This page is dedicated to my Blog posts. I hope you find the information useful.
Talking to Sellers - The very Beginning...
Keep in mind that your prospects are assuming that you are a professional and have more knowledge than they do about the buying and selling process of Real Estate. You’re there to buy their house, not to make a fool of yourself, so do not talk about things you have no idea of. And if they ask a question you don’t have an answer to, tell them, “Great question, I will find that out and get back with you on that.” Then find the answer to their question just in case they remember to ask you it again the next time they see you.
There are certain exact steps you must purposely take to be successful at buying houses for HUGE profits. One very important thought to remember is that people who want to sell their house have to convince you to buy their house so you have the upper hand. Remember they are making you the offer. With that perspective, do the following…
1.Park on the street across from the subject house. Not in their driveway, on the lawn, or in front of their house. There is a subconscious ownership issue relating to the parking place in front of most homes so respect the seller by not parking in their space.
If you doubt that where you park matters than think about how you feel when you drive home and see a car in front of your home and the owner isn’t a guest of yours. You will feel intruded upon and although it seems silly it is a very real emotion. A person subconscious is at play when one is dealing with a stranger and you want them to think positively about you.
2.NEVER use the doorbell or doorknocker, always knock with your fist. If someone came to your door in a state of emergency they wouldn’t use the doorbell they would knock with their fist making a sound of confidence, authority and emergency and you should too.
3.After knocking, step back away from the door about 5-6 feet and turn and look up the street. Stepping back away from the door allows the seller to look you over and become comfortable with you before they open the door. Don’t look through the peep hole in the door, through windows, or make any action which would seem intrusive.
4.When they answer the door, step up and greet them; if it is a female wait for her to extend her hand; if it’s a male extend yours first. There is nothing more awkward then not knowing how to introduce yourself to a stranger. Practice in the mirror and make it natural.
5.Say “Hello my name is ___________ with I buy houses, thank you for inviting me out to buy your house today. Is where I’m parked okay?” We are going to ask the seller to be fair with us and IMHO it is extremely important to begin the relationship with the seller thinking you are fair as well. Asking this simple question will begin your successful and fruitful relationship.
Also within this statement/question you’re embedding a command to the seller affirming to them that you are their house buyer.
6.Ask to see the home and never look at the house by yourself or with anyone who isn’t one of the decision makers. The inspection of the home is a presentation and it is difficult if you are by yourself.
Understand that viewing a home is for the purpose confirming what you believe, determining what you don’t know, and to allow the seller to present you with their underlying motivations or negative propaganda about their home.
Remember a seller isn’t a professional home seller and they haven’t prepared themselves for your visit other than to maybe clean or straighten up the home. Because of this they will say things that will give away their equity. Most of the time if you just listen they will continually lower their price.
7.Never say “It’s a beautiful home,” or anything like that. We buy “houses” not homes. Home is perceived as having an extra, subtle value. A few other things you shouldn’t mention.
a.Never say your price is too low.
b.You wont have any trouble selling this home.
c.I can see myself living here.
I understand it is difficult to say anything negative since we are raised to always be nice and gratifying. However if you tell someone their price is too low they will probably raise it. However if you say to them that you just viewed a home larger at a lower price the opposite will happen
8.As you look around during your inspection, point out all of the negative repair items of the house and write them down on a tablet that you can refer back to later. Say these words “I will have to fix this” and “That will need to be repaired,” etc. This is your one chance to find everything that’s wrong with the house and you don’t want to be hasty with your inspection.
If it is the ugliest place you have ever seen, say so. If it’s a wreck, say so. They already know it is. Honesty will go a long way so be honest.
A lot of times physical gestures like rubbing a bad spot in a wall of trying to close a door that doesn’t close is all you will need to do for the seller to offer up their own ridicule of their home. Let them talk.
9.After your entire inspection, ask to sit at the kitchen table, if there is one, and don’t sit the sellers on either side of you. You don’t want to be shaking your head from side to side like watching a ping pong match and you definitely don’t want to exclude one of the sellers during the presentation. You never know who your allies will be so don’t exclude anyone even a young person. If they want to be part of the presentation and aren’t a distraction let them become a part of it.
If two tables, one round and one square, pick the round… A round table is more inclusive and less authoritarian. Everything you do will dictate success or failure so be prepared and understand how your actions, even the slightest ones, create positive or negative emotions.
10.Be prepared to sign a contract.
The phone is ringing... Now what?
