What is List Stacking in Real Estate Investing?

In the real estate world, buzzwords come and go just as often as industry trends. Like everything else, some come and go, and some are here to stay. List stacking is one of those trends with inevitable staying power.

List stacking is one of the newest industry trends, with high promises of generating leads and connecting wholesalers with highly motivated sellers.

Are you curious as to what is list stacking, and how it’s applied by real estate investors to locate and target highly motivated sellers? What about real estate CRM software, and how the two work together?

In this blog, we’ll define real estate wholesaling, list stacking, and various list sources, as well as take a deep dive into the pros and cons of each method, and how you can best choose your real estate software and list stacking software to track and optimize these leads.

What is real estate wholesaling?

Real estate wholesaling is the process of finding deeply discounted properties and assigning them to another buyer for a higher price. Real estate wholesalers make money by pocketing the difference between what they paid for the property and what they sold it for.

Each method has its own set of benefits that can be helpful to you and your business. Real estate investing can be a great way to find deeply discounted properties.

Generating leads comes with a combination of inbound and outbound marketing tactics, including paid ads, social media, cold calling and emails, search engine optimization, and online networking, among others. Of the more hands-on approaches, list stacking as well as driving for dollars have become very popular choices.

List stacking can help you focus your efforts on a specific list of properties, and driving for dollars can help you find properties that are vacant or in disrepair.

What is list stacking?

List stacking is a technique used in real estate wholesaling that involves compiling a list of potential properties to wholesale. This can be done by driving for dollars, searching online listings, or working together with a real estate agent, most often in tandem with one another.

One of the benefits of list stacking is that it allows you to quickly and easily identify potential properties for investment, saving you both time and money. Additionally, it provides you with a valuable database of potential leads that you can use again in the future, cross-reference, and use to curate valuable information about specific neighborhoods and demographic lists.

Many real estate investors use list stacking software to list stack, and it often comes as part of their real estate CRM.

Where do I buy these lists?

In order to list stack, you need to have multiple lists available first. There are many different methods that real estate investors use to acquire lists, from old fashioned banging on doors to data mining, or even purchasing their lists from outside sources.

We’ve listed several of the most popular methods for acquiring your lists to start building out your database:

  • Driving for Dollars - Driving for dollars (drive for dollars, or D4$) is another method real estate wholesalers use to find leads. This involves driving around potential neighborhoods looking for properties that are vacant or in disrepair. These properties may be good candidates for real estate wholesaling, and helps real estate investors focus their efforts on a specific list of properties.
  • ListSource - ListSource is another company REsimpli offers full integration with. As active real estate investors and wholesalers ourselves, ListSource is an invaluable resource for building local and national lists based on a wide array of different filtering options. ListSource caters directly to wholesalers, investors, and brokers, ensuring their lists come with motivated sellers and high quality leads. These lists can be directly imported to REsimpli or your CRM of choice, and cross-referenced further using list stacking functions.
  • PropStream - PropStream is another tool that is ubiquitous throughout the real estate investment industry. At REsimpli, we work with and offer integrations with PropStream in order to make your list stacking and segmenting as pain free as possible. PropStream provides one of the most efficient list management and list stacking technologies available to real estate brokers, investors, and agents. Using their software, you can quickly create bespoke reports using their many filter options to find possible sellers right away. For the purpose of building a targeted directory of the most likely sellers, the list stacking feature aids in your understanding of which properties are duplicated across multiple lists.
  • County records - Public records are a great way to start your lists. These don’t come with the same vetting and filtering options as PropStream or ListSource, but they are a perfect launchpad for new real estate investors who need a starting point. Most of the time these are acquired for free online either through the County Recorder’s Office or County Treasurer, but some real estate investors have had great success in reaching out to county tax assessors, or city and county inspectors for multiple code violators or other red flags. County records provide lists based on various criteria, most of which include bank owned properties, bankruptcies, delinquent taxes, liens, foreclosures, tax sale properties, and more.

What are the top real estate wholesaling lists to buy?

Pre-qualified, or high quality lead lists, are the most likely to give you a higher ROI. There are many things to consider when list building, including how worthwhile it is to buy lists (like those on ListSource) as opposed to doing more legwork and acquiring free ones (like county records or driving for dollars), but ultimately there are a few specific criteria to look out for.

