This post is the second in a three part series on how to prepare, handle and execute a direct mail campaign for real estate investors in Houston, Texas. Part two breaks down what to do when the phone rings.. Part one, “before the phone rings” can be read here.

 

The mail was dropped to the post office and now the only thing to do is wait. For me, someone who is VERY impatient, this is tough. Why won’t the phone ring? Did they go out? Will it work? Why isn’t anyone calling?!?!?!

“The phone will ring. Stressing about it won’t make it happen any sooner” my wife would tell me. I know, I know, but it’s still unsettling. Then the first call comes. Should I answer it? We both look at each other, both thinking, “you answer it!” and it goes to voicemail. Well wasn’t that wonderful. Hopefully they leave a voicemail.

They did, but we didn’t land that deal from our first mailer. We did get a deal from that mailer. Fact is we made a whole $1,000 assignment fee on it. Bet your bottom dollar we celebrated. It took a lot of work for us to get to that point. Wholesaling properties is not an easy task. A lot of factors need to happen for you to land that deal. So when the phone rings, what are you going to do? Will you freeze like us or will you answer? My suggestion: Answer the phone. It might not ring again.

 

When the Phone Rings

 

As you’ve not doubt read from part one, you’re fully prepared to take the call from your first direct mail campaign. At this point in your investing career, it reminds me of a great quote from Mike Tyson.

 

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

 

But that doesn’t have to be you! So when the call comes in, you absolutely, unequivocally need to be answering the calls. Take every call you possibly can live. These people are calling you for a reason. You sent them a postcard or letter, promising to solve their problem. Have you ever called someone and hoped they don’t answer the phone? When you hear the voicemail, you can be relieved and hang up the phone.

Well in the case of the motivated seller, they could also be nervous. The sound of your voicemail could be the awakening they need to convince themselves they don’t really want to sell. And just like that, they’re gone. –Read that sentence using a Kevin Spacey voice.

Seriously. You don’t know how many calls we’ve missed, where I’ve called people back immediately and I’ve never heard from them again. I once left 12 voicemails on someone’s phone and they still never called me back. 12 voicemails!

 

What Big Ears You Have

 

What should you do with your big ears? Listen. That’s why you were given two ears and one mouth. When you’re speaking with a motivated seller, the ears are your best asset. Listen and take intentional notes.

Not everyone is going to smooth and charismatic on the phone, but you can certainly sound empathetic to the situation. When it comes to eviction leads, we’ve seen and heard a lot. Sometimes being a sympathetic ear will help build a rapport better than the others.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

 

When you’re first beginning, use a seller intake sheet. You can find them all over the internet. No need to reinvent the wheel. Use someone else’s, don’t pay for it, but find one online.

This sheet will give you the guidance and necessary steps to ask the pertinent questions pertaining to the house in question. It will also give you the confidence to help lead the conversation, without making it sound like you’re reading from a script.

The Address

 

No doubt when you’re sending direct mail, you’re sending out more than one piece per week? That’s almost laughable. I know some wholesale firms who are sending out 50,000 pieces a week to multiple markets across the country. But the recipients might not realize that. We come across this situation a lot and it sounds a lot like this.

After some small talk, I will ask for the address.

Me: “And what’s the address of the property you’re thinking about selling?”
Motivated Seller: “It’s on the postcard you sent me, don’t you know it?”

Of course you should know the address (insert sarcasm here), but as I said, not everyone is familiar with how direct mail works. Your best course of action is to approach the subject like this:

Me: “Every week my assistant and I sent out mail and unfortunately I don’t recall every address. If you could share that address with me, this helps me determine the most cash we can pay for your property.”

Diffuses the situation every single time.

 

Make Me a Bicycle, Clown

 

Quite often, you’re going to get tire kicker. These people want you to make them an offer full well knowing they have no intention to sell. Most of the time, they want you to make an offer on the spot. I use the similar method to the aforementioned:

Me: “It’s not company policy to make blind offers without doing some due diligence. Look at it this way Mr./Mrs. Seller. Would you buy a used car sight unseen without ever driving it? Of course not! You would want to test drive it and make sure it’s going to be a good fit for you and the family. Your home is a similar situation. I want to ensure we can make this a win/win situation for everyone, so by asking some proper questions, we can make you the highest cash offer possible. You want the most money possible, right?” — Of course they do, Everyone does!

 

Yes. No.

 

Some owners will not want to talk at all. They will give you the basic facts and that’s it. I always try to lighten the mood with a joke or be over-the-top happy. This can help loosen up the motivated seller and get them talking some more.

Are they truly being a stick in the mud? Ask them if now is a good time to talk. They did call you, but maybe they’re driving or in between things and their attention isn’t directly focused on the call at hand.

Keeping them on the phone is best, but if you’re not getting any information, maybe it’s best to try and call them again the next day.

 

Call Me, Maybe?

 

If you’re unable to take the live call from the seller and they don’t leave a voicemail, always, always call them back. I try to call them back within five minutes. If they don’t answer, I leave a voicemail. If they don’t have voicemail, I call again later. I’ll call again in the following morning. Then again that afternoon. I’ll do the same again the next day. Then after three days, I stagger the calls to once a day at different times. I do that for a week. Then if they still haven’t answered, I will call once a week for a month.

If they still don’t answer, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. But at least you can know it wasn’t you who let money slip away.

 

Honesty is the Best Policy

 

Before I hang up with every single person, I take the time to explain again who I am and how our business operates. That INCLUDES explaining to the motivated seller that we might not be the end buyer. Honesty is the best policy, so explaining to people how your business works will pay dividends later.

Here’s how I structure the sentence:

“We at Paradise Home Ventures are a real estate investing company. We look for properties, such as yours, look to always buy first, but if the property doesn’t fit our criteria, we are networked with hundreds of other investors who are qualified to purchase your property as well. So we might not be the end buyer, but we will help along the whole way.”

Because if the deal is a deal, we will absolutely consider taking the deal down ourselves. For instance, on transaction we had earlier this year, our first consideration was to buy with a hard money loan, fix up, refinance and rent out. But in the end, my business partner and I decided to just sell the contract instead.

 

This concludes part two of our three part series on “How to Handle a Direct Mail Campaign” for real estate investors in Houston, Texas. In part three, we will break down the best way to run comps, following up after your initial phone call, visiting the property and getting the house under contract.