Real Estate Investing
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"How To Make Money In Your Local Real Estate Market"
Today's Article: "Meetings with Prospective Buyers
Meetings with prospective buyers are very exciting, as sales usually are what directly put money in your pocket. I suggest a few guidelines that will help you manage these kinds of meetings and also make them as productive as possible.
First, prescreen your buyer prospects over the phone. Countless time is wasted by investors showing properties to buyer prospects who are marginally or even poorly qualified. Especially now with tighter mortgage rules, you just can’t afford to drive across town to show a property twice a day to marginal buyers. Ultimately there are only two things you need to know about a buyer to determine immediately if they are a prospect or a suspect. They must either have money and/or credit. If a buyer has money then you can consider a lease option. If a buyer has credit then you can consider getting them a conventional loan. If they have neither, then there is virtually nothing you can do for them at this time.
In regards to letting buyers see your properties you also have two options. First, you can put a lock box on the front door and give people the code to go inside and view the property at their convenience. Second, you can drive out to the property and show the home to every Dick, Jane, and Sally that wants to see it. For me personally, the decision is easy, I’ve never shown a house and don’t plan to because it is not worth my time. I would much rather let someone show himself or herself in and out without me being there. You’re allowed to disagree with me on this subject, but before you do, I recommend you try this system (which is exactly what it is, a system) before you completely knock it. If it is going to keep you awake at night wondering if someone might steal something then don’t do it, but again, what is the worst that can happen? So they steal the fridge (the odds are against it) so what. The only thing I had someone take were the plug in air fresheners I put in the house. Imagine that, air fresheners! They must have really needed them.
So why operate this way? Well, aside from saving you hours and hours of time, believe it or not, it relays a sense of integrity with the way you conduct business. People appreciate the ability to view a property without someone breathing down their neck. Believe me when I tell you, nothing says ‘I’m desperate to sell this place’ like you herding a client through a property and asking them if they like it five or ten times. A client will make their own decision anyway so just let them do their thing. After they’ve seen the house all I ask is that they call and let me know that they’ve locked the house up. At that time I find out what they think. If they like it then we meet and reach an initial agreement. If they don’t then I just saved 2 hours of wasted time. Buyers like this system and feel a strong sense of initial trust with you because you are showing professionalism and trust with them.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to call these buyers to action. This means scheduling a meeting with them and ultimately collecting a good faith deposit. Take the bull by the horns, handle the follow up’s proactively, and your success will increase. The follow up aspect, a subject of another time, also displays to others that you take this seriously and will act accordingly.