For many of us, inventory is starting to drop, and good deals are becoming harder to come by. But I am about to share with you one trick to help bring in some additional leads every month. These are not just any leads; these tend to be very motivated individuals who want to work with you and are alright selling their houses at a discount. The group is known as absentee owners – but that’s old news. Let me show you my unique spin on this group to get some golden leads.
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Reviewing Old Leads
Over the years I have carefully tracked every single lead that I have generated, every call, every appointment, every offer that I have ever made and every contract that I have closed on. With every entry, I keep detailed notes, and from time to time, I go back through and read them to discover new information that may help me or find new trends.
One week about a year ago, it was nearing the end of the year and I thought that would be a good time to reflect. Not only do I track all the information I detailed above, but I have a separate tab in Excel that separates by each lead type (probate, over 65, absentee owner, etc.), and I was reviewing the absentee owner list that particular day. It dawned on me that the absentee owners who were:
- Most motivated
- Most likely to sell at a discount
- Most likely to lead to a closed deal
Were absentee owners that lived within a certain distance of the subject property. For those of you who may be new reading this, an absentee owner is simply someone who owns the property, but for whatever reason they are not living at that address. They could be living next door to the subject property or many states away.
What I discovered is that the best absentee owner leads tend to live within the same state, but there was quite a bit of driving distance separating them from the subject property – usually about an hour and 30 minutes’ worth of driving. These leads were even better than absentee owners who lived out-of-state. I guess they’re close enough in their minds to the subject property (being in the same state), but far away enough that driving by car is a nuisance, in addition to other motivating factors that may be at play for them to keep up with the property.
I am not sure exactly why these leads tend to be better than absentee owners who live out-of-state – but one theory I have is the out-of-state absentee owners tend to visit the subject property a bit more frequently, even though they are out-of-state. Why is that? Well, for one, they likely have family in the area and visit maybe once to a few times a year by plane. A plane is fairly convenient, especially when you are already there visiting family.
In comparison, when the absentee owner lives in the state, they are likely to already live around some family, but the subject property is off their radar because the drive time is so inconvenient, and it tends to go neglected, as they rarely visit the house. I noticed this when driving for dollars, too – many of the houses that needed the most TLC were homes that had absentee owners within state, but these owners had a bit of a drive to make it to the subject property. This theory seems to hold some weight, as when I went back through the notes, I would see information that confirmed this.
These leads were even better than absentee owners who lived in another state. To confirm this, I started to plug it into some mapping software to take a look at the radius. In fact, without realizing it, over 30% of my business came from this one group that year – and not only that, but these leads made me the most money.
Since then I have doubled down on this group and have really just now started reaping the benefits after some extended direct mail campaigns.
Have there been any leads that you have found helpful to market to in this tight market?
Leave your tips in the comments section!