Probate Monday: How else to bring in calls

Scott CostelloAll 6 Comments

Probate MondayI sent out my mailers last week and have only gotten two calls.  One was a guy calling to tell me I sent the letter to a retirement community.  He was wondering what I was trying to accomplish.  For one it’s not trying to buy into a retirement community full of condos, haha.  The guy was nice and was just trying to help me out by letting me know that pretty much any street named after a president in Rockaway is a part of a larger complex they have.  I will be filtering those out in the future.

As for the other call, I missed it cause I was not near my phone and they left no message.  Crap!   Although as Shae has told me before, “if they don’t leave a message, then they aren’t really motivated.”  They are still getting a follow up postcard though.

Bringing In More Seller Leads

I’m on a pretty tight budget, $200 a month for my marketing.  This $200 comes out of my family’s money so I’m very hesitant to pull more out until I can prove to my wife that real estate investing is a viable money making strategy.  This is how the $200 gets spent…

$97 Probate Leads
$15 Envelopes
$38 Stamps
$5 Printer Ink
$0 Paper (I get the paper free through a friend)
$30 Postcards through
$185 Total per month

On the average month, I’m left with $15 to spend on marketing, plus what ever extra I pull in from affiliate sales on this website and adsense.  The ideal situation would be for me to earn more money through this website in order to support a higher marketing budget so I can expand my mailers.  Since that is not the case right now I’ve got to start being more proactive and clever.

My next steps to getting in front of more sellers

Leveraging the MLS: Starting this week I will be doing searches for Short Sales, Bank Owned properties and Estate Sales and making offers on those houses.  I will have a different strategy for the Short Sale listings.  I will call up the listing agents and tell them I have a person (Nick) who wants to buy short sales in the area and then let them know what Nick’s criteria is for making an offer.

Going to open houses and networking with other Realtors: This will obviously have to wait until I’m mobile again, but it puts me right in the face of realtors.  My main agenda here will be to talk them up about letting Nick handle their short sale listings.  I will also let them know I look to purchase estate sale listings.

Posting ads on craigslist: I haven’t had a lot of success on craigslist over the last few years.  I did manage to sell my car one time, but that was it.  The one thing I do attract when I post ads, is a constant spamming of my in box asking me to visit this great real estate site.  Even so, it only takes a few moments to place an ad on craigslist so why not?  I’ll be advertising for Short Sales listings, Estates and what ever else I can think of.

Contact estate asset selling companies: This one actually just came to me as I was typing this post.  I will locate and contact companies that sell the assets in estate sales and offer to refer them to any sellers that I talk to in exchange for some leads they may be able to supply to me.  Seems like a win-win situation

Get some birddogs to look for me: Not really sure how to go about doing this, but I’ll start posting ads tonight on craigslist to see if I can rangle up some birddogs who might be willing to locate houses for me in exchange for a $3000 finders fee (actually I might not be allowed to do that as a Realtor).  If anyone has had experience doing this I’d love to hear how you went about it.

Well, those are my action items for the next month and beyond that should aid in bringing me closer to my first deal.  If you have any other ideas please leave a comment.

Scott Costello
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Comments 6

  1. Scott, I know in IL a Realtor cannot provide compensation at closing to anyone besides another Realtor. This is one of the reasons I let my license expire. But, NJ might be different.

    I think Birddogs are underrated, I've put quite a bit of thought into a birddog network and have my birddog plan on the back-burner right now (my structure is going to cost quite a bit in attorney fees).

    Maybe, as a Realtor you could get around the compensation legal-issue if you create a contract for your birddogs to use where you have the exclusive right to become the contracts' assignee for a markup….just thinking out loud…of course your lawyer knows best.

  2. I don't pay them a fee. I make them a principle in the transaction. That way you can pay them legally and not have to issue them a 1099.

    *I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Consult your attorney before taking action.*

  3. I'm positive the same rules apply to Realtors in NJ as well. I will have to look into this a bit more before taking action or not.

    Maybe I can get other Realtors to be my birddogs 🙂 Then I wouldn't have this issue.

  4. For what it's worth, I've never paid a bird-dog more than 500 bucks.

    Finding leads is one thing. Negotiation and having the guts/experience to work a signed contract through the process (wholesaling etc…) is how to get paid anything more than a few bucks.

    I have had other wholesalers approach me with contracts that they wanted me to put out to my network of buyers which I then took an assignment fee (we split it), but as far as I know, a bird-dog is just bringing a 'lead' to the table and that gets 100-500 bucks.

    I'm also a licensed realtor, so if I end up listing the property, I will 'hire' the bird-dog as an assistant and pay as 1099 employee. It's all nice and legal and OK with the MLS board. Hire'em and fire'em as needed. Duties? bring me deals. Easy peasy.

    Or pay them under the table. I have paid for 'tall weeds' leads as well. $10 bucks apiece. Depending on the foreclosures and vacancies around, this can work too. Tell them the neighborhoods you want leads from and only pay for each house once. Do your research and start dripping the owners. Send a color photo of the front of the house with your pitch-letter.

    Keep rockin Scotty! You'll get there-
    Taylor in CA

  5. Thanks for the great experience tips! I've been throwing this idea around for awhile, just trying to figure out how to get it to work legally. Thanks

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