I have started cold calling absentee owners of buildings that have 2 units and up. I'll pick a neighborhood or zip code, pull the tax records of all the non owner occupied multi-families, look up phone numbers for everyone and then start calling.
Me: Hello, my name is Brian. I was calling about your building at "123 Main st.".
Owner: Yes, what about it?
Me: I live in the neighborhood, I own some rental property as well. I just recently sold a building in (other neighborhood) and was looking for something to buy a little closer to home. I thought I'd give you a call to see if you had any interest in selling it.
I've made a almost 900 phone calls. Of those phone calls, the vast majority don't answer. Ill leave a message and move on to the next one. I've gotten 26 appointments, 3 under contract and of those 3 I've closed on 2.
I'm looking for some input and ways to improve. Ask me questions and critique
I'm a newbie looking to get info. Can you tell me where you found the tax records? Did you get info online county website or go to the local courthouse? Any feedback would be appreciated.
I have my real estate license and there is a service called "Realist". I use that to pull the records. If you don't have your license the company that owns realist also owns listsource.com which seems to be the most popular one to use. Realquest.com is also good.
You will have to pay for the lists though
thats awesome!!!! Keep it up.
Thanks for encouragement. Investor/Realtor too here in Pittsburgh
I like the strategy. How much under market value are you getting the houses you have managed to close on so far? I would assume as landlords that your leads are a lot more educated than an average home owner, and therefore more difficult to negotiate with.
Thanks for the info Brian. Jennifer Lee, I'm also from Pittsburgh area!
1. Two family- Bought for $55k putting $30k into it. Should sell anywhere between $160k - $180k. This one was a killer deal.
2. Two family- Bought for $120k. Put $5k in. Should also sell for $160-$180k. Both are in same neighborhood. This one isn't that great of a spread but since it needed next to no work I decided to do it. I had it on the market 2 weeks after I closed. All I did was have a guy install new floors and finish painting the unit. Everything else was in great shape. Just put it on the market the other day.
Sometimes they are more educated and sometimes not. There have been a lot of people who just own that one property and they bought it a long time ago. They don't seem to know the current market rates and anything. The other bonus with multi-family is that a lot of people rent them out for a lot lower than market. I've done deals in the past where I bought it, put new tenants in for much higher rent, and then sold it. No rehab or anything.
That's a very high conversion ration from cold calls to appointments. I would focus on doing a better job at pre-qualifying those that you set appointments with. Try to get your appointment to close conversion ration up to 70 or 80 percent and you'll be a rock star.
Sounds like you've got the discipline to sit down and simply crank out the calls on a consistent basis, that's the hardest part for most people.
I'm looking to do this as well... when you weren't able to reach the absentee owner and you had to leave a message... 1. what message did you leave... and 2. were you able to get a okay amount of callbacks...
@Brian Porter People always focus on other areas of the MLS as being advantages. I find Realist to be a huge benefit of having access to the MLS. You can not only get the owner info, but you can also get information on the loan information associated with the property as well.
I did a lot of cold calling for listings as an agent and investor. When I opened my own office I found maybe 2 people in 20 years that could do it for any length of time. No question it works but not everyone can do it. @Brian Porter congrats to you. You must have thick skin. I made my phone calls every night from 5:00pm-9:30pm. This way I know most people are home. However times have changed. Now people can decide to answer or not when they see your number.
I would ask what time of day or night are you calling? Are you calling people a 2nd or 3rd time if they don't answer the first? I would try maybe one more phone call if they don't answer the first time. I would also stay in touch with the people you have made contact with but were not interested. I had many people hang up on me and a month later not even remember and end up getting a listing. You could also do a direct mail campaign to the same list. You send them enough and call them enough and they will know your name. One more question. What service did you use to look up the phone numbers? Are they cell phones or land lines?
@Kevin Page I am calling between 5pm and 7pm. So far I haven't done too many 2nd calls. I plan to cycle back around after I get through everything though. I have just been using 411.com or whitepages.com to look up numbers.
@Account Closed I went on 411.com and looked up myself to see how easy it would be to get my own number. After 15 minutes of agreeing to different terms and downloads I finally got to the point where I could put in my credit card info to purchase a report package. Seems like a long tedious process to get a phone number. I can't imagine doing that 900 times. Is this the kind of process you had to go through to get all the numbers?
The key to getting results from cold calling are simple; make lots and lots of calls. You seem to already have that figured out. Your calls/meetings/closing ratio looks pretty good in my opinion.
You definitely need to follow-up with the non-contacted targets and those you left messages for but never received a call-back. I would keep going through my list until every target was contacted.
Keep hitting the elusive ones every 3 months or so until you make contact. If you are leaving messages, change the intent of your message each time you contact them. The second message you leave them may be to ask if they would be interested in buying one of your properties that is nearby. Maybe one of your messages is to ask if they have contractor recommendations or if they too are experiencing vacancy.
Just keep softly hitting them a few times a year; phone call or letter etc. Things change, they may not be interested in selling now, but when they have to spend $10,000 on a new roof in 6 months, they may have wished they had that gentlemans number that called them asking to buy that property.
@Brian Porter Interesting. I did some other searches and some peoples numbers came up and others did not. It seemed like the common theme was that the landlines came up. Cells are probably harder to find. We don't have a landline at my house, which may explain it.
@Brian Porter when you weren't able to reach the absentee owner and you had to leave a message... what message did you leave that got you the most call backs?
And when they called back were the able to reach you directly or did you have a voice message system they called into?
I really like this approach... I look forward to implementing it!
@Jamel Mccurry The most effective voicemail I've used for getting someone to call back is to be really open ended. "Hey, my name is Brian. I live a few houses down from your building on "Main St.". Could you give me a call back as soon as you get this? I just had a quick question for you."
It almost gets them concerned that something is wrong. I've tried other ways where just openly say I'm looking for another building to buy in the neighborhood but no one ever returns the call.
I don't use a voicemail mail system for call backs. Its just my cell phone number and I answer it if I'm able to. If I can't its just my normal voicemail greeting and I return there call as soon as I can. My goal is not to sound like a company or anything. The people I talk to legitimately think I'm a neighbor that lives near their building and am just interesting in getting another one.
Thank you so much for your help @Brian Porter!
Hi Brian, there's no better way to do it. Keep up the good work.