Once you make a decision to put yourself out there by marketing yourself to sellers, the next part (and often the most challenging) is knowing which leads to focus the most time and energy on.
When I first started marketing, I quickly learned that leads of any kind don’t come for free, so I had to be careful to be sure I did not waste them. By wasting a lead, I mean underestimating the value of a lead and therefore not putting much (if any) time into reaching them with my message.
Honestly, I didn’t think much about the value of one lead over another. I mistakenly thought that all leads were the same and therefore had equal value. Soon, I realized how wrong I was about the lead evaluation process and it was then that I found out that I was throwing money away (literally, in the trash)
When using direct mail in your approach it's common to get returned mail back when your mail piece cannot reach the seller. This of course only happens if you a sure to include a return address on your mail piece (using a return address on your mail pieces is a golden nugget, you’re welcome).
Over the years I have met thousands of investors from all over the world. I often ask those who use direct mail what they do with the mail that comes back undeliverable. I can honestly say that over 80% of the people I have asked this question to have told me that they remove the bad addresses from their mailing list and discard the mail piece.
That’s it, in the trash it goes!
Please know that the tougher it is to locate someone the better the lead quality is. That’s because most of any competition you might have will give up at the first sign of difficulty in reaching the hard-to-find seller.
Think about the sheer number of people that talk about wanting to invest in real estate, buy the books and courses and never take any further steps. The majority of people who want to be investors simply quit at the first sign of hard work. The same is true for most things that lead to financial success.
This reminds me of a situation that is going on right now with one of my students.
He just did a mailing to his list of motivated sellers and received a handful of them back as undeliverable. Taking my advice, he decided to skip trace those returned postcards to see if he could find a better address to mail his postcard to. The seller had an uncommon name so he began the search by using good ole’ Google to see what he could find on the person. Low and behold it turns out the seller was arrested for committing a double murder and is currently serving two consecutive life sentences for his crime. Needless to say, my student now knows where this seller can be found literally for the rest of his life.
Most investors upon hearing this would turn and run in the other direction, but not my student, he is working through the problem until he can have the opportunity to sit down in front of this seller and begin to help him solve his real estate problem.
Imagine looking through bulletproof glass sitting face to face with a cold-blooded killer! Worse, imagine negotiating the sale of an apartment building with one!
The reality is that he has found a seller with a problem that likely needs a very unique solution. This ladies and gentlemen, THIS is how creative deals are born.
So far, he has used his Propstream account to search the property’s public records and recorded documents that the mortgage is current. Further searching on Propstream revealed his lawyer recently filed a Lis pendens on the property which we imagine is a strategy to use the property as collateral towards the payment of legal fees of defending the client who is now in prison.
In speaking with the prison officials, he was told that in order to visit the seller in prison he would need the seller’s authorization to accept his visit. The next step is to begin writing letters to the seller in prison so that he helps him see the benefit of accepting such a visit.
Stay tuned for updates on this real-world true story.