A common question we get is, “how do you find so many houses to buy?”
First, we do a lot of marketing, (thank you to Sharon Vornholt for her posts on BiggerPockets!) But there is a huge difference that I believe sets us apart. Our secret weapon is ….. follow up!! Anybody can make a call or two and talk to a potential seller. I believe the great buyers have systems in place for consistent follow up. I like to call it being “pleasantly persistent.”
Buyers sell to us for a variety of reasons, some are purely numbers based. However, many sellers are very emotionally invested in the house. Maybe they grew up there, or had family or someone close who lived there. Sometimes they are simply not ready to sell when you show up to buy. Even if they DID call you first, many times they are just not ready. How do you know when they are ready? You follow up and make sure they know to make YOU their first call when they are ready. I hear other investors say, “I have tried many times but I can’t get a hold of them!” My answer is, if you like the house and think it has potential, “Don’t stop reaching out until it’s sold!”
Have you ever heard the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear?” Well in our world as investors it’s more like, “When the seller is ready, the buyer will appear!” The only question is, will that buyer be you? If you stayed in touch, then at least you will have a chance. Another tip is if you have been great at building the relationship, you will probably be the only one bidding on the house. People like to do business with people they like. You may have to stay in touch for months or even years, so you might as well use that time to make a friend. Don’t lose your long term vision. If you do find a deal, don’t stop looking for the next. In 6 months you WILL be looking for another house, so keep that pipeline full now.
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A Real Life Example
Here is a real life example to illustrate the point. One of our consultants found a house last summer. She went to an estate sale to see if they may want to sell. The answer was NO, not yet. Our consultant tried to get her (the owners) contact number, to no avail. About a month later, she was able to locate her contact information on Facebook so she reached out to her. She was still not ready, but a relationship was started. After 9 months, countless calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages and more, she finally sold the house to us. I know that most people would have given up. Actually many others did. She was approached by many others, but we were the only ones who stayed the course. Was it worth it? Our projected profit margin on this particular house is around $30,000+, so my answer is YES, it is most definitely worth it! Don’t you agree?
Did you know that water boils at 212 degrees, but at 211 degrees it is just water? That one extra degree allows steam to power engines strong enough to push trains! I believe that follow up is the extra degree that takes us from water to powerful steam!
How long have you followed up on some of your deals? Was it worth it? I would love to hear some of your stories, so please share!