“Driving for dollars” is one of my favorite methods for finding real estate investment opportunities. Using this method has unlocked some excellent properties for me, yet most people don’t understand it or know what exactly driving for dollars is. So let’s discuss what I mean, my tips, and dive into what a good driving for dollars script looks like!
A good driving for dollars script is short, friendly, and is used as the first step for finding real estate properties. Your script should quickly say who you are, why you’re calling, and then ask a specific question like “Are you interested in selling your home?”
But that’s a quick run over. While a good script is simple and to the point, there’s a little nuance that needs to go along with it. So before you start smiling and dialing, let’s talk about the best way to make driving for dollars script work for you.
Why Should I Drive Around to Find Properties?
Driving around to find potential real estate properties is something I’ve noticed many investors don’t do. In my opinion, not doing this legwork prevents you from seeing some great properties that might not normally come up on the MLS. Essentially, you’re removing a lot of competition by looking for distressed properties that aren’t in any database—in other words, you can only tell there’s a good deal to be had because you saw the property yourself.
When you start actively looking for potential properties, you’re getting eyes on the ground. Look for homes that are in distress or might need a little work. Things like a crumbling roof, a poorly maintained yard, or a broken-down car on the lawn tell you a lot about how the property is cared for and if the owner has any interest in maintaining it.
When you find properties that look like they might need a little love, mark down what things you notice, as this may come in handy when you’re beginning negotiations.
How Should I Contact a Homeowner?
After finding potential properties, you’ll begin marketing your services to the homeowners. There are a few ways you can do it:
- Call them directly
- Call them using an autodialer
- Send a postcard
- Send an email
My favorite method is to call them directly. What I do is use a skip trace to pull phone numbers that are associated with a property. This is a paid service, but it’s so cheap to do that it really shouldn’t be a factor in your investment strategy as it will save you a ton of time.
The skip trace will usually pull anywhere from 3 – 10 different phone numbers. While this might sound frustrating, it’s a blessing in disguise. We’ll talk about that later, but take my word for it.
If you’re finding many potential properties, it may be in your best interest to invest in an autodialer. This usually runs around $150 a month and will autodial a few numbers at a time. Dialing multiple numbers at the same time might sound counterintuitive – what if they all pick up? In my experience, you’ll be hearing more voicemail messages than actual voices, so the amount of time it saves you is well worth the $150.
You can also send postcards and emails that explain your interest in their property and how you can help them. In my experience, postcards are useful for follow-ups but aren’t as effective as getting someone on the phone.
If you don’t have a lot of time to speak 1:1 with homeowners or aren’t comfortable making cold calls, consider doing voice broadcasts. These are just pre-recorded messages that end up as voicemails. They’re an excellent stopgap, but I recommend getting comfortable making cold calls as they’re more effective.
Tips for When You Get a Homeowner on the Phone
So what should you do once you have the potential homeowner on the phone? I have a few techniques that work pretty well.
The main reason behind these discovery calls is finding out their motivation for selling. Your ideal prospect will be someone more interested in getting the property off of their hands than they are taking the time to fix it up. Listen to how they talk about the property and see if you can pick out key reasons that they might be a hot lead.
Some examples that I’ve found success with:
- Homeowners who don’t want to take the risk of throwing more money at the problem.
- Landlords who have problematic renters.
- Homeowners who want the property off their hands quickly and would instead take less money now than play the waiting game for more money later.
Keep in mind that when you get the homeowner on the line, they’re going to put a wall up immediately. Typically someone looking for the homeowner either means there’s a problem, or they’re a bill collector. Reassure them quickly that you’re neither.
What if I Get Someone on the Phone, and it’s the Wrong Number?
This is why I say getting a bunch of numbers off of a skip trace is a blessing in disguise. If you get someone on the phone and it turns out to be the wrong number, that doesn’t mean the conversation ends. Ask them if they have a property they’re interested in selling or if they know anyone who might be.
Ask this every time. You’d be surprised how often this method works!
My Driving for Dollars Script
Now that we’ve covered my philosophy behind driving for dollars script, let’s get down to it and talk about my actual script. But let me warn you: it’s probably more straightforward than you expect.
“Hi there, my name is Ryan, and I’m looking for the owner of [address]. Is that you?”
If they say it’s not them:
“No problem, I’m looking to buy a house in that area. By chance, do you have a property that you’re looking to sell? Or do you know anyone else who is looking to sell?”
If they say it is them:
“Wonderful! Don’t worry, I’m not a bill collector, and you’re not in trouble. I’m actually just looking to buy a house in the area and am wondering if you’re interested in selling.”
More often than not, you’ll get a “no,” but there is the occasion where timing and luck work out, and you’ll get a “yeah, maybe.” If there is interest, this is when I say:
“Excellent! Tell me a little bit about the property. Why are you interested in selling?”
And then we go from there. But that’s it! It’s short, simple, and wastes as little time as possible while getting to the point.
What Should I Do If Someone Calls Me Back?
Next, let’s navigate what to do after you start your outreach strategy. Once you begin regularly making calls, you’ll inevitably get calls back from tire kickers wanting to know what you’re about. How do you handle it?
First, I recommend getting something like a Google Voice number. This is a number that will forward calls to your phone or can be used as a voicemail-only line. I advocate going this route because you’re going to get people who aren’t happy that you reached out to them. Having this number set up removes the risk of them getting your personal number and ruining your day.
It’s also good to have a dedicated business line, and since Google Voice is free, it’s the easiest way to go.
I have my Google voicemail set up with this message:
“Hey, this is Ryan, and I’m looking to buy properties in your area. If you’re interested, leave your name and phone number, and I’ll get back to you with a fair offer. If you’re not interested, no need to leave your name and phone number.”
Once I get a voicemail, I try to call back as quickly as possible so that I catch them when I know they’re free.
Want a copy of my script? Text your email to 435-294-0433, and I’ll send it over for free! We also have our Driving for Dollars App that tracks your driving, skip traces for you, sends postcards, and hooks up to over 160 million property records in the US.
Hopefully this helps and good luck finding your next deal.!