Episode 61: [Working With Sellers] Advanced Real Estate Investor Sales Strategies with John Martinez

Danny Johnson / 5 comments

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Show Notes

This episode is all about advanced real estate investor sales training strategies. It’s packed full of helpful tips for those wanting to hone their skills in working with motivated sellers.

John Martinez, Real estate investor sales training expert

John Martinez, founder of Midwest Revenue Group, LLC (www.midwestrev.com) is a sales development expert and a highly sought after consultant who brings humor, insight and real-world advice to his audiences. His practical, street-smart approach to selling has helped hundreds of investors, sales organizations, call centers, business owners, and independent professionals increase their revenue with more control, greater confidence and less effort.

Today I wanted to talk about how to handle negotiations with sellers so that we get the price we want and they feel good about the whole process.

This is an aspect of buying directly from motivated sellers that keeps a lot of people on the sidelines.

John shares with us today several tips for working with motivated sellers so that they feel good about the process and everyone gets what they want.

John’s first tip involves empathy. You’ve got to have empathy for each and every seller and what they are going through. Period.

Don’t hide what you’re feeling and how you feel about their situation. Let them know that what they are going through is not easy and that you know it must be hard.

John’s second tip is to make use of price anchoring. You’ve got to reset whatever initial price the seller is expecting to get so that your offer doesn’t hit them like a huge punch to the gut. One way to do this is to share recent comps for nearby houses that have sold for low amounts.

As you negotiate price, continuously lower the increment that you come up in your offer. This will signal to the seller that you are nearing your max. He also advises that you end with an odd number as your final as it appears to be your highest calculated offer. Great tip!

If your max offer doesn’t do the trick, make non-financial concessions. Offer to allow them to leave stuff they don’t want behind.

I asked John about common objections from sellers and how to handle them. I absolutely love the approach he offered.

He doesn’t feel like there is ever any canned objection/counter that will work. It’s always more of a situation by situation ordeal. His approach is to find out the real reason for why they are selling and have them hash out what objections or problems they have with doing so.

Then, understand that you can never overcome sellers’ objections. They must overcome their own objections. You can aid this by asking them questions that plays their objection against what they are trying to accomplish. In this way, they will see that accomplishing the sale of the house and resolving the situation is much bigger than the smaller problem of the objection.

Links

John’s Website: MidwestRev.com

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Episode Transcription

Welcome to The Flipping Junkie Podcast. My name is Danny Johnson former software developer turned house flipper, flipping hundreds of houses. Each week we bring you interview, strategies, stories and motivations to help you get started flipping houses and on your way to becoming your own boss and achieving financial freedom. Thanks for spending time with me today. Now let’s get to it.

Danny Johnson: Hello everybody. Welcome back to The Flipping Junkie podcast. Today, I’ve got a great show for you. We’ve got John Martinez from Midwest Revenue Group. He’s a sales developer expert, highly sought after a consultant, brings humor, insight and real world advice to his audiences. His practical streetsmart approach to selling has helped hundreds of investors, sales organizations, call centers, business owners and independent professionals increase their revenue with more control, greater confidence and less effort. I’m bringing him on the show today because he’s going to be sharing with us how to negotiate with sellers like a pro. So this is huge here because this gets in to talking with sellers and being able to negotiate so that you get the price that you need to get and the seller feels good about the whole process so this is awesome. John is actually in a mastermind with me and his sales training has been a tremendous help for a lot of people in the group including ourselves for training our acquisitions people. If you do an acquisition yourself, it’s very helpful to have these tactics knowing what to say, how to say it, when to say it really helps because if you go into a blind and you don’t really have any sales experience, I think you’ll lose out on a lot of deals and you might not even know why are you losing out on them. Today’s going to be a great episode for a lot of people help you convert more of the leads that you get into deals by being able to negotiate with sellers and make it something that works for both of you so that you can get the deal and they could get their house sold. So let’s go get into this talk with John and find out what kind of tactics, what kind of things that we can use to be able to make this happen a lot better for all of us.
Hey John, thanks for being on the show.

John Martinez: Hey, good to be here. Good to be here.

Danny Johnson: Awesome. So I gave everybody a little bit of information about your background and what you do, but I wanted to get a little bit more from you if you want to share with the audience your background in investing, in sales and everything and—

John Martinez: Yeah. No problem. I might not be exactly like the typical person you have on your show. I haven’t been investing my whole life and really had no aim or desire to get into real estate, but I ended up there not in a really big way. So I’m a sales trainer. I’ve been in sales all my life since I was a teen, started training teams, hiring sales people, moved in the consulting world, started training sales teams for big and small companies really all over the country in all kinds of different industries. A couple years ago I was working for a call center that really catered to investors and real estate agents. They drove leads to landing pages websites all across the US. They called an investor trying to sell some of their leads and they call this guy all the time. He said, “Man something’s changed, your scripting…what’s going on?” And they said, “Well, ___ John this trainer. He rewrote our scripts.” And he said, “Well, let me get a hold of him. I got to talk to him.” So that’s my entry way into real estate. I started working with that gentlemen’s team. He introduced me to others. Before I knew it six months later I’m working with probably 30-40 of really the most elite real estate investment firms across the country. People like Good Success out of Indiana, they do 800-900 deals a year. Express Homebuyers out in the D.C. area, they’ve got 90-100 flips under rehab at any given time during the year. So I would just kind of thrust into it and like I said in a big way. So fast forward to today our wholesales training has kind of shifted specifically towards real estate investors and exactly what they do – the scripts, our approach, everything. And from that, I got into real estate investing myself. So we do some virtual wholesaling out in Houston Texas. We’ve opened up the Springfield Missouri market where I live. We do a little bit in St. Louis, bought a couple houses up there. So that’s kind of where I came from and how I ended up here.

