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So what other lists can we use to locate highly motivated sellers? One of my favorite lists is people who are behind on taxes. You can get this list by getting a list of tax certificates available for sale in your county. In most counties this list comes out right before the tax certificate sale takes place. You would then mail them a neutral type of letter saying you are interested in buying properties in their neighborhood or subdivision.

When mailing these letters initially, I suggest that you do not refer to the seller’s specific problem. All you will accomplish is to alienate them so that they will not want to work with you. I personally do a mailing every year to folks whose tax bills have not been paid and I have purchased many properties this way. A lot of these folks are people who have a problem they need to solve, they just don’t know how until they are contacted by you. A lot of these people have inherited properties they neither want nor need and appreciate your offer to purchase it, especially if they have just received another big tax bill to pay. This is an extremely good lead source for really great deals.  Read More→

Implementing the right list and using the right letter when creating your direct mail campaigns to locate motivated sellers is crucial to your success as a Real Estate Investor. There are lots of different ways to find these lists and lots of different types of lists to choose from.

The easiest way I suggest to locate a list to use for mailings is to simply go to your property appraiser’s office or auditor’s office and have them create it for you. There are many different parameters you can use to create these lists.

Some of the lists you could create might be directed at out of town owners, deed transfers, zip codes ranges, sale dates, estates, evictions, delinquent taxes or pre-foreclosures. These can all be good lead sources for you to use to find motivated sellers and these are lists that I use in my business on a daily basis in addition to several others.  Read More→

I also like to use my personal Credibility Kit to find more private lenders for my Real Estate Investing Business. You already have all the information about yourself and your company and deals you have done in one place to show your potential lenders.

Looking through your Credibility Kit leaves no doubt in a lender’s mind that they will be making a good investment in you and your properties. Plus, you have references available if they would like to see them and follow up with any of them. I also give my potential lenders an abridged copy of my Credibility Kit in case they know of someone else interested in loaning me money for my deals. This is a great way to build this part of your real estate investing business!  Read More→

Your Credibility Kit tells a story about who you are and what you can do for your seller or buyer in order to get a deal done. It will list the benefits to the sellers or buyers as to why they should work with you, a Real Estate Investor. The other main function of a Credibility Kit is to give you the confidence you need in order to create a win-win solution for you with your sellers. It should have all the tools you need in it to get you through the offer making process.

For example, in the back of my personal Credibility Kit, I have a list of different types of offers I can make on a property. This helps me when talking to the seller and keeps me from getting tongue-tied or forgetting a strategy that could just help out that particular seller. It also includes a cost analysis sheet which shows my sellers exactly how much it would cost them to sell their home in the traditional way and how much money I can save them at the closing table. My personal Credibility Kit gives my sellers all the facts they need to make a sound decision to sell their property to me.  Read More→

Why do you need a Credibility Kit for your Real Estate Investing business? In fact, what exactly is a Credibility Kit? This is the question I hear most often from students when I am at real estate investing events.

Think about this for a second. Have you ever had a contractor come out to do a bid for you on some work you wanted done, say new cabinets, or siding on your house or new windows?  Do you remember seeing the book they brought with them that showed the photos of jobs they had completed, testimonial letters from satisfied customers and copies of their licensing and insurance? That was their Credibility Kit. Why then as a Real Estate Investor are you not creating this amazing tool for your real estate investing business? This is definitely a tool you will need for your real estate investing business and it’s so easy to create one if you follow a few simple steps.

 Your personal Credibility Kit will not only build credibility and integrity for you with your sellers and lenders, it will give you a serious edge over your competition. Almost none of your competitors know about this incredible tool that makes you look like a true professional in your Real Estate Investing business, whether you are working with sellers or buyers of properties.  Read More→

Let me ask you a question… Are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, and now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?

There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. When you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them. When it comes time to sell their home they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime.  Read More→

One of the Questions I am frequently asked by students wanting to implement a direct mail campaign is where to get the lists of sellers to mail to. While there are several resources available, I find they vary greatly in price and in quality of the lists. It is important for you to find a good, reliable source for your lists. When doing direct mail campaigns, their success is going to be based 70% on the list and 30% on the direct mail piece you are using to contact these motivated sellers.

