Feeling so discouraged -- but I'm not a quitter - Posted by Jennifer

Posted by Anne-ND on June 19, 2001 at 08:52:58:

…did you pass on it? RE-secured notes can be a great
way to make money fast or to make great returns over
time. Check out the Paper & Notes forum:
and post the details next time someone offers you a note.

Also, I’d suggest you spend some money on advertising,
either flyers or a newspaper ad or bandit signs.
You want the sellers to call you. Try an ad in the
local penny-pincher paper if that’s cheaper. Get
a business card and pass it out to everyone. Do a
search through the archives under “marketing” for
some of the other great ideas that people here have
come up with.

Good luck,

Feeling so discouraged – but I’m not a quitter - Posted by Jennifer

Posted by Jennifer on June 19, 2001 at 08:39:49:

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a quitter and I’m not giving up on REI. I want to do rehabs or flips, and finding a house seems impossible. I spend about 20 hours per week driving around neighborhoods and tracking down homes that appear to be in need of repairs. I then look up the owner information and send out postcards. I’ve sent about 300 postcards and only gotten 3 responses. One sounded great, but the owner said she needed to vacate the property before selling it and now it’s been two months and it looks like that deal must have died. I called her back once and said she would call me when she was ready to sell. Another wanted me to buy a real estate note, The third wanted market value for a house that was in need of some major interior repairs. Now I just have this weirdo calling me asking me if I want to go out with him sometime – he’s at least 40 years older than I. Motivated, but not to sell me his house. I’ve put some flyers on phone poles in the neighborhoods I’m interested in, but no response yet.

I constantly search the MLS for foreclosures/handyman specials. I’ve looked at HUD homes. I have made offers on about 6 of these types of deals, only to be beaten at the last minute. A day late and a dollar short has taken on a whole new meaning! Yesterday, I finally decided to offer $23K on a foreclosure that the realtor said was worth $15K and the bank wanted $29,900. I knew it was worth $23K. I had been tracking the house through the foreclosure process for almost 3 months and then waiting for the realtor to get the listing on the market. I spoke with him Monday morning and said I was ready to make a cash offer. I had an appointment with the realtor and by the time I got to my 5:30 appointment, I was told that someone came in at 3:00 and made a full price offer that was accepted. I was feeling super low after that.

I’ve thought of putting an ad in the daily newspaper, but there are already 16 such ads there. Seems like I would be wasting $45 a week for something that would probably not get any responses. Where should I go from here? I must be doing something wrong, as the other investors seem to be way ahead of me on getting to these deals first.

Should I be tackling this another way? Should I try out the newspaper ad? Put door hangers out? Go to the courthouse to find people in foreclosure? I feel like I’m just running around in circles. I know it’s a numbers game, but how do I know if it’s that or if I’m doing something wrong?

Sorry to complain – I’m just so anxious to get something started and have nothing to start with. I’m determined to make this work; I just hope I’m going about it the right way.

agree with Ron…/long - Posted by AnnNC

Posted by AnnNC on June 19, 2001 at 23:37:14:

Just as recipient of multiple postcards, in my case from a local State Farm car ins co.; I would tend to respond at some point. It may not strike me now, but later, I may want to see that postcard again.
I don’t think it necessarily needs to be a progressive message, just a repeat. By that I mean, each message does not necessarily need to change and ask more, as the people who want to sell you autoresponders would have you believe, it just needs to repeat. For example, I’ve gotten 3 or 4 postcards from that local car ins agent.
I am now starting to remember her name, and am also starting to see similar cards sent by other agents from her company, and I resent them, out of loyalty to this other person who has been sending me these
postcards all along, and yet I’ve never responded to her! I probably won’t change from the ins co I have had for many years,
but I’d at least look into it. I might keep her card in a stack somewhere, in case she offered some other insurance.
This is just my response as a consumer. I don’t have to be fooled or tricked, and I don’t necesarily want to read 40 pages of internet marketing copy.
I think I am responding to the fact that the postcard keeps coming! I don’t know how I would look upon this if I were in or approaching foreclosure, and had a negative mind set, but still, people are going to lose the postcard. I just dont’ have time to file the card at this time! But, I’d tend to contact that person, because, the phone number is available. They have told me they are in the business. Now, I don’t get 10 of these. I get one. And, like I said, I get annoyed if someone else from the same company sends me a card. I hate that.