Danny Johnson: Awesome. And I met you through Justin with the mastermind group and what you’ve shared with that group and shared with all of us has just been incredible. I really appreciate that and I’m hoping to get some of that info on the podcast for all the listeners out there because like we said before the show I think some people avoid working with motivated sellers because of the difficulty in negotiating. If you’re buying a bank-owned house, you’re just making an offer and it’s sort of, it’s not personal right.

John Martinez: Yeah.

Danny Johnson: And so maybe you can share a little bit about the process, how you train people to meet with sellers and kind of walk through that step by step.

John Martinez: Yeah, yeah. I’d love to. So first thing first, what I like to talk about or what I think you got to realize is flippers, wholesalers, investors in general when they buy real estate and that they buy at a low price, they’re really providing a service. And so I think the first way to jump over that hurdle to get over kind of that head trash of, “Uh, this feels uncomfortable. I can’t do this” is to really know the value of your product. No matter what you bought a home for, you’re going to feel bad about it unless you know the service you’re providing. So in a lot of our training when we train people who are just brand new to this industry for call centers and things like that or virtual assistance for example, the first thing we do is we scour the Internet and we pull testimonial after testimonial after testimonial of some of the amazing things real estate investors do, some of the problems they help their homeowners out of. At the end of the day, investors, when they buy these properties they’re providing a service that no one else in the world provides and they do it in a very clean, very quick, very efficient way. On top of that service, there’s usually all kinds of extras thrown at moving services and other problems they take care of and they’re literally lifesavers to a lot of people. So I think first thing first is understanding, really, the value of the service that we provide to the homeowner. It’s extremely valuable and to move at the speed we move and do the things we do, sometimes that’s expensive, right? You get the best out of the best and they take care of problems no one else can take care of and they do it quicker than anyone else could imagine taking care of it, that type of service is a little expensive. So I think step one is just realizing your value, nothing besides that.

Danny Johnson: Yeah, I agree. I hear a lot of people when they say that, “Oh, well don’t you feel like you’re taking advantage of people in bad situations?” It’s always from somebody that’s never talked to a real motivated seller. All the time, the testimonies that we get, the video testimonials, people want to give those to us because they’re so thrilled with how easy we made it and a lot of times the situation that they’re facing and the repairs needed in the properties, there’s just no other option for them and people like to think that there might be, but there’s really not for a lot of these situations and a lot of people just don’t even care about whether— I shouldn’t say “don’t care about” but they care more about an easy transaction than they do about what they’re going to make on it. Until you’ve been in that position too maybe you don’t understand where that’s coming from, but I’ve had rental properties that I’ve sold for way more than I could have got because I was just done with them. I know what it feels like and I can relate to where those people are and so it just fits right along with what you’re saying.

