Remember all that momentum that I had going before vacation? It’s G.O.N.E.! I thought I was doing pretty good when I got back but it all slowly ground to a halt. The 12 days off or so really got me back into the lazy, TV watching mode which I’m going to strive to break again. It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into old habits, which is not fair considering how hard it is to break them. One good habit I got back into was going to the gym though. On the cruise my wife and I went 9 straight days and I got back to running 3 miles. So at least I didn’t become a total lazy bum.
Now I’ve got to get my real estate investing cranked back up. My goals is to get as much marketing out there as possible to these probate leads to get that phone ringing! I’m actually going back to my original list for Oct-Nov and re-mailing them. My new strategy is to put each list on a 8 mailer course.
- Letter (assuming I mailed this on Jan 1st)
- Postcard – Jan 15th
- postcard – Feb 20th
- Greeting Card – Mar 20th
- postcard – Apr 20th
- postcard – May 20th
- postcard – Aug 20th
- Letter – Dec 20th
The reason for me mailing more is that after talking with some other probate investors they reasoned with me that you want to hit them in all phases of the emotional process. I’m not trying to take advantage of emotions from the passing of a loved one, but more the emotions of taking care of a second house. People are always in different situations when they inherit a house, so let’s break it down and you’ll see what I mean.
Opportunity#1: When the house is currently still in probate. Some estates may need to sell real estate during the probate process to pay off liens or debt. This is a tricky time to contact the executor because it’s highly emotional for a lot of people and I actually choose not to go ofter this opportunity.
Opportunity #2: House has passed through probate and the heirs have inherited real estate. For those heirs that live in other states or even a few hours away they just might want to get rid of the house and collect as much money, as quickly as possible. This is a good place to start shooting for. It could be about 1 to 2 months after the probate file has been filed in the court house. At first I was mailing 4 weeks out, but I’m going to change that to 8 weeks. The reason for this is that I’ve been finding that after 4 weeks people are still very emotional about the loss of their loved ones and aren’t ready to sell. I have gotten some callers who are interested in selling at some point, but are willing to hold onto the house if they don’t get a price they want. My conclusion is that these people just had a house dumped into their laps and they are seeing money signs or they simply aren’t really sure what they want to do just yet. But at least they now know you are an option.
Opportunity #3: End of the month. What happens at the end of the month? Many bills, mortgage payments or rent are coming due and someone may need to sell their inherited house in order to get enough money. This is about the point where the new owner realizes how much work the house needs in order to get retail for it.
Opportunity #4: House is becoming a hassle. A couple months of visiting the house to make sure the exterior is kept up, nobody has broken in or just to check up on anything is getting old.
Opportunity #5: Property Taxes, Utility Bills and insurance are becoming costly. How much money is it worth spending on a vacant house in the hopes of getting retail prices down the line?
Opportunity #6, #7 & #8: At this point they’ve tried to sell the house retail and have gotten very little interest or no interest at all. Maybe even had a deal fall through. My goal here is to keep my name in front of their eyes. I may even send out a mailer 1 year later just to catch any houses that are left.
I’ve put a lot of thought into this and may have to negotiate an increased marketing budget with my wife in order to pull this off, but I will do what it takes to come up with the money one way or another. I’ve got to get a deal working because I’m running out of pre-deal stuff to write about, haha.
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