Good question, right? That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article, so keep reading…
I recently had another student ask me that familiar question, “Tony, here are some details of a lead. Should I talk to them? Is this a possible deal or not?”
Since I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count, I thought I’d tackle that exact issue right here & now, for everyone’s benefit.
Here’s a typical scenario… You’re going through Craigslist, Zillow, or any source of FSBO leads. Or maybe your VA sent you a lead. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but then you see something a little ‘different’ than what you think you should normally expect. And then you wonder, “Is this even a viable lead? Should I call the seller? Or should I just let it go?”
For example: You see a really ugly house, and you’re looking for pretty houses. Or you see a really pretty house while you’re looking for ugly houses. Or you see a really cheap house while looking for higher-priced homes. Or you see a really expensive house when you’re really trying to find cheap houses. Or maybe you see that a house is being advertised for sale by another investor! Or maybe there’s a house with a motivated seller, but it happens to be listed (with an agent)!
What To Do? What To Do!?!
First, don’t freak out. These things happen. Like, literally, ALL the time! (Millenial speak for ‘this is a common occurrence’)
Next, remember what our essential ROLE is. We are (Cue the trumpets) PROBLEM SOLVERS! Picture yourself arriving on the scene, hands on hips and cape on back, waving in the breeze (even if there isn’t one). We get paid massive sums of money to provide solutions and FIX people’s problems. In this other article, I talk about that very thing – how we are essentially looking for problems to solve in order to provide value to others & make money for ourselves in the process. I suggest you read it when you have the chance.
The downside of that is simply: If there’s no problem/issue to solve, we’re not going to have as strong a position to stand on to deliver value. Therefore, if someone doesn’t have much motivation or flexibility to sell their house, for example, we’re probably not going to be able to do business with them at that time.
For instance, if a seller honestly tells you that they don’t really care if they sell their house or not – that they’re just ‘curious & wanting to see what the market would be willing to pay for their house,’ then get the fuck off the phone immediately. You’re wasting your time, and no matter of skill or sweet-talking will ‘convince’ them to sell you their house on terms or a low enough price to do business!
This is why it’s SO important to be an effective PRE-Screener! So you can quickly identify who is worthy of your time or not. Naturally, I’ll refer you to my article, “The Art of Prescreening” for more valuable information.
With all that in mind, let me now answer the question: “Should you call them or not?”
The answer: “How the hell should I know?!”
Just kidding! The real answer is: “Yes, you should probably call them. What have you got to lose?”
And here’s why: Since you obviously don’t know what the heck is going on with them or their situation, you should go and FIND OUT! Why not call them up, channel your inner Columbo*, and ask a few questions to see what’s going on with them TO SEE IF YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING TOGETHER!
*Columbo was a TV Show Police Detective. If you’re old enough, you’ll recognize the reference. If you’re too young, sorry!
In the most recent case of my cool student asking if he should call the seller or not, it was because the For Sale By Owner Seller was also an Investor! Yes, I recognize that this may be confusing, because if you’re new or just don’t know any better, you might think that we shouldn’t talk to other investors, because they’re essentially doing the same thing we are, and we’d just be competing with them.
That’s the WRONG way to think! Why? Because other investors are just like US… They’re Businessmen (and women). They’re simply looking for a solution to their house issue. They’re (usually) not emotionally attached to their house like many homeowners are. In addition to that, they “get” that we’re looking to possibly structure a deal that makes sense, too, and are often okay with sharing some of the profit of the property if we can bring some value to the table. Truth be told, there are many times I actually prefer dealing with other investors over regular sellers, because of this fact.
For example, let’s say that you have several qualified tenant buyers you’re working with, but only one house to sell (or none!). You have a few people with healthy downpayment amounts, just ready for a house. But you don’t have another house to sell them! So what do you do? Well, one solution is for you to call up as many sellers as you can and try to work out a deal. Another possibility is to call another investor you happen to know and see if they have any deals they’re looking to get filled & can work out some terms with you. Maybe you can partner with them to get half the downpayment/option consideration if you bring the buyer to the table?
That’s just one creative example. This exercise is meant to get you to think.
Let me share a quick story with you. Several years ago, I DID have a tenant buyer who had a sizable downpayment & was really interested in buying a house on a lease purchase in Washington, D.C. I contacted a FSBO seller who was not only an investor but also a real estate agent as well! Double yikes, right?! Wrong! When I asked him what was going on with this deal, I found out that he just wanted to do something quick with the house & was more than happy to walk with only a $500 assignment fee. Since my tenant buyer had more than $10,000 to put down & I was all out of houses at the time, that was what we like to call a ‘no-brainer.’
So we got the deal done. Quickly & easily. Don’t you just love it when that happens? I know I do!
Now as tempted as I am, I won’t discuss numbers as they relate to deals here in this article. If you’ve been sufficiently trained, you should know that stuff by now. If you still need help in that department, you may just ask me. Who knows – maybe I’ll write another article here for you.
Instead, I’m going to focus on the concept of simply talking to people to find out what the problem/challenge/issue is, then finding a way to work together to solve that problem. From there, it’s merely a formality to work out the ‘numbers’ on the deal to everyone’s satisfaction.
Does that make sense?
So with that in mind, here’s the simple advice/tip I have for you today:
Network. Call people. Talk to sellers. Talk to investors. Call me crazy (you won’t be the first), but you can even talk to agents!! Contrary to popular opinion, they’re not (necessarily) the enemy!
Would you believe that I actually did my very FIRST DEAL with the help of a veteran real estate agent?! It’s true! She actually helped me put together a smokin’ HOT Lease Purchase deal that converted to 100% owner financing after one year (after I had shown the sellers that I was a man of my word who did what I said & paid on time).
Remember that you’re looking for what the PROBLEM or the PAIN is. In every deal, we’re looking to either FIND, CREATE, or EXACERBATE a problem so that we may then solve it. And get paid to do so.
This problem may be something related to them, personally, such as a divorce, death in the family, job loss or relocation, or just being a tired landlord. Or it could be with the house, such as it needs too many repairs, or they owe too much & can’t cash out because no one wants to buy it for all cash/get a loan at a high price.
Still with me?
So there’s your somewhat simple take-away. You just don’t know what’s a deal or not until you actually gather the FACTS. It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the SITUATION. What’s the problem? And can you find a way to solve that problem and get paid to do so?
All this and more will be revealed…
…When you simply pick up the phone and call them. Or talk to them in person, if they’re right there in front of you.
Get to be really GOOD at asking QUESTIONS to find out what’s really going on here.
Just like Columbo. 🙂
QUESTION: Some of the biggest challenges I’ve noticed with mentoring people is the HUGE lack of sales, communication & negotiation skills. Too few people truly possess them. Due to this fact, as well as the glaring omission of true quality training that’s available in this space, I’m seriously considering putting together a course or some training to help teach you the secrets of How to Communicate, Persuade, Influence, and Sell people in a way that is fun, smooth, easy, and profitable.
If this is something that you might be interested in, please let me know by simply sending an email to: [email protected] with the subject “Sales Training Please!” and any questions, suggestions, or comments in the email. If I get enough interest, I’ll do it…and it will incredible, because I have a LOT of super powerful secrets to teach here. Stuff that can massively change your life for the better, just as it has for me.
Again, if you’d like to see this, just send me the email now. Thank you!