I feel extremely uneasy when someone refers to me as an expert, unless, of course, it has to do with breakfast cereal or cheap red wine. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often. I also don’t like real estate professionals, social media consultants, bloggers and economists referring to themselves as experts. Seems a little vain to me.
That’s why I feel a little funny writing this post. I’m not a sales and marketing expert. The truth is I suck at both.
Last week, I wrote a post titled Bringing Sexy Back to Seller Carry Backs. I received a few comments and emails asking how I found buyers with enough down payment cash to purchase my properties. Well, believe it or not, that was the easy part. Here’s what I did:
- Posted a new CraigsList.com ad for each house everyday, for 30 days
- Built a simple WordPress website to capture leads
- Created a free automated voicemail line (Google Voice) to capture leads
- Listed the homes on the MLS myself (I’m a Realtor) and offered the buyer’s agent a 2% commission
- Put an “owner will carry” rider on a sign in front of the houses
- Marketed the homes on another local website that offers owner financing – the owner of this website also does radio advertising
Within 30 days I had a buyer’s list of more than 60 names, all with 10-50% to put down. These people were strategic defaulters, self-employed business owners, contractors and doctors. All of them had verifiable income and cash reserves.
Once I sold these homes I stopped the CraigsList.com ads and disabled the voicemail line. However, I still get 3-5 inquiries a month on my website from potential homebuyers. I don’t do any SEO so that means these prospects are really digging to find investors like me that offer owner financing.
Of course, like any type of real estate investing there are pitfalls with doing seller carry backs. Dealing with owner default, the SAFE and Dodd-Frank Acts and tax consequences may be a concern. However, with the right team in place (accountant, attorney, licensed mortgage broker) you can safely navigate these waters and create an above average return for yourself and your investors.