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Mastering The Phone

by Real Estate Maestro™

Every business should have a marketing and advertising budget, yours is no different. In a perfect world you set aside a specific amount of money that is used to drive customers (motivated sellers) to you. You wake up every day with plenty of email, 24 hour hotline, Free Report, Fax and referral leads. That’s in a perfect world.
The reality is that most investors enter this business on a shoe string budget. They try to hide the few hundred dollar home study course they purchased from the TV or Ebay from friends, family or even a spouse. They graze the material, try and apply some of the techniques and after a few weeks, usually three, they blame the market or the materials for their failure. they then box the materials back up and put them on a shelf until a future life event frustrates them to the point of pulling them back down and trying again.
If that sounded painfully true, you’re not alone.
If you don’t have the budget to advertise, then commit yourself to using the Phone!!
The purpose of the phone call is to extract information. What kind? As much information as you can that is important to you the buyer. I tell every student the same thing that was taught to me, real estate is a puzzle. Your job is to extract the information and put the puzzle together. Where do you start? It’s not about lot size, bedrooms or baths, you start with what I call the 5 key questions.
1- Price
2- Reason for the sale
3- Any major renovations needed
4- How long have you lived there
5- What is owed (mortgage balance)
What is your Price?
Hi. I’m calling on the home for sale. What is the asking price? How did you arrive at that price? This answer will tell you the level of the seller’s sophistication. If they paid for an appraisal or interviewed agents, you “may” have some data that you can use in your purchase structuring. If uncle Vince the tire guy gave them the price and he knows nothing about real estate then you may assume their sophistication level is low.
Reason for the sale?
This is the window question. The answer to this question will tell you how all of the other questions will be answered. The purpose of this question is to determine the motivation of the seller. If they are motivated, they will have no problem answering all of the other questions. If they are not motivated, when you asked what is owed it’s possible the seller might tell you, “it’s none of your business.” That’s ok; you should have known that based upon how they respond to the reason for the sale question. If they are not motivated, turn off your “take it personally button”. I like to ask this question early in the call because it’s an indicator on how the rest of the call will go. If they are rude at this point, I will bid them well and call my next seller. Time and circumstance have a way of leveling the playing field. A seller who was rude today may have to eat a lot of humble pie 6 months down the road when the property has not sold. That’s why you should always follow up.
Any major renovations needed?
I am trying to get a list of all of the repair items. From this list I can determine my repair costs before I go out to look at the house. I also call this a negotiation question. If you discover more repairs than were disclosed in your initial conversation, I suggest you use those as a negotiating tool when it comes to your offering price. I always try and give people the benefit of the doubt. If during my validation period I discover otherwise, I will ride that lack of disclosure until I get a nice price reduction.
How long have you lived there?
Your job as an investor is to determine how much equity the seller has. A lot of equity means you have a lot of options available to buy the property. A little bit of equity or no equity means you have just a few options for purchase. Asking how much is owed can cause some uncomfortable tension between you and the seller. I prefer to just ask what is owed, that will tell me a lot about their motivation. If you not comfortable with the straight approach, then ask “how long they have lived there?” If the seller’s response is many years, you can ask a follow up question such as “so you probably have a lot of equity is that correct?” This is a back door approach to getting the seller to talk about what the mortgage balance is.
What is owed?
If you’re comfortable asking it, do it. If not, how long have you lived there will work just fine.
From the basis of these five questions you will start to develop your purchase strategies which will lead to writing your offer.
Commit to using the phone every day 6 days a week. If you’re short on time you call until you talk to at least one seller. (Voice mail does not count.) This will keep you sharp and your lead funnel active.
You can be whatever you want!
Real Estate Maestro™

Real Estate Maestro™
Real Estate Maestro™ is a National Real Estate Instructor, Licensed Real Estate Agent and Active Investor. He was one of the founding Real Estate coaches for the Carleton Sheets organization. He has helped thousands of investors educate, orchestrate and activate their real estate careers. He can be reached at 1-877-MAESTR1 (623-7871) or at www.RealEstateMaestro.biz

Website: www.RealEstateMaestro.biz

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