real estate investor celebrating freedom on hike overlooking canyon

Absentee Owners:  Hidden Gems of Real Estate Investment

Are you an ambitious real estate investor, always on the hunt for the next opportunity? Then, "absentee owners" should be your new favorite phrase. Simply put,


Absentee owners are property owners who don't reside at the properties they own.

They may have inherited the property, bought it as an investment, or moved away for various reasons. They may live across the city, the state, or even on the other side of the world.

But what makes absentee property owners your potential goldmine? The answer lies in three words: motivated seller leads.

Absentee Owners vs. Vacant Properties: Spotting the Difference

While it's easy to lump absentee owners and vacant properties into the same category, the distinction is crucial. A vacant property could be due to the owner transitioning between renters or taking time to renovate. However, an absentee owner property may still be occupied—rented by tenants, looked after by caretakers, or even left untouched.

Key differences to note are:

  • Presence of Tenants: Absentee owner properties might have renters, while vacant properties are uninhabited.
  • Property Maintenance: Absentee owners often maintain their properties or hire someone to do so. In contrast, vacant properties may show signs of neglect.
  • Legal Ownership: An absentee homeowner still has legal ties and obligations to the property. A vacant property might be undergoing legal disputes, foreclosure, or might be bank-owned.

Motivation: The Driving Force of Absentee Owner Sales

Why would an absentee owner be a motivated seller? What are some of the pain points you can address in your initial reach out? Here's a glimpse into the absentee property owner's mind:

  • Management Hassle: Handling property affairs from a distance can be a real challenge. From dealing with tenants to maintenance issues, it's like juggling balls while on a rollercoaster.
  • Unused Asset: A property not being used by the owner is like money sitting idle. It’s not offering any value to the owner and might even be a financial burden.
  • Life Changes: Changes in personal or financial circumstances might push absentee owners to liquidate their assets.

Absentee Owners: An Investor's Paradise

real estate investor smiling at new absentee property he purchased

Once you've got your sights set on absentee owner homes, you’ll begin to see a wealth of opportunities open up:

  • Less Competition: Not all investors know the potential of absentee owners, meaning less competition for you.
  • Better Deals: As previously mentioned, motivation equals flexibility. You're more likely to secure a deal under market value.
  • Multiple Investment Strategies: Depending on the property's condition, location, and your investment goals, you can either flip, rent, or hold the properties.

Navigating the Absentee Owner Market: Your Action Plan

So, how do you tap into this lucrative market? Here are some actionable steps:

  • Identify Potential Absentee Owners: Use public records, online platforms, or lead generation services to find absentee owner properties.
  • Make Contact: Once you've identified potential leads, reach out. Whether through a letter, call, or in-person visit, make your intentions clear and present yourself professionally.
  • Negotiate: Remember, absentee owners are motivated sellers. Be prepared to negotiate and make sure to be considerate of their situation.

The Psychology Behind Absentee Owners: Understand Their Needs


  • Emotional Attachment: Despite the distance, many absentee owners still have emotional ties to their properties. It could be an inherited family home or a house they once lived in. Remember this when negotiating, and show respect for their sentimental connection.
  • Financial Considerations: An absentee property might serve as an important source of income. Understand their financial needs and be ready with a solution that serves both of you well.
  • Concern for Tenants: If the property is rented, absentee owners may worry about their tenants' future. Reassure them that you'll handle the transition smoothly.

Communicating with Absentee Owners: The Art of Making Contact

Knowing how to make first contact with an absentee homeowner can make a world of difference. Here are some tips:

  • Direct Mail: A personalized letter can be a powerful tool. Make sure your message is empathetic, professional, and clearly outlines your intent.
  • Phone Calls: Cold calling can be effective, but be prepared for rejection. Keep your tone friendly, professional, and be upfront about your intentions.
  • Personal Visits: If local laws and the owner's location allow, consider making a personal visit. It shows your genuine interest and commitment.

Closing The Deal: Making It A Win-Win

young couple closing on an absentee owner property

Closing the deal with an absentee owner is an art in itself. Here's how you can make it a win-win:

  • Provide a Fair Offer: While you aim to buy under market value, your offer should still be fair. Lowball offers can put off potential sellers.
  • Address Their Concerns: Whether it's timing, handling tenants, or other issues, be proactive in addressing their concerns. It builds trust and helps the deal move forward.
  • Be Transparent: Transparency in terms of your intentions, process, and terms can go a long way in closing the deal smoothly.


The Takeaway:

There you have it, investors! So now, armed with this knowledge, it's time for you to step into the market and strike gold. Remember, understanding, empathy, and transparency are your keys to success.

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