John Martinez: I agree. I don’t think we can decide what value to put on things for our customers. There are certain issues, problems, opportunities that they want to take advantage of to get away from and they put different values on it. If their value matches up with what we can pay for their house it’s a win-win and that’s really at the end of the day what we’re looking for is, “Hey, I’m just here to decide, to find out if there’s some kind of win-win right? Can I help you do whatever you’re trying to do at a price that makes sense for my business?” And if it’s a “yes” awesome, if it’s a “no” no sweat we put our best foot forward and we gave it a shot, so that’s step one behind us. It is uncomfortable giving that low offer if you don’t have the belief. But even if you do have to belief, it’s still uncomfortable because we don’t know how our prospects are going to respond. If you spit out a much – no matter how much you believe, if you spit out a much lower number than they were expecting then there’s a little bit of some friction there. You might get a response that’s very negative, right? They might call you names, tell you to leave their house. No one wants to do that, so that prevents us from even wanting to make that offer. So a couple quick tips there on how to do it without ever offending anyone being able to make the right offer. So first quick tip is this, “Don’t hide what you’re feeling and who you are.” So this goes back to— we do a lot of teaching on empathy in our sales training. And empathy as we all know basically means understanding how the other person feels, right? When you see someone who feels extremely sad, you feel a little bit of sadness in you. If you’re speaking to someone and they just lost a loved one you feel it a little bit. We can feel other people’s emotions. We’re hard wired for it. I just read another study last week on some MRI scans and different things and how they could actually measure it and they see that the same parts of our brain we actually feel the same things emotionally when we hear about other people having an emotional experience as when we do, so that’s empathy. Long way to say, we use that as a tool when we make offers. Here’s how you use empathy as a tool when you make these offers, “just don’t hide who you are.” When you’re getting ready to make an offer, if you’re really uncomfortable about it and truth being told if you’re doing this business right, your offer should be low enough that you are a little bit uncomfortable. Let it shine through. “Hey listen, based on what I’ve seen today, your property, based on the research I did what other houses are actually selling for, what I think I could sell yours for, the work I need to put into it, all those types of things, I’ve kind of come up with a number that I think I can offer you for the house, but here’s the thing, I think it’s going to be much lower than what you’re expecting. I don’t even know how to tell you what that number is. I got to tell you, I’m a little embarrassed. I’m a little reluctant. I don’t want to do it. I’m afraid you might kick me out of your house if I tell you what it is.” You get visibly uncomfortable and what does that have do with empathy? Well they’re going to start to feel for you they say, “Okay, this guy over here, he’s going to give me an offer. He’s not comfortable with it, probably means I’m not going to be comfortable with it.” So you just prep them, but instead of them getting mad as if you just blindsided them with it, they start to actually console. You’ll start to hear them saying things like, “No, it’s okay whatever your offer is. I know you’ve got a business to run” and they’re are going to start justifying it before you’ve even given that offer and you’ve already prepped them that it’s going to be a low offer so that’s how you slide into it. And then once you give that offer, what I’ve seen lots of times is again they’ll start to console you. “I don’t think I’d give any more than $25,000.” Then you just and you’ll hear your prospects say things like, “Well, if that’s the best you can do, that’s the best you can do. I know you’ve got to put some work.” And they’re going to start justifying your offer but that’s a complete 180 from what most investors do today, but it’s extremely effective. It makes the prospect feel good and it preps them for that low price. It lets you feel good because you can say what you actually feel and not have to put on this mask of machismo and just go after it. It’s just the best way to handle it when we use empathy to make those offers because they’re going to be low, they’re going to be uncomfortable. Use that to your advantage. I am hoping that helps somebody out there.

Danny Johnson: Oh yeah, I’m sure it will. That’s one thing that I think that we’ve always, in my team, has always tried to do is to go in and know that the first thing that we need to do is have empathy like you said so that they lower their guard and aren’t like, “Who’s this investor that supposedly has all this money that’s going to buy my house. He knows so much more about real estate than I do. I don’t want to be taken advantage of. That’s my biggest fear.” And so we just let people know we’re normal people go. It’s got to work for both of us. We’ll let you know what works for us, hopefully it works for you and just let them know. It’s not going to be some hard negotiation thing where we’re going to try to pound them and all this kind of stuff.

John Martinez: Absolutely, yeah. The same concept works in renegotiation too. We’ve done quite a bit of work on renegotiations lately and the empathy tactic has actually worked so well. We’ve now had a couple of investors who use the tactic and gone back to us and said, “We actually bought the house for less than what we wanted to renegotiate our offer for” because they go back again and same thing, “Hey listen, my fault 100%, we missed this. We didn’t see this. We had someone come in and uncover this. Long story short, I can’t buy your house because there’s no way I can pay this amount that we agreed on and I feel absolutely terrible about it.” And now on two occasions after they’ve said that they do feel terrible because no one wants to go back and tell them they can’t honor the initial offer. It feels bad. They simply let it show and that second that they took the pause and just let it sink in they got counteroffers that were lower than what they wanted to renegotiate for. One instance I think the gentleman wanted $65 or so and before he even got the word out of his mouth he said, “I can’t do it.” The prospect said, “Listen could you take $60?”

Danny Johnson: Nice.

John Martinez: 5k less than what he needed to get it to. I want to take the power of empathy lightly. It’s extremely powerful in negotiating and renegotiating situations.

Danny Johnson: Now the renegotiating, is that more for sort of wholesalers maybe where they’re saying, I’m going to try to get this price for it or whatever and you renegotiate because you couldn’t find a buyer. It’s just too much you can make it work. I think another situation I had actually where I was going to buy the house to fix up and sell and the people I’m pretty sure over the phone or something they had told me it was a three bedroom two bath. I walked through it and made my offer they accepted. We got a contract and that evening I was sitting there and for some reason I was playing back walking through the house my mind and it dawned on me there was only two bedrooms. So I said, “Oh my gosh what have I done. I’ve made this offer based on the ARV of a house that has three bedrooms.” So I ran comps real quick and so that really stinks. I called them up and I said, “Look, I made this mistake” and doing just exactly what you said, I just said, “I made a mistake. I’m being honest. The value is not what I thought it was. Is there any way we can work this out and try to…” and so they came down several thousand and made it made it work. But I mean, that made all the difference, just calling into admitting my mistake and going that route. So that was tip number one, the empathy. Is there more on that list?

