John Shaub mentions that he likes to get sellers to come to his office first as a screening tactic.
They always object saying that he needs to see the house before they can have a discussion. I forget what Schaub's counter is. I'm more interested in hearing if you guys think he's passing up good quality leads, and if so, if it may still be worth it to do so considering the extra time spent on lesser quality leads.
I haven't read Schaub but I could see it as a way to gauge motivation. A seller who won't comply with the request is probably not that motivated. However, you will miss some potential deals as the sellers will have no problem screening you out also. I receive 2 - 3 yellow letters a week. I suspect many homeowners in one of my target markets receive at least 1 yellow letter weekly. It will be quite easy for them to throw yours away and call the next number.
I use this more upon the second meeting after having seen the house. I like to present ideas and offers with a seller on neutral ground though, like a coffee shop. Someone's office isn't even close to being neutral. Rick Otten suggests doing that to gauge true seller needs without their emotion of having raised little Suzy in that thar bedroom, or as a convenient meeting place to 1st meet out of area sellers without having to drive all the way out to their house. It wouldn't always be my first goal, though, like @Jeff Rabinowitz points out, since they may have a lot of other opportunities to meet with potential buyers.
I ask them to meet me in my office and to bring their file on their house. I want them to go to the trouble to test their motivation, and I need the information in their file to make a written offer while they are in my office. Before making the invitation to come to my office I ask many questions and know from their answers and from my real time on line research, that I want to buy this house. Their response will let me know if they are ready to sell today. I may miss a few, but its a very efficient use of my time and I close a high percentage of those who come.
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