Hi everyone, I don’t know if this is the right place to post this message. I am breaking out into this arena…have completed two wholesale deals (and did pretty good at that)…but I am becoming a bit discouraged and am seeking a little bit of encouragement from my fellow investors. My question is how do you all keep your spirits up knowing that there are so many people after the houses you are marketing to? I know we have to do things that set us apart. Can anyone give me a few ideas of what you all do to set yourself apart? It seems to me that I am doing what everyone else is doing…that is, gaining access to the foreclosure lists, mailing out postcards, cold calling. I want to figure out how to be the first and foremost and at the forefront…any suggestions would be greatly helpful.
You could market to a list that nobody else has such as one you created. Pick some criteria, build the list, mail to it often. Once the foreclosure proceedings have begun and some kind of public notice is given, everyone and their broker knows about it.
For instance, Dataquick allows me to create a list like:
- Bought in the last 3 years.
- Non-owner occupied
- Price range
- Location (zip code, thomas bros. map grid, etc.)
- Property characteristics (sq ft, bed/bath, lot size)
That’s a list that I created that likely nobody else has. If you market to them with something generic like “I buy houses” or “Avoid foreclosure” or one of a hundred other “marketing hits” and they see your marketing over and over. Eventually you’ll get a deal and have no competition.
Again, once their name is on a public list the amount of competition goes up dramatically. I still work the foreclosure lists because the opportunities are challenging to find but the payoff is big. I hope that helps. Good luck!
You might consider changing your marketing and advertising so that you’re talking to more people who are behind on payments but who are not yet in the foreclosure process. There is nothing better than taking a call from somone who asks you, “Can you buy my house, please?” only to find out that you’re in a non-competitive situation and that the house can be bought for 25% under market.
Sure, 95% of the calls will come from people who are under water, but how many deals do you need a year at $20K profits each to make that worth your while?
Also, I have found that one of my greatest and most valuable skills is my ability to “connect” with many (thought not all) people. You build rapport, just as you would in any sales setting. Granted, you are the buyer, not the seller, but you still need to “sell” the seller on the idea of doing business with you.
It’s a numbers game…so KEEP AT IT.
I’m sorry that you’re feeling discouraged. Investing is a lonely business and can certainly be hard if you aren’t mentally prepared for it. I’ve blogged about mental preparedness on my website if you’d like to check them out.
I agree with MercuryPartners and Kawika. If you look like everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. Check out your competition and do the opposite.
If they are all using yellow and black signs - go with purple and white.
If they are all marketing to pre-foreclosures, go after expired and active listings in the MLS.
If they are all using a letter they got from some seminar guru, write your own and showcase your personality and abilities!
In your direct mail letter, make guarantees about how you’ll treat the seller with the respect and dignity they deserve. People like guarantees.
Promise to give Habitat for Humanity (or whatever charity you wish) $25.00 if they feel that talking to you has been a waste of time…and then really do it if they call you on it! Point out that you’re sending the letter with that promise to hundreds of people, so you obviously know what you’re talking about to put so much money on the line.
There are a variety of different ways you can differentiate yourself from your competition. One of the best is to be genuine about wanting to help folks. You can’t make that stuff up. People can tell if you walk into their house with dollar signs in their eyes or if you really want to help them out of a bad situation that results in you buying their house.
Incidentally, Terryall, cold calling may be effective eventually, but when you hear “no” 10 times in a row, it affects you, I don’t care who you are. You might want to check into having someone do the cold calling for you and pay them $5 for every appointment…or just strengthen your direct mail campaign and do away with cold calling altogether.
The bottom line is that there are enough houses for everyone. Keep your spirits up by listening to motivational speakers while driving to and from appointments like Zig Ziglar (he’s my all-time favorite!) and even when the chips are down, don’t give up.
You’ve already wholesaled 2 deals and admittedly done well. Use that as a catalyst to do even better the next time!
How are you finding the people that are behind on their payments?