Congrats on making the telephone ring. If you're like most investors you have a day job and can't answer the telephone as often as you should so you've probably going to set up a voicemail system.
If you're setting up a voicemail this is how I like handling that function.
Your ability to speak to others, and for them to reach you, is vital. It is the foundation for which all of your other efforts will be based on. Establishing a reliable, professional communication line that is solely dedicated to your business is the first thing you need to do.
You may already have a cell phone but you need one that is strictly for your REI business. It is not for your spouse, friends, kids… just the inbound calls from your advertising efforts. A dedicated home line won’t cut it because the key here is to always answer the telephone when it rings. This is your MONEY line. And you must be willing to answer calls starting as early as 8:00 am to as late as 9:00 pm.
Make sure that the cell phone service you purchase offers voicemail for taking messages when you’re unable to answer calls.
On your dedicated cell phone, a recorded message should be to-the-point and request the necessary information for being able to get back to them. Record the following:
“Thank you for calling. This is <Your Name> and I buy houses. I’m sorry that I could not take your call, but your call is very important to me so please leave a message. Leave me your name and number along with the address of the property and I will call you back shortly. Thank you again. I look forward to speaking with you about buying your a house”.
This should be recorded in your professional voice; don’t make the mistake of trying to sound like “a regular guy” or even worse, funny. What not to do: “Hey! This is Bob. You know what to do,” BEEP! Don’t start out with music either - nothing but professionalism. Also, don’t say that you have a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home for x dollars for sale either.
I personally go a little farther when setting out my voicemail. I want to use embedded commands and build within my voicemail the objection handlers callers may have.
My view is why waste my valuable time talking to a seller who doesn't want to sell. So I filter very heavy with my professionally created voicemails.
I have two voicemails; one for equity and one for shorts and pre-foreclosures.
You can listen to them here. Equity Pre-Foreclosure
The shortened script to record the Voicemails is:
Hello and thank you for calling _____________, the fastest and easy way to get your property sold and cash in your pocket.
We’re not available at the moment to receive your call. However, it is extremely important to us.
If you received a note in the mail from ________, regarding SELLING YOUR HOUSE, and you would like to, please leave us your name, your CELL phone number, along with the property address of the house you’re hoping to sell, and one of uswill call you back just as soon as possible.
We are not real estate agents wanting to list your house for sale, we want to BUY it. We buy houses for cash, in any condition and price range.
We buy “as is”, no repairs required. There are never any commissions, fees or closing costs when you sell your house to ______________, and we can close on the day of your choice.
So if you like the idea of selling your house for cash, without having to pay commissions or fees, and selling “as is”, on the day of your choice, then go ahead and leave us your name, your cell phone number, and the property address of the house you’re wanting to sell, and we will call you back just as soon as possible.
Thank you so much for calling, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.
So what do you do when the calls start coming in?
As your cell phone starts ringing, and it will, there are going to be two types of people who will respond to your mail:
- people who hate you and ask to be taken off the list
Actually, they wont ask you they will tell you so you will need some think skin.
- people who will want you to come buy their house
For the first group, honor their request; take them off your list and discontinue any further mailings to them.
For the second group, become very excited because you have begun to find prospects that are very interested in you and your services.
When you receive or call back the call be prepared. I like having my seller questionnaire in front of me to fill out.
In the old days I would go through the entire questionnaire however nowadays I have limited it to just a few questions and if they answer these questions correct then I continue.
Here are the two questionnaires;
The 5 Must Ask Questions
The first five questions tell the story. Unless your using multiple marketing media sources. If so, then your first question should be:
1. How did you happen to hear about us? Otherwise just ask the following.
2. Do you have a house you're wanting to sell? - Must be a Yes answer...
3. Is the house currently Listed with a Real Estate Professional? - Must be a No answer...
4. What do you think the house will be worth in today's market? - Must give a number...
5. What is your "Rock Bottom" price, the lowest amount you'll sell for FAST and FOR CASH? - Must be a number equal to or less than the worth value...
6. What is the address of the house?
Without the right answers to these five or Six questions I don't continue with the questions on the following seller questionnaire.
The Following is a script we have used with great success.
