I just sent out my first batch of yellow letters to the Kansas City metro market, and thought people might find the first impressions of a new wholesaler of some interest. My goal was to raise bit of capital to continue to fund my buy and hold investing. I sent approximately 1000 letters which went out 5 days before this post, have had about 30 call, and have learned a bunch and gained some better questions:
1) Not every call is a motivated seller. In the KC market, which is a pretty hot market, this list has already been mailed to several times, so many just want you to stop sending them letters. I have had 1 motivated seller so far, but she held a note that was 75% of the value of the property.
2) As a corollary to #1, think very carefully in choosing your marketing area. If you'd guess it's already been hit several times, it probably has.
3) Don't stay on the phone for 20 minutes with a dead lead. Ask quick screening questions up front such as "Do you have a house to sell?", level of motivation, and expected price. If they say no, or want above market value, I'm going to guess there is a 99% chance that you can buy at wholesale.
4) You are going to start speaking to people with real problems: deaths in the family, money problems, family issues, etc. Try to help them out without lecturing them even if you CAN'T buy their house. Many of the people who preceded me in these mailings seem to have been real jerks based on discussions with some of these homeowners. In short "HELP PEOPLE OUT WHERE YOU CAN"
5) Fielding calls takes a lot of time.
1) Do people work these popular lists, or is it better to just say "Already been done too many times" and move on?
2) If there is not motivation, do you bother throwing offers, or do you simply move on rather than insult the homeowner? How do the experienced folks deal with this?
3) Do you find that letting folks screen themselves through voicemail is better than answering each call, or worse? I am starting to think that Michael Q. is on to something with his long winded screening phone call. Seems like a good idea to eliminate the tire kickers.
4) Any general advice would be very appreciated.
I hope that this is useful.
99.9% of all calls and emails we do are with tire kickers unfortunately.
Eventually what happens over time is you develop certain questions where you are able to weed out the tire kickers within the first few minutes of a call.
An exit strategy nowadays that I tend to use is "I'm sorry to cut this short but I am just about to jump into a meeting, feel free to give me call later today" Most of the time they never call which just proves they were never serious in the first place. I find that there are not enough hrs in a day to get everything done lollol
It took our team 8 months, 10,000+ emails and 14+hr work days to establish only 2 genuine connections who are very influential and pretty much exactly what we were looking for.
I believe that your success rate will be much higher with your wholesaling business than what ours was as we endeavored on something completely different but still with similar principles in place.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Tire kickers are an issue with yellow letters however the conversations in the beginning are invaluable. For most people this is the only time they can participate in an on purpose real estate conversation.
As for over worked lists. We need our peer group to market with us. NAR National Association of Realtors® spend millions on their propaganda not to mention all of the local brokers and agents.. So we need all the help we can get to tell our side of the equation.
And its not about being first or last its about being the one remembered. Sometimes all you have to do is show up and sometimes you have to keep your persistence to a level that makes you TOM.
For me Voicemail, Live Answering, or self answering all have their good and bad points. I like the long Voicemails because they filter. And marketing is a funnel approach so utilize as many tools at your disposal as you can to achieve the goal.
As to offers for everyone... I have heard this works for some. I personally let the seller make me the offer. Its so much easier.
Thanks for taking the time to write it down and props to you for taking the initiative to start marketing. From the podcasts it sounds like its all about persistence and repetition.
And stop sending me yellow letters, just because I'm an out of state absentee owner doesn't mean I want to sell you my property, ha ha.
I said that I would keep everyone updated on my progress. Below are the details on response rate:
Sent Letters: 723
Response Rate: 4.56% (Not including @Brant Richardson )
Cost / Incoming Call : $18
I don't find cost / incoming call to be a very representative metric, because so many of them were just tire kickers. "So you wanna buy my house - well make me an offer smart guy!" As time goes on, I'm sure I'll have more representative metrics, but it just goes to show that you really don't know what you don't know when you take your first steps in any real estate strategy.
From the first mailing, we've put one under contract and have a couple other possibilities pending. I've sent another batch of post cards that builds on the first, which will hopefully hit mailboxes in the next week or so.
Will post another update once I get underway with the 2nd.
Haha, it doen't count as a rsponse if I call and ask to be put on your buyers list?
That is great that you stuck with it and got one under contract. It takes some thicker than average skin to deal with all those phone calls. Care to share the details of the deal?
Good for you! that's a hell of a response rate.
Just realizing that I didn't respond to you. Details are the guy was moving out of town, wanted to unload quickly. Contract was for $32, I believe, assigned it for a decent profit.
I've since sent out a batch of yellow text post cards (batch #2), with a dismal response rate, 3 calls total.
I have a color post card that went out over the last few days (batch 3). Next up are zip letters and type letters. Testing as I go, but very disappointed by the text post card results. Will probably mail this list 6 or 7 times before I refresh my list. Will also stop mailing exclusively absentees and start mailing equity holders. This will be a much bigger list, and I will probably do it in batches of 500 staggered weekly.
As promised, I will keep everyone updated.
I would have put the ZipLetters in front of both of the PCs and I would have sent a different PC and on the colored PC I would have put something on the back. however sending them is better than not sending them.
Hahaha, @Michael Q. , thanks for the response. Live and learn on the zipletter - you really don't know what you don't know when you kick off.
Which post card would you have sent? Also, it seemed like I was limited to something like 100 characters on the back side, which didn't seem like quite enough to put anything meaningful.