Call from Detective....

6 Replies

I have to share an experience that I had today.  I'm wondering if this is something that has happened to others.  I'm fairly new to this, and definitely wasn't expecting a call from the police!

I got a voicemail last night from someone who had received one of my letters and wanted a call back.  I called back this morning and talked to a guy who didn't seem to want to give me any info on his property, but had a ton of questions about who I am and what I do.  I explained everything and that I'm looking for off market properties etc.

I then asked him if he had a property that he would like to sell and he said yes, he had a house that had been vacant for years that he wanted to get rid of.  I started dancing around in my office because I thought this would be a VERY motivated seller.

He said he would pull up all the info on the house and call me back.  

He called back about 10 minutes later and admitted that he was a detective from the local PD and that he had received a tip about one of my letters and that it was a possible scam.  He told me that after he had spoken to me, he understood that it was not a scam and that I was conducting business legitimately. He told me to have a good day and good luck on my business venture.

I also have a question for all of you about yellow vs. professional typed letter.  I have received calls from other leads that said they almost didn't call me back because of the hand written letter.  They though this might be a scam as well.

I haven't been putting my last name on the letters either.  I live in a small area and my day job makes me very visible to the community (music teacher and gigging musician) and because of this, while I know I'm not running a scam, I don't want people to think that I am in the business of scamming if someone I was familiar with ended up with one of my letters.  This may be a stupid reason, but it is a legitimate concern of mine.

I'm thinking about doing a round of mailings with a typed, professional letter explaining that I am an investor and trying to make it look as professional as possible.  

What do you all think?

Thanks!

Nick

I wouldn't change what you are doing based on a weird experience or a few antidotes, but instead do the the following:  Run an A/B test (which you should be doing always anyway).  There are probably plenty of tools, etc. you can find with a good google search to help you track your mailers.  But essentially, what you do is this....

Split your list in half (make sure its a random split and you don't split along geographic lines or anything else that make introduce bias).... and send 1/2 one letter, the other 1/2 the other letter.  Do this for a long time.  See which performs better.  When you figure it out... make that one the A, tweak it a little and make that the B... rinse and repeat.

Don't sweat the crazy's and the "take me off your list" calls.  Makes you wonder if those people also call Bed, Bath & Beyond to scream about the annoying coupons they get in the mail, eh? :)

That is a very legitimate concern, but I wouldn't change your marketing campaign based on one caller who was mistaken anyways. I still would argue that the yellow letter works a heck of a lot better than a professional letter just because there is a higher chance of people reading it. 

But I do agree with Daniel as well, that the split test would tell you what works in your market. You just never know until you test out different marketing campaigns. 

Nick, here's a different strategy that you could do:

Call him back and ask him to do a phone recorded phone interview with you. Nothing extensive... basically just recreate the initial conversation that you had with him.

This will give you leverage in your area with the verification that you aren't a scam artist and use the PD as positioning, which you could then turn into a press release, or mention to every prospect you talk to. 

This will separate you from the other "guys".

Hi @Nick Mainella , 

      Getting calls regarding property from different folks seems to be common as the information is public. So never panic. 

But let me admit, I did, when I first got such a call,  and I had tons of questions to the caller.   

I had bought a property in FL and rented it out and working all good. I had bought it in an auction and on a loan. One fine morning after about 20 months into I owning the property I started getting calls from number of people if my property is in distress and If I need help. The first 2 calls did not shake me. When I got the 3rd call, I inquired why is the person calling and where and how they got my contact.  Further questioning he revealed my property is under foreclosure. That made me jump on my tracks. What!  

I got up looked at county docs and all looked good. However the court had filed the "consent judgement" from nearly 2 years ago when it went on short sale from previous owners and made the record online.  All the online websites including CoreLogic started broadcasting this info to people who have subscribed and some of the not -so experienced people could not read it clearly and had started calling me.  Since I had a loan on the house, I called the title company and asked the attorney to investigate and slept well after I was told, all is good with my records. Except the county filed the records online ( which they are needed to) and did it very late.  And stupid software(s) who can only infer dates and cannot reason what the document is,  shared it out to public.

For 2-3 days, I did sweat! but learnt not to panic and get to bottom of the issue before taking any action.  Just sharing as this topic is about "Phone calls" . 

-Naveen. 

@Shannon R.   that's not a bad idea.

Thanks for all the replies.  I'm definitely not worried about continuing to market with the letters.  The response rate has been great!  It's just interesting that this happened to me so early in my wholesaling venture.

I am going to try some mailings with the professional letter and see how the results stack up against the yellow letter.

Onward with my marketing!

@Nick Mainella  Try overnightprints.com  I use them for mailers for day job and they can do the mailing lists and everything at the same time.  Make sure they're NOT double sided gloss because you will find that they stick together and the PO hates that.  I learned from experience that the key to direct mailers are to farm the same neighborhoods over and over and over.  Don't do it once and expect any return.  The person needs to see your name in front of their face (marketers will say 7 touches is ideal for sale) or have it in mind when they are in need of your service.  also agree with the other posters to do plenty of demographic searching before making your mailing lists.  OR hire a company to supply the mailing lists (can get expensive though).  Good luck!    

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