Successful real estate investors use multiple strategies to complete seller appointments and sales call. Many people prefer to complete sales in-person. Sometimes it is possible to buy over the phone or videoconference. Every investor (or office) has their own policies and strategies.
At some point, however, you need to get eyes on the house. You need to see it. We have all lost precious time going out to a house that was just not a fit for our business model. Even if you pre-screen and ask the seller all the right questions to determine how serious they are, you might still find yourself knocking on the door for an appointment with the seller wildly unprepared.
Maybe it takes two or three times as long as planned to go through the house due to undisclosed repair needs. Maybe no one is there to meet you at all. Regardless, you are out several hours and a potentially lucrative deal.
If you are lucky enough to have an acquisitions team that is helping you buy properties, it still hurts you personally. Lost team member time costs you, the business owner, money. It may also lower morale and lead to frustrated and underperforming employees. Whether it is you or your team going to them, wasted appointments need to be eliminated from your business.
What are some ways we can decrease the number of wasted appointments? Some people have moved their entire process to be conducted over the phone or internet. It is much less personal but much more efficient. This is not my personal strategy, but I do know a few people who use it successfully.
I have been able to reduce dead-end appointments by speaking to motivated sellers in a group before ever seeing an individual house. I started using this strategy accidentally.
As you may know, I wrote a book, Home To Home The Step By Step Senior Housing Guide. Because I am a local author, a church in my area asked if I would come in and speak to some of their members. It was not a large or fancy gathering, just some church members who wanted to learn more about their options from the subject matter expert on Senior housing… me.
The day of this first presentation I was nervous, which was odd because I taught high school math for seven years. I love teaching. In the breakout room at the church there was not much besides some tables and chairs. I did not have a projector or any equipment. The only tools I had on hand were a box of my books. I gave each attendee a copy and started teaching out of it.
I did not go in with a sales pitch. My primary goal was not to get appointments or deals. The purpose of this speaking engagement was to provide as much education and value as I could in 60 minutes. But you know what happened?
At the end of the class people kept coming up to me saying how much they appreciated this information. A couple of ladies were crying. At first, I was terrified that I had done or said something wrong, but then they told me how confused and overwhelmed they were before and how grateful and relieved they were to have this information given and explained to them.
At that first presentation, there were about 20 people in the room. A handful asked about my real estate services, and I booked a couple of appointments on the spot. I knew these would be quality appointments.
After that I was hooked. As an author it is easy to book speaking gigs, both live and virtual. There are more options than you would expect initially, too. Places of worship, Senior, civic, or community centers, probate attorneys’ meetings, libraries, Rotary Clubs or other business groups. There are places that need to fill speaker slots. People are looking for training and education. If you have knowledge and expertise, you are qualified to speak at one of these places. They will be eager to put you on their schedule.
These speaking gigs are free. Honestly, when I first started, I would have gladly paid to speak at these places. If I get a couple of appointments to buy houses from a one-hour presentation, that is a great deal. Especially since, once you are at the appointment, the motivated seller views you differently. You are no longer just another dime a dozen real estate salesperson. You are the expert, the advocate. You are the person they trust because you gave them the knowledge and options they desperately needed. They met you when you were teaching a whole group and now they get to work with you one-on-one. Often, people cannot believe how lucky they are to work with you.
Speaking engagements can generate referrals as well. Maybe someone who attended does not need your services right now, but they have a friend or family member who does. Since everyone who attends leaves with a copy of my book, when people visit their house and see it on their coffee table, they ask questions. Now people I met briefly, once, are telling their network about my expertise.
Business cards and letters get lost or thrown out. My book will be sitting on their shelf or coffee table until it is needed. I never miss a timing bubble. And, if they attended my workshop, they have positive memories of me and would not dream of working with anyone else.
Why would you want to go one-to-one when you could reach 20, 30, or even 100 people at once?
People have a lot of worries and fears. Job loss. Foreclosure. Home health services. What do you know about that you can teach? How can you provide value now so that when someone is ready to sell, and everyone sells eventually, you will be the one they call?