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Fast Cash Real Estate Investing: How to Generate Profitablefrom: Foreclosure Leads
Anthony Seruga and Yolly Bishop
Whether you're new to real estate investing or an experienced
investor, I think you'll agree you can't make money unless you
have a list of qualified prospects (i.e. people who are ready,
willing and motivated to sell their homes.)
If you market your services to people in foreclosure, or to any
targeted list of ready-to-sell homeowners, you're going to get
But truth be known, prospects aren't deals quite yet.
Some may turn out to be ultra-lucrative winners that put
thousands of dollars in your pocket, but if you want to make the
big money, you need to focus on only the best leads.
Everything else you can let someone else deal with.
New investors get excited when their marketing starts working,
and understandably so. It's tempting at this stage to want to
contact everyone who responds to your marketing. But soon, it
becomes obvious, even to a newbie, that not all leads are
This is true even when investing in foreclosures. Even though
owners are highly motivated to sell, you still need to learn how
to flush out the best deals.
When I started investing, I learned that I'd never have enough
time to contact every prospect. I quickly learned to screen my
leads to find the best possible opportunities.
For instance, over the years, I've used a 24-hour recorded
message, direct mail, and a live answering service. But I've
found that one tool works better than any other: the Internet.
Our marketing to people in foreclosure drives the prospect to
one of our foreclosure websites. There are two basic reasons:
1. People in foreclosure are usually is a state of panic. As a
result, they're more likely to visit a website, where they can
remain anonymous at first. Late, if they ARE interested, they
WILL call you directly.
2. Our website encourages prospects to qualify themselves.
Our websites have lots of audio and video testimonials from
previous sellers who we have helped. You'll find these audio and
video files very motivating. These are all real people who sold
their homes to us when they were in foreclosure or needed a
What if you are new to real estate and don't have testimonials?
The easy answer is you can partner with an investor who does
have a track record and use his testimonials (while you also
benefit from his experience). Or you can include general
testimonials from people who know you and know you're
trustworthy. Have them say things like "Jack always comes
through with his promises"... or "Alice does what she says she's
going to do when she says she's going to do it." Then make sure
you live up to those words.
I invite my website visitors to submit an electronic form with
all the information I need. I promise them a response within 48
hours, but at no time do I tell them I will make an offer on
their home. The prospective seller must answer all the questions
on the form before the website will allow them to submit the
form to my office. The questions are designed not only to get
qualifying information, but also - and just as important - to
find facts that could disqualify them. That's because I don't
want to waste a lot of time following up on unqualified leads.
Some of the questions are the sort of thing any investor would
ask: how much the seller owes, to whom, and so on. But I also
ask questions that "test the waters" to gauge how motivated they
are (such as how many payments they're behind).
Finally, I ask the seller to tell me why they want to sell now.
In many cases, this question makes or breaks the deal. Here's
If they write a long story on that last question (I often get as
much as two and a half pages), I learn something important about
them. And if all the numbers work, I put them on the top of the
Because people in distress appreciate it when you let them pour
their hearts out. I'm a good listener, so I'm sympathetic when
they tell me about the tragic circumstances and bad luck that
have brought them to their present position. And because I
listen, the seller is frequently on my side when it comes time
for me to present my offer. That makes negotiations much easier.
But if they write something like "I'm not taking one penny less
than the full value of my house. My bother-in-law says it's
worth $250,000 and that's what I expect"... I won't waste
another 10 seconds on that lead. I won't even waste the time it
takes to put his address on a pre-printed, pre-stamped rejection
In short, my website does almost all the work of qualifying my
leads. I waste no time on any leads where there is no deal to be
I recommend that you establish a method of pre-screening and
pre-qualifying your leads, preferably with a system--like a
website--where the prospects screen themselves. This method has
made us a better, more focused real estate company and it can
make you wealthier in your own business in a much shorter period
About the author:
Anthony Seruga and Yolly Bishop of Maverick Real Estate
Investments, Inc. work with builders, developers and other
players in the commercial real estate industry to acquire and
develop properties. They use progressive investment strategies
that have proved extremely profitable. In addition to their own
deals, they teach both seasoned and inexperienced investors how
to be big players in the game. Visit the website for more info.
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