Probate lists are the most popular given the homes are vacant without much legal implication, as probate essentially means the homeowner died without a will bequeathing the house or leaving a will. Niche lists like these, and shutoff lists, divorce lists, evictions lists, etc. often return a 20-30% close rate

List stacking with pre-foreclosure properties

Another type of property rising in popularity within real estate investment are pre-foreclosures. These lists are becoming more and more populated during and after COVID as the rates of pre-foreclosure are high.

The property type gaining the most popularity since 2021 is absentee owned or absentee owner properties. The most important part to take note of in absentee owner deals is to ensure the owner does own substantial equity in the property.

Oftentimes, absentee owner properties are owned by multiple owners or are tied up with current renters. Establishing that the owner is motivated and there won’t be complications with a third party management company is essential.

What criteria should I consider when stacking my lists?

Starting out, based on their previous sources, a real estate investor might pull multiple lists from their current software or database. Organizing these based on specific criteria is the best option for amalgamating your data and “stacking” them to target them directly. Most often, these groups look something like this:

  • Vacant
  • Tax Delinquent
  • Inherited Property
  • Code Violations

Where does list stacking come in? Once these lists are all curated, you’d further categorize them to send your marketing (whether that’s email or direct mail), and instead of sending out four or more campaigns with different messaging, marketing campaigns can then be tailored to groups who fit multiple criteria, such as:

  • Absentee & Vacant
  • Absentee & Tax Delinquent
  • Absentee & Vacant & Tax Delinquent & Inherited Property

This is one way to cut your leads in half, and you will certainly see a decline in the amount of records you pull, but list stacking also saves you money by helping you seek our more motivated sellers.

Similar to any kind of demographic targeting, it’s easy enough to get granular or broad with your targeting. For example, our CEO, Sharad Mehta, uses definitions similar to the below to get specific with his targeting:

  • Absentee: The property is uninhabited
  • High Equity: Owners with more than 50% equity
  • Vacant: The owner nor any tenant or family lives at the property
  • Inherited: The owner inherited the property recently
  • Tax Delinquent: The property is behind on taxes or mortgage payments, sometimes an indication that the new owner might feel burdened by the inheritance
  • Single Family: Only one family resides, or can legally reside, at the property

What software do I use to stack my lists?

So you have your lists–how do you compile them? While REsimpli offers a one-click, intuitive list building and segmenting options, many CRMS offer similar features at a smaller scale. When starting out with smaller lists, it’s often feasible to stack lists on Excel or Google Sheets as well.

List Stacking with REsimpli

REsimpli offers many integrations as noted above with software like Propstream and ListSource, as well as one-click import for other excel or spreadsheet files. You can quickly and comprehensively tag and sort your leads en masse or individually and from there, set up your direct mail or other marketing campaigns right in our CRM.

For more information on how you can use the REsimpli list stacking function to close more deals faster, you can watch a free full demo on YouTube demo.

Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets

Spreadsheets work best on a very tight budget, and if you only have a handful of properties to work from. They are notoriously hard to scale, but very easy to customize.

Using conditional formatting and formulas, you can remove duplicates and sort data based on specific criteria relatively easily, however, it’s important to note that spreadsheets require a lot of manual input before they are able to be sorted and formatted properly.

How do I choose a real estate CRM for list stacking?

Choosing a real estate customer relationship management system (CRM) is an important decision for any real estate wholesaler or business. A real estate CRM will help you track your leads, prospects, and clients. It is important to choose a real estate CRM that fits your specific business needs.

There are many different real estate CRMs on the market, so it is important to do your research before choosing one. You may want to consider features such as lead management, contact management, and automation.

More recently, CRMs are incorporating more up-to-date features such as driving for dollars and list stacking.

If you’re interested (or already participating) in real estate wholesaling, learning how to stack lists is a valuable skill to have.

The best software for list stacking

REsimpli’s software was built for real estate wholesalers by real estate wholesalers, helping save you time and close deals faster. Aside from driving for dollars and list stacking functionality, our CRM software for real estate investors also includes:

  • Skip Tracing
  • Direct Mail
  • Vacancy & Absentee Checks
  • Filters for Target Marketing
  • Zapier, BatchDialer & Other Integrations
This article was orginally feature on REsimpli.

Learn more about REsimpli at https://resimpli.com/demo/.