John Martinez: Yes. So beyond that we want to take advantage of something we call price anchoring in any negotiating situation. So a price anchor is simply this, as humans we judge the value of something, we judge how big or small it is, heavy or light it is, good or bad it is, we judge things based on what we have to compare to. So let me let me explain that just a little bit deeper. If you walk into— my wife she does the shopping for our family. I’m a terrible shopper. And if she goes into a department store and she finds a shirt like the one I’m wearing and it has a tag on it that says $199 marked down to $39.99 she’s going to be ecstatic, not because the shirt’s $39.99 but compared to $199, that’s a heck of a deal. That’s a freaking steal. That’s what a price anchor is. If it just said the shirt was $39 bucks, she’d say, “Take it or leave it.” So we judge the value of this shirt, she judges based on what she has to compare it to. So that’s similar to a price anchor. The way it relates to real estate is before you give your final offer, you never want to leave with your best and final, you want to kind of reset what your prospect has in mind that they’re going to compare your offer to. Now if you haven’t talked any numbers or pricing at all and you’ve got a prospect who I’d say they’re expecting about an offer of $100,000 or they think their house is worth $100,000 or their neighbor sold their house for $100,000 anything that you come into below that is going to feel like much lower than it actually is. So if we don’t reset that price anchor, it’s going to seem even worse than what it is. So how do you reset a price anchor without really making an offer? Very simple, with one line with something as simple as, “We bought houses similar” or “We’ve bought houses in this area before” or “I saw some houses as I did my research that were sold in the last year and this in this area and I saw some that sold for as low as $25K, can you believe that?” Something as simple as that just took that $100,000 price anchor and moved it all the way down to $25,000. So anything that comes after it is going to be valued judged compared to that $25,000 instead of 100. So when you reset a price anchor to $25,000 they’re thinking, “Oh Jesus, you are about to offer me $25,000. I didn’t even know they sold in this area for that much.” And you come in with $50 to $60 all of a sudden that seems a lot sweeter than if they’re expecting $100 and you come in at $60. Does that make sense?

Danny Johnson: Oh yeah, I like that, yeah. Especially if you’ve got some comps that you bring with you to even show this property here at this address sold for this amount.

John Martinez: Absolutely.

Danny Johnson: Well, that’s nice. I like that.

John Martinez: Yeah, yeah. So that’s one reason why bringing comps work so effectively cause you reset those expectations and they judge your offer on those expectations. So yeah, price anchor, use it, you have to no matter what or else it’s going to be used against you. If your prospect’s number is higher, you’re kind of shooting yourself in the foot there. Absolutely.

Danny Johnson: And so you would say even if they don’t give you their number, if they don’t have an idea of what they want to sell it for it to come in with something like that because they do have something in their mind maybe they’re not willing to share with you.

John Martinez: Yeah. They always have something in their mind. We all do. Sometimes just the fear of being taken advantage of and things like that we don’t share. Well I’ve got no mind, but what if I say it and it’s lower than they were going to give me, that type of thing. So we keep our cards kind of close to our chest until we feel completely comfortable and safe. No one wants to be the first one to throw out an offer so whether they say it or not, reset that price anchor. It’s almost more important if they don’t say something because you have no idea what you’re working with.

Danny Johnson: Do you advise an initial contact and maybe whenever you’re talking to them on the phone before the appointment to have anything that you do to set the price anchoring at that time or would you advise maybe waiting till the end person meeting—

John Martinez: I kind of look at it—great question by the way. I kind of look at it in stages, when you’re on the phone and you’re having an initial conversation, you don’t really want to close a deal right then. You have to think about what your real goal and on the initial phone call your real goal is, “Hey I want to get to the next step whatever that next step is for my company” that might be another phone consultation, that might mean me or someone else goes on site and visits. It can be all kinds of things, but you’ve got to keep in mind “what’s my goal” and in an initial phone call the goal is to get them to the next step in the process. If that’s going to kill it, if you’re going to kill it before you even have a chance to find out what their real problem is, how you can help them, you’ve really done yourself and them an injustice just. One step at a time. Step number one is always “How can I possibly help you? Is there some way me and my company are uniquely situated to handle whatever it is you want?” and for me to find that out I got to figure out what your situation, what do you want, and if we both agree I might just be able to help you out of that mess. Step two is let’s start looking at numbers and what all of this deal would look like.

Danny Johnson: Great point. I was laughing about the example with the wife and the shirt because just last night I was showing my wife, ut was some training that I was looking at and the marketer, his marketing tech was pretty ingenious and so $3,000 worth of training and tonight it’s 90% tomorrow it will go up in price and the next after that go up even more. It kind of makes you not even think anymore about whether that’s really worth the $3,000. You’re just looking at like, “Man, look at the difference in savings” because he’s framed it as being worth that much.

John Martinez: Yes. So that first number you get that $3,000 we just kind of by default give something good value. So okay, that’s a $3,000 value and all it takes is, he didn’t even have to say anyone has ever purchased this for $3,000 just the retail value is $3,000 that number is in our heads, so now anything that comes in below, “90% off that’s freakin’ steal. What’s that? $300 bucks?”

Danny Johnson: Right.

John Martinez: No brainer compared to $3,000

Danny Johnson: And I bought it.