I feel comfortable talking with people on an individual basis…true, screening is important, but
you have to make it you. Maybe learn from the calls.
I’m in same position as you…desperate not to waste time. Now my computer is crashing, the printer is already in the shop, and I managed to delete the printer driver through my nifty trouble-shooting talents anyway. I get gazillions of offers via email and I tend to scroll past them, not always,
but often.
I did find that learning the trigger for foreclosures
or any event is a good thing to know. I called the county dept, and asked what does "substitute trustee"
mean. They had no idea. Well, it turns out, I think,
that a sub. trustee is when the loan is in default,
and the “sub. trustee” is now the atty for the bank, instead of the original trustee when the loan was not in default. Who knew?
But no one is going to necessarily tell you that.
So the trip to the courthouse is a good thing. Spend days there. Figure out what is filed and when.

I hope this serves. I’m not a door hanger kind of person; I live rural. It wouldn’t work for me, here.
I think you can consider making a back -up offer when you hit those situations where someone beat you to it. maybe that deal will fall through.
Just try to learn. you are doing SOME things right, for ex. tracking that property.
Kindly forgive my not reading all the other replies, I’m barely scraping by on my computer memory, and if I try to go back and read, I’ll probably end up deleting this message (tragedy!) I am interested in your situation and this topic, and look forward to the responses from others. I know it is often recommended in high-volume calls to get off the phone,
and that is good, but sometimes, you can learn from another person, particularly a tired landlord if that is the one you are talking to. They can be a teacher.

RUN THAT AD ANYWAY!!! - Posted by Tr

Posted by Tr on June 19, 2001 at 18:53:06:

…in my paper there are sometimes 75, yes, as many as 75 similar ads (huge market), and I’ve run a 3 liner and got flooded with so many calls,…I even ran an ad one week that said “I buy homes up to 75% of appr.,” and still got a ton of calls even though there was other ads offering 90%!!

Try Variety - Posted by J. Clifton

Posted by J. Clifton on June 19, 2001 at 18:30:09:

How many types of motivated seller situations OTHER than fixers have you tried? How many types of investor offers have you made BESIDES discounted price/all-cash offers? How many neighborhoods (or counties) do you market? How many times do you follow-up on your 300 piece mailings (the sales industry say 5-12 times is the magic number)? How many offers do you make each and EVERY week, before one gets accepted or countered? If postcards failed to pull, did you switch to letters or brochures? Have you tried out an offbeat idea, NOT discussed or beaten to death in courses or newsgroups?

These are the types of ways to adjust your approach that will allow you keep control of your time and energy—adjust or expand your efforts along these lines, before going the cold-call/cold knocking route. The reason investors went to more scientific, direct mail methods of prospecting was precisely because we already KNOW 99% are going to say no—whether in person or by not responding. So why waste time going through people you know ahead of time are going to reject you? It is more pro-active to avoid as many NOs as possible, to conserve your personal energy and morale. If you do decide to “force” things to happen face-to-face, select the most promising sounding owner open house ads, attend them and leave a written offer at each one. Or, if you can afford to, hire finders to deliver offers, or to conduct in-person “surveys” with owners (“why are you selling,” etc.); let them do the footwork.

Re: Feeling so discouraged – - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 19, 2001 at 16:19:40:

A few tips. One thing is that although I am a Realtor myself, about 75% of the properties I buy are not HUDs, VAs, or MLS listed properties. The competition on those is too fierce most of the time and ends up driving the price up too high.

Driving neighborhoods is a great place to start. However, forget the postcard thing. If you want a 1% response rate, good for you. I prefer the direct approach. Track down the owner and either call them or knock on their door. You do that and you get 100% response rate. At least they have to say “yes” or “no” instead of totally ignoring you. This gives you a chance to try and solve their problem, if that’s possible instead of hoping that 1 in 100 of them will call you.

Ads in the paper and bandit signs are good, but make yours stand out. I look through my local paper and there are 10 ads that read pretty much the same “We Buy Houses blah blah blah” or “Sell your house in 9 days blah blah blah”. Come up with something catchy instead of the typical ad or sign. Who wants to deal with a bunch of Ron Legrand clones anyway?

Re: Feeling so discouraged – but … - Posted by Ronald * Starr

Posted by Ronald * Starