Right now, it is a seller’s market. Homeowners are overwhelmed by offers; they know they have something that investors want. This puts the power and leverage in the hands of the motivated seller rather than the investor, wholesaler, broker, or agent. When the market is like this, it often feels like we are interviewing for deals.
Investors rely on financial leverage to close deals. When the homeowner is calling all the shots, we can feel hopeless and fearful that we will not be able to sustain our real estate businesses. However, my students and I have been able to thrive in these unfavorable markets by shifting the whole paradigm.
How? By focusing on being the educator and the advocate, the authority and the expert. Instead of our marketing being just one of many pieces sitting in a pile or being forced to interview motivated sellers as just another dime a dozen real estate investor begging to be chosen, we have homeowners seeking us out and qualifying themselves to sell their house to us.
Let’s take a typical example. A young woman called us recently with the usual motivated seller spiel. “I got your letter in the mail. Can you come over and buy my house?”
She wanted us to come over straight away, that very minute. We do not play that game anymore. We slowed the conversation down. “Have you gotten a copy of our book yet?”
Now she was playing on our terms. “Your book? Oh no, I did not. What is in your book?”
You see how quickly she went from thinking about me as a commodity to being curious about what I had to offer. Now, I could tell her, “I wrote The Step By Step Senior Housing Guide, but chapter three is for anyone looking to sell their house. It lists all the ways to sell your home including the pros and cons of each. We have our sellers read this.”
Any motivated seller would be listening much more closely at this point, and she was no exception. Which meant we had our leverage back. At this point I asked, “If I sent a copy to you today, would you read chapter three before I came over? If after reading the chapter you decide that you do not want to sell your house anymore, that's no problem. Just give us a call. We don’t want to waste our time or yours.”
This does not just help us as business owners. Homeowners need to know all the options available to them. Some people are best served working with an investor. Others reap greater benefits working with a real estate agent. Educating our clients allows us to serve everyone at the highest level, be selective about our deals, and build an excellent reputation based on honesty and trust.
There are numerous factors that go into the decision of what someone is going to do with their house. Should they fix it up or sell it as-is? Do they want to clean out the belongings or would they rather not deal with them? What is their timeline?
In our experience, arriving at an appointment and attempting to sell people on us, why they should pick us and why they should not pick other people, flat out does not work nearly as well as simply saying, “These are your options. Just pick for one of those. Some of them, we do. Some of them, we do not but can refer you to someone who does.”
People want choices. We give them the power to choose. The coolest part, however, is that we say you only need to read chapter three, but what do you think they do to the other chapters? They read them too, more often than not. Essentially anyone who receives a copy is investing several hours reading our book before we even come over. They invest time with us before ever meeting in person.
By the time we get over there, they already know, like, and trust us. We are no longer reeking of desperation. They view us as knowledgeable experts who respect their right and ability to make their own choices. We establish our credibility as real estate experts but more importantly we establish ourselves as professionals who are ready to listen and help. This positioning has significantly lowered the resistance to our offers and lowered the total amount of competition.
Honestly, nowadays I rarely buy houses where there are other investors involved, because why would a seller work with somebody else when they already have the person who wrote the book on the Senior housing – my preferred real estate niche.