Watch what the pros in real estate investing are saying about REsimpli Play

How do I use Driving for Dollars to Find Motivated Sellers?

How do I use Driving for Dollars to Find Motivated Sellers?

Driving for Dollars: How to Find Motivated Sellers

What is driving for dollars in real estate, and how does it work? More importantly, how can you use it to find distressed property leads or off-market deals? Find out here!

Experienced real estate investors often discuss how they use this strategy to find their next deal. Finding motivated sellers can be a tough task, even for long-term investors skilled in finding real estate deals.

Hate using multiple software? Simplify your business with REsimpli.

What is Driving for Dollars?

Driving for Dollars is exactly what it sounds like – driving around a neighborhood to find distressed or vacant properties, as well as investment properties that can be wholesaled for a profit.

It is one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing channels that real estate wholesalers use, especially those just getting started in the business.

Why? Because it’s one of the most effective ways to look for distressed properties or off-market properties.

How to Start with Driving for Dollars: Six Steps

We have put together a comprehensive six-step guide to help you find off-market properties. Follow these steps.

Step 1. Pick a Target Area

Now, choose the area where you want to find your next real estate investment property.

Use these criteria to pick your target area:

  • Safety – you feel safe driving around in the area
  • Home Prices – targeted neighborhoods with median home prices for the area
  • Real Estate Investor Activity – popular area to invest in for any local real estate investor

Pro Tip: Driving for Dollars(D4$) is a great way to learn more about a specific neighborhood and become an expert.

Step 2. Planning for Your Drive

After you have picked your target area to drive, you want to prepare for your drive.

Some things to consider for your planning:

  • Notepad – to write down addresses of the properties
  • Smartphone or camera – to take exterior pictures
  • Timing – Best time is weekdays between 10 AM and 4 PM

Between 10 AM and 4 PM, when people are typically at work, you’ll face fewer inquiries while taking pictures of houses.

Also, you want to drive at a time when there is plenty of daylight to assess the condition of the property.

Step 3. Look for Signs of Distress or Neglect

Drive slowly and safely through your target area, paying attention to signs of property neglect, distress, or possible vacancy.

Look for these signs of distress:

  • Roofs with holes or tarps
  • Broken or boarded windows
  • Busted shutters or torn blinds
  • Signs of hoarding
  • Overgrown lawns or shrubbery
  • Stuffed mailboxes or newspaper piles
  • Notices on doors or windows
  • Peeling paint
  • Fire damage
  • Window units
  • Parked cars in the yard
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Sandbags or signs of flooding

An AC unit in the main window of a house could indicate an owner who can’t afford major repairs. Spotting multiple different satellite dishes on one building could help you uncover rental properties.

If you’re unsure about a property’s condition, be cautious and record the address and important details. Begin with a wide list of properties and narrow it down through research on the property and its owner.

Pro Tip: Look for seasonal clues like unshovelled snow or missing holiday decorations as well.

Step 4. Note Down Property Addresses and Take Pictures

It’s time to start building your list of motivated sellers that you can market to later on.

For any distressed property you find, you want to get the following information:

  • Complete property address
  • Exterior pictures of the property
  • Anything noteworthy about the property – loud music coming from the house, code violation notice on the door, etc.

Pro Tip: once you have completed your first Drive for Dollars, write down the time of the day you started and the time you ended your drive. Also, note the number of properties you identified during the drive.

This information will help you see over time how each of your drives has gone.

Step 5. Research the properties in your Driving for Dollars List

Once you have created your list, the next step is to search property records, which are typically accessible through public records. Visit your local county’s assessors and recorder’s website to gather more details about the property and its owner.

The information you want to look up is as follows:

  • Owner Name
  • Owner’s mailing address (if different from property address)
  • Previous sale price
  • Previous sale date
  • Ownership type – individual, LLC, or trust
  • Tax or public records

Based on the information you researched, remove any properties that don’t meet your criteria like:

  • Low equity
  • Bank owned
  • Properties only sold in the last year or so

Pro Tip: A homeowner who bought his property in the last year or two will likely be less motivated to sell than someone who has owned the property for 5-7 years or longer.

Step 6. Contact the property owner

Once you have selected the properties that meet your criteria, the next step is to begin marketing to their respective owners.

You can choose from one of the following marketing channels to contact the property owner:

  1. SMS
  2. Cold Calling
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Door Knocking
  5. Door Hanger

Pros and Cons of Different Marketing Channels

SMS and Cold Calling


  • Quick
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy


  • Turn off for most people to receive a cold text or call
  • Not being TCPA compliant can lead to lawsuits

Direct Mail


  • Personalized
  • Tangible format
  • Targeted marketing


  • Relatively more expensive
  • Response rate can be lower

Door Knocking and Door Hangers


  • Instant
  • Personal
  • Potentially build a great rapport


  • Not applicable for vacant properties
  • Time-consuming

How do I find a property owner’s phone number to send an SMS or call them?

