Congratulations on choosing real estate as a means to generate wealth and create cash flow. I made that decision 16 years ago and it changed my life. I now spend my days doing the things I love and doing those things with the people I most care about. Our current real estate market is one of the best I have ever seen. Many millionaires will be made in the next few years as a result; will you be one of them?
Over my investing career, I have done some very profitable deals and I’ve also done some deals that cost me money. Most of the deals that cost me money were caused by my greed or lack of discipline. Over the years, I have created certain criteria that have proven to generate profits. When I have deviated from them, I’ve lost money. One such criteria is to NEVER deal with unmotivated sellers. If you allow yourself to become more motivated to buy (or sell) than the other guy, there is a much greater chance you will lose. Don’t do it! You are much better to "pass" on those deals and focus on the ones that will make you money. Learn to balance your need for a deal, with your need to make money! I never want to hear you say: "I’m gonna make this deal work, even if it kills me!" Big mistake.
One of the easiest ways to avoid dealing with unmotivated sellers is to generate enough leads to be able to filter through to find the right ones. Creating an effective marketing plan will provide you with the leads you need to make good deals. Too many times, I see new investors spending their marketing dollars in the wrong places. There are plenty of folks that are happy to take your money to provide you with "the best" marketing tools. If you are only generating a couple leads a week, you aren’t talking to enough sellers. Options for marketing include yellow letter campaigns, pay per click, websites, direct mail, Craigslist, auto dialers, bandit signs and others. While many of these can be effective, always pay attention to your cost per lead. Spending lots of dollars does not always equate to doing lots of deals. Some of my most effective marketing techniques cost very little. Bandits signs (if used properly) can be very effective. On Saturday April 18th, I will be sharing in much more detail many of my most effective marketing techniques. We will discuss hunting vs. fishing and creating residual marketing plans. If your marketing is done properly, the deal of the century will come around every few weeks!
Today’s market is very different than it was just 6 months ago. The MLS is very competitive and finding deals there is difficult. It’s time to market directly to sellers, and that also means being able to effectively communicate with sellers. Understandably, many new investors have anxiety when speaking with sellers. Sometimes it’s the fear of saying the wrong thing, or not having an answer to a seller’s question. The most important that you can do as a new investor is relax! A motivated seller is looking for help. As a real estate professional, you offer help, and it’s OK if you can’t answer every question. Try this the next time you fumble for the right answer: "Mr. and Mrs. Seller, that’s a great question. Let me do a little research and get you the answer. Can I call you back later today at 4:30?" This does a couple things. First, it shows that you are real, nobody has ALL the answers. Second, it gives you a chance to get off the phone, review your conversation, and do some research. Then you can follow through on your promise to call them back. By making this promise and following through, you create credibility with your seller. You need several contacts (or touches as it’s called in the sales profession) to build rapport. I have used this line very successfully in the past, (even when I knew the answer to their question!)
These are just a few tips to becoming successful as a real estate investor, over the last 15 years I have accumulated many more. Please join me on April 18th as I cover a myriad of topics vital to kicking your new real estate investor career into high gear. Bring your questions and notebook and be prepared to learn!