Quick Start Guide to Real Estate Investing – How To Get Started… AgainPosted on December 9, 2012 by
Since we just finished our 5-part journey of “Real Estate + The Internet = The Perfect Marriage,” (see previous issues) we’re going to do something a little different in this article. We’re going back to the ‘Old School’ style of real estate investing.
Specifically: How To Get Started in Real Estate Investing… Again!
The great thing about technology is that it really helps you leverage your time. When set up correctly, you can have computers & systems do a lot of the work FOR you, and that’s wonderful! However, it takes time, thought, money, and reliable technology. And that’s just to get it set up!
But what if you don’t have the time or money to do all that? What if you’re just starting out? … OR what if you’re just starting out… Again?
Listen, there’s a lot of investors who used to be successful in real estate investing a few years ago, but got out of the game when the market turned to crap. That’s understandable. But you can’t stay out of the game for long, or the new opportunities that this market presents will be gone forever.
So the market has changed. So what? Do people still need a place to live? Of course they do. Is there still money to be made in real estate, despite all the laws the idiots in Washington, D.C. have passed? Yes! You just have to get (back) in the game now & get involved.
So whether you’re a brand new or recycled real estate investor, I’m going to help you get started right here, right now. Ready? Good!
The absolute FIRST thing you really need to do is: Crank up your buying machine! Start to get calls from motivated sellers coming in. Once you get that started, you’ll start to talk to sellers and see what needs to happen with their houses & their situations. If you’ve done this before, you should still know what to do.
To get the calls coming in, there’s a lot of ways to make that happen. But without a doubt, there’s still one solid, proven, time-tested, inexpensive, hands-down winner for generating calls: Put Up Signs!
You can test what the sign says later. But for now, just put up signs that say:
“We Buy Houses.
Any Area, Price, Situation.
YOUR PHONE #”
Put up at least 10 signs like that in busy intersections that get traffic. I suggest using 18”x24” Yellow signs with handwritten, large black magic marker. Make it neat/readable.
You can get those signs by ordering online. Find a print shop that can send you 50-100 BLANK yellow, coroplast signs & stakes.
While you’re waiting for those signs to come in, you can go to your local grocery store & ask them for some cardboard boxes they would otherwise throw away. That’s right: Cardboard boxes! Grab some, cut out a big rectangle, write your message on it & nail it up in those busy intersections, because there’s no excuse for not getting started!
For the phone number, don’t screw around & get an 800 number or anything stupid like that. Use a LOCAL number. People want to deal with local people. Tested & true.
If you don’t have a spare phone number sitting around, use your cell phone number.
If you’re paranoid and don’t want to do that, here’s an excellent quick tip: Go get a Gmail account (www.gmail.com). Sign up for ‘Google Voice.’ It’s free! Confirm that number, then set it up to forward to your cell phone (for now), and put that number on the sign.
If you need help on the details of how to set up your Google Voice number, you have 2 choices:
- Google it to find out how.
- Forget about it & just use your cell phone number.
BUT JUST TAKE ACTION!! Don’t use that as a B.S. excuse not to get started!
That should get the phone ringing, and that brings us to our next point: How to handle the phone calls. Now, if you’re just starting out, here’s a rough guide on…
How to Handle Those Phone Calls…
- Answer the phone! (duh!)
- Take control of the conversation by asking questions. A couple of great first questions to ask them are: “What’s your name?” and “What’s the best number to call you back in case we get disconnected?” (Must get name & number!)
- Build rapport with the person by being friendly and seeking to understand their situation. A motivated seller is a person first and a seller second. Remember that.
- Get the essential information:
About the House: Property address, number of beds & baths, square footage, etc.
About the Deal: After-Repaired Value; Asking Price; Loan Balance(s) (if applicable); Current or in Arrears (if applicable); Payments (if applicable); Cost to Repair; WHY They’re Selling (Essential!); WHEN they’d like to close/sell.
- Depending on your comfort level, you can close the call by either…
a. Making an offer right there on the phone, or
b. Telling the seller that you have their information and will get back to them.
Now was that so hard? Five simple steps to handling those phone calls!
By the way, those same 5 steps work for outbound phone calls, too (To FSBOs, for example). You obviously just need to adjust the first 2 steps to 1. Dialing the phone (duh!); and 2. Ask if they also have another number to call them.
The next big question is: What Do We DO With Those Leads?
How Do We Turn Those Motivated Seller Leads in to CASH?
Don’t worry, I’m going to cover that in more detail in next month’s article.
So do those first few steps for your homework, starting TODAY!
But for now, I don’t want to leave you hanging, so I’ll give you a couple of quick ideas on what to do with those leads, just in case you need them.
You can start calling some of the OTHER ‘We Buy Houses’ guys & see if they want to buy the deal… or the lead… from you… for a fee, of course!
You can partner up with another investor from you REIA group by either wholesaling it to them, selling the lead to them, or partnering up with them.
Common sense should tell you to not give out too much information. You don’t want them going behind your back & stealing the lead from you. Geez, that never happens (kidding)!
Of course, if you’ve done this before, you should know what to do.
In our next article, we’re going to discuss the types of leads that come in, and some possible exit strategies on how to handle them to start getting those checks coming in (again)!
But for now, go crank up your buying machine by putting up some signs! That’s your homework. Go get busy!
Until next time,