Wholesaling: Cold Calling

22 Replies

Hi BP,

I'm taking massive action even though it is making me feel very uncomfortable. Can you help ease me by giving some cold calling advice? I've dropped off 40 postcards since Wednesday and havent gotten any calls yet. Is this normal? Many of my properties are vacants so I understand if they dont call but I would think Id have one phone call even if it didnt go well. All the houses on my list are preforeclosures with equity greater than 30%

It is because of this that I want to come up with another list of people to just cold call. What should I put in on list source or whatever website to get a good list of people to call? I want to have a deal on the table of a title company by the beginning of February but need the money from a deal absolutely no later than April. 

Your advice is greatly appreciated. 

@Cody Evans

When you say cold calling advice, do you mean how to field potential calls that are coming in or are you actually cold calling?  What was the criteria for your list?  Are you mailing to the actual vacant properties or are you finding their updated mailing address, skip-tracing them and trying to locate numbers?

Also, I do not want to discourage you but 40 post cards is absolutely nothing.  It is my opinion that you should be sending out no less than 300 letters a week for a mailing campaign unless you have a very targeted list.  

I do not know your market but here are some criteria I have used in the past

- Probates

- Absentee Owned

- 60% Equity or more

- 65 years older or more

- Land lords around the 6-15th (hoping to catch them where a tenant is not paying)


Not nearly enough contacts... when we did pre foreclosure work like this when it was legal.. we knocked on every NOD in the 2 million metro with a team of 2 man and women.. even with that amount of man power this led to one to 2 deals a month.. the chance you will get one deal in 40 is remote at best and waste of time most likely.

And if we were of the mind to try to flip them to investors we would have gotten maybe one deal a year.. you need actual cash to make this work.. the people are to squirrely to do the normal wholesale process. 

Keep in mind that anyone in CA that has an NOD has gotten no less than 100 letters sent to them by the time you drop yours off. all of them saying the same.. thing canned pitchs guru's teach.. by the time they read about 20 of them they realize folks coming to the door or sending letters are NOT out to help them because they were broke or in foreclosure like they were.. they are out to rip their equity..

the ONLY way we made a business of it was to snag these within 2 to 3 days before the actual sale.. when they had no choice and reality of losing the home was real.. and to do that we needed to be able to write checks and take title sub too with out the help of title companies.. its a very advanced strategy that requires a boat load of capital to make any money at. 

on top of all of this are you familiar with the laws in CA about working with pre foreclosures if you are not you better get up to speed you can't just HELP these poor people out..   same in Or and WA.. there are very strict rules regarding this work.

Also keep in mind many good realtors work these list as well.. so your up against professionals who will list and sell for top dollar not a wholesaler trying to rip equity.

If you mail out post cards once expect a call that will not happen.  Some send different cards, call and door knock.  This agent I know well seems to have got correct phone # after spending 20 hours a week every week engaging with potential home sellers he gets one listing every 2-3 months. He told me he gets an appointment every two to three weeks with no show often. He is full time short sale specialist bilingual.  His conversion rate is less than 40% after getting offers. He covers several No CA counties and business is NOT good.  

Most who in pre-foreclosure stage gets many solicitation letters also. They immediately go to trash can. When you door knock they slam the door at you telling they have a lawyer handling. Most is referral from attorneys as the thought of file bankruptcy can mess up your purchase.

My best advice to anyone getting into the business is to knock on doors.  Pick a good area and for 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday knock on doors.  Within the first 30 minutes you will know more than most about the entire neighborhood.  The cost is almost nothing and it will improve your skills for closing.  The best part ? You will have zero competition.

code violations... vacant homes.. boarded homes... burnt out landlords  ...   real property tax defaults..

@Jay Hinrichs I’ll like to inquire further into you comment about your past strategy...

“the ONLY way we made a business of it was to snag these within 2 to 3 days before the actual sale.. when they had no choice and reality of losing the home was real.. and to do that we needed to be able to write checks and take title sub too with out the help of title companies.. its a very advanced strategy that requires a boat load of capital to make any money at.”

I’m located in Ohio and I’m doing something similar with Tax foreclosure. I came up with the idea after getting tired of going to the packed auction with investors practically paying close to market value ( shaking my head) due to a competitive auction, so I decided to get the list as soon as it comes out and hand write the owners usually a month before the auction date. This has successfully worked for me with only 2 acquisitions within this year.... but I had great returns after my flip because of which the properties I brought I got for just the backed taxes and the owners had 100% equity. I don’t have a lot of capital to do these aggressive deals but I’m in a affordable market so it has worked out for me. I wish to improve on this strategy and one of my challenges has been to find a title company that can close sooner than 2 weeks because I have missed out on dozens of deals from owners that waited until the last week before the auction to contact me as their last hope.

