Newbie Almost got shot in the FACE!

13 Replies

Hello, BiggerPockets family! My name is Brandon and I've been working as a remodeler/GC for about 18 years now. I read "Rich Dad Poor Dad" a little over a month ago and it has totally changed my world. So I've decided to find a house of my own to flip (actually I would like to brrrr). I've been scouring Zillow, looking through Facebook marketplace, driving for dollars and I thought I found the perfect property. It's a run down two story with a detached garage apartment in the back covered in vines - I should post a pic. I watched some videos on how to track down landowners and found out the guy lived just down the street. And in all my newbie excitement, I go knock on his door thinking, "surely he'll be excited to have a buyer come by and offer him a cash price for his house". That was NOT the case my friends. He was mad. I mean really mad. 

He came to the door ready to fight me and quickly made it clear he had no interest in selling his house. While he's ranting about people coming by every day bothering him about his house I'm thinking "Oh crap, what am I going to say next?". I just listened to podcast 260 that morning (that's the one with Chris Voss the former FBI negotiator) so all I could think was "mirror mirror mirror". That's what I did for about 5 minutes and then the guy said, "I feel like you're just trying to pump me for information, like you're trying to work me!"  BUSTED! I made one last feeble attempt to connect by offering to partner with him in the remodel/flip of the house to which he replied, "The last guy I partnered with, I shot in the head!" 

So, I tried to end the conversation as politely as I could by thanking him for his time and apologizing for bothering him. Now, it may sound like I would be deterred from this whole situation but actually, I'm more excited than ever! I'm going to make it a point to stop by and talk to that gentleman at least once a month and see if I can build some kind of rapport with him. He seems lonely and disappointed with life. If nothing else maybe I can make a new friend or maybe this will at least leave some clues to what happened to me if I keep bothering him. 😀

What was your worst experience when trying to make an offer?

Nothing like that so far! My worst experiences have been mainly sellers flaking right when it comes time to sign. Something comes up, like now their son Billy who lives across the country wants the building. Things like that. 

No Yukon is good. this was on the south side of Oklahoma City this is a pretty rough neighborhood but the city just completed a big maps project here for our downtown so I think the whole area is going to turn over. Im trying to find a deal in the area 

Invite him for coffee and talk about anything but that property. You'll stand out and may be someone positive to talk to. As a surveyor, I get blasted regularly. I most always end up leaving on good terms and often times get more work. Keys I've learned when making first contact: no sunglasses or hats, hands out in the open, stand out away from the door facing them with your head up so they can see you. Tell them your name and why you are there. Ask their name even though  you already know. In your case I would say "so and so down the street said you may know the owner of the house at blah blah blah boulevard. If he or she is available at a convenient time I would like to talk them about the property" 

if you let them know or make them feel that you believe they are experts on something or have valuable information, they'll usually talk to you. Keep at it. He'll come around. Good luck.

Clint

From my experience I find sometimes people have had a string of bad luck when it hits like dominoes.  He might be holding onto that house for sentimental reasons and just can't let go.  It will take some time to break that hard shell of his, but I think it can be broke over time.  

It absolutely can't hurt to invite him out for coffee or even bring him a coffee.  Don't mention the house maybe find out more about him and his life.  Talk business another day.  Once you get to those personal details and family life it seems to put people on that same level as you.  To him he probably thinks everyone is greedy and out to take his property.

The last person I talked to wasn't angry they were a bit hesitant.  We spent the next hour just talking about their life and slowly talked about what they want to do with the house and land.  They weren't ready to sell yet, but when they do I will get the first call.

@Horton M.

Oklahoma City started the maps project about 20 years ago to redo the downtown Oklahoma City area. It's known as bricktown. today we're actually opening centennial Park which is kind of a big deal around here if you've ever been to San Antonio with the Riverwalk we've got something like that going on. I'm sure you can get online and check it out if you look Oklahoma City bricktown maps project lot of good stuff going on around here.

