A real estate investor will often have professional expertise that can be "traded" in lieu of down payment funds. Contractors, painters, landscapers, health-care professionals, lawyers, realtors, insurance agents, car dealers, merchants - all of these can provide valuable services or discounts that could be used in place of down payments. The potential list is not restricted to professional consideration either, sometimes a supply of plain elbow grease can help swing a deal in the absence of funds.
"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
Napoleon Hill quote