Probate investing is one of my favorite strategies. If you decide to pursue this type of investing as one of your strategies, it is important have the correct mindset from the very beginning. Whether your strategy is probate investing, REO’s any other of the many types of real estate investing; you are still looking for the same thing. A motivated seller!
Most real estate investors will be familiar with this strategy and will be there to help you succeed. However there will be those folks; you know the ones, which say you are taking advantage of someone that has just lost a loved one. That couldn’t be further from the truth!
Try to put yourself in their shoes. Often times they have just inherited a house in need of a lot of repairs. In most cases, they either don’t have the money to spend on the house, or they just don’t want to invest their cash fixing up this (inherited) house so it can be sold. What they want can usually be summed up in two thoughts.
They just want the cash that is sitting in the house, and they want to be rid of the problem of selling the house to get the cash. A quick solution with a payday is what they are looking for. If you can provide this, then you have just found yourself a motivated seller.
Your First Touch
I use direct mail for marketing to these folks; never phone calls. You can easily craft a very caring yet business like direct mail piece that they will not find offensive. The heirs may know that the house will be sold eventually, but may not be ready to sell today so an ongoing marketing program is essential when doing probate investing. Be sure to include your business card in the letter. These do cost money, but the sellers tend to keep the business cards even when they throw away the letters. I get my business cards from www.VistaPrint.com. They are very affordable, and you can even get some free cards and other free merchandise from time to time. Getting business cards should be one of the first things a new real estate investor does.
The Keys to Succes
The keys to success for probate investing are pretty simple. You must have an ongoing marketing campaign and you must always be respectful of their situation in all your dealings with these folks.
It may take them a while to even get around to thinking about selling the property. Sometimes I will get a call as a result of my letter, and they will tell me when they think they will be ready to sell the property (almost always sometime in the future). Other times, they call to ask if I can advise them on how they can get rid of the furniture left behind. When I get these calls, I always ask permission to continue with the mailings so they can call me when they are ready. I have never had anyone tell me no.
In thousands of direct mail letters to probates, I have only had two requests to be taken off my list. Luckily, only one of those callers compared what we do to “being worse than ambulance chasers”. Without a doubt, most of these folks are grateful that you can help them out of what they consider to be a difficult situation.
Take to some time to understand this very lucrative niche of probate investing and you will set yourself up for success.
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