Driving for dollars - a lot of return mail, any ideas?

12 Replies

I have been driving around my area of expertise in Phoenix, Arizona and have mailed around 20 postcards to the tax mailing address of the owner of the property listed on the Maricopa County Assessors website. About half of them got returned as wrong address. Is this normal? I hear a lot of investors say they get deals driving for dollars. Is there a better way to get in touch with the owner? I usually mail to the houses that look vacant or are in need of repairs. Thank you in advance!!

@John Hyatt I haven't done driving for dollars really--well, maybe once--but 20 postcards is a tiny sample.  What ultimately matters is whether you get enough deals to justify your time, effort, and expense.  Work this number up to 200 and see what comes of it.  Also, consider leaving a note at the house.  If you are really brave, you could do like some investors and post a for sale by owner bandit sign with your phone number in the yard.   The idea is the owner will see it and call you.  Most will likely be irate but some will be interested in selling--even some of the irate ones.

Originally posted by @Larry T. :

@John HyattI haven't done driving for dollars really--well, maybe once--but 20 postcards is a tiny sample.  What ultimately matters is whether you get enough deals to justify your time, effort, and expense.  Work this number up to 200 and see what comes of it.  Also, consider leaving a note at the house.  If you are really brave, you could do like some investors and post a for sale by owner bandit sign with your phone number in the yard.   The idea is the owner will see it and call you.  Most will likely be irate but some will be interested in selling--even some of the irate ones.

 Thank you Larry, yes you are right! I just got so discouraged seeing most of them come back, I will keep it up until I have a much larger sample and if nothing then maybe I am doing something wrong and will post again for feedback. I thought about sending yellow letters to the owners, but just testing postcards for now. Great idea about leaving a note, I haven’t been doing that on vacant houses. I love that idea about leaving the sign, I haven’t had the courage to do that one yet. The first time I heard that was at a Mike Watson event in 2006 and I have yet to try it…would definitely be interesting to see results. If I ever gather the courage to do it I will post the results and let you know how it worked out.

-John

Wow, returned mail, you just said one of my favorite phrases. I once had a investor really upset at the return mail he was getting and what it cost him. I said would you feel better if I gave you $5 for each returned piece? Yes he said, OK I said and we had a deal. I would guess each of those $5 bills returned about $500 to me. When I told him that he just said I wanted to cancel our deal and if I was really making money he would be happy with $10 from now on and his mama didn't raise no dummy. I guess I should have sent his mama flowers and candy on a regular basis.

Brian P. I have an idea where you're going with this but perhaps you could expand a little bit and tell us what you're going to do with the returned mail. I agree that 20 is a small number to judge but 20 is not bad when it comes to driving for dollars!
Originally posted by @Brian P. :

Wow, returned mail, you just said one of my favorite phrases. I once had a investor really upset at the return mail he was getting and what it cost him. I said would you feel better if I gave you $5 for each returned piece? Yes he said, OK I said and we had a deal. I would guess each of those $5 bills returned about $500 to me. When I told him that he just said I wanted to cancel our deal and if I was really making money he would be happy with $10 from now on and his mama didn't raise no dummy. I guess I should have sent his mama flowers and candy on a regular basis.

 What?

My personal experience is one out of every five pieces of returned driving for dollars mail has led me to a deal. If I hadn't recently decided to really retire (60 years of habits are hard to break), I would offer to buy your returned mail any day.  

Originally posted by @Brian P. :

My personal experience is one out of every five pieces of returned driving for dollars mail has led me to a deal. If I hadn't recently decided to really retire (60 years of habits are hard to break), I would offer to buy your returned mail any day.  

 What do you do with returned mail that leads to a deal?

At this point in my newness, I don't even have a car anymore.   I walk for dollars.  I am following the advice to get the phone number of the owner and call.  It saves on stamps and time.  I plan to make one such call laer today.  Try it, it may provide relief.  Also, the numbers game referred to does matter.  The more time you put in it, the more you will get out of it. 

John that's just part of the business. 

Guys I'm sure Brian is referencing the fact he tries to trace or hunt down the owner of title.  Some people that send out mailings just delete the names of returned mailing from their list.   The money marker is the returned mail owners.   Less competition because everyone isn't tracing them and normally more anxious to sell. 

Derek gets the grand prize. The investor I mentioned wasn't the only one whose returned mail led me to deals. The harder they are to find the better or someone would have found them before me, but most quit looking very quickly, I have had a few that had no idea they even owned property and were about to lose it at the upcoming property tax sale. 

Originally posted by @Brian P. :

Derek gets the grand prize. The investor I mentioned wasn't the only one whose returned mail led me to deals. The harder they are to find the better or someone would have found them before me, but most quit looking very quickly, I have had a few that had no idea they even owned property and were about to lose it at the upcoming property tax sale. 

 That is interesting indeed!

How do you end up finding their contact info?

Frank 

To answer that I would end up writing a book but for a starter begin with learning to use your city, county, and state records plus learn how to use the neighbors, they know more then they think.

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