There are a couple of resources for lists that I find to be especially reasonable in price and the quality of the lists is excellent for your use. One of those resources is very easy to find and simple to use use. Just go to your property appraiser, auditor, or assessors’ office and ask them to put the lists together for you. You will need to target specific types of sellers you want to do deals with. If your county is online preparing this list is usually pretty simple for them to do. I will suggest to you that you go down to their office and ask them for their help in person to customize these lists for you. If you just call them, you may get “blown off” by someone who doesn’t want to do the extra work, or you may get someone on the phone who doesn’t understand what it is that you need. I know all of this from personal experience with counties I have worked with. In addition, if you live in a particularly large county, they have plat maps you can look at to subdivide your lists by specific areas you want to mail to. This is just another way for you to hone in on the area and type of seller you want to work with.  Read More→

We all know that developing an effective marketing strategy is essential to getting any business off the ground. Educating yourself and discovering how to locate and motivate potential sellers to contact you is a must in making your real estate business a success. You must be able to locate prospects who want to do business with you. You must find the sellers who need to sell, not just want to sell their properties. This is essential to your success as a real estate investor. Coming into the new year this will an important step to growing your real estate investing business.

Marketing is also a numbers game, the more leads that come in, the more opportunities you will have to make deals. You won’t buy every deal that comes your way, but when you develop a machine that brings in quality leads, you will be able to pick and choose the deals you want to do. You will quickly learn to recognize quality prospects.  Read More→

The Art of The Negotiation

Posted on December 8, 2016 by

Despite the obviously important role information gathering plays in the art of negotiations, very few people actually spend much time analyzing their seller’s situations or needs before jumping into the negotiating process. Even logical individuals who wouldn’t jump into a dangerous sport before learning more about it often jump into a deal where they could possibly lose thousands without first getting the information they needed in order to protect themselves from a disastrous result.

I always remind my students that they need to listen, ask appropriate questions, do their due diligence and determine what the seller’s real underlying needs are. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your sellers in order to get the information you need to make the best deal possible. If you need clarification on some part of the negotiation, ask!

So why are investors so reluctant to ask questions? Part of it is fear and part of it is the unwillingness to admit they don’t know or don’t understand something. It used to cause me a great deal of discomfort to ask certain questions of sellers such as “how much is your mortgage balance?” That one question used to really make me choke. The main reason for this was uncertainty as to how the seller would react to my question. Even when a seller refuses to answer your question, you are still gathering important information about that seller, namely that they are not particularly motivated. Usually a truly motivated seller will answer whatever questions you have.  Read More→

One of the most important aspects to a marketing campaign that is going to work is to create a solid mail piece for your business. These are key points for creating a solid direct mail piece that folks will respond to no matter what business you are in.

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is to “touch” your prospective customer or seller with “the dream”, or “the solution” to their problem. You’ll want to touch the basic emotions and the needs of your client or seller within the body of your letter, whether that is fear, relief, greed, pride or vanity.

  2. Keep it simple. The grammar doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. You want to reach this person at their comfort level. Keep your letter relaxed, personal and conversational.

  3. Use simple language; don’t fill your letter with big words or technical words or “industry jargon” that your seller or your customer might not understand.  Read More→

Get Paid To Buy Houses

Posted on October 10, 2016 by

So you think you can’t get a seller to pay you to take their problem home off their hands? I have heard many times from students, friends and relatives alike, “are you nuts, nobody would pay you to take a house off their hands.” Wanna’ bet??

There have been many instances where a seller needed to get rid of a piece of property quickly and they needed our assistance to help them make their problem go away. They were more than willing to pay us to make that happen. You have to remember that you are not in the business to make someone else’s problem your problem. We get paid to solve problems for sellers.

