On the Phone or In Person

7 Replies

I am curious what the community thinks about negotiating deals over the phone versus an in person visit.  I typically deal with vacant houses that have been inherited so when I go see the property I typically do not see the seller there.  In our expansion plans for next year I trying to decide if I should hire 1 or 2 experienced sales professionals who are used to handling sale transactions over the phone, building rapport etc.... Or should I focus on 1 to 2 experienced sales people who are used to getting face to face appointments and closing the purchase agreement in person?  The phone seems more efficient but in person seems more effective.  It also seems like over the phone sales people would be less expensive than in person sale professionals.

Personally, I prefer 100% in person. I am new to real estate, but, for sales in general, definitely in-person.

You can tell so much more about a person by their body language. You miss out on that over the phone. You can see when they are nervous, you can see if they like the price you just offered or if you just shot them in the foot. You also get to show yourself, you get to show confidence via body language while in person. 

Yes, it is a bit more of a hassle to have to physically show up, but for me, I feel I will be 10x more successful if I negotiate in-person. It gives me a confidence that I sometimes seem to lack when on the phone.

Originally posted by @Jerry Gurley :

I am curious what the community thinks about negotiating deals over the phone versus an in person visit.  I typically deal with vacant houses that have been inherited so when I go see the property I typically do not see the seller there.  In our expansion plans for next year I trying to decide if I should hire 1 or 2 experienced sales professionals who are used to handling sale transactions over the phone, building rapport etc.... Or should I focus on 1 to 2 experienced sales people who are used to getting face to face appointments and closing the purchase agreement in person?  The phone seems more efficient but in person seems more effective.  It also seems like over the phone sales people would be less expensive than in person sale professionals.

My last deal was completely over the phone... right down to the final number. After the numbers were agreed upon, then I met the seller on the property. When I saw the condition (which was good), I whittled down the price even further.

My third lease-option deal was also completely over the phone. I advertised a rental property in Virginia Beach on the New York Craigslist site. My renter and her husband moved to VA and signed the contract... the end.

I guess I would say it depends on time and how motivated your buyers are. If I were you, I'd hire the sales people who can do face-to-face because, most likely, they can do over-the-phone too. If not, they can be trained.    

@Jerry Gurley   since you're purchasing a hard asset I would always see the property first and never purchase from pictures or just over the phone.  That's not investing, it's speculating.  I can't tell you the number of properties that look great from the photos and yet when you pull up you see all the things the camera forgot.    Once you've seen the property you can do a the negotiation over the phone however always go see it first.   That's my personal opinion.

Medium exp realty smallDarren Sager, EXP Realty | [email protected] | 862‑208‑2287 | http://www.exprealty.com/ | NJ Agent # 0897533 | Podcast Guest on Show #48

I've negotiated over phone, email and in-person. While this won't be the most helpful answer, I try to see what "realm" the seller is most comfortable with. For instance, I'm dealing with an old man right now and I've found it best to meet face-to-face with him. In another deal, I called the seller multiple times only to have her respond via email each time so I finally took the hint and only communicated via email for the rest of the negotiations. So, my advice would be to understand how the seller wants to communicate and go from there.

@Jerry Gurley  

I would like to understand better what you're planning on doing. It seems to me "hiring" salespeople to do the negotiating all the way across the board would be dangerous because why wouldn't they just do the whole deal since they made the deal possible?

There are administrative parts that can be easily outsourced but I feel like the negotiating should be left to a "partner" or someone who has a share in the deal. 

But to answer your question, yes it's possible to work out all the details over the phone but I've never bought a property over the phone, at some point you have to put a contract in their hand anyway and I've found that it's easier to build rapport, trust and iron out any issues faster and better by doing it face to face rather than over the phone. 

Plus, when you're face to face, once you work out the numbers and the terms, you sign the contract and it's done. If you do it all over the phone you have the additional step of getting the contract to them and that gives them time to talk to their neighbor, best friend who is a real estate attorney or their dog and then they back out of the deal or anything else. 

So my advice is if you can meet them in person, meet them in person. 

I hope this helps and good luck in your real estate investing.  

Build relationship first, face time is important.
Initially, you will make more progress with a fork in your mouth, not a phone.

If both parties have a level of trust building, then use phone, email, text.

Face to face- non-verbal cues, you have to see the property first anyhow, and you can close immediately.

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