One of the questions I find new investors stumble over is how often is it appropriate to contact a property owner when you want to buy their property? It’s a fair question to ask as there feels like a fine line between ensuring they’ve received your inquiry and scaring them away by seeming overly pushy or needy.
So how often should I contact the property owner? I keep reaching out until someone says explicitly not to contact them again, but I do it in a way that isn’t off-putting. I go to great lengths to show that I’m interested in solving their problems, not that I only see dollar signs when looking at them and their property.
Let’s dig a little deeper!
MY FAVORITE WAYS TO REACH OUT
There are a few different ways to reach out when you find a potential investment property. Thanks to things like social media and the internet, establishing a means of communication has become much easier.
Here are a few ways you can establish contact with an owner:
- Knock on the door – The most direct for sure, but if you’re not comfortable doing a cold face-to-face, you may scare them off before pitching your offer. Be polite and straightforward about why you’re on their doorstep that day. Your goal should be to get your business card in their hands and get their contact info to continue the talk. Don’t try to overwhelm them with info and numbers right away. Remember, they weren’t expecting you or your offer to buy their home that day, so take it one step at a time, or you may come off too strong.
- Call them – The second most direct and my favorite way to reach out. Picking up the phone and talking to them has had the best ROI for me. I keep my script for this short, just as if I were knocking on the door. I introduce myself, explain what I do and that I’m interested in finding out whether they’d consider selling their house, and then set up a time to meet. If they’re not interested, I take that as a “not interested just yet” and circle back around in six months. I don’t take them out of my prospect list unless they specifically tell me to.
- Send them mailers – Postcards are incredibly popular for real estate investors to use, and thanks to bulk mail rates, your costs to send these won’t be as expensive as you might think. Postcards are less personal than the 1-on-1 methods, but you’d be surprised how effective they can be with the proper messaging. Hire a graphic designer who has experience with real estate, as this is something you’ll want an expert to create rather than doing it yourself.
- Text – This may work for some, especially if you’re trying to contact younger homeowners who are less eager to talk on the phone. Try to engage them rather than sending a robotic-style text that’s only one message. Introduce yourself and explain the reason for your text quickly, then ask whether or not they’d be interested in meeting or getting on a call.
- Social media – If you can find their social media accounts instead of their phone numbers, try reaching out via direct message (DM). Keep your messaging short and try to be as personable as possible, as many people will be wary that you’re a bot or a scammer if you try to do a spam-style DM.
- Email – Be sure to personalize your emails as much as possible as you may end up in the spam folder, which can have long-term effects on your ability to use email at all. Many email providers will block a domain or email account if they receive enough spam complaints, so try not to send blanket sales emails.
HOW CAN I FIND THEIR PHONE NUMBER?
My preferred way to find property owner phone numbers is called “skip tracing,” a method borrowed from bounty hunting! It’s where you use software or a third-party service to source phone numbers linked to a property. You may get multiple numbers, with some of them being outdated, but it usually results in a successful match.
A bonus if you’re really confident: If the number is wrong or has been recycled to another user, you can still pitch your interest in buying properties to the person who answers! Who knows, you may end up with a surprise opportunity for a buy.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CONTACT THE PROPERTY OWNER?
Short answer: Until they buy, or until they die.
Long answer: I keep reaching out until someone says explicitly not to contact them again, but I do it in a way that doesn’t make me a nuisance and instead shows that I’m interested in solving their home problems.
My method is to create a list of fresh leads, then cycle through it at least three times. For those who I cannot reach or who aren’t interested just yet, I’ll move them from this “A” list to a “B” list.
I’ll revisit the “B” list occasionally, especially if I have interest from a seller who just wasn’t ready for my first call. Still, I never remove a lead from the list until they explicitly tell me to.
If you’re interested in taking the postcard route for your outreach, be prepared to send out a bombardment of postcards. Successful investors usually mail postcards every month, with some sending at least 10,000 postcards per week.
If you’re a new investor just diving into cold pitching, a good rule of thumb is to call three times, send a postcard, and then move the homeowner to your “B” list. Doing it will help you get more comfortable reaching out and fine-tuning your sales script as you encounter different sellers.
NO RESPONSE IS NOT A “NO”
I see investors do this all the time, and it’s frustrating because of the lost opportunities that could just be due to a missed call or postcard. Don’t let a lack of response deter you from continuing to reach out.
Don’t let your fear of rejection be the thing that stops you from facilitating opportunities! It’s better to assume that they’ve missed your previous attempts at contact instead of they’re avoiding you because you’re bothering them.
Which, by the way…
YOU’RE NOT A BOTHER, YOU’RE A PROBLEM SOLVER
Remember that they’re not doing you a favor by selling to you; you’re doing a favor for them by removing this headache of a property from their life! Instead of being intimidated by the sales process, change your mindset to realize that you’re not only an investor but you’re also a problem solver who removes undue stress and worry from your sellers.
Remember that to be a successful real estate investor, you need to have access to an inventory of properties. You only get that inventory by communicating with potential or eager sellers. The more persistent you are at establishing a habit of outreach, the sooner you’ll begin to realize profits in your business and start doing some really exciting things in the real estate space.
Give these tips a try, and let me know which one works the best!