If you give up every time somebody tells you ‘no’ in this business, you won’t last very long as a real estate investor. After all, most people will at first say no and it’s your job to keep following up to see if you can eventually close a deal with them.
But that’s the million-dollar question. How often do you follow up? And do you follow up with a phone call, email, letters or another method?
Well, whether or not you follow up is all based on the type of lead you get. If you get a crappy lead and you’d never want to do a deal on the house, then obviously you don’t want to follow up. However, if you get a call from a motivated seller and the house has a lot of equity and it would be perfect for your “buy and hold” portfolio, then you’ll definitely want to follow up.
First, I believe in following up with a potential seller every 30 days. You don’t want them to forget about you, but you also don’t want to tick them off. Once a month is a good time frame.
Also, I personally follow up with a seller for a total of 12 times (contacting them once a month). That might sound like a lot of times, but I’ve gotten plenty of deals around month eight.
Plus, it’s easy to follow up. If you mail a letter each month it’s only going to cost you $5.28 in postage. And if you make $30,000 from the deal, I’d say that’s a very good investment of $5.28.
Letters I’ve found, are the best way to follow up. I wouldn’t recommend phone calls because that can really anger people. I’d throw in an email every once in a while, but I would do the majority of the following up via letters.
Make sure they’re personalized…
And remind the seller who you are and when you originally talked to them. Something friendly such has, “Hi Jack, this is John Doe again. The investor who was interested in buying your rental property on Main St. in April. I’m looking to pick up 2 more properties this month and wanted to see if you were interested in selling now. Etc. Etc. Etc.”
Also, switch up the types of letters you send. Send a handwritten yellow letter, send a typed letter, and send letters in different size of envelopes. (A FedEx package works the best).
If you follow up, using the details from above you’ll make a lot more money in 2011, from leads you originally left for dead.