Post Cards Direct Solicitation[long] - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)
Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on April 24, 2002 at 22:10:40:
I received the following e-mail question. I see no problem with privacy. You can learn and you can add comments.
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 22:02:02 EDT
I just read your post to Pete, and I am not quitting although I have not had response to ads either…yet. I am just developing post cards and a
mailing list and you mentioned sending them to people most likely to respond…would you expand on that? I was simply going to mail out 1000 every week or two to several selected farm areas which have about 25000 homes in them and just rotate til I hit them all. I’m also looking at expired listings. Any other specific criteria you can suggest and how to get the info would be greatly appreciated.
Ok. But first, please be precise, I said property owners who “might have a higher than average probability of selling to you cheap.” I did not mention “most likely to respond.”
I select people whose tax bill mailing address is far away from the property they own. They are more likely to be having trouble managing. And they might not have a precise idea of the property values. This suggests also targeting areas which have had good appreciation recently.
I send to those who have owned the property for several years. If they sell to me at a discount from market value, they might not care too much, since they are selling to me with profit above their purchase price.
I target people whose properties I would want to own. Understand I am a buy/rent/hold investor, not a quick resell investor. So I only send to people whose houses meet some personally-relevant criteria: Number of bathrooms, number of bedrooms, age, square footage, etc. Properties that I predict would be good investments for me.
Now, you mention expired listings. That sounds to me like a list that would get a good response rate and might be motivated enough to sell for less than market value. HOWEVER, note that they probably have a pretty good grasp of the market value, if their real estate licencee did a reasonably good job of educating them about it. So it might be more difficult to get a really deep discount. However, they might be willing to sell on terms which would make the property attractive to you. Also recognize that expired listings may also have a high proportion of over-priced properties.
There are people in default on mortgages and those in default on their property taxes. There are people who are doing an eviction of renters. There are people who have been cited by a governmental agency for having a neglected building, a blight on the community, and some such. There are vacant houses. There are run-down houses, seen by driving the streets. There are probate cases in the court and the heirs from probate cases. There may be prospects who have had a judgment filed against them recently or who have been arrested and accused of committing some crime. Might they need cash to pay the attorney? Or the judgment?
You might want to read John Reed’s book on bargain real estate buying to see other possible lists to create. look on johntreed.com
How about people with two properties? Especially if one is a vacation home.
Just start thinking of people who might be willing to sell cheap. Then try to figure out how and where you can get or create lists for mailings. Even just broadband mass mailings such as you mention doing could be useful if you think about what happens.
You mail to a mass of people. Some of those solicitations come back to you undelivered. Why? What are the circumstances? Could there be richer ore in that list of returned cards than in the run of the mill list from which your started? For one thing, they are not receiving your mail piece, maybe they are not receiving other people’s mail pieces, such as real estate agents bragging about what great high prices they are getting for their house sellers. They may have moved. Well, then maybe their life is changing and they could use some money. Maybe they are open to other changes, such as selling to you their house. Maybe they have died, and so checking probate files would be useful, or talking to neighbors about possible heirs to contact.
Look at those returned cards and see if there is a forewarding address to which you can send again. Consider sending a letter to the owner in an envelop which is mailed to the subject property address, with the notation, “Please forward” on the front.
You see, there are ways to use the results of a mass mailing to attempt to find people who are not responding to you because they don’t want to sell, but are not getting your solicitation. Many, even if you do get through to them, might still not sell to you. But, you will not know without experimenting.
You may hit some properties which are ripe for adverse possession. If you don’t know what that is, you might want to study how good it is in your state. I’m not going to explain it. Law libraries have lots of information on the topic. But, those not getting mail and not paying their taxes would be good targets for this approach to super-low price property acquisition.
Good Investing*************Ron Starr*****************