John Martinez: That’s how powerful a price anchor is because it’s almost too good of a deal to pass up. It’s a powerful concept and you see it every day in life. In car sales before they nickel and dime you to death with the different add-ons and insurances and things like that, what do you do? You decide on the base price of the car because anything compared to that whether you’re talking about $25 or $50,000 thousand dollars for the initial price tag or a car payment of $2-3-4-5-6, $700 a month, once that number is figured out, they start talking about $24 a month for this, $99 for this and those numbers seem minuscule, so they never start out talking about those small numbers. It’s the big ones first and then by comparison that seems like chump change. You’ll start to see that concept everywhere you look once you’re aware of it.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. It’s super powerful. I guess you could even sort of frame yourself in your company with statements about Better Business Bureau and things like that to where if you make those statements a new competitor doesn’t maybe going into the meeting they have this idea of you versus them as being more professional, right?

John Martinez: Absolutely, absolutely.

Danny Johnson: If you built more rapport or something on the phone before you went there maybe they’re slanted towards you and in favor or you, they’ll like you more kind of thing.

John Martinez: I agree 100% absolutely.

Danny Johnson: Alright. So we have the empathy, then we have price anchoring and what else do you have?

John Martinez: So for negotiating just a couple of quick tips I’ll toss out there. One of the questions I often get is how do tell homeowners that, “Hey, there’s no more money left in the negotiation. We’ve hit our top.” What we usually teach is not even tell them when you’ve reached the top, you reach the end. There’s no need to even start the conversation with, “Hey, we’re doing our best offer. So there’s no wiggle room.” What you can do is the way you make your offers and negotiate. If it’s a back and forth you can do it in such a way where they figure out you reach the end on their own. Here’s some examples. Let’s say, you’re your maximum allowable offer is $100,000 a nice round number. And you’re going to start negotiation low to set the price anchor number one and see where it goes or maybe you start at 50 or 60K. As it goes back and forth what you want to do is signal when you’re reaching close to your maximum is make those increments, you increase smaller and smaller. So you might start with 60, 75, go to 80, 82. I’m kind of expanding it out, but that’s the point. That’s going to signal subconsciously that “Hey, they’re going close to the top cause they’re inching up at this point.” When you really want to make it stick and you get to the end whether it’s two offers or five whatever it is, ___ do a lot of deep thinking, I take out my notes, I start doing some serious math and I come up with an offer and your final offer needs to be a very odd number. When the increments shrink and shrinking shrink and then you end up with $84,372.19 it will stop your prospect in their tracks. They finally go, “Okay, this is it.” It’s not 80, 90, it’s to the penny. This company this individual there’s nothing left in it. They’re maxed out and there’s obviously some thought and reason behind this number. So smaller increments end up with an odd number and if they still push after that for something more finally give them a non-financial concession. I don’t have a penny more, but I’ll clean out the garage for you or anything you leave behind. We can take care of that. Those are all signals to your prospect that we’ve reached the end and you never have to say that’s my max. They’ll know it and they won’t push any harder, but just like we all do in negotiations, if we don’t use tactics like that then they’re going to always think, “Well, I got the last $10,000 out of them, why not push for 10000 more.” Often times that they don’t know when you’re for real and when you’re not for real, so they might think okay now you hit your max and they go well, you’re just playing hardball so I let him walk out the door and he’ll call me in 30 hours. Sometimes that’s a max that never happened and you’ve lost that deal. So signaling to your prospect when you’ve reach the end to that negotiating tactic is a powerful way to make sure they know when you really reach the top whatever that top is, whether it is a maximum allowable or below, you decide that but that’s a signal where they give up. They say, “Okay this is it.” They’ll accept that as your final offer.

Danny Johnson: Yeah, I like that. And a lot of times with my team and let me know what you think about this because it’s just what we’ve been using but maybe you’ve got some advice on it but so let’s say we need to buy something for $5,000. We need to buy the house for $50,000 and they’re asking let’s say $80,000 so we’re $30,000 off and so we come in with an offer of $41,000. We usually start our first offer as odd offer to make it seem really calculated to the penny kind of thing. So we say like $41,000 is what we can pay for the house. Well they say I wanted $80,000 I really do want $80,000 and they stay at 80. And so, we want the house pretty bad, which is ___ negotiation, right? But I let’s say that we do because typically you want a good deal. So I tell my guys, “Well, go up a thousand. Go up just a thousand dollars.” We’ve got $9,000 of room here, but I only want to go up $1,000 because we’re so far off they need to show that they’re willing to come down quite a bit otherwise we’re never going to meet in the middle anyway. So don’t give up a whole bunch right off the bat when they didn’t budge because they’re just going to stay not budging because you’re bumping up big time. And then so $1,000 if they come down maybe to $70,000 then maybe go up just $500. So they know we’ve already sort of, like you said, smaller increments.

John Martinez: Exact same tactic, right? The numbers in the examples I gave were a little different, but it’s the exact same. You’re inching up little by little. I think that’s exactly what you got to do. I think it’s spot on.