Any suggestions or tips on how I can improve on this strategy with no team and limited resources?

@Paul Parker   you simply can't be successful at this if you can't do your own escrows and prepare and record your own documents.. this is what separates the true pro's from the beginners..  most of my best deals were the day before the people lost the property.  it was hair on fire getting it done.. but you talk about motivated sellers... 

@Jay Hinrichs Wasn’t expecting a “can’t” I’m more of a optimist with a “where’s there’s a will there’s a way” type of attitude, so I was kind of hoping for a creative response but none the less I appreciate you responding!  With all due respect  I’m hoping that you’re wrong though lol, and that there’s some way I can close deals sooner without having the capital to own a title company myself. I’ll accept it as a challenge that I have to just get more creative and not rely on my own resources but use the resources of other investors that’s more experienced by possibly  sharing a part of these deals.... thanks again for your response and inspiring me to think outside my box!

@Paul Parker   you missed the point entirely....  you don't need to own a title company or go through a title company to transfer title in any state city county in America  that's what makes America great its all open to the public.. so that's your challenge learn how to do this on your own.. its relatively easy once U figure it out. especially with those that have free and clear assets.

some states require the tax's to be current to record your docs  ( state of Washington). but not sure in Ohio. 

@Jay Hinrichs oh ok thanks for clarifying that for me!!! I really appreciate it! I’m feeling inspired to be more creative and to also do more research! Thanks again for taking the time out to respond to my inquiry!

Yes Cody Evans ... pick a good area based on resale and traffic and start knocking !!!

yeah you definitely need to 10x those 40 post cards. Ask yourself would your competition only drop off 40 post cards.Dont  get discouraged ,you really have to hustle and grind to get deals. Wholesalers experience droughts, if this what you really want to do you won't quit. Your strategy is probably off, you need to find really distressed sellers. If you sending a post card to someone who is not in a distress situation, they're not going to call you.Preforeclosures,absentee homeowners with crappy properties, and driving for dollars,, to find those properties that's not going to be on a list

I am cold calling but many people never answer their phones. Is there a best time to call people such as at night versus the morning or 12 noon? Also how many times do you call the same person? I was reading that some people call 12 times.

@Cody Evans People don't answer their phones pretty frequently. Hell, I don't answer my phone half the time even if I know the person calling. If the idea is to contact them directly, try a couple calls with voicemails - if that fails try e-mails and text messages scheduled. You can even build the message overtime.

If people are motivated by what you're selling, they will respond. If they aren't, they will tell you to get lost and stop bothering them. That's sales in general, real estate or otherwise, really.

How far apart should I schedule these emails/texts? I was thinking send another in 3 days and if no response wait like 2 months and contact again. I know I wouldn't want a salesman doing that to me every few days but I also know contacting old leads is a part of sales.

@Cody Evans I agree with others, time to pound the pavement...knock doors. You will beat out 95% of your competitors. It's definitely an art to knock and talk. 

@Adam M.

This is great to here. Good to know other people agree because I will use that as another option. Any suggestions or sources to look into on an approach to knocking on doors that increases % of success?

@Cody Evans Greetings Cody! Sounds like you are highly motivated and want to succeed in this business as a wholesaler. @Andrew Michael brings up a ton of great points, 40 post cards will not provide with great results just because the odds of getting a deal with such a small pool are not in your favor. The targeted list filters he has provide are also I great place to start. After you find a decent number of leads (500+) I would skip trace for numbers and then cold call or send them a direct text message. The bests times to cold call are around 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm. 12 times to call someone might be a bit excessive but it can't hurt to space out the points of contacts and continue to leave voicemails. I would plan on calling them twice a week and leaving voicemails if they do not answer. 

Old post but I would find out the door knocking laws in your area. Some locations prohibit this and you can get in trouble.

@Cody Evans First of all you have to be someone able to build rapport almost instantly and need a good elevator pitch, but it has to be 100% natural. Very simple and to the point. Don't dress or talk like a salesman. Ask questions and just let them talk and you listen. 

Ring their doorbell and step back down to the bottom of the steps, it makes them feel way more comfortable when they open the door. 

Good luck!

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

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here