It’s a dirty little secret in the wholesale biz that sometimes homeowners are hard to get in touch with. So many times you see a property you want to purchase, and even if by some stroke of luck you find out who the homeowner is, getting them to pick up the phone or return a letter can be next to impossible.
For $10, there’s a way you can get virtually anyone to pick up that phone. You come across looking a little bit like the guy from all the Saw movies, but trust – this is a move that will definitely get a homeowner’s attention and having you securing your sale. Here’s how to do it:
Download Your FREE Tenant Screening Guide!
Hey there! Screening tenants can be a tricky business, and this critical step can be the difference between profits and disaster. To help you with your real estate investing journey, feel free to download BiggerPockets’ complimentary Tenant Screening Guide and get the information you need to find great tenants.
Hit the Thrift Shop
It seems like everyone on the planet has a high-tech smartphone of some kind, right? That’s a good thing – now, thanks to the popularity of the iPhone, you can find a simple flip phone in your local thrift store for as little as $5. Snatch a few of these up the next time you see them – if your thrift store has half-off sales, that would be a perfect time to buy. Next, activate these phones with pay-as-you-go plans. With a pre-paid minutes card you can get at any grocery store, load up your phone with some minutes and charge the battery.
Think Inside the Box
Go to your post office and get a small, flat-rate envelope or box. These retail for a fixed price (hence the term “flat-rate”) and usually won’t run you any more than $5 for a small sized envelope.
When you mail your phone, be sure to get something called the tracking number. The tracking number prints on your receipt and tells you where your package is and whether it’s been delivered. You can enter the tracking number in your computer through the post office’s web site and see if your package is out for delivery and where it’s at on the postal worker’s route.
This might seem a little creepy, but hang in there: Mail your phone with a note that tells the homeowner to expect a call from you. Give them a specific date and time, about 2-3 days from when you mail your package so you can be sure the seller has it. Wrap up the phone and put it in the mail.
Stalk the Post Office
The great thing about mailing through your post office is that you can ask for something called signature confirmation. This lets you know that your package has arrived and it’s physically in that person’s hands. Check online through your local post office’s website to see if your phone has reached the homeowner and whether he or she has signed for it. Between signature confirmation and the tracking number, you’ll know exactly where the phone is at all times.
Go in for the Kill
When you’re sure the homeowner has the package in his possession, call the phone and let the person know that you’re interested in buying his property. The homeowner can chat with you about his property at no cost to him, and it lets him know without a doubt that you are very interested in buying his property. Suddenly the hardest thing to do in the real estate business has just become your specialty.
Is this method a little bit creepy? Maybe. Will it take your homeowner off guard? Maybe. Is it guaranteed to get his attention, and almost certainly a sale? Definitely. Get to your local thrift shop, box that phone up at the post office, and stand by – you’re about to get in touch with a whole lot of people.
Photo Credit: Nanagyei