It has been said that not much separates one investor from the next. The biggest difference is usually in ones ability to do what other investors can’t or don’t want to do. This could mean something as simple as picking up the phone and calling a private money lender or sticking with a direct mail campaign for one or two more cycles. This is especially important if you are looking to generate new leads or turn those leads into deals. It is not the investor that contacts a homeowner first, but the one who is willing to continue to do it that will end up with the deal.
The most important thing you can do in your marketing efforts is to be consistent. You may get discouraged with the results the first or second time you send out any letters, but this is part of the process. What you don’t see are the many people that have read your information and may be waiting for the right time to call. If you give up after those two mailings, you will never see the true value of your list and will be disappointed with the results. It is in these times that you need to push through and stick with you plan.
Even after you talk to a seller that may not want your services, it doesn’t mean you should dismiss the lead. There are very few instances when you will get a seller who is willing to go to contract after only the first or second conversation. A more realistic scenario has you sending multiple letters, talking over the phone a few times, meeting at the property and then waiting for them to make a decision. This could take up to several months and it is part of the process. If you give up at the first sign of resistance, you will not get many deals. What you have to understand is that many sellers don’t necessarily want to sell and will wait until they absolutely have to before they move forward. From the time a homeowner is four months late, until they are forced to move out, it could be several months. If you give up during this time you will surely lose the deal.
There are countless deals where an investor will talk to a homeowner, possibly even meet at the property, and disregard them when they ask for more time. The only way to stay on top of any incoming leads is to have supreme organization. Any system you come up with that will help you track and follow up with your leads will do the trick. Some investors go to extremes to come up with advanced spreadsheets, websites and applications that will help them stay organized. You may not need all that if your mailing volume is minimal, but you should have something in place to help you. On days that you are slow, a quick voicemail or email will help put you back on the radar of sellers. You never know when you are going to catch a seller at the right time. Even if you have left multiple messages without a response, it doesn’t hurt to leave a 15 second voice mail reminding them that you are around if they need you. It is small acts like this that can get you an extra handful of deals every year that you would not have otherwise had if you didn’t follow up.
Another common mistake that many investors, and business people in general make, is not following up after a closing. With every deal, there can be two realtors, two attorneys, a mortgage broker and a seller involved in the transaction. All of these people should receive some communication from you after the deal. These are people that you have an established relationship with having just closed a transaction and will be receptive to meeting with you. A nice handwritten letter from you to any of these parties can quickly catapult you to the top of their referral list just by that one act. Getting referral business rather than having to pay for leads should be your goal and you can do that by reaching out to everyone in every deal you are a part of.
You can talk to a dozen marketing, lead generation and business coach professionals and they will all say that the most important thing you can do to attract business is to be consistent. This deals with the way you present yourself on each transaction all the way to how you follow up with every lead. If you are not constantly following up or reaching out to try to get new contacts or new deals, you will fall behind your investing competition. The margin for error is very slim and in areas with a large amount of investors it takes doing little things like this to put you ahead of everyone else.
On your desk you probably have a stack of old leads that you either stopped reaching out to or never heard back from. In that same stack, there are probably a few deals that you can still get if you just follow up. It is up to you to reach out.