How to Find Motivated Sellers

How can real estate investors find more motivated sellers and sign more deals?

Motivated sellers are extremely important for finding and signing attractive real estate deals. They are especially critical for real estate wholesalers who need discounted and underpriced deals on which they can make profitable spreads when flipping. So how do you connect with these property owners? How do you know which ones are deals, or not? How can you make the most out of every single motivated seller lead?

How to Get Motivated Sellers to Call You

Want motivated sellers calling you with their property deals? Consider these real estate marketing strategies.

Signs

Signs are one of the most common marketing tools for generating inbound calls. This might be bandit signs, billboards, bench ads, ads on buses and subways, and others. Find the right match for your location. Consider whether a local or toll free number may be the best choice. Get as much information as you can on traffic counts and demographics so you are placing your signs in the best place. It should go without saying that the key to closing these leads and any other inbound calls is making sure you answer the call. When you get too busy to handle the volume then hire assistants, use automated phone handling systems, etc.

Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a great way to generate inbound phone calls from motivated sellers. Take your pick from post cards, handwritten letters, newsletters, or something even more creative. You may even want to mix in and rotate all of these options. By using different codes, phone lines, or reference numbers you can split test different mailing options and their results. What is critical here is timing. Make sure you land your mail on the best days in order to get attention and responses.

Radio Ads

Radio may not be as popular as it once was, but it can still work. In addition to traditional radio there is podcasting, BlogTalkRadio, and mobile ads to run on phone enabled radio services like Pandora.

TV Advertising

TV also offers a variety of flexible options. Cable advertising can be far cheaper than some think. Perhaps you can land a spot on a reality TV show? Or leverage the audiences of popular television shows with other types of online marketing. You might cringe at the concept of a late night infomercial, but some of the most profitable businesses ever created owe everything to this method of marketing.

Magazines & Newspapers

Magazines, newspapers, community papers, and even online classifieds like Craigslist can all be channels for generating calls. Sellers may be specifically looking for a service like yours, or they could be searching for new housing or loans, and stumble on your ad. This doesn’t have to be traditional advertising either. Perhaps you can get a column in a local or national newspaper, or run an advertorial.

Real Estate Websites

Having your own website can be a great way to attract motivated seller leads to you. Get a good looking website, get some help with your SEO, start a real estate blog, and let the sellers come to you.

Online Ads

Google alone offers a couple a couple of powerful options for generating leads fast. Pay-Per-Click ads using Google Adwords can generate live calls from online searches, as well as image ads being run on other people’s websites. This is one of the most predictable, affordable, and scalable ways to generate seller leads fast.

Referrals

Paying for advertising isn’t the only way to get real estate leads. Try networking with other professionals and business owners. Let them know how you can help their clients and contacts. Get them generating calls for you.

Places to Find Motivated Sellers

Having both and inbound and outbound marketing strategy is smart. If you really want to get the deals then be working proactive outbond methods of reaching motivated sellers while your inbound channels are keeping your phone ringing.

The MLS

The Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service hosts millions of properties for sale. Yes, there can be lots of competition, and the vast majority of these listings may not be viable investment or wholesale deals. But there can be some golden nuggets to be found. Staying alert to new deals, watching expiring listings, and even having a Realtor on your team who can provide backend insight on who the motivated sellers are that may be willing to negotiate can all help yield results.

Outbound Calling

Don’t just wait for your phone to ring, or get lost in complicated marketing funnels. Grab your phone and start dialing. Call your neighbors, potential referral partners, agents, newspaper ads, Craigslist ads, or get a list of motivated sellers and blaze through them.

Knock On Doors

Run, walk, or drive your neighborhood or target area on the weekends. Look for distressed properties, signs of people preparing to move, and for sale by owner signs. Call on the spot, or if it is safe just knock on the door and make an offer.

Email Marketing

Emails can be one of the most efficient ways to market for real estate deals. Get lists, rent lists, trade messages to other people’s lists, or get people to sign up for yours. It costs almost nothing to send an email, or 100 or them. Send personal messages, newsletters, and more.

Social Media

Despite the complaints about privacy the world continues to post just about everything on their social media feeds. Facebook in particular may be a great tool for identifying distressed and motivated sellers. Who is having relationship issues, is relocating for work, just got laid off, is shopping for a new home, got hit by the last storm, or had a contractor run off without finishing the work?

Public Records

Even public records hold a wealth of data on motivated sellers. County records will show new mortgages being recorded, real estate transfers, notices of delinquency (NOD), foreclosure proceedings, property tax payments or delinquencies, liens, and more. If digging through this information becomes too time consuming then leverage software tools for getting organized access to this data in bulk, and in useable formats with owner contact info.

Property Scouts

Don’t just rely on your own time and energy to find motivated sellers either. Put others to work out there scouting for potential deals. Local contractors, appraisers, home inspectors, your teenagers, the homeless.

Making the Most of Every Motivated Seller Lead

Generating real estate leads is one thing, making the most of them can be quite different. Answering fast, and following up quickly is vital. Every second it takes to connect your odds of closing the deal go down, and the chances your competition will get it go up.

​In reality it is not that difficult to generate large numbers of calls and leads. But do be mindful that you are spending your time on viable deals. At some point you may want to use assistants to screen your leads. Whichever way you arrange your funnel you want to qualify leads as soon as possible. This includes running your real estate comps, testing their motivation to sell, is the numbers work, and that you are dealing with the real decision maker.

When you have a hot and viable lead time is of the essence. You need to make an offer ASAP, and get that deal in writing.

Not every lead is going to be ready to contract and sell immediately, even if they should. Some will need to work out short sales, others need to get other sellers in agreement, and some just need to feel a little more pressure that will come in time. That doesn’t mean you should toss the lead. Everyone can be a deal in the end. Put them in a database. Follow up, and automate your follow up as much as possible. Track both the property and seller. Are they receiving new code violations, is the foreclosure auction date looming, is their property value going up or down? Don’t be afraid to go back with another offer, maybe even a lower offer.

​Handled well each lead can be the opening for many repeat deals and referrals. That is true even if you don’t close the deal with the initial lead. Treat them well, build rapport and nurture the relationship. Ask who else they may know that may need to sell. Keep showing up in their lives, mail, email inbox, and voicemail over the long term. Chances are they’ll be moving every few years, and so will all of their friends and neighbors too.

Motivated sellers are where the money is. It’s is where the best profit margins, easiest deals, and fastest paydays are. Put the right tactics into play and get them calling you, and while you are waiting get out there and find more leads. Once you’ve got them keep following up and leverage each one into multiple new deals.

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