It is true that the best ideas are sometimes driven by necessity!
We recently launched a company called 1-800-CashOffer because we saw a huge unmet need in the marketplace.
Residential real estate investors serve a very important function in the real estate economy. By purchasing, fixing up and selling property that is in disrepair they improve neighborhoods, increase property values, and provide an outlet for property that would otherwise sit vacant. They purchase homes going into foreclosure and both save a person’s credit in a tough situation and provide an outlet for the bank to quickly sell the property (banks do not want to foreclose, they do so because they have to).
Unfortunately, because of the actions of a few un-educated, un-professional, and un-scrupulous investors that have gone to a get-rich-quick seminar – the industry has started to get a black eye. The increased rate of mortgage fraud some so-called investors have been involved in has not helped any.
1-800-CashOffer was created so that scrupulous, honest investors that have the ability to purchase a home for cash and close quickly, can operate under a national reputable brand that consumers can trust.
Home sellers can feel confident that they will be treated right and that the real estate investor is experienced and will follow through on their commitments.
We have combined 1-800-CashOffer with our “Certified Professional Homebuyer” program that certifies an investors experience level and ability to purchase a home quickly for cash, in addition to holding them to a higher standard of ethics.
Have you seen Spot Runner?
It has always been difficult for small businesses to effectively advertise on television. Quality commercials cost a lot to produce, and for those that try to shoestring it.. We’ll we’ve all see those poor quality commercials that look like they came off a VCR tape. Does that help your brand or hurt it?
Spot Runner leverages national buying power for commercial spots, and has commercial templates that allow you to insert your phone number/voice over without spending tens of thousands (or more) on video production. All this at a fraction of what it costs to go produce your own commercial and then pay top rates to have it play.
If you do very much marketing at all, I suggest you check out SpotRunner.com, they will be a company to watch in 2006.
You’ve done your marketing, you are getting calls, but somehow you are having a hard time closing the deal and buying a property. What’s the problem?
Many investors struggle with how to present offers to home owners, while it seems to come naturally to others. This entire process essentially boils down to selling. You are selling your services, reputation, integrity, and experience to the home owner. Your job is to convince them that your solution is better then their
Whenever you are selling something (coffee, cars, houses, etc.) one of the most important things to remember is – you are providing a solution. This is what sales is all about. Someone has a problem/need/desire and you are there with the answer.
The homeowner does NOT care about:
- why you only buy houses for xx% of value
- how much equity you need
- how much cash you have in the bank
- what you are going to do with the house after you buy it
- how busy you are
- what your schedule is
None of these things provide a solution to the home owner’s problem.
If the purpose of sales is to provide a solution, how can you structure your offers to provide a solution to the home owner’s problem?
Meet the Need
Understand what the desires of the home owner are before you make your offer. Did their mom just die in the house and they don’t want the hassle and memories of dealing with a drawn out sale? Did their company relocate them and provide for all their expenses, now their original house is just dead weight? Are they in the middle
of a divorce and need a quick sale to settle things?
The reasons why someone wants to sell their house are as many as the styles of homes out there. The key is to understand the why – so your solution can match their need.
There are A LOT of deals out there. Do not waste your time chasing property that
does not fit your buying criteria (you DO have a buying criteria don’t you?). We make an offer on every single house that we see. But we do not chase deals. You’ll end up buying property that is a poor investment, or miss the 3 great deals because you are so tied up in the bad one.
How do you get your leads?
If you have a web site (almost all agents and investors do) that you collect leads from (why do you have a web site if you aren’t collecting leads?), how do you receive that information?
Most people it seems have the home owner fill out information on their web site, which sends them an email, where they re-enter the information into their contact management software (if you aren’t using this, more on that later).
This is a waste of time! Once information is in once place, you should never have to re-enter it somewhere else. Almost all contact management software has a function to import information from a web site or email (ACT!, Goldmine, Salesforce.com, etc. can all do this).
I’ve spoken with investors who have full time staff members that spend their entire day collecting information from property owners and entering it into the computer. If you have a smaller operation, how much of your time is wasted with entering data, instead of marketing, buying, or selling?
Lastly, if you do not have a web site you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Home owners spend 10 – 30 minutes each entering their information at our web site – Fast Home Offers. With 4,500 people contacting us every month, that is 2,250 HOURS each month we might spend if we took all of the calls directly – that is almost 15 full time staff members!
Where are you duplicating information? Find out and commit to stop wasting time!
Today our company made 150 offers on listed properties in specific neighborhoods in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.
Using technology and automated processes we were able to make all these offers in 15 minutes.
– On the market for over 60 days
– Listing price has been lowered
– In specific zip codes
– Offer price was 55% of the listed price
– No price cap
– Sight unseen
Of the 150 offers, we have had quite a few "no way" responses and a couple the are interested in selling. We will post our purchase rate (we expect to close 1-2 homes).
Cost of marketing: $0.00
We recently launched RSS feeds at Fast Home Offers. This allows investors all over the world who purchase leads from us to view them via 3rd party products like Bloglines or FeedDemon (my new favorite).
After our press release and email to current subscribers the response was as expected. About 30% “This is great, exactly what we need” and 70% “what is RSS, how does this work, why do I need it?”. Obviously I need to do a better job of educating our customers on new products (not everyone knows what a BLOG is!).
This launch was precipitated by the very large amount of email that bounces back to us from SPAM and Junk Mail filters – both on individual computers and at the service provider level (aside – when is email going to get fixed? It is becoming almost useless for marketing anymore).
To view the RSS feeds and subscribe (leads are by state right now) visit LeadFeed.
We are always looking for ways to increase our ability to serve real estate investors.