Filtering Names and Addresses from ListSource

13 Replies

I have a question, I've been doing direct mail, postcards and spent so much money, over $10k... I'm doing something wrong. Long story short, bought a list from ListSource, Pre Foreclosures. I want to skip trace for cold calling, come to find out after comparing property address and names to what's recorded in the county assessors office; they are different. How do I fix this issue so when I submit the names and address to REI Skip I get the most accurate information? Please Help

1. I could get a VA to filter the names and addresses out for me.

2. I can do it my self, one by one taking a lot of my time.

What would you do in this case?

I would skip buying lists altogether. Is that what you spent $10k on? Just buying the lists and direct mail costs? There are other cheaper ways of finding deals that are much more accurate.

@Brayan Sandoval it sounds like you are likely targeting absentee owners? If that is the case, there will be two addresses - the property address and the mailing address - both on listsource and at the county. But listsource's addresses for each shouldn't be different from the counties. The reason for this is simple - an absentee owner, by definition, doesn't live at the property, so needs to get their tax bill at a different address, often their actual home. If you want to do match-append to phones or email, you'll want to use the mailing address for that. You may also want to consider other sources that already have the phones matched and included.

As to your bigger picture issue - lack of results: for most folks that aren't successful with direct mail it is not the list that is the problem - it is the message. Too many folks start mailing folks on a list without knowing anything about who they are mailing. What problems do they face, what questions do they have, what needs do they have? And instead of writing a message that is compelling to that audience, they blather on about themselves (I buy homes, I pay cash, I'm the best, I, I, I). If you are local to your list, start by door knocking, and rather than trying to do any business with them, offer them something like a $100 gift card for 30 minutes of their time. Have a bunch of questions ready - have they ever thought about selling, if they sold how would they do it, is evicting tenants and cleaning up the place keeping them from selling (for absentee owners), how many pieces of mail do they get offering to buy their house, how do those mailings make them feel, etc. You can only write successful copy if you understand your audience. And no, the "killer" postcard that worked for the guru in Utah 10 years ago is probably not going to work for you. Guys that are great at direct mail are good at messaging, and improving that message over time. And as @Ian Kee pointed out direct mail is not the only option. I actually think it makes sense to start by door knocking or cold calling, as you get instant feedback on which messages work and which do not.

@Brayan Sandoval  That hurts...$10k spent and no deals. I'm not familiar with Maricopa, Arizona and unsure how competitive it is, but I don't think your cost per deal should be $10k or more in this market. Even in Phoenix, that cost per deal is relatively high. I agree with the previous posters regarding their suggestions, and I'll add my two cents. 

So the mailing address discrepancy could either be List Source, your county assessor, or a lot of the properties could have been sold already. About how many addresses are different? Is it every property or just one out of every 50 or so? Unfortunately, it's difficult to know if the county is outdated unless you ask other investors in your market. Also, you need to measure how many returned mail pieces you've gotten. Based on my stats when I did direct mail back in the day (2015), there should be no more than 10-20% returned pieces. But, honestly, that percentage is still on the high side. You should send out a batch or partial batch with first class mail to determine your returned mail percentage. If you send your mail using standard mail with no return postage, you have no way of measuring how many addresses were bad. I'm not a huge fan of direct mail when it comes to marketing to sellers, but I understand it has its place. I think newer investors should use direct mail as a way of learning the game before they invest money on the other techniques that get you in touch with sellers more directly. It's a form of pull marketing so the sellers that call in and leave voicemails most likely want to hear from you. Those conversations are a lot easier to have than a cold call, which could be overwhelming due to not having any prior experience.

I'm not a huge fan of List Source data. It served me well for when I first started, but I didn't use them to pull time-sensitive lists, like Pre Foreclosures. I just didn't trust that it would be that updated, and those lists really only are good for a short period of time. The positive is that a good skip tracing company can conduct your searches with an outdated mailing address. I know when I run my searches, I can search a mailing address from 10 years ago and I still get the most-current phone number and the current address. Skip tracing using the seller's updated mailing address works best, but it can also be done with the property address, although you may get a lower hit rate. If you have to update your addresses just to do a skip trace, then that defeats the purpose of the company conducting the search for you. You're doing all of the work for them! lol. Now, if the names and property addresses are just flat-out wrong, then that's a different issue. Meaning, if the property addresses on List Source and the tax assessor aren't tied to the correct owner, then there is a problem. In this case, your list is inaccurate, and you need to switch list providers. However, if the mailing address is just outdated, you can still do a search.

