Do you know what the most important part of the real investing industry is?

It’s marketing.

No, really. It is. I often say we’re in the marketing business, not the real estate investing business.

Without marketing, you have no leads. Without leads, you have no deals. Without deals—ya know—you have no profit. :-/

And, it just so happens that I LOVE marketing. Specifically, direct mail. As far as I’m concerned—and based on my own personal experience—DM is still a workhorse for bringing in good leads.

With DM, the better the lists, the better the leads.

So I want to share with you the lists that I think are the best and the ones I use the most.

The top of my list of lists has always been: absentee owners.

I’ve stuck with that as my favorite for many years.

Why do I love it so much?

Because I’ve found that absentee owners are the most likely to want to sell their property… these tired, burned-out landlords are the most likely to be motivated.

They’re tired of dealing with tenants and maintenance. They want to be done.

But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that, yes, the absentee owner list is rather competitive—but you definitely shouldn’t ignore it. You will get deals from that list. 🙂

My second favorite list is: high-equity owner-occupants.

The criteria I use to narrow down this list is:

  • owners who have at least 40% equity
  • 3+ bedrooms
  • Single family home
  • owner bought home at least 10 years ago
  • homeowners are 55+

Where can you get my top 2 favorite lists?

Easy, peasy:


Okay, after absentee owners and high-equity owner-occupants, my next fav list is: evictions

Look on your county website or go to the courthouse and find out which properties are in the eviction process—that’s a GREAT list.

I have my VA research this list in Missouri, where I live. She just hops online and finds the lawsuits for evictions, which include the property address, tenant name, owner’s name and address—and BAM—super awesome mail list!

More quality lists:

  • Code Violations (owners who have been cited for tall grass, unkempt property, etc.)
  • Rentals on Zillow (I’ve gotten a 20% response rate on this list!)
  • Garage Sales
  • Estate Sales (Sign up for email alerts from
  • Probates
  • Quit Claim Deeds
  • No Sale Date (You’ll typically find elderly retirees living in free-and-clear homes with deferred maintenance. Use ListSource or head to your county courthouse and ask for this list.)


As you can see, there are LOTS of quality lists—some with little competition—to mail to.

Remember, we are in the MARKETING business.

And let me be clear: Direct mail is not dead!

Use my top lists for DM campaigns and you will do deals. Period.

So get to it…

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