To contact a property owner through SMS or phone call, you’ll need to find their phone number. You can use Whitepages or  Been Verified to find the property owner’s contact info.

Many successful real estate investors and business owners utilize Skip Tracing services to conveniently find phone numbers, email addresses, and more.

What is Skip Tracing?

Skip Tracing helps real estate investors locate a person’s contact details using their name and property address.

REsimpli has a built-in Skip Tracing platform that you can use to easily find out the property owner’s contact information.

Pro Tip: when sending Direct Mail, you want to make sure you send the postcard or letter to their mailing address and not the property’s address, which can be different.

What is Virtual Driving for Dollars?

What is Virtual Driving for Dollars

Virtual Driving for Dollars is similar to physically driving around a neighborhood to find distressed properties. However, instead of driving, you use Google and Street View images to assess the property’s condition by virtually exploring the neighborhood.

Is Virtual Driving for Dollars Effective?

While this offers convenience for property assessment from home, it relies on potentially outdated Google Street View images. These images might show signs of distress, like a tarp on the roof, but their age makes it uncertain if the property is still distressed or not.

Virtual Driving for Dollars

What’s the best way to handle Driving for Dollars?

There are a few Driving for Dollars Apps available for you to make the process an effective and efficient marketing source.

REsimpli has built-in Driving for Dollars features that cover the entire process, all in one place — the Driving for Dollars app. The great thing about the REsimpli app is that it’s fully integrated with List Stacking.

Here’s a quick video on how driving for dollars works in REsimpli:

Benefits of using a Driving for Dollars app like REsimpli

Benefits of using a Driving for Dollars app like REsimpli

Driving for Dollars can be an effective and affordable method for finding wholesale deals. However, doing it on a large scale can become inefficient. The REsimpli app streamlines the process, allowing you to perform all the necessary steps with just a few taps and keep everything organized.

  1. Look up complete property and owner information
  2. Saved driving and property history
  3. Add property images
  4. Skip Trace within the app
  5. Send a postcard with a property image from within the app
  6. Fully integrated with REsimpli List Stacking and CRM

1. Look up complete property and owner information

Just by one simple tap on your smartphone with the REsimpli app, you can look up complete property information like:

  • Owner’s name
  • Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Sq Ft., etc.
  • Estimated Value
  • Last Sale Date
  • Last Sale Price
Look up complete property and owner information

2. Saved driving and property history

With the REsimpli app, you have a complete history of all the driving routes you have completed and the properties you added during each drive.

With REsimpli driving route tracking, you can keep track of streets and neighborhoods you have already driven. This will prevent you from wasting any of your precious time and effort repeating the same route.

Saved driving and property history

3. Add property images

REsimpli’s app is fully integrated with Google Maps, so you can add Google Street View images without even pulling over and taking a picture of the property.

Add property images

You also have the option of adding a different image of the property if you don’t prefer to use the Google Street View image.

4. Skip Trace within the REsimpli app

Skip Trace within app

Skip Tracing is built right within REsimpli app for you to look up the property owner’s phone number and email address with a simple tap on your phone.

5. Send a postcard with a property image from within the app

Send postcard with property image from within the resimpli app

In addition, to Skip Tracing within the REsimpli app, you can also send a postcard to the property owners with a picture of the property in the postcard.

6. Fully integrated with REsimpli List Stacking and CRM

One of the most powerful features of the REsimpli app is that it is fully integrated with REsimpli List Stacking and REsimpli CRM.

As you can see from the image below, you find out instantly:

Having the above information helps you build a super-targeted marketing list and saves you marketing dollars by not marketing to anyone that’s already a lead or someone you have already marketed to.

resimpli driving for dollars app

In Conclusion

Driving for Dollars is an effective way to discover distressed properties, including vacant bank-owned homes, and uncover potential investment opportunities.

By making this approach a part of your daily routine, like during errands or walks, you can create a focused list of motivated sellers for your marketing efforts.

To optimize your efforts, consider using a dedicated app. This approach provides a significant advantage over other real estate investors who rely on traditional and inefficient methods.

The REsimpli app, integrated with REsimpli List Stacking and REsimpli CRM, empowers you to create a highly targeted marketing list and maximize your marketing budget to reach more motivated sellers.

If you’d like to learn more about REsimpli and its services, contact us for a demo.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the driving for dollars system?

driving for dollars system

Driving for dollars strategy is a real estate investment method where investors driving around a neighborhood looking for distressed or vacant properties, or properties that are in need of repair.

What is the conversion rate for driving for dollars?

Typically, running a successful driving for dollars campaign entails receiving a response from approximately 1% of the homeowners you reach out to, which translates to about 1-in-100 conversions.