as you drive through the neighborhoods, you will pull over to note down the property address and details of homes that look distressed. Homes that are worthy of notation while driving for dollars have many characteristics, such as the following.

  • Tall uncut grass
  • Boarded or broken windows
  • Rotted framing
  • Mail overflowing in the mailbox or on the doorstep
  • Missing shingles on the roof
  • Deteriorated siding

They may be obvious and have a “For Sale By Owner” sign in the front yard — more on that shortly.

The more distressed a property looks, the more likely the home is to have an owner who wants to sell. Once you get home, skip trace the property addresses to learn who the owners are and their mailing addresses.

This will lead you into your next actionable task — writing letters to these owners.

#2: Create 90 Handwritten Letters Per Week

After you have collected 15 addresses each day of the week (Monday through Saturday) for a total of 90 properties, owner names, and owner mailing addresses, take Sunday to craft a handwritten letter to each owner expressing your interest in buying their property.

These letters are referred to as “yellow letters.”

Yellow letters are meant to stand out from the other mail that the owner of the home receives. Not only are they on bright, yellow canvas but they are also handwritten.

Nothing may hit at first, but generating leads is a numbers game. 90 letters a week results in 360 letters a month, which results in 4,320 letters per year.

There is no doubt you will find some deals when you’re sending that many letters throughout the year.

#3: Call 5 FSBO Properties Per Week

FSBO stands for “for sale by owner.”

FSBO properties are advantageous to real estate investors for many reasons. One is that they offer the opportunity to speak and negotiate with the owner directly instead of using an intermediary such as a real estate agent. This can lead to a better understanding of what the owner needs from the transaction.

If they need cash quick, maybe they are willing to take less than it is worth. Maybe the owner is retiring and looking for different sources of income. A pitch for seller financing works well here.

There are a few ways to find FSBO homes. The first is one we already mentioned; when driving for dollars, you will see the inevitable and super easy to spot “For Sale By Owner” yard sign. Another is through property listing websites, such as,, and The golden oldie for your county is another sure way to find some good FSBO listings.

Many don’t consider it anymore, but pick up a Sunday newspaper and browse the real estate classifieds. This is an outdated method of selling your home, but the older population may use it if they are selling their home without the help of an agent. Think outside the box.

An additional benefit of this actionable goal is that you will quickly get comfortable being uncomfortable. If you do not know how to talk the talk, most FSBO sellers will pick that up over the phone. You’ll quickly learn how to handle their objections.

#4: Talk to 1 Real Estate Agent Per Week

Building off of your calls on homes FSBO, start making calls to real estate agents.

Setting up meetings with them over coffee will help you learn more about your market and make them aware of your investing presence.

Real estate agents have a large rolodex of buyers, sellers, and investors. The more local and regional agents you get to know, the better your odds will be of learning about a new deal first.

In addition to your standard agents who may not have a niche, find investor-specific real estate agents. You can do this by locating fixer-upper homes that have sold in 90 days on a site like Redfin or Zillow and determining who the real estate agent was on the deal.

Find them and introduce yourself. Let them know you are a new investor in town and you are ready to buy. If you’re really ready, you will be surprised by how quickly some of them may bring you a deal.

The idea here is to meet people who have similar interests as you. Make friends! When you build a large network, you give yourself the chance to fast-track your real estate investing career.

#5: Attend REI Meetups

Real estate investing has become a common strategy in today’s market. While it increases your competition, it also increases the different educational avenues you have at your disposal.

Local real estate investing groups have grown significantly since 2008.

Google your county plus “real estate investment group” and review the results. After you find the group closest to the county you live in, Google the next county. Find groups in the three counties closest to your residence.

Chances are they coordinate together to schedule meetups at different times during the week, giving you more action to take and people to meet!

Not only do they bring together a network of real estate professionals from home inspectors to agents to title companies, but they generally have a speaker at each meeting who focuses on educating the group on their niche. The final hour or more is typically dedicated to networking.

These meetings are wildly beneficial to every investor who attends them on a regular basis. Find the ones near you and start attending them! Aim for a minimum of one evening meeting per month, and shoot for at least one lunch or brunch meetup as well.

#6: Continue Educating Yourself by READING

Investing in yourself will always be the greatest investment you make. While you are building new habits for increasing your pipeline, network, and number of doors, continue to educate yourself.

Read real estate and personal development books. There is a great list here. Read real estate blogs like BiggerPockets. Be curious and ask questions about the actions you are taking.

If you are not given the answers, find them yourself!

Round Up

Let’s take a final look at all the actions you can take to fill your calendar and your pipeline.

  1. Find 15 driving for dollars addresses per day
  2. Create 90 handwritten yellow letters per week

NOTE: The compound effect of doing this weekly will lead to 4,320 leads over 12 months of consistent action!

  1. Call on five FSBO properties per week
  2. Meet two real estate agents in your area for coffee every week. Focus on investor-friendly real estate agents
  3. Find and attend multiple real estate investing group meetings in your area each month
  4. Educate yourself by reading books and blogs daily

Your time will be well spent if you commit to the six action items listed above.

Your Success Depends on Your Level of Commitment

The most important thing you can do to ensure success is not give up!

Do not commit to these items for just one month. Commit to them for 12 months! At the end of that time, determine what has given you the best results. Then fine-tune these new daily habits to make them as efficient as possible.

If you commit to these action items over a 12-month period, you will see how small actions repeated day after day after day will compound to net you significant results!

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Alex Zurn

Alex Zurn

Alex Z. is a former professional basketball player with five years’ experience as a mortgage professional in the secondary markets. He is also a multifamily investor and property manager of four years, and has been tracking the economic status of the housing market and first time home buyer journey for two years now through his Instagram account (@howofhousing) and website, When he is not analyzing new deals, getting to know new markets, or creating content, Alex loves to travel, spend time with close friends and family, and will (one day) get a new dog and name him “Kobe”.

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