Danny Johnson: I always have my guys only come up maybe $1,000 or $2,000 as our biggest concession. I guess it depends on maybe the numbers of the deals. If you have a market where a house is worth $300,000 maybe you’re going to come up more or like that.

John Martinez: Yeah, I mean you could do it different ways. I know a lot of investors that start really low because every now and then someone just says, “Okay. Wow. I didn’t expect them to sell for that low. But if they’re willing to and it’s a win-win I’ll buy it.” It makes sense. The danger of starting that low is if you make big jumps the danger is that people might think, “Wow, are you trying take advantage of me? Why were so low and now you’re jumping up so high?” So the investors who use that tactic that we work with usually start off by throwing out that small number without really making an offer. So just rephrasing the way they offered a little bit just walk to the house, they put their numbers together and they might say something like and some of them even do this over the phone, “I don’t know yet. I’m still trying to put my head around this thing. What would you say to me if I said I cut your check for $40,000 for it?” So they’re not really making the offer, but they’re kind of testing those waters and that’s another way they used to set that price anchor. So sometimes, “You’re out of your mind.” “That’s what I thought you’d say.” The offer really was it made, right? And then other times they go, “Well yeah, you got my attention.” And you go, “Oh my gosh, now we know we are about to leave money on the table we if we started $10 or $20 grand higher.” So it really depends on your personality and what you want. You can start really close to your maximum allowable. You can test the waters and go lower. There’s just a little bit more risk there because it depends on the sellers perception, but even then there’s ways to phrase things and test things out without actually making an offer. It’s really just you. You’re watching for their reaction as you throw different numbers out there.

Danny Johnson: Yeah, it’s a good idea. It’s a good idea. What I like to do is I’ll start a lot lower if the deal is one that requires a lot more work and effort, if the house is like a burned property or something. I mean something where we’re going to be doing a lot to get this thing back up. This is how much how bad you want to deal I guess. But I’ve always had a thing for whenever—especially when you’re selling properties and somebody makes us an offer that we really like and we just want accept it, maybe we’ve had to work it awhile or something. But I’ve always try to make it to where it’s just where we counter because we don’t want them to feel like they offered too much.

John Martinez: Everyone wants to feel like they got a good deal and everybody wants to haggle a little bit because if you have that little bit of haggle, then you feel like, Alright. We got the better of this person.” We made sure we got the best deal. So yeah at the end of the day you want— anyway whether they’re buying or selling, you want people to walk away feeling like they got a good deal and if you accept too quick unfortunately even though logically, “Hey, it just made sense let’s accept, let’s not beat around the bush” on the emotional level that triggers someone to say, “Did I go in too high? Did I go in too low? Am I getting the best deal?” And they start to rethink and that could manifest itself down the line into problems with the closing of a property and it could come out to come show its face again in all kinds of situations down the line that makes the transaction difficult if a prospect doesn’t feel like they got a good deal or it they start to worry about them being taken advantage of. Even if it doesn’t make the deal blow up, it can make things complicated. So we always want to make sure they feel like they’re getting a good deal no matter what. So I agree with you 100%. Push back just a little bit even if it’s as simple as, “Are you sure that’s the best you can do?” It’s as simple as that.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. Because as soon as they see that you’re super thrilled about it, they’re thinking, “Man, I lost this.”

John Martinez: “Did I make a mistake?” Yeah.

Danny Johnson: Yeah. And if you’re selling and they’re buying and at that point after they get that inspection report, it’s like, “I want everything done” because I’m paying too much for something.

John Martinez: That’s exactly right.

Danny Johnson: Let’s talk about some objections. Let’s cover some objections so whenever you are talking with a seller, what are some typical ones you guys cover in your training how to handle some of the objections?

