By Mike Baird
In the time that Greg and I have run Property Bank, I’ve noticed a lot of patterns in new investors’ flipping mistakes. They tend to think that flipping is a linear process and that they can work on one thing at a time when they really should be multitasking as much as possible. If you want to run a successful business flipping houses, you absolutely have to have a full lead funnel. When you finish a flip, you have to be well on your way to closing on the next one and starting the whole rehab process over again.
Converting leads to flips, though, is absolutely essential to the whole process. If you have a full funnel, but you’re scared to talk to sellers, you’re going to have a lot of trouble. And that’s the other big problem I see with a lot of new flippers – they just don’t know how to talk to motivated sellers.
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually a lot easier than you think, and it all starts with a phone call. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to talk to motivated sellers on the phone, it can all end with that phone call, too. So, let’s talk about how you can get your sellers to trust you and want to sell to you over the phone.
You’re in the Business of Trust
First, before I get into the actual details, you need to remember that you’re in the business of trust. Your entire career as a flipper depends on building relationships and getting people to trust you. You’re also in the business of helping people. You help motivated sellers out of bad financial situations, and you help new buyers into beautifully restored homes. Keep this in mind every time you pick up the phone to talk with sellers.
Ask Questions and Be a Great Listener
Next, whether you’re calling the seller or they’re calling you, make sure that you ask the right questions and that you really listen to the answer. After you’ve introduced yourself and let them know what you do and how your business helps distressed homeowners (if you’re cold-calling them), your first question should always be, “Do you want to sell your house today?”
Then really listen to what they have to say. Don’t interrupt them or cut them off. Instead, take notes on what they’re saying and ask questions if they pause or seem to be finished. People don’t necessarily want to open right up and talk about all of their personal and financial problems with a stranger on the phone, but the more you listen, the more they’ll feel relieved to continue talking to you about the property and what’s led them to sell it.
You can ask them about what repairs are necessary, when maintenance was completed, and other questions about the property at this point, as well. The more you listen, the more you’ll find out about the property.
Find Out Their Goal for Selling the House
Then you can ask them what price they would like to get for the house today. If it’s a little bit high, be gentle and polite. Ask them what their goals and needs are. These could include avoiding foreclosure and/or getting enough cash for a down payment, among other things. The more you know about their situation, the better equipped you’ll be to make an offer that works for your budget and meets their needs, too.
Like I said, you’re in the business of helping people and building trust and relationships. If you show your sellers that you care and you really listen to them as you talk about their properties, you’ll make a lot of really good deals for your business. Want more helpful tips on talking to motivated sellers? Check out one of our Property Bank preview events near you.