I have thought about kicking off a small mailing campaign of about 1000 absentees, and am curious to hear how folks on BP manage the initial call volume with full time employment.
Is anyone using a VA to take the initial calls and walk through a script?
I spread the mailings out to no more than 100 every two days. Then I let every call go to voicemail where I ask them to leave a name and address. What I have found is that if a caller doesn't leave a Voicemail and I call back on the missed call they aren't that motivated so I don't think I am losing that many "deals" by not picking up the phone when they call.
The side benefit of the voicemail is that you can research the property before calling back and have an initial offer to make on the phone to gauge motivation. With a FT job you don't want to be running out to every house to find out they aren't motivated or owe too much on a mortgage (in good standing) that won't allow them to sell low enough to make it a deal.
I haven't gone to a VA yet, as the call volume isn't that large for me, and plus you need to have some good experience answering the calls yourself to train the VA on what to say/do with each call that comes in. The VA is nice, but you need to have good training to make them effective and not lose leads.
It is very possible to do direct mail with a FT job, get those mailers going out and you'll find a deal.
@Riley F. - What I've found that helps me out a lot is timing my mailings so the recipients will get them when I believe I will be most available. It usually took 2 days from when I mailed my letters before I started getting the bulk of my calls. I liked to get the calls during the week so I sent them all out on Friday or Saturday of the week.
Also setting up a good voicemail to "filter out" some of the tire kickers is good as well. I live by the 80/20 rule, so don't try and call everyone back. Pick and choose those that sounded the most motivated first. Call those people back and then if you have time start calling the others back.
It's tough to really scale up if you need be. Like @Dave Savage said, try and spread out your mailings over a period of time and keep the numbers down.
As I wanted to grow I had to find a partner to help me with the calls.
Hope that helps
I just sent out my first 300 letters from my 1000 name list and found what @DaveSavage to be true. I got about 40 call backs from my first batch of 300 letter campaign and I let them go to voice mail. It makes it more manageable as opposed to answering every call. For those that call and don't leave a message, I just text them and ask if they have a property to sell. Those that call more than once and still don't leave a message or respond to text, I call back. I am working on a possible deal now with a gentleman that called a couple times and didn't leave a message. Good luck buddy.
Thank you everyone for the very helpful responses. I plan to use a Google voice account to screen and will return and text the folks that come in.
I am going to be sending off 500 yellow letters over the next couple of weeks, and will put up a post keeping everyone apprised of my progress.
just wanted to bring this up and see how everyone's doing it with a full time job.
i am thinking of doing it myself, but there's no way to answer the calls during the day.
I know that @Michael Q. and @Jerry Puckett would suggest that EVERY call gets answered. wonder if it's worth starting a campaign if i let the VM pick up.
Answering your telephone depends on a lot of things and I believe going to a quality Voicemail is fine.. A live answer may not always be the ideal solution depending on your marketing piece. And frankly filtering isnt a bad thing and a voicemail does just that.
@Riley F. I work full time and wholesale part time. I too limit my mailings so the call qty per day/week is not too great. I use a VM system for direct mail response. I use lunch times to call back people. I also call back during early evenings or mid mornings (break). My direct mail VM system will fwd to my cell phone.. So if I am able to I will pick up and answer. Otherwise I will let it roll over to the VM.
We prefer that you live answer your calls, but when you can't I actually think voicemail (VM) may be BETTER than a virtual assistance (VA).
Sometimes when I listen to a VA-answered call, it is PAINFUL as the rep - who OBVIOUSLY knows nothing about real estate, etc. - trudges thru blank after blank on the form, asking the question, then slowly repeating and spelling out each answer.... arrrggghh! If I was the caller, I'd much rather get VM (or go to the website) so I am in control rather than being led blank by blank thru a form over the phone by a drone. (no offense VAs =)
I've also known guys that rushed out to get a VA in place for $200+ per month before they have any call volume. Makes no sense. In most markets, you need to be spending $5,000+ on your marketing before you'll get so many calls that you need to outsource the answering.
The downside of waiting to get back to your leads is that they are not waiting for you. If they don't hear back, they will go to Google, start searching, filling out forms, etc. If you wait too long before calling them back, you'll burn the lead because the truly motivated sellers will likely not stop searching until they think they have a buyer. The sooner you return their call, the more likely that you will have a shot at getting their property.
Hi Riley, work toward building a team to handle property acquisitions..and that implies much more than VA status. Anyone touching a seller or buyer lead should be great listeners, communicators, and negotiators and know what they are doing in each call. Your real business depends upon that. Also, you may know this, but I see many forget that there are two sides to this - big equity spreads deals ( capital gains ) and cash flow ( many times tighter equity spreads). Be sure that no matter what, you are leveraging all of your leads. We've got folks that luv take over payments and if it cash flows, the equity position is not a primary concern. Therefore, whoever is on the phone with sellers must be skilled at negotiating all the types of deals you need to create great cash flow. Just having a good phone person to collect data and then pass to you still leaves you with having to do half the work. Best to work toward a proficient team that you manage.
I keep it pretty simple for my direct mail campaigns. I set up a google voice number for tracking purposes and when a call comes in I will answer if available while at work. If not I will call them back within a few hours . I'm also a fan of spreading out how many letters go out to control the call flow until you can scale the business.
I am still a newbie and have been following the forum and your comments.I would be curious to know if you ever went the VA avenue.I am in the same position you reference above in that I have a full time job but want to be able to call back these leads and qualify them in a timely manner the times when I am at work and when free pick up some calls and negotiate.
I appreciate the feedback from other members in regards to this topic.
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