Mailing In State vs. Out of State Absentee Owners

11 Replies

Might be a dumb question and/ or answered somewhere else in this sea of great information, but it seems that the BP consensus is that out of state absentee owners are preferred over in state absentee owners. I get that logic, but if I am in Arizona wanting to buy in Arizona wouldn't that mean I was sending only to people out of state making a "kitchen table" meeting geographically undesirable? Would the deal just be done over the phone? Apologies in advance if this is newbie question, but would love to know before I start sending letters...

I've mailed to both in-state and out of state owners - and wholesaled properties from both. For the out of state folks, I do the deal over the phone with respect to negotiating and finalizing the deal and such. For those who have email, I have used EchoSign for signing contracts digitally. For more than one owner on title, each has to have separate emails for EchoSign to work.  But most of the time, I've used FEDEX to overnight the contract. When I do that, I include a self addressed and stamped envelope so all they have to do is sign and put the signed copy in self addressed envelope and drop in the mail to return to me. I give them two copies actually.. One for me and one for them to keep. 

Excellent feedback thank you!! Have you found a big difference in the ability to negotiate and/ or your closing ratio face versus over the phone?

Mike - just don't overthink this. If you get the "physical limits" aspects of this approach, I suggest you learn to treat to ALL sellers same and never have to meet in person again!

The secret sauce - learn to give good phone! Then you can do this anywhere, with anyone, and be as effective or perhaps more than being there in person.

Here's a true story: some years ago, a caller needed to do a deal on a property about 150 miles away. I was less-than-excited about the location and my field assistant handled this online lead. 

It was from my neighbor, directly across the street!

I could have ran over there and leveraged the neighbor aspect but I did not. I had my assistant meet with the neighbor, open the file and remain the point guy. The point is that you don't have to meet people in person to do a deal IF you have good systems for capturing leads, converting and closing. 

Online signing is fine (we use Docu-sign) however FedEx works everywhere. When it comes to dealing with people who need help with basics, you can't beat hiring a mobile notary who, after giving them clear, written instructions, return your docs signed as you want them  on your schedule. Search online for "mobile notary signing service". 

No not really.. Each case you have to play by ear regardless if they're local or not.  Depends on the rapport you can build, how comfortable they feel with you, how motivated they are and whether or not they are talking to other potential buyers and what they are saying or have said to them, etc. It's a dance, if you will. For the most part, your initial price negotiating is all done on the phone anyways when you're asking for their lowest price. Depending on what they say determines what comes next. Close the deal then or, dance a little more!

@Rick H.  , That was a good one Rick!  I've also closed deals over the phone and FEDEX with local absentee owners and never met the owner or saw the house personally (other than google street view). I hired someone to inspect and take pics for me.

I know investors who have contacted both within and out of state absentee landlord. Response to both type of leads is good. Idea is hiring someone to view the place and make video. I shall use it going forward. Thanks for the tip.

Thank you all so much for the great feedback- there is no substitution for experience @Rick Harmon I definitely love the concept of doing everything over the phone, I just didn't know that it was a viable option- so glad to hear it is! Thank you for the excellent actionable items in your post!!

I believe you can add more value to the equation if you contact an out of state landlord. The more knowledgeable and confident you are about your market the better. Good luck.  

Originally posted by @Howard Koor:

I believe you can add more value to the equation if you contact an out of state landlord. The more knowledgeable and confident you are about your market the better. Good luck.  

 The future is not invented yet...

If you are marketing to ONLY out of state w/equity, you'll likely find that the list size isn't huge. In my farm (which is reasonably large), my out of state list is only about 1,000 people. While that's enough to build a campaign around, when you think about scaling your marketing efforts up you'll have layer on additional criteria - in this case, the in-state absentee pool is typically substantially larger.

My initial thought was same as @Thomas Fortune  - unless you geographic area if LARGE, your out-of-state owner list will be SMALL.  Play with Listsource.com and you'll see in some cases, you'll have 1,800 absentees, then click on out-of-state only, and the list size drops to 136.

Look, it's more about the ABSENTEE nature of this owner than the OUT-OF-STATE factor.  Absentees are a good pool because they are typically not emotionally involved with the house - it's just a property.  And if it's costing them $$ to keep it, or they are facing yet another rehab after tenants move out, they get TIRED and become potential sellers.  Yes, there are some additional factors that might motivate the OOS absentee, but why send to just them?  All absentees are good targets, and an absentee mailing list is about 3X more productive than an owner-occupant list.  It's a no brainer which one to do if you can't afford to mine both...

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.