Acquisition Success Stories: Alphonse the Acquisitionist

We’re starting a new series on acquisitions and negotiations to help our loyal readers gain valuable skills to build their investment portfolios by profiling the strategies of successful investors and real estate practitioners.

Alphonse Mack has been in Atlanta’s real estate game since 1997, when he started knocking on pre-foreclosure doors. He says that he built a thick skin and learned a lot quick by not giving up.

He’s a wholesaler; an old-school property scout in the best way. I love his style, because he’s warm, upfront and happy to share.

He’s the kind of guy whose subtle charm and smooth laughter make it very easy to speak with him.

It’s easy to imagine him gently persuading someone to sell him their house over many weeks of short, happy phone calls… like water carving a rock, one drip at a time.

When the market soured in 2006 he got out of the game, and returned in 2012 when he saw a lot of hedge fund investors descending on the city looking for real estate.

Most investors rely too much on computers, Alphonse said. If they don’t put it on craigslist or something like that, no one sees it.

That over-reliance makes it a really good time for him now. He’s got investors coming to him looking for deals

He never went that route; he’s always been on the ground.

He spends a lot of time driving for dollars – he says he finds deals every time he goes out.   Just walking around the other day and talking to folks on the street he met someone who has four, possibly five properties to sell.

Alphonse says that sometimes an owner just puts up a For Sale sign in a hot area, and nobody calls cause no one is driving around.

He’s got a deal from a sign under contract right now for $275k in an area where tear-downs and lots go for half a million. He concentrates on the high-end areas with good schools where developers are building new construction.

That’s the Big Secret, he says: There are deals in every area. You just have to know how to look.

Stuff is always happening… divorces, probates… a lot of deals come from there, Alphonse says. He doesn’t work the probate court, he just looks for the problems, which are easy to see… grass tall, power off… a lot of deals happen to be from people passing away or moving their folks out. Many times he’s the only one who has contacted them. There are deals everywhere.

A few years ago there were lots of people flipping houses, and now they’re stuck without any inventory.

Alphonse says that’s because they can’t get away from the computer.

He feels fortunate that he started the hard way and got the skill of getting out there and actually speaking to people.

When driving a neighborhood he’ll go back and look at those streets twice for absentee owners, then go thru tax records to find their contact info.

He looks for a rubber band on mailbox – an indication no one is getting mail.

He’ll talk to mail carriers and utility company workers, and he’s even worked with a few of them as bird dogs.

These days, he’s doing less driving. He’s starting to train others in Atlanta to work with him to spot the signs of a potential sale.

Bottom line, says Alphonse:

You don’t make any money unless you communicate.

Coming up next: Part 2, Negotiation Secrets of Alphonse the Acquisitionist

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About reibrain

Hey, my name is Trevor and I'm the founder of The REI Brain and editor/contributor. I started investing in real es.tate when I was 21... and love entrepreneurship, the internet, and real estate. My main focus today is growing my companies, systemizing my businesses so I can work less and make more, and spend more time with my family. Learn more about me at

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