There was a great response to the new “Ask Nick” segment in the AARE newsletter. Thanks for the questions! Here’s a good one…
I’m new in the REI Field and my dilemma is this:
I’m currently focusing on pre-foreclosures and have lined up an array of buyers, but I’m struggling to get houses despite the foreclosure crisis going on. By the time I arrive at a property in Pre-Foreclosure, I’m finding that the owners just “walked away” from the property.
Right now, my strategy is looking up the Notices/Complaints from the court records. I look up these notices online from our local newspaper. I do a bit of research on the property from initial purchase price, Refi’s and do some basic comps of the neighborhood. From that point on I proceed to look at the property and take notes. This is where I’m finding most homes vacant and homeowners having just walked out and abandoned the property.
I am stuck at this point as to what to do/ how to proceed from here-I have buyers but no houses…Thank You”
Good stuff! Thanks for the question! You’ve got a good system going right now. Very good job getting your buyers list up and running – that’s usually the hard part.
My first thought is that there is probably a way to systemize this process, so you’re not tied down chasing property owners to where they move to. You make a huge impression by showing up in person, but as you’re finding, many homeowners have already moved on, and you’re chasing down ghosts.
Make the deals to come to YOU – don’t chase the deals!
It’s great you get the list directly from the newspaper to save your time and money; however, it’s not quite as timely as looking the records up directly at the courthouse or buying from a list broker, as other investors are doing.
My suggestion is to gather the essential data you already get from the newspaper (name, address, any dates of sheriff sales, etc) to immediately incorporate a direct mail campaign to these addresses.
Now, you have to assume that these people are getting bombarded with mail from other investors, so you have to make yours unique so they read it. In my coaching program, I show my students how to incorporate standard letters & postcards, what to say in the letters, etc to get the best response rate.
5 Tips to make your mail unique:
– Handwrite the name & address in blue pen
– Use a stamp with personality
– Hand-sign each one of these, and mail it out
– Ensure you have at least 5 (ideally seven) mailings to each person
– Write the words, “Forwarding Address Requested” on each envelope. This will forward your mail to the address where the owner moved to if they left this address for the USPS.
**Note – YOU don’t have to be the one doing all the writing, stamping & stuffing.
ONLY do your research & due diligence on a property, if you get a return call. This will save you a bunch of time, so you don’t have to analyze every property, and allow you to continue to build your list. Perhaps, if you know an area well and think it may have a better profit potential, you can spend some time heading over to the property and see if they are there.
Either way, keep your marketing going (direct mail, bandit signs, newspaper ads) to bring calls coming into you, and as long as you keep the flow going, you will always have deals to sell to your buyers.
And… once you get more deals than your buyers can handle, it’s time to beef up your buyers list again!
Hope this helps. Let me know if you decide to implement this, and how it works for you.