Call Date __________________________
Owner first and last name. (confirm spelling)______________________________________________
In case we get disconnected what is a good number to call you back on?_______________________________
Do you happen to have a cell number? _________________________
What is the best time to call you back? _________________________
How did you happen to hear about us? __________________________
Are you calling about a note you received regarding selling your house? Yes No Maybe
Do you have a house you're hoping to sell? Yes No Maybe
Is the house listed with a real estate agent? Yes No
What's the address of the house you're hoping to sell? __________________________________________
Property City?___________________ Property State? ___________ Property County?_______________
Out of curiosity, why are you selling? __________________________________________________________
When do you want the house sold? _____________________________
On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highly motivated, how would you rank your motivation to sell? ___________
How did you happen to own the home? ____________________________________________________________
Is the Home Vacant or Occupied? Vacant Occupied
Occupants Name? ________________________________
Do You Know the Year Built? __________________
What is the approximate square footage? __________________
How Many Bedrooms? __________________ How Many Bathrooms? ______________ Size of the Garage? ___________
Knowing I buy "As Is" tell me a little about the condition of the property, does it need any repairs? Things like paint, carpet, roof repairs and such?
What do you think the repair costs are going to be? _______________________
What do you think your house will appraise for in today's market? ____________________
What are you asking for the house? _______________________ Pause
Is that price "As Is" or fixed up? ___________________
How did you happen to come up with that price?____________________________________________________
Are your payments current or behind? Yes No A little In Foreclosure
If in foreclosure; You may owe more on your home than it is worth, would you agree?
Do you have an interest in NOT having a foreclosure on your record right?
Have you heard of a short sale? Yes No
If the caller answered the questions correctly then make an appointment to meet them and see their property. When making appointments you must understand the urgency of your opportunity. If you don’t respond fast enough, someone else will and you’ll miss out on the deal.
It is essential that you make your REI career a priority if you want to succeed. These prospects are calling for dollars, and they will stop calling when they have what they feel is a fish on their hook. So if you’re quick to respond with an appointment, and you make that appointment within the next 24 hours, preferably within 12, you will increase the odds of locking in the deal for yourself
Good House Hunting.
This question has to be one of the top 5 questions asked by every new investor.
Unfortunately the answer isn't as easy as the question. However here are a few things I suggest a new investor do.
I begin the conversation by saying to the person in front or behind me something that catches their attention. Something like: Isn’t this great? They in-turn say, while looking at me like with this expression of why are you talking to me, what's great? I respond by saying, standing in line at a grocery store. Then proceed to tell them that the Church I go to sponsors a village of families and I bet the people there would love to have a grocery line to stand in. In fact they don't even have homes to live in. I then segway into introducing myself. By the way my name is Michael and I am a real estate investor who buys houses. In todays’ market I buy houses from families who need to sell because of job transfers, divorce, maybe an unwanted rental, from people who want to buy a new home, those in foreclosures and short sale, even people who just need to sell because of their situation. The nice thing about my program is that I pay cash and can close on the day of their choice. And I pay all of the cost. Then I ask the question....DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO NEEDS TO BUY OR SALE A HOME? It’s that easy. Learn to introduce yourself. You will be amazed at how well it works. I can't go into my grocery store without the tellers starting a real estate conversation with me.
So here’s how easy it is. Sit down and write a list of all of the people you know who live in or have property in your market and put them into two lists. One list will include people you can call on the phone and who remember who you are. It should include people like mom, dad, brother, sister, gardener, masseuse, pedicurist, accountant, those kinds of people, especially everyone you pay on a regular basis.
On the other list you’ll add people who know of you, however not as well as the first list. Those acquaintances that you run into when out and about. People like store tellers, waitresses, past coworkers and current coworkers. Even YOUR BOSS. The number one person you want to replace in your life.
Then call all of the people on the first list. Brag about your success. What success you might say; the success of deciding to be independently wealthy through real estate investing. Practice your elevator speech on them. They love you, or at least like you, so it will be easy. Watch out for the naysayers, these people are important to your growth. Write down their objections and learn how to deal with them, everything from your personal past failures to the failures of our industry. Objection handling is extremely important in life and it is vital that you learn how to handle them in real estate investing.
As to the second list; make it a point to see each of those people over the next thirty days and talk real estate. Tell them what you’re doing and ask them who they know that needs to buy and sell. Besides, you may rekindle some past friendships. And remember everyone is an opportunity.
Reading real estate will help with your confidence talking to those strangers I spoke about. Thus when you own the idea that you know what you’re talking about you come across as an expert. One who is prepared, it will show in your actions and nothing will slow you down. With that said the reverse is true as well. The worst thing you can do is not know your local industry better than the average person and the only way you learn it is by reading.