I'm curious as to why the mailing addresses are different from the property addresses on your Pre Foreclosure list, though. From my experience, most of the homeowners on this list live in these homes. So the property address should be the same as the mailing address for an overwhelming majority of them. But there are better lists to target. I was just discussing this particular list with an investor that messaged me today on BP. Most individuals on the Pre Foreclosure list are in denial that they're behind on payments, and they truly think that they can work with the bank to bring their loan current. As a result, you'll get pushback from the sellers because of this. If you want to target these individuals, it's best to wait until the auction date is available on the Master of Equity for your county. At that point, I would skip trace these leads, cold call them, and door knock. You still have 30 days to make a deal happen, which is plenty of time. In some states, you can actually put a contract down and provide proof of funds to extend the auction date. You'd have to check with your state regulations on this, though.

You need to stop the bleeding and not spend more money on lists or marketing until you narrow down your current list, or scrap it and pull a more-targeted one. I can share some laser-tight criteria that you can pull in List Source to get the best return on your money. Just let me know, and I'll make a followup post here. You want to have a laser approach when it comes to your marketing, not a shotgun approach. If you start off unfocused, you're setting yourself up for failure. Start off on the right foot, and it will make your marketing campaign and acquisitions process so much easier. Hope this helps!

@Cornelius Garland it sounds like you've got something there with this skip tracing. I've attempted to do it myself with the various sites such as beenverified, white pages, true people search, and intellius with no real luck and just a bunch of old phone numbers and landlines that nobody uses anymore. If you've got something better going on, I'm all ears. DM me.

@Jarrell D. Trust me, I went through the struggle of using sites like Beenverified, White Pages, etc. It's really a shame that they profit off of selling bad data. Additionally, the guys who own these companies aren't investors, so they really don't understand how much bad phone numbers can negatively impact your budget. When you're marketing on a tight budget, it's really a let down after you spend the time and effort on generating your lists, and then the phone numbers aren't good. I went through that when I started out years ago. I used this company called Microbilt, and man...it was ROUGH. However, I did learn a lot about skip tracing along the way. You can shoot me a message if you want me to help you out.

Originally posted by @Jarrell D. :

@Cornelius Garland it sounds like you've got something there with this skip tracing. I've attempted to do it myself with the various sites such as beenverified, white pages, true people search, and intellius with no real luck and just a bunch of old phone numbers and landlines that nobody uses anymore. If you've got something better going on, I'm all ears. DM me.

Do doubt after 100's of Bad numbers & emails Mannnn you will drop your head in shame as if you purposely did something wrong 😞 then ad all the smirks, shade & "hahaha" looks your family & friends throw at you...  Its rough out here 😎

Originally posted by @Cornelius Garland :

You need to stop the bleeding and not spend more money on lists or marketing until you narrow down your current list, or scrap it and pull a more-targeted one. I can share some laser-tight criteria that you can pull in List Source to get the best return on your money. Just let me know, and I'll make a followup post here. You want to have a laser approach when it comes to your marketing, not a shotgun approach. If you start off unfocused, you're setting yourself up for failure. Start off on the right foot, and it will make your marketing campaign and acquisitions process so much easier. Hope this helps!

@Cornelius Garland if you don't mind, can you please make a followup post here as you mentioned to share some laser-tight criteria that can be used to pull list.  It would be very helpful and very much appreciated.

Thanks,

Claudine

Originally posted by @Cornelius Garland :

@Jarrell D. Trust me, I went through the struggle of using sites like Beenverified, White Pages, etc. It's really a shame that they profit off of selling bad data. Additionally, the guys who own these companies aren't investors, so they really don't understand how much bad phone numbers can negatively impact your budget. When you're marketing on a tight budget, it's really a let down after you spend the time and effort on generating your lists, and then the phone numbers aren't good. I went through that when I started out years ago. I used this company called Microbilt, and man...it was ROUGH. However, I did learn a lot about skip tracing along the way. You can shoot me a message if you want me to help you out.

 What is the best skip tracing service that you have discovered? With the most accuracy

Originally posted by @Ian Kee :

I would skip buying lists altogether. Is that what you spent $10k on? Just buying the lists and direct mail costs? There are other cheaper ways of finding deals that are much more accurate.

 what ways? i find myself in the same boat as the original poster. 

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