Now, you will never get paid to take a house off someone’s hands unless you ask. You never know what a seller will agree to until you ask them. The worst they can do is to simply say “no”. You just have to explain to them why they should pay you to take their problem out of their hands and outline the benefits to them of selling their property this way.  Read More→

Since this scenario has arisen for me in the past on a couple of really good deals with a lot of income potential, I thought I would take the time to explain to you how to deal with this kind of problem.

Sometimes you will put a property under contract with a seller, get all the way through the closing process right up to the time of closing and for some reason the seller changes their mind and decides not to sell to you. While this is not a usual occurrence if you are following through correctly with your deals, it does arise occasionally and you need to be prepared.

There are a lot of reasons this situation can occur. One main reason is that the seller may have gotten a better offer on the property after putting it under contract with you. Or maybe a relative or friend tells them they didn’t sell for enough money or maybe they just get cold feet and decide not to sell. None of these are a good reason for them not to sell to you, especially when you have a valid contract with your seller and have followed through as you are required to within the confines of the contract.  Read More→

Did you ever wonder why some people are really wealthy and some people barely live paycheck to paycheck? Did you ever think “Why can’t I be wealthy like them?” What do the wealthy people know that I don’t? “How did they get rich? These are all valid questions, but I would say, the reason why you are or aren’t a wealthy person is entirely between your ears. So what exactly do I mean by that?

It’s simply this. Wealth is based on a state of mind, not on how much education you have, how many hours you work, or who you know. A wealthy mindset is created by believing in who you are, who you want to be and where you want to go. It is said that our thought processes control the person we are and the person we become, and this is so true. I know a lot of people, many of whom are real estate entrepreneurs, who have become extremely wealthy and yet came from backgrounds of poverty and little or no education.  Read More→

There are several ways to use a Realtor to help you find good quality leads for your real estate investing business. If you have not already added a good Realtor or Realtors as a part of your real estate investing dream team, now would be a good time to do so. There are many types of leads your Realtor can generate for you so let’s discuss them one at a time.

The first service your Realtor should provide for you as a real estate investor is to e-mail you the expired listings on a regular basis. You will need to set up a way for your Realtor to be paid for providing these leads. One of the ways I provide payment to the Realtor I work with is to re-list some of these properties with the Realtor once I am ready to sell them. You see the Realtors I work with sees the “bigger picture” and you need to find someone willing to work with you on a long-term basis.

You need to take the time to find a Realtor who is very creative in the way they provide leads and sell properties for real estate investors, just as I have done in my own business. And you should be working with multiple Realtors in your business in order to find a variety of leads. Read More→

Using the people around you to locate motivated sellers for you is a great way to find even more deals absolutely free. Think about it, the more people you have locating deals for you, the more deals you are going to make. And personally, I always advocate “free” techniques for finding motivated sellers, especially those of you with a very limited budget for marketing.

So how are we going to find these people to find deals for us? Well first of all, look around you. Friends, relatives and co-workers are good sources of leads for you. They usually live, drive and work in different areas of town than you do and they come in contact with a lot of people that you simply won’t. So they are likely to bring you deals you would never know about otherwise.

You can also ask anyone who does deliveries to be a bird dog for you. For example, mail delivery, Fed-X or UPS delivery people are delivering packages all over your area and can tell you about vacant houses they may see. In fact, you could even give them some of your business cards to stick in the doors of vacant houses they find. Just have them write their first name on the back of the card so you can pay them if you get a deal from it. Read More→

While I personally don’t use a lot of post card mailings in my real estate business, they definitely have their place. One of the main uses for a post card mailing is to either test a new list before spending a lot of money mailing to it, or to canvas large areas at very little cost to you. Post cards are also a very inexpensive effective means to building your buyers list.

If you are going to implement post card mailings, there are several different ways to do them effectively. On my web site at www.marketingmagiclady.com, I provide you with resources to find list brokers so you can focus on the specific mailing you want to do.

One effective way you can create these mailings is to download your list to usps.com and let them do the mailing for you for the cost of mailing the post card including printing. The post card is simply black and white, no frills, but can be used to canvas specific areas or large areas with your message.