What a story! I called for months on a property and never could get through. When I finally got ahold of the owner, we talked for a while and he said he didn't want to sell, rather he still wanted to rent the property and just hadn't been able to get out to the property to put up a "For Rent" sign. So I volunteered to put the sign up for him to help him out and hopefully build rapport. Bought a sign, put it in the yard and sent a picture of it to him to confirm it was done. Went home feeling good about myself, thinking I had made some progress. Got a text and a phone call from the wife RIPPING me about how the house wasn't for rent and they actually plan to tear it down. Talk about a smack in the face lol. 

HOWEVER, I now have the wife's personal cell and will be calling in a month or so to check in. 

In situations like this and in yours I always think back to the quote "Make mistakes of action and not mistakes of sloth". Take your shot and if it doesn't turn out, it was good practice! 

rejection in many forms is SOP for door knocking  direct mail any type of advertising really.

My first job way back when was selling Fuller Brush door to door.. much like being on a Mormom missions or a Witness coming to your door.. or selling magazines.. etc.

good advise above.. when you knock on the door ALWAYS step back.. and down a step if there is one.. 

When we used to chase timber.. same thing we had to drive up many driveways that said no tresspassing and you will be shot.. and this is in the northwest and they are not kidding.. biggest fear though really was dogs.. 

Or folks that were not keen on Timber harvest.. But we made our deals.

Much like my fuller brush days  of offering a free gift of lanolin hand lotion to every door I knocked.  We had a cooler full of Salmon  Elk jerky and Smoked salmon.. if it had a big patch of timber we led with that gift and let me tell you that calms anyone down.

is the guy still paying taxes on time for that property? did you leave him with your contact information? i would maybe draft up some hard numbers for him to see how much he stands to profit. take him out to lunch and leave that info with him, then just wait. i doubt it's a good idea to pester him weekly, unless you want to end up like his last partner lol

Originally posted by @Brandon Huddleston :

Hello, BiggerPockets family! My name is Brandon and I've been working as a remodeler/GC for about 18 years now. I read "Rich Dad Poor Dad" a little over a month ago and it has totally changed my world. So I've decided to find a house of my own to flip (actually I would like to brrrr). I've been scouring Zillow, looking through Facebook marketplace, driving for dollars and I thought I found the perfect property. It's a run down two story with a detached garage apartment in the back covered in vines - I should post a pic. I watched some videos on how to track down landowners and found out the guy lived just down the street. And in all my newbie excitement, I go knock on his door thinking, "surely he'll be excited to have a buyer come by and offer him a cash price for his house". That was NOT the case my friends. He was mad. I mean really mad. 

He came to the door ready to fight me and quickly made it clear he had no interest in selling his house. While he's ranting about people coming by every day bothering him about his house I'm thinking "Oh crap, what am I going to say next?". I just listened to podcast 260 that morning (that's the one with Chris Voss the former FBI negotiator) so all I could think was "mirror mirror mirror". That's what I did for about 5 minutes and then the guy said, "I feel like you're just trying to pump me for information, like you're trying to work me!"  BUSTED! I made one last feeble attempt to connect by offering to partner with him in the remodel/flip of the house to which he replied, "The last guy I partnered with, I shot in the head!" 

So, I tried to end the conversation as politely as I could by thanking him for his time and apologizing for bothering him. Now, it may sound like I would be deterred from this whole situation but actually, I'm more excited than ever! I'm going to make it a point to stop by and talk to that gentleman at least once a month and see if I can build some kind of rapport with him. He seems lonely and disappointed with life. If nothing else maybe I can make a new friend or maybe this will at least leave some clues to what happened to me if I keep bothering him. 😀

What was your worst experience when trying to make an offer?

 It's all fun and games till somebody shoots you in the face lol. Great story but in all seriousness as someone who's sold over $150M in this biz I can say with a certainty that door knocking is a pretty ineffective marketing strategy. You can do so much better with a high volume of direct mail and digital advertising. Fielding incoming leads has a much higher success rate then walking around trying to snag an outgoing lead from some dude who isn't interested in the product or service you are offering. 

@Brandon Huddleston , that's pretty bad.  Worst thing that ever happened to me was someone screaming at my asking "Do you know how to read?"  Commercial owner.  His listing had the wrong price, so I based my offer on what I saw, and not what he thought he was asking. So there was a bit of confusion on the back and forth. Man was he an a$$hole.