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Real estate investor calling on For Sale By Owner's and For Rent's

Hi guys and girls, I'm glad I found this forum! cl2; I've read through a bunch of threads and theres lots of good info here! Maybe you guys can help give me some ideas for how to be most effective when cold calling some of the leads I work with.

I'm a real estate investor, I buy houses either cash or terms (meaning I'll pay cash at a discount, 70% or less of the full value..., or if the seller is willing to do a "rent to own" for full value).

One obvious source of leads for me is people who are trying to sell their house themselves/without an agent, or people who are trying to rent their house themselves and might be interested in selling (frustrated landlords, people who weren't able to sell before they bought a new place, etc.)

Right now my calls are pretty casual, I call up and say

"Hi I'm calling about the house in the paper/on craigslist?"

"My name is Chris and I was wondering, is the house still available?"

"Great! Would it be alright if I asked you a few quick questions about the house?"

"Okay, and basically I'd like to find out a little about the house and what condition it's in, how come you're selling it, and what you're looking to get for it so I don't waste any of your time. Would that be alright?"

(Yes, I ask permission to ask questions twice. The second time I want to set the agenda and let them know what kinds of questions I'm going to ask)

From there I have about a dozen questions which I'll go through, sometimes the seller will go on for a bit with details, which is fine since they're talking and investing time into the process (good to a certain extent, right?) and I'm gathering info to use later.

As I'm going through the qualifying questions and learning about their situation, I can usually tell whether or not the person has any motivation or urgency to do something, or if they're just seeing if they can sell it for their price, and if it doesn't sell it isn't a big deal. I get off the phone as quickly as possible with the people in the second group.

Most of the leads that make it past the first set of questions are people who would be a good match for my 'rent to sell' program, where I basically sign a set of agreements with them in order to market the property and sell the agreements to a tenant/buyer (which is how I get paid)

At this point I ask "Would you consider renting the house if you weren't able to sell it?" to find out what their openness to renting it out is. If they're dead set against renting it, or CAN'T rent it, it's over (which is fine). A lot of them are on the fence, or are open to it... They want to know my situation, why my family can't buy, etc., which leads to me explaining that I buy houses to fix up and sell or to rent out, and that I can't pay full price if I'm going to put up the cash, but that: "I also work with sellers who have nice houses in nice areas who are open to selling with Rent to Own. Are you familiar with how rent to own works?"

The problem I *think* I'm having is that I'm confusing people... they assume that I'm calling about the house for myself, then I explain that since I buy houses as an investment, I have certain criteria... and THEN I run the idea of Rent to Own by them, where I am technically the one who signs the contracts with them, but I'm not the one who'd be renting or buying the house. I don't seem to be getting much interest, and on the one hand I know that not everyone is interested in something like that... but I also know that this service is GREAT, because they can get someone into the house and paying for the mortgage quicker than waiting for months for a buyer to come along, they can get more $$$ for their house when it sells, they don't have to pay ANY fee's, commissions, or closing costs, AND it's a non-exclusive agreement so if they find a buyer or a renter before I bring them a tenant/buyer (who they get to approve or decline), they are free to do what they want. It just seems like a no-loose sort of offer with lots of upside and little downside...

Any ideas how I might change how I'm making calls, or suggestions for how to approach these calls better?

Thanks everyone! thmbp2;

-Chris - by speedingpenguin
It just seems like a no-loose sort of offer with lots of upside and little downside...
Hi Chris. I get the impression that the people you contact do not share your conviction. Tell me more about your best clients? What do they have in common? - by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Jeff, thanks for the reply!

I'm new-ish to the biz and I've only signed up 5 clients so I can only go by those as my "best"

One had been renting the property but decided to sell in order to put the money towards other projects (real estate). The house had been vacant for a few months while it was listed for sale, but never sold. I got it as an expired listing. The seller was open to renting it out again or selling it, it didn't matter, but he didn't want to be paying the mortgage on an empty house. That was a natural fit and an easy sell (As well as my first sale - before I even started studying sales!)

The next one was also an expired listing, it had been on the market for a long time but didn't sell, the owners were going through a divorce and neither was living in the house, though their daughter was. For them it was also a matter of not wanting to pay the mortgage on an empty house but their ultimate goal was to get rid of it (one had moved in with a new partner, the other was out of state for business long term). This one was interesting because the one on business was on the other side of the world, and I didn't speak with them until after they had both signed the contract.

The others were all people trying to sell their house themselves. One wasn't very motivated but was willing to try it, the other two were young, single professionals... one of them was tired of a long commute and just wanted to rent an apartment closer to work so it didn't matter to her if it sold then or a few years later as long as the mortgage was covered, and the other was in the same boat except she was recently divorced and wanted to move closer to family.

All of these have been "terms" deals (where I negotiated favorable terms, and gave them their price), but I'm also looking for sellers who's properties need work and are willing to sell at a deep discount.

Based on these as well as other deals I've seen done, it's usually someone who hasn't had luck selling their house the traditional way so now they're open to alternatives in order to move on with their lives, even if it means having to wait a few years to get cashed out... - by speedingpenguin
Based on these as well as other deals I've seen done, it's usually someone who hasn't had luck selling their house the traditional way so now they're open to alternatives in order to move on with their lives, even if it means having to wait a few years to get cashed out...
Regarding the problems you referred to previously, did you experience those problems with prospects who became your clients? - by Jeff Blackwell
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