In order to succeed in flipping houses, you have to be successful at marketing to find your deals. Many new investors spend the vast majority of their time trying to learn every known buying and marketing technique. Most won’t be given the opportunity to use them because they are not focusing on their marketing. They are not creating house buying opportunities. People focus on trying to learn everything possible because most are afraid to actually start buying houses. They are terrified at the idea of having to make a huge investment decision that could cost them some serious money. There is nothing wrong with learning these things, it is just that if you want to succeed, the most important thing to do is to get your phone ringing with motivated sellers calling you and pleading with you to buy their house. Don’t concern yourself with learning 50 different ways to find motivated sellers. Pick 3 to 5 marketing methods and focus on IMPLEMENTING them!
I’ve heard many investors complain that certain marketing methods don’t work for them and that they want to know what is the newest and best way to find the motivated sellers. Inevitably, when asked how long they used the method, it is for such a brief amount of time (say 1 month) or such a limited budget was used (say $50) that it was never really given a chance to succeed. Give the methods you decide to use plenty of time to prove whether they will work or not. I would allot at least 3 to 6 months for each method to prove itself. You also have to be realistic in the budget you give yourself. We are in a super high profit margin business where a $50 lead could produce a 5 to 6 figure profit! You have to be willing to spend money to make money. After the marketing has been consistently used for about 3 to 6 months, look at how many leads came from each source. Keep the best producing marketing going and choose another marketing method to replace the losers.
Get out there and put out 50 bandit signs. Send out 500 letters to absentee owners. Put an ad in the Thrifty Nickel or Pennysaver. Just get the word out that you buy houses and work on getting that phone to ring. You have to overcome your fear. Get out of your comfort zone and look forward to receiving the calls. I was extremely nervous the first time I got a call from my marketing. In fact, I threw the phone to my wife to handle the call. After seeing how easy it was, I was able to take the next call and the next and the thousands that have followed.
Most new investors worry about needing to learn all of the ins and outs of every facet of real estate investing rather than just focusing on what should come first and what should come next. Of course, you should educate yourself on how to handle the leads and analyze deals, but none of that will matter if you never come in contact with a seller. Get them calling you and fumble through the first couple. You will learn much faster and retain more of the education as you do it. Be consistent with your marketing and you will succeed.Next: Free House Flipping Software: Our Top Pick
“I threw the phone to my wife to handle the call”
boy..I can relate…
Thank you again for the relevant information you’ve provided here.
Where do you get your absentee owners?
A title company can usually provide these for you. If you do not already work with a title company, you can probably go in and talk them about what you will be doing. Mention that you will bring your deals in to close with them. You want to see if they can provide you addresses in certain areas where the tax bill is going to a different address than the property address. A lot of the system will allow you to specify how long ago a loan was taken out on the property (important to target people with more equity).
I’m sure there are websites that you can use where you pay for the information and do the searching yourself. I will try to find some of these and make a post soon about getting absentee owners lists.
Great words Danny! You know, a very very wise man once told me “Mike, don’t give up because that’s what everyone does when fog begins to cloud their dream. The truth is that most people quit the moment before they achieve greatness.”
While everyone else is frustrated and quitting, they are literally clearing a path for your success machine. Marketing can be tough and unrewarding but just remember, even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes.
It’s easy to become a slave to education. Don’t. Get your phone ringing now and ask questions later.
Danny. I have an answering service taking inbound calls and a 1099 employee making the outbound calls because I am terrified of talking to sellers like you were on your first call. Except, I haven’t been able to get over it. I have sat down to make calls 10 or so times and freak out and convince myself that they’re not deals so I can justify not calling them. I know that I have to be able to talk to people in order to make this work, but I’m curious how you handle talking to the people. I feel like I’m trying to persuade the sellers into selling, and I know that if you have a motivated seller you don’t have to persuade anyone. But, do you talk to the seller with the “here is my offer, it’s either a deal or it’s not” black-and-white type of attitude? What is your mental approach when talking to sellers?
You said it exactly right when you stated, “I know that if you have a motivated seller you don’t have to persuade anyone.”
It just takes a little time and experience. Sure, I was still very nervous for the first several calls (maybe first several dozen calls), but it quickly goes away and you will get comfortable. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone so that you can expand it. Eventually you won’t even really think too much about what you are saying and asking because it will quickly become second nature.
You just won’t ever get to that level with others doing it for you. How about trying to take the calls and thinking about it as just someone calling you to talk. In order to have any kind of conversation, you need to have something in common to talk about. That something is the house they want to sell. Ask them all about it. Any kind of question you can think of. Have a short list of the most important items so that you make sure to cover those along the way.
Don’t try to just go down a list of questions, try to have a conversation. Ask open-ended questions so that they do most of the talking. Why are you wanting to sell the house?
You are not making any sort of commitments over the phone. Maybe just setting up an appointment, but even that does not have to be set in stone.
“It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone so that you can expand it.” Great advice, I need to post this phrase everywhere in my house.
How quickly do you end a call if you know they aren’t motivated? Or, do you stay on the call for 10-20 minutes and then make them an offer anyways?
If they seem completely unmotivated, I try to end the call as soon as possible or make a low ball, rough offer to see how they react.
My calls probably average around 5 minutes or less. You will probably spend a little longer in the beginning, but will soon develop your own technique to get the necessary info as soon as possible while still building rapport with the sellers that have the potential to sell you their house at the price you would need to get it at.
If you don’t have a lot of leads coming in, I would treat all leads that have a good amount of equity as possible deals no matter how motivated the seller seams. You never really know how motivated they really are and I still don’t figure them all out even now.
Thanks for your help again Danny. Once I get the business rolling, I’m gonna travel down to Texas and buy you and Melissa dinner one of these days!
That would be great!