Let me ask you a question… Are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, and now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?
There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. When you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them. When it comes time to sell their home they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.
There are a lot of investors in the market these days, and most of them have a very limited knowledge of how the whole follow-up process works, not to mention the inability to create successful deals. What they don’t realize is that many of the sellers you will be dealing with have a variety of problems they aren’t sure how to solve until they are contacted by you. Some of those may include divorce situations, estates or health issues where there may be emotions tied to the property. With these sellers it may take a little longer before they make that final decision to sell.
Most of your competitors will simply throw these potential deals in the trash when they don’t get the property under contract after the initial contact or offer is made. I have made deals many months after the initial contact with the seller was made simply because I took the time to follow up. Not only did I build credibility with the seller, but now they like me better and trust me more than the next investor who may come along.
These are the types of sellers I will place in my follow-up system and follow up with at least every thirty to sixty days if not more often. I have made thousands of dollars on deals other investors would simply have thrown in the trash because I took the time to follow up with a semi-motivated seller.
In addition, with the help of a fellow investor who is also a software developer, I now have an incredible software system that does all the work for me. It reminds me when I need to redo my direct mailings, it reminds me when to follow up with sellers, it has a section to track potential buyers and build a buyer’s list, and it keeps all the information on the properties stored including a photo. In fact, once I have followed up and purchased the property, my system will match the property with one of the buyers on my buyer’s list, so now; even that part of my business is automated. And once again, isn’t that the whole point to this business, to automate as many things as you can so you can work with the sellers and make the deals happen? You don’t necessarily need software to get started with this type of a system. You can simply use an auto-responder and a folder system to begin following up with motivated sellers.
Here is a recent example from my files- I contacted a seller who had inherited a property in Florida where I live and he lived in Michigan. The home belonged to his aunt who had pretty much raised him his whole life. When she passed away the home was left to him and he just couldn’t bring himself to sell it right away. I actually met with the seller and made an offer on the property. He had accepted my offer, and then he decided to hold onto the property for awhile and use it as a vacation home. After a year, he got tired of having to deal with all the maintenance issues on the property and ended up selling the property to me for the initial offer I made because I took the time to follow up with him every sixty days or so.
I actually ended up making even more money on this deal than I would have in the first place because the house had appreciated in value during the period of time that he kept it and he did some remodeling during the time he had it. Most investors would have thrown this deal in the trash as soon as the seller said no to their initial offer, but because I took the time to follow up, I purchased the property and made a significant amount of money on this deal. I still get holiday cards from that seller.
I’m sure you’re already aware of how important it is to follow up with sellers. It only takes a few minutes each week to follow up with these sellers if you have a good follow-up system in place. I use my follow-up system to follow up with sellers I have made offers to but who haven’t said yes or no to my offer, and with sellers who own homes in areas where I want to buy. I do this by using both direct mail and e-mail to follow up with these sellers. Sometimes if the situation warrants it, I will call them.
My software system reminds me when I need to do it. How much simpler can it be? My system reminds me to contact the seller and since the seller has already been getting contact from me for a few weeks, when their situation changes they end up selling to me. This is a pretty typical scenario.
With sellers who specifically have properties in areas where I want to buy, I do repeat mailings to a specific list with specific parameters in mind such as out of state owners, quit claim deeds or old sale dates. Each time I do the mailings I continue to clean the list I am using by taking out bad addresses, deals I have purchased or folks who tell me not to mail to them again. The more I mail to these folks, the more credibility I build with them. If you are using a follow up system in your business it is very easy to track these mailings. This is an absolute marketing machine because not only are you doing deals day after day, you are constantly planting seeds for future deals.
If you take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers, you will make more deals and buy more properties with absolutely no competition for these properties whatsoever. It’s a win-win situation for you and the sellers.