The competition for motivated seller leads has only become more intense as time marches on. Economic instability directly translates into instability for your own operations. Sometimes you can’t miss a lead if you tried, other times it becomes a dry desert out there when it seems like nothing you do can bring you enough GOOD leads to make some headway.
An experienced marketer knows that there always is opportunity, you just have to get creative with how you go about finding it. Typically, you will find opportunity when you come up with a solution for a common problem and let everyone know about it.
What is a Motivated Seller?
One way is to target people who are HIGHLY motivated to sell. Motivated sellers are people who need to be done with the house sooner rather than later. This can be for several reasons: foreclosure is imminent, life or career circumstances demand they relocate to a different area, the home is inherited, and they have no intention of keeping it, or even a divorce that means the household needs to be liquidated and the proceeds divided among the soon to be ex-spouses. Another reason may simply be that the home is in great disrepair and the owner doesn’t have the money to invest in those much-needed repairs.
Then you need to have a buyer for these kinds of houses. This is wholesaling. Instead of holding onto the house to improve and sell at the highest price possible, you can sell a large number of these houses quickly. While the profit may be smaller, it is also less risky and provides your company with fast revenue flow. If you have a way to let all motivated sellers in a geographical market know that you will buy their homes immediately with no need for repair, you can become flooded with people who are not expecting top dollar and need to make the deal fast.
The MLS system is not a good way to get these kinds of leads. Too many real estate agents are watching the Multiple Listing Service like a hawk. Also, many of these people are looking to maximize their sale price, not to get rid of the house as fast as possible. While it is possible to find some motivated sellers through MLS, it is very hard and not worth the time.
The “off market property” is the best way to get truly motivated sellers. These folks have their reasons for not listing the home and not talking to an agent. Sometimes the owner does not actually live in the home and won’t be nearby to do showings on a regular enough basis. The person’s life may be so stressful that they just don’t have the confidence or energy to deal with a realtor. If a sympathetic and understanding person were to contact them, it would make their lives so much easier!
So where are these opportunities? Well, maybe you can find some at REIA assemblies. Real Estate Investor Association meetings may bring you into contact with other wholesalers. Deals will however be a bit hard to make since everyone is trying to profit. You might have a better time finding the buyer here. Mailing letters to certain groups of people can be effective. If you target people involved with probate, you may find someone who is inheriting a house they don’t want. Also, if you see abandoned homes in the community, it doesn’t hurt to investigate that situation further and reach out to whomever owns it. If you have a budget, you can always advertise that you buy homes in any condition fast. This is effective, but it does require some extra money to do effectively. The internet is quite possibly the most cost-effective way to acquire motivated seller leads.
Find Motivated Home Sellers Online
Many people will think to list their home on common internet classified websites like craigslist. You certainly should be trolling that all the time. Finding these leads this way is great, but you only get the leads you proactively find. There is a way to have motivated sellers coming to you! You can easily target motivated home sellers online with organic search marketing. This is the most cost-effective way to conduct outreach to this under-served market. It almost goes without saying that you need a website and social media presence. Your website should clearly state the advantage of selling a home to you or the local home buyer you represent. Your sales copy should mention all the common reasons for a home owner to be so motivated to sell now. So that means at least touching on the subjects of divorce, foreclosure, work relocation, and inherited homes to name a few.
Then mention how easy your solution is. How many steps does it take to sell a house to you or your client? If it is only a few, then say so. Selling houses traditionally is a long, complicated, and expensive process. Mention all the downsides to selling your home the old way, like inconvenient showings where you must let strangers walk through your home while you still live there, paying a real estate agent, haggling with people who may ultimately go elsewhere, and the list goes on.
After that, just give them a convenient way to let you know about their home. You can place a form on the website to make it even easier on yourself as you let the lead give you all the pertinent information you need to decide if you want to pursue it or not. You can also give them your phone number and email address. In particular, older people are going to want to call you first, so giving them a number you can reach at any time is key.
As for social media, you should be looking to join communities targeting real estate, but you can also think outside the box. Think about joining communities that target the career minded. These people may be willing to pick up and move all over the world for work, which means selling their house. Another is a community targeting people who are down on their luck financially. For obvious reasons, people like that may be looking to get rid of a house that is stressing them out.
With an initial investment in these activities, you will eventually gain a prominent presence in front of your customer. As proven by the outstanding success of this major wholesale buyer of houses, attaining motivated seller leads organically will prove to have a large ROI in time!