TV show American Pickers......Secret weapon for Real Estate Investors

I don’t know if any of you watch American Pickers on the History channel but if you DON’T you should start!!

The premise is simple…Camera crews follow a couple of guys around the country as they search for antiques and collectables. The show is fairly interesting but the REAL VALUE here is in HOW they generate their leads…

They have a warehouse and a secretary…Her job is to call Town Halls in the areas the guys are in and ask the building inspection departments if they have any houses in the area cited for DEBRIS on the property!!! She gets a NAME and location and the boys head off to meet the owner.

PERFECT tie in for lead generation for property…I personally use Antique dealers as a constant relaible source for leads…the second call most people make after a loved one passes (after the funeral home)
is to a ESTATE BUYER or ANTIQUE DEALER…these guys then call me because they know I’m NOT interested in the contents and I ALSO call THEM whenever I get a house filled with stuff…It’s a beautiful relationship…I let them TAKE for FREE whatever they want out of these homes…(AFTER…of coarse, I take what I want!!) They LOVE IT!!! I get calls all the time from these guys.

The tie in for us is this…Once the antique dealers CHERRY PICK the stuff they want, the family is left with JUNK…and usually a HOUSE FULL OF IT.
That’s where I come in…Last week I sat in the living room with a 350 pound lady that could barely walk from her car to that living room…As she caught her breath and looked around at the PILES of JUNK in her grandfathers house, I laid out my LINE…

“You know this is a shame…It really is…You get stuck dealing with this stuff, a lot of it is just junk…But I’m sure some of it has memories for you.
I’ll tell you how I do this…It’s very simple…You take the things that mean something to you and just LEAVE THE REST…I’ll clean out everything that’s left over…I’ll pay you CASH for the house…and YOU ARE DONE…I have a sales agreement with me, we’ve already agreed on a price, all that’s left is a signature and I can have you finsihed and done with this in 10 days.”

She looked around and said this…“I can barely walk, there is no way on earth I could clean this place out. I really appreciate you doing this for me. Where do I sign this?”


Just an IDEA!!!

Watch the show…It’s brain candy.

Yes, that show is a winner, right up there with Antiques Road Show. Once again, you nailed it. Some people sit on the couch whining about the bad market, while others go around picking up gold nuggets and smiling.

How about you write a book: “Secrets to Finding Real Estate Bargains”?

You have given the readers on this site thousands of dollars worth of tips. Before I wrote that you should do a newspaper column. You are a terrific writer and I am a fan. If you write it, I will buy it.


Ill check it out. :bobble

Thanks furnished and Hoosier…

Furnished…PLEASE continue to share your experience here. I find your business model very interesting. It’s a classic example of a very savvy investor moulding their approach to fit their market.

One other point on American Pickers…The REAL VALUE of this show is in how the two guys APPROACH and ultimately WIN OVER people NOT INTERESTED in SELLING!!!

Sound familiar guys???

My son and I love watching that show and I have used the same example that you mentioned with my son. Showing him how to “disarm” people and make them want to listen or deal with you.

Don’t forget to scout out your own neighborhoods. Here I like to drive down alleys…just found a nice wood coffee table. Just a little bit of sandpaper, some urethane, and it goes in the next unit. Price= Maybe $1-2 for the sandpaper. Otherwise free, solid wood, with nice vintage dings and nicks in it.

Last year we were building stone walls to border a driveway. The fake stone stuff is really expensive–and LOOKS fake-- and the local stone yard wanted $5.00 for a loaf-of-bread-sized real stone. FIVE DOLLARS!

So we just started driving alleys en route to Home Depot, the grocery store, etc. People throw their unwanted stones in the alleys. We got all the stones we needed, just stockpiled it day by day. STONES ARE MADE BY GOD AND SHOULD BE FREE, if you pick them up yourself.

Well, you get the idea. If it’s free, use it. If you find it, it’s yours. And a real stone wall looks like a real stone wall. Anybody with time can make one.


Great post !!!..Whats the ROI on that wall…!!!..It pays to think out of the box…

Hi all, that was really a great information and it had been very useful to me. Nowadays, investments into real estate are a good making money idea. And I am looking forward to find a venue or a location for my incoming company activities.

Another secret weapon is. …ask some smart person what they think.

I just showed our Highland A 1-bedroom unit 3 times and got rejected each time because “I need more security for my truck”. Guys with fancy trucks don’t want them on the street.

I was talking to Lupe, my smart-guy contractor, and he said, "Why don’t you just move out all that furniture you have in the garage and give them the garage? Stick all that stuff out on another property?

Duh. The garage has had extra furniture in it since I bought the property. I could get $600/month MORE RENT if I turn over that nice double-car garage to the tenant. Plus the unit would rent FAST.

That furniture storage was so fossilized in my brain that I couldn’t see that I needed to CLEAR OUT THE GARAGE, DUMMY!.


That is some gold on finding leads through town halls and antique dealers. I’ll have to check out that show asap.