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Distressed Properties and Foreclosure Homes

Sep 3, 2008
Successful foreclosure investors look at lots of properties before finding profitable buys. That's why you must have a powerful and ongoing marketing plan to keep your pipeline full of opportunities.

Drive those leads to a local telephone number even if you are not local to them. The prospect list that you are mailing to is going to feel more secure if they are calling a local number than if they are calling an 800 number.

The perception of an 800 number is that it is a big company, but if it is a local number then it just must be the guy down the street that buys houses.

Try using an answering service. If you have people go to voicemail you will lose 50 percent of your callers. Understand that motivated sellers are really hoping that nobody is there that way they can say well I called but nobody answered the phone. You have to have a live person answering the call.

The other thing about an answering service is you are going to get seller phone calls at all times of the day and the night. And it's not always going to be the most convenient time for you.

You may be working on something and all of a sudden get a seller call and it is hard to switch your mental thought process to properly handle the call.

Give the service your script of questions. A live person will answer the phone as if they are with your company. They will ask the questions, take the information and e-mail you the details.

Then you can call the prospect back at your convenience. Even if you are going to call them back right away what an advantage it is to already have that information.

Now you have the address so you can go in and pull comps before you call them back and know what the property is worth. You can figure out how much you think you might be able to offer for the property before speaking with them.

Remember when you get on the phone what your purpose is. At this point you are not trying to sell your service to them. It is not to buy the house. The first purpose of the phone call is to prequalify the caller.

You want to separate the prospects from the leads. They are all leads coming in but what you want to separate is the tire kickers from the ones that are real motivated sellers. And that prequalification process should take no more than 5-10 minutes on the phone.

What you are looking for is the answer to two questions. First, are they motivated and second are the numbers going to work?

Unfortunately you can't come right out and ask if they are motivated to sell their house. You are going to have to build some rapport with them and find out what kind of motivation is there. Why is it that they are looking to sell there house right now? How soon do they need to move out?

The best indication appears when you start asking some of the personal questions. How much do they owe on their house... or you I throw out some lowball prices.

When they just laugh at you and they almost don't want to continue, then you know this person is not really all that motivated. When you explain why your offering price came in so low and they say "let's go on" I know I have a motivated seller.

The next question is, are the numbers even going to work? Is your offer in the ball park? If I can only pay $150,000, but they owe $250,000, then you aren't even in the same ballpark.

If you can't get them off that number then why go forward, why waste time? The first five is just about deciding whether you want to move forward with this caller or not. If they are motivated then you can spend an hour, hour and a half really building a rapport. By that time you should be on your way to making a deal.

Many investors complain about having too many leads. If you have 50 leads coming in you can't spend an hour on the phone with each one. What you want to do is prequalify and find out which ones are motivated and really have the potential to become a deal. That is where you want to spend your time.
About the Author
Mark Walters is a third generation real estate investor and founder of CreatingWealthClub.com. For a limited time Mark is offering his big guide to finding hard money loans for real estate investing free. Free guide to private money loans.  http://www.FindPrivateMoney.info
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