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Growing a Real Estate Agency with Off-Market Properties

To get deals, some residential real estate agents search out properties that aren't on the market.

(Boonton, NJ, February 4, 2013) — In Costa Mesa, CA, a mere 52 homes were listed for sale in early January. With such super-tight inventory, Valerie Torelli's business could grind to a halt.

Instead, Torelli has decided to find her own inventory. Torelli and her agents at Torelli Realty have embarked on a campaign of door knocking and cold calling in hopes of finding homeowners who are willing to sell but aren't quite ready to hire an agent.

So-called off-market transactions have become so common in Costa Mesa that Torelli figures at least half of her business is done that way now.

Off-market deals are also becoming more common in New York City.

"It's a little bit time consuming," says BOND New York broker Margaret Garvey. "To get one that's going to work, you probably need to write to 100 people."

If Garvey's initial letter doesn't work, she writes a second letter a week to 10 days later that assures owners her buyer is serious.

"Most people think we're fishing, and sometimes the second letter will elicit a response," Garvey says.

Additional information on building business with off-market properties appears in the February issue of Real Estate Broker's Insider.

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