Lead generation should be the backbone of your investing business. If you are not bringing new leads, your business will quickly dissipate. It doesn’t matter what your preferred generation method is – if you aren’t following up on leads, they are useless. Most deals are gained or lost based on how quickly and how well you are with your follow up. Whether you like it or not, your personality and your approach are major factors in securing leads and interacting with sellers.
Most sellers make their opinion of whether or not they want to sell to you within the first five minutes of meeting with you. When you sit down with a potential seller, the last thing you should talk about is the property. This may seem counterproductive, but you need to put yourself in their shoes. They have probably been bombarded the last few months by realtors and investors all looking for a piece of their property. This is in addition to dealing with phone calls from their lender and constantly wondering what they will do next. Even though they know they need to sell, and in most cases probably want to, you shouldn’t jump right in and start talking about the property. If you can build a rapport in the first few minutes, it will have a greater impact than anything else you can do.
The property and specific numbers will be there after you get to know your seller and find out exactly what they are looking to do. Other than losing a deal at the closing table, there is nothing worse than working with a seller for months only to have them back out after twelve weeks. Even if your seller is in foreclosure or dealing with a short sale, you still need their consent to buy. If you are constantly talking about money and what you need them to do and when to do it, they will slowly start to sour on working with you. There are plenty of other investors they can work with. The thing that will keep them working with you is you.
From the time you pull up to the property, the seller will make an impression of you. Everything from the clothes you wear to the pen you use will be evaluated. Most sellers don’t mind that you are making money on the property, as long as you are upfront with them. Nobody thinks you are working for charity, so there is no use in lying to them to trying to be evasive when they ask you. The reality is that until you take ownership and see exactly what you have, there is no real way of knowing what work you will need and what you can sell the house for. You can tell them if you intend to flip it or rent it, but for how much you aren’t sure yet. This will help create a trust factor and will keep them wanting to sell to you and only you.
You need to approach each seller independently and listen to what they have to say. There will always be time for numbers and procedures in the future. If you push the process, your seller may never get to that point with you.