What are the steps to marketing to an absentee owner

12 Replies

Hi BP,

Can someone explain the steps involved in marketing to an absentee owner? 

1.  I located an abandoned property, I searched the counties property site and found out the name of the owner, but it didn't list a current address for them.

I then did a search on people smart to see if I could find a current address for them.

My search turned up a current address for them, and several other addresses as well including the address of the abandoned property, so I'm pretty sure it's them, but when I searched that counties records to see if the current address people smart had for them was accurate, it did not list them as the owner, but the owners do not live at the address so the owner of the abandoned property could be renting.

2.  So, should I just send a yellow letter or postcard to the current address or all of the addresses they have listed for them?

3.  If one of my mailings should reach them and they contact me, what do I say to them?

Our solution is a bit easier because we start by getting the absentee data from Listsource.com - and only for those with equity, in the right areas, and in the right market value range.

We then mail a "variable print" postcard that includes the property info in addition to the mailing address for the seller.  Such as "I buying houses in Capital Heights, and I'm interested in your house at 123 Main St."  You might check with a vendor like YellowLetters,com - I bet they can do that for you...

On the low end, you could do this with a letter in Word and mail merge of your list.

Thanks Dev,

So, should I mail to the most current address they have listed or should I mail to all of them? Since I'm not a hundred percent sure if the most current address is the correct address.

How do you determine how much equity a property has?

What should I say to them if they call me?

Hi Dolita,

Take a look at Listsource.com .  You can learn how to do customized searches that include equity.  Of course, you would have to pay to get the list, but they will give you the correct mailing address.  The only other way I know to get the info you are searching for is to spend some time at your local county courthouse.  The people there can teach you how to find the information you seek.  You can find the original loan amount and the assessed value.  You should also be able to find the address that the tax bill is mailed to.  This way takes a long time, but while spending that time at the courthouse, you will meet the people that can help you learn how to search through those records.  The listsoource way is much quicker, if you have the money to pay for the list.  Don't pay the retail price though.  Ask them for a concierge account and you'll get a  discount.

Hope this helps

Dolita - Dev and Paul are talking about creating a list from a source that has already (hopefully) done the initial scrubbing for you, that is, eliminated properties without some criteria for equity.

You are trying to start from having identified a property, that is, working from the other end. There is no one right or wrong way.

You do need to know how to research properties. You can find info regarding recorded mortgages and liens at your county records office, perhaps even online. Equity, of course, is the the difference between the market value minus debts.

I use a format called PETIO to look at a property which stands for property, equity, title, interest(s) and opportunities as a way of quickly determining what I need to know and communicating to others property info.

As to what to say? How about, "What are your plans for the house at 123 Main Street?"

Thanks to everyone for your responses.  Can someone walk me through the steps on Listsource.com for creating my absentee owners list.  I think I was doing something wrong, because the price was extremely high.

Also, no one ever answered my question as to whether I should just mail to the most current address I found or to all of the addresses I found for the owner since I'm not really sure if the info. I got from people smart is accurate.

How to use listsource to find absentee owners

Go ahead and send your letter to all of the addresses, since you're not sure which one is correct.

As for the cost of listsource,  you should receive an email from an account exec at corelogic.com.  They will offer to set up a concierge account for you at 8 cents per lead.  I think the regular price you see online is about 15 cents.  You can message me if you don't get an email from them and I'll send you the contact info.

How many names realistically do I want to be mailing to, to actually get my phone to ring? 

Thats a loaded question..

You kind of need to work backwards starting with the length of your rollover cycle. 93 days seems to be a good number. Then determine the number of deals you can safely take down during each rollover cycle.

From there you'll divide that number of days and in the cycle by 30 then divide that number into the number of deals. Then multiply by 50%. Always assume half. 

take that number and times it by the number of appointments you need to go on to gain a contract. Twenty-Seven seems to be a good number. Take that number and multiply it by how many calls to appointments. Four seems to be a good number. 

Then take that number and divide it by the call percentage of your direct mail. 

1/2% for Postcards, 2% for ZipLetters, and 5% for YellowLetters.

Now use a formula for the quality of a call based on mail piece. 

Postcards use 4.5 Zips use 2.25 and YellowLetters use .67

So let do the  math

Rollover period 93/30=3.1

Deals capable of doing 3/3.1=.96x50%=.48 

Appointments needed to do a deal 27x.48=12.96

Call to appointments 12.96 x 4=51.84

Postcard 51.84/.005=10368/4.5= 2304 postcard needed

Zips 51.84/.02=2592/2.25=1152 ZipLetters

YellowLetters 51.84/.05=1036.8/.67=1547.46

With all of this it also depends a lot on you.... These would be average numbers

I got a little lost in those numbers LOL :o)......but the bottom line numbers look accurate either way. 

The real question from those numbers is why would anyone ever want to do Yellow Letters, if at the cheapest price of 0.80/letter it would cost me more than 1200.00 to do a deal, when I can get a deal for the cost of 2300 post cards which is less than 900.00?

@Michael Q. good stuff Michael...Thanks!

Great question.  

The answer is within the knowledge growth rate    

The more you understand negotiation the more those numbers start moving and reversing.  

Then factor in follow up and I will take all the calls I can get... YellowLetters would win that fight. Then there is the fact that if your lead fulfillment system is working correctly your followup will also include referral request. Thus Yellowletters win again.

Here is where Postcards kills YellowLetters.   You have a massive budget and honed system for lead capture and you want your marketing piece to filter.  

All of this said, Zipletters make Postcards look like the Junior Olympics.  

I believe most investors are better off doing a combo pac of various mail types which include. YellowLetters, ZipLetters, Text Postcards and Pictorial Postcard with a text message. 

Thanks for the answer guys, but I am a newbie, and all of that was way over my head.

I just wanted to get a general idea of what I need to do starting out to get results.

I wasn't expecting anybody to be able to give me an exact number, I know that is not possible.

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