There are some good reasons you might want to do this. One reason would be to do a sweep of a particular zip code range or group of subdivisions you want to mail to in order to find motivated sellers. This is a very inexpensive way to accomplish this. Another reason would be to do post card mailings to specific areas with high numbers of rentals in order to build your buyers list. Read More→

So how are we going to get ready to have a conversation with our motivated sellers? I believe that readiness is a state of mind, and I have put together some ideas for you designed to help you have meaningful and successful conversations with motivated sellers resulting in profitable deals.

First of all, expect to be anxious and know that it’s okay to be anxious. You probably wouldn’t be very good at what you do if you didn’t care about the outcome.

Next, while you are feeling anxious, get in front of a mirror and practice what you are going to say to the seller. Do this more than once. The more you practice what you are going to say, the more comfortable you will be and therefore less likely to forget what you were going to say. Practice controlling your voice and be mindful of how fast you are talking. Your speech should be at a moderate volume and speed when speaking to a seller.

Remember to breathe! Practice what you are going to say all the way through without making faces, gasping or throwing out any expletives. Your seller doesn’t care if you’re speech is perfect, they just want to know what you can do for them to help them solve their problem. You might even want to practice what you are going to say in front of a spouse or close friend. Read More→

One of the concerns many of my students seem to run into is; once they find the deal, what do they say to the motivated sellers? How should that conversation go? On top of these concerns, many of my students say they are not really comfortable with having a conversation with a stranger, so how do they handle that conversation? How do you get over the “jitters”?

Okay, so you’ve practiced what you are going to say, you have a plan, you have your paperwork, you’ve probably procrastinated a little, then scheduled your appointment with the seller, so now what? You still feel those butterflies in your stomach and you’re still not comfortable with how the conversation with the seller is going to go. What should you say first? How should you make the offer? What if they ask you something you don’t know? What if they accept your offer? What if they don’t? Also remember that if you created your direct mail campaigns correctly in the first place you already have most of the information you need to have from the seller in order to create the deal. Read More→

You can also control the types of sellers who are contacting you and the types of properties you want to purchase. In a changing market, this ability to be flexible is especially important and using direct mail is the only marketing tool available that gives you the opportunity to pick and choose the types of sellers you want to deal with.

The more direct mail campaigns you do, the higher the response rate gets. So the more you do it, the less direct mail costs per lead and per deal. Direct mail is the only marketing technique out there that allows you to have these controls. I provide my students with a number of different types of direct mail campaigns to make sure they have the best opportunity to create more deals in their real estate investing business on an ongoing basis.

In addition, you are using your available marketing dollars to target specific types of sellers as opposed to other types of marketing like signage or an ad where you are hitting a much broader market area and hoping someone in that group has a property for sale. You should always have between three and five marketing techniques working for you at any given time and one of those needs to be direct mail marketing. I have lots of great information about other types of marketing tools on my website. Read More→

I am often asked whether or not there are still good real estate deals out there with the market constantly changing like it has been. The real estate market will always experience ups and downs and as real estate investors we need to be trained on utilizing the best tools to locate the motivated sellers within those markets. We also need to learn to be flexible in our marketing in order to bring in the highest number of new deals.

I often hear comments like, “you were just lucky” or “you got in on the real estate game when there were still lots of deals out there, it’s just not that way anymore”. Those folks couldn’t be more wrong in their thinking. This is just “stinkin’ thinkin’” as my friend Ron LeGrand would say. There are always deals to be made if you know where to look for them no matter what your local real estate market is doing. This is just a matter of having a marketing mind.

Using direct mail to attract motivated sellers is always one of the best tools in the real estate business for locating highly motivated sellers on a regular basis. I also utilize other tools along with my direct mail, such as lumpy mail pieces to make my direct mail stand out or I will send CDs to my sellers explaining to them why they should work with me. Using a little creativity with your direct mail campaigns will increase the response rate significantly. There are several reasons for this.  Read More→

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