February 19, 2013 in Probates/ Probate Investing
When I am going through the leads looking for those that have property that I might be interested in, I put the information on a special probate sheet that I designed. It makes it much easier to put it into my database later on.
As I said, there are only 4 pieces of information that you need. The name and property address for the deceased, and the name and address of the executor or administrator of the estate. Once every name that is listed in the newspaper has been checked on the tax assessor’s site, then I am ready to enter them into my database. I use an Act database that is from Sage. It is not specific to real estate, but it allows me to do everything easily that I need to do.
The Importance of Having a Database
I cannot overstate the importance of having a database for your leads. Don’t try to manage this process by putting these names into an Excel spreadsheet. It just won’t work. You need a place where you can keep these people; a home for all your leads.
You will talk to sellers over time that may not be so motivated initially. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be motivated later on.
Here is a case study for you that just happens to be mine.
I had an extra desk that I bought for my office. As it turned out, I didn’t need the desk after all. I put it on Craig’s List for about half of what I paid which by the way was a great deal. I didn’t have any takers. After a several weeks, I just wanted the darn thing gone so I could reorganize my office. I ended up taking a much lower offer than I ever thought I would take. I went from being “sort of motivated” to “really motivated” in a relatively short period of time. Sometimes that happens with sellers, and at other times it takes a lot longer.
Each time I speak with a seller, I make detailed notes in my database. When they call me months or maybe even a year or more down the road, I can pull up their contact information while we are talking. I can see what we discussed on our last call, or even what I offered them previously for the property.
Having the ability to do this when talking with sellers is critical. It allows you to have an intelligent conversation with this person no matter how much time has passed. I will make notes that I feel are important such as, “The executor wants to be rid of the property, but the heirs want more money”. Or in the case of an absentee owner I might note, “They have a tenant in the property now, but the lease expires in 4 months”.
The ability to recall these types of details is so important. Just the fact that you can recall the last conversation you had with them leaves the seller impressed with your company.
Next; The Mail Merge
Once you have gotten your contacts into your Act database, you will need to enter your motivated seller letters into this program. Once this piece of the puzzle is complete, then you will be ready to print your first direct mail campaign.
If you missed the last article you can read it here.
Be sure to check back next week when we will talk about direct mail campaigns.
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