Regardless of your marketing methods –handwritten letters, postcards, brochures, email, or something else entirely — I want to remind you today that the success is found in the follow up!
My latest deal is a case in point.
My husband and I just got a great property under contract that we will be holding as a rental with $20K in equity and cashflowing over $600/month. The seller is a very nice woman who we initially sent a postcard to as part of our absentee owner marketing campaign in August of last year. We keep a detailed file on every person who calls us from our mailings and when I reviewed the file today to write this post, this is what I was reminded of:
- September 5, 2009: Seller called and left message on our voicemail
- September 6, 2009: Spoke with seller and completed initial screening questionnaire. She indicated that she wasn’t exactly ready to sell yet and would call back around September 14. We knew we were interested in at least making an offer on the house based on the information she had given us on the property.
- September 24, 2009: Called the seller (since she hadn’t called back yet). She told us that she wants to make an arrangement with the tenant to have us see the property and she would call us back.
- October 27, 2009: We mailed a follow up letter to her (again, she hadn’t called back yet) indicating that we were still interested in viewing her property and making an offer.
- December 9, 2009: We mailed a holiday card to her (with a P.S. that we were ready to meet with her to view her property whenever she was ready!)
- April 7, 2010: She calls us and says “I’m ready!” and we set an appointment to see the home on April 14.
- April 14, 2010: My husband inspects the home and we email a Letter of Intent outlining 3 offer scenarios for her review.
- April 21, 2010: We finalize negotiations verbally and send final contract — then she goes on vacation for 2 weeks and tells us she’ll get back to us when she returns on May 8.
- May 9, 2010: We finalize the deal. Contracts signed. Prepping for close in a few weeks.
Phew! There was a lot of follow up involved in this, right? Well, I have one simple question. Do you think that we were top of mind whenever she had that nagging feeling that she wanted to sell? I bet the answer is yes.
We didn’t rely on her keeping our very first postcard. She could’ve lost it.
We didn’t rely on her putting our phone number in her address book when we called her. She easily could’ve forgotten to do that.
We sent a total 3 pieces of mail to her and whenever she didn’t call us back, we followed up anyway and you know what? She was always appreciative of the call. It’s also worth noting that all of the interactions with her cost us very little in time and money considering our return.
Always remember that when it comes to marketing, persistence pays and the success is in the follow up!
(P.S. Check out this previous post on how to make persistence pay in your real estate investing this year.)