John Martinez: Yeah, yeah. Great question and I’ll answer this the best I can because I think our view is a little different than probably what a lot of people are used to hearing when it comes to objections. You see the way we structure our sales process is we already know all the objections that are going to come up and we want to pull them out of our prospects and deal with them before we get to the close. So most sales training out there, most stuff you read is all going to say, “When they say this, you say that. When they say this, you say that.” And here’s the truth of the matter, usually at that point it’s too late, right? You’ve made an offer, you’ve lost leverage. It’s just a really difficult situation to be in and truth be told if we all had those magic bullets, if those things all really worked, no company, no business, no individual sales person would need sales process at all because you just wait and you say, “I want to buy” and they say “No” and you say “What’s your objection? and they spit it out at you and you’d give them the magic bullet, done deal. Here’s the reality, objections and concerns are usually tightly held and not shared by prospects because they’re afraid they’re going to get taken advantage of like we’ve already talked to, afraid they won’t get the best deal, things like that. There are all kinds of reasons why. So we want to pull those things out while we still have the leverage to do so. So what gives a sales person leverage to ask those questions and get those answers? Ask about what’s going to possibly get in the way and kill this deal and get those answers so we can deal with them. Our leverage is our offer, our presentation is what we’re going to actually do for them so we want to get to objections before we get to our offer. After we give them our offer they say, “Hey, I’ve got everything I need from you. There’s no need for me to answer many more of your questions. You can call and e-mail. I don’t need anything from you. So I’m probably going to just let it pass unless I decide that I want to talk to you.” So any good sales process is structured it’s going to be to do two things, number one, plot all the reasons why they would do business with you. What’s your motivation? What’s your real motivation? – not to sell a house, but what the heck is going on, right? Repairs – okay, what does that mean? How is that impacting you? What do you mean repairs? Tell me about that. How long has that been going on and you want to get the real “why” out and it’ll get emotional. It always does when you get a real “why.” Anyone who’s been in this business will see when the real “why” comes out and they really start talking about how this property is impacting them or the things this property is keeping them from or impacting loved ones, that gets real. It gets emotional. And once we understand that “why” and sometimes there in touch with that “why” for the first time themselves, they’ve just never thought about it, they’ve avoided even thinking about it. But once it’s out there then when we start pulling out, “Listen, I know you want to get rid of this house. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s risky. You don’t know my company, what we do. You might not know where you’re going to go…” you start pulling out everything, “…well who else is going to help you make this decision? Would anyone be upset if you made this decision you didn’t tell them what you were doing?” “Yeah, my dad.” “Well, what would he say? What are his concerns? What does he consider a good deal?” You start pulling out all those objections and after you pull out every one, the way you overcome them— Well here’s a secret, sales people can’t overcome anyone’s objections and I’m a sales trainer telling you a sales person cannot overcome an objection, only that seller only that prospect can overcome their own objection, we just have to help them through it. So the real question is not how do we overcome our prospect’s objections, it’s how do we help them overcome their objections and you do that by questions. You simply compare it to that first step in the sales process, what is your “why.” “Well, if I sell the house, my sister is a realtor she’s going to get mad at me.” Okay, that’s an objection. Your question should be, “Well, you mentioned you’re tired of this, the stress, the pain-pain-pain. Because of it you can’t do this, you’re feeling this way. The real question is, is it more important to solve that or keep your sister happy. If I’m not here to tell you one way is better than the other, but that’s the real question.”

Danny Johnson: You got to make a decision.

John Martinez: Right, right. You clarify it for them. They go, “”Yeah, she’s mad at me all the time anyways I got to get past this.” Bang. They just overcame their own objection. So the real trick is finding out their “why” pulling out every possible objection and then comparing the objection to their “why” which one’s more important. At the end of the day, what you’ll see is there why usually trumps every possible objection. They seem miniscule and you just walk them through that and once all the objections are out of the way, that’s when you get to solving their problem. So I know we’re different than most people would tell you. It’s a slightly different approach but in our experience that’s the most effective approach.

Danny Johnson: Yeah nice. I like that. And that really does cover everything and it’s awesome that you didn’t just have 3-5 things like, “Usually they’ll tell you this and here’s what you say.” And then you’re saying that at the wrong time it’s just weird and awkward and nobody really knows what’s going on. That’s awesome. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all and it really is just about them overcoming their own objections and so asking questions. I like the questions thing. This is awesome and you’ve provided— you sent over to me Five Stages of Sales Mastery and a seller script. Do you want to talk about what those have in them?

John Martinez: Sure, sure. So Five Stages of Sales Mastery, especially getting into this business real estate, one thing I hear from tons of people because of what I do is, “I love the real estate part. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to sell stuff, I don’t want to be that guy.” And a big piece of that is “because it’s uncomfortable and I’m not good at it” and the thing is whenever you start anything new before you master it, there are certain stages. The 5 stages the master is just a simple— it kind of tells you where you are. So at first you’re not going know what you’re doing, you’re not going to feel in control. That 5 stages of mastery is to tell you you’re starting that stage 1. That’s normal, feel okay about it. The next stage here’s what you can expect, next stage here what you can expect and it will tell you what you should be feeling, what you are feeling and you’ll know how close you’re getting to mastery. So mastery is when you totally feel in control, you enjoy yourself. You start having fun. You know you’ve got all the tools and techniques. Any time you need them you can pull out. It’s kind of funny. Once you hit that point, every sales scenario becomes a lot of fun. You meet people. You have real conversations and you just use some tools to kind of guide the conversation and get people back on track and they’re just tools of the trade and you have a really good time. So that’s about where you start, where are you end up, what’s your experience in between and more than anything else is just to say if you’re not feeling okay that’s okay you’re on the road to mastery. Here, we already know it. These are the things you’re supposed to feel. You’re supposed to be comfortable this here, uncomfortable about this here and here’s what you can expect. When people know that what I’m feeling now, this kind of bad feeling is where I’m supposed to be and that I’m on track and progressing it makes people— it makes it a lot easier to go on that journey towards mastery and to learn knowing that you’re on track at least. The seller script is a script we’ve developed over time with different investors and that version is kind of a universal version so we’re actually building an REI call center right now. It’s a call center where I’ve done all the training and it’s the first call centre we know that’s 100% dedicated to the real estate investor. So we’re going to do inbound calls, we’re doing outbound calls, all that stuff. I’ve personally trained everyone on the call center floor many many many hours and I’m in charge of the quality and all that stuff. But that script, we’ve developed for them as a universal script. So it’s built to work for any investor anywhere in the country, really to take your seller quickly and efficiently through some questions to get some basic condition of the house and really do three things. Whenever we’re on the phone, we’re qualifying, right? Do I want to take my time to move this person to the next step? So we cover motivation, equity and timeframe and that’s it and some pretty simple ways to get that information without pushing a prospect too hard and learning what you need to learn so you can decide “Do I want to take the next step or not?” So seller script and the road to mastery are there the two things I believe I left you with.

Danny Johnson: Right. And then a video. You also sent over a video about renegotiation training. So that’s awesome.

John Martinez: Yeah, yeah. It’s just a short video. I got that question a lot in this last few weeks I just sat down for a few minutes hit record on the computer and went over some best practices over exactly how to renegotiate, so short video maybe 5 or 10 minutes.

Danny Johnson: Awesome. Well, I like these and I’ve read through these documents and I’ll put these up on the show notes page which will be at flippingjunkie.com/61, you’ll be able to go and download these the video and then the seller script and The Five Stages of Sales Mastery. And I really think that these are some of the best things that we’ve offered from a show. So I think you ought to go there and check it out. So flippingjunkie.com/61, go ahead and download those for free and John do you have anything else you want to share?

John Martinez: No. Thanks for having me on. If anyone wants any information about our company it’s at midwestrev.com

Danny Johnson: Awesome. And is that the best way to reach you? Do you have any other ways to reach you or do you want these people to go there as best.

John Martinez: You can check out the website there’s some real estate information, but anyone is always free to email me directly, john@midwestrev.com. I answer all my own e-mails. I know it’s a rarity nowadays with auto responders and all that stuff. But I I do take pride in getting back to everyone individually.

Danny Johnson: John’s quick. I talked to him this morning about being on the show and next thing I know we’re scheduling just a couple hours later to do the show so it’s awesome. He really does respond fast and he is a great guy. We’ve learned a lot from you and we appreciate it.

John Martinez: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Danny Johnson: We’ll, have a great day John. And I’ll also have a link to your website on the show notes page, so if people miss that or weren’t able to write that down that’ll be there so that people will find you. So have a great day John I appreciate it.

John Martinez: Awesome. You too. Bye.

Alright. Another great episode. Thank you so much for listening to The Flipping Junkie Podcast. I know there are a lot of other podcasts out there. I appreciate you listening to ours at Flipping Junkie. Thanks again to John for sharing all that hard earned sales information and he really knows this stuff. I like his approach because it really does mirror what we’ve been doing and what we found to work really well. It’s really nice to know like what he said if you go to the show notes page at flippingjunkie.com/61 you can download that Five Stages of Sales Mastery document along with the seller script and the renegotiation video. But that stages of sales mastery where he talked about the different levels of mastering sales and starting with reluctance and frustration, but then how he described mastery is being comfortable there, talking with them, realizing that it’s you and them the sellers and you’re trying to find a way to help them. You’re trying to find out what they really want, the real reason why they’re selling and how you can help them with their situation so that they can move on with their life. And when you are a master at this, that will feel great because being a master is not coming—at sales in the situation is not coming in there and strong arming them or having shady tactics or trying to maneuver and all this kind of stuff to be able to get the house for as cheap as you want. I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of people that really want to be that way. So it’s good that it’s really just being comfortable with going there and talking with people, being empathetic and trying to help. I think that’s awesome that that describes being a master of the sales when working with sellers and trying to help them with their situations where. Go ahead and go to flippingjunkie.com/61 you can download these documents and the renegotiation video.
Thanks again John and if you would, on iTunes please leave a rating and review. I really appreciate that. Enjoy your week and we’ll be back on the podcast next week.

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5 awesome responses to “Episode 61: [Working With Sellers] Advanced Real Estate Investor Sales Strategies with John Martinez”

  1. Alex on

    I watched this on Youtube, but wanted to stop by and say thank you for this. This was a great episode!

    I’m just starting a land investing business, and I’ve been kind of stressed about talking to sellers on the phone. Great tips and advice from John. I like the idea of just being honest with a seller about your uncertainty.

  2. Cody on

    I listen to a ton of podcasts and some may say that I am a podcasting junkie!! LOL!!! This episode is one of my all-time favorites and I have listened to it multiple times and is one that I turn on when heading out to appointments. It is such a matter of mindset and knowing the value investors offer for homeowners. The best feeling is helping resolve issues and creating win-win solutions.

  3. Mark Padolsky on

    Now a lot of people tend to say that investing is very far out from sales but they fail to realize that investing and sales have a lot of things in common. Real estate sales training is there for a reason and that reason is to teach people how to sell real estate. Without sales, nobody would be able to make a profit. Back in the ancient days when trade still did not exist, people would only own what they work for which is crops and livestock but as times have changed and trading has been introduced, sales has become one of the most important basic skill in business.