Open Houses or Lockboxes? - Posted by TRandle

Posted by Phillip on April 21, 2000 at 10:13:15:

I have a question regarding your Forelosure Course, how does one go about purchasing homes when following your techniques? Is it necessary to have funding available to purchase the homes, in other words to have access to large sums of money? I am very interested in your course on this subject but need to understand how this aspect of your course works because I do not have money available to purchase these homes outright or the funding available. Please respond.

Open Houses or Lockboxes? - Posted by TRandle

Posted by TRandle on April 20, 2000 at 08:23:39:

I wanted to get some input on what others are doing as far as people viewing their homes. We have 4 available now and another one ready within 2 weeks. Of these 5, only 2 have room for a listing, which we would still like to avoid. Also, these 5 houses are in 5 different cities (small cities surrounding Austin), so location is not a problem - we have something for everyone.

We receive tons of calls and buyers forms through email in response to our advertising, yet we have difficulty getting the people to the houses. We’ve tried open houses and lockboxes. Of the 50+ people we have on our buyer’s list, there are probably 15 that claim they have 5k or more to put in up front. So, either they’re clowns or we’re failing in some way or a combination of the two. We’ve called, emailed, advertised, etc.

Please share what strategies are working for you. Thanks…

Re: Open Houses or Lockboxes? - Posted by GregNorman

Posted by GregNorman on April 25, 2000 at 12:01:03:

I was hoping to find a business changing response to your post b/c I run into the same problems, also! I’ve tried JoeK’s method, but I like in a large metropolis and it’s typical for folks to drive about an hour to see a house… and to do that to see the outside… no way! The first house I used the method gave me 2 apps (none were good). Held an open house the next weekend and had about 15 sets of people in one hour and took 3 apps. Now I run into wasting time showing the homes via open house (esp. when I have mutliple homes).

Well, I’m getting ready to try a new technique (which being in Austin, the wired city that it is) which may work (if it works fore me): Have folks fill out apps on your website via e-mail (take out sensitie info like SSN for security purposes), put a lockbox on the door, and have folks show themselves through if the app looks good. I’m getting ready to market 3 homes at the same time and I’m trying to mod my website to do just that. I’ll let you know how it works out (along with the VA comprimise deal I posted earlier that you wanted to be informed about… it’s still ‘working’).

One thing to keep in mind… even when people say they don’t have money, they often do. We had a house a little bit ago where the folks put on the app they were going to put down $2k on a $150k home. Their credit wasn’t that good so I was going to decline them. Once I told them they could have the house if they put down about $10k, they suddenly said they could put down $8k (b/c they liked the home after they saw it). So don’t always go by what folks tell you. Tell them your criteria and see if they want it (after they’ve seen the home).

Good luck.


Re: Open Houses or Lockboxes? - Posted by d.henderson

Posted by d.henderson on April 20, 2000 at 11:18:28:

Hey Stranger!
Looks like you two are really working this RE business. Way to Go. I tried like Brian G to follow Kaisers ideas, they didn’t work in my area. So I do exactly like he does. I add another piece of paper to the application, it says if ALL of the information on money down and payments, etc is not furnished then the application is not complete and I can’t work out the best way for them to get into a HOME.Also tell them that you WILL run a credit check so be upfront with you because if you find out when you run the credit check then no house. I also tell them to call me 15 minutes before our appointment time to see the house, no call, no house. I’ve wasted tooooo much time waiting for jokers that decided to not show. This way I have only the Buyers that really want the house.
The best to you two. smile
always learning,

This worked for me… - Posted by Brian G

Posted by Brian G on April 20, 2000 at 10:43:38:

I had two houses available for almost two months then I changed my system and found tenant buyers within two weeks. My original systems was run an ad, take the phone calls, tell them all about it and either meet them or give them a lock box combo.

This was not working. I started running an ad with a monthly payment amount, area and description. They call and get directions from a multi mail box answering machine and are directed to go to the house and pick up an application and info about rent to own program.
They then fax or mail the application to me. I received about 5 responses per property per week. Only the people who are really interested will go through the effort so not as much of your time is wasted giving directions, descriptions, etc. and I now have a file of applicants and did not have to fill out the info (they did it for me)

good luck,
Brian G

What part didn’t work? - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 20, 2000 at 15:59:36:

Wondering where the hang up is for your area?


Re: This worked for me… - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on April 20, 2000 at 13:38:32:


Great ideas! I am thinking of doing something similar for the next L/O property I have available. I know Joe Kaiser uses this method successfully also.

A couple questions: How do you handle the option consideration? Specifically, how do you screen out those callers who perhaps can afford the monthly payment, but have nothing to put down…which is a majority of my callers? Is this addressed in your application or on-site info? At what point do you show them the interior of the property? Seems to me like a lot of potentially qualified candidates wouldn’t want to bother filling out and returning the application until they knew whether they liked the property.

Brian (NY)

Nice post, Brian! - Posted by Robert M. Campbell

Posted by Robert M. Campbell on April 20, 2000 at 12:46:16:

Thank you for the great idea! It was printed . . . and put into my “keeper” file.

Robert M. Campbell

Re: What part didn’t work? - Posted by d.henderson

Posted by d.henderson on April 20, 2000 at 17:11:29:

I don’t know Joe, I bought your L/O course and tried everything that you mentioned. My area is weird. People here want to know how much the total on the house is and many of the questions that are said that they never ask. Trying to get them to name a price first is almost comical.
Before, I told them to go by the house look at it and give me a call,(I knew some about them from the call and what they could afford)then I would show the house to 3-4 at a time, when I started putting the applications on the door, it was easier for me but I wasn’t being able to talk with them before they decided that they couldn’t afford it. Many people could afford the house they just were afraid I guess. Maybe the application scared them who knows. So I’m not saying your advice isn’t good, it is!!! This part just didn’t work in my area, so I just fined turned what YOU had written and it now works for my area.
Always learning,

I do this… - Posted by BrianG

Posted by BrianG on April 20, 2000 at 13:45:00:

I handle option consideration by asking financial questions on the application such as balance of checking/savings account. I only show the interior of the houses are interested enough to send an application. I schedule multiple parties to show up at the same time. I think that if they want to see the inside they can at least take two minutes to fill out one of my applications.

Brian G

Re: What part didn’t work? - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 20, 2000 at 19:52:26:

I guess I’m just not clear on what it is that you’re doing differently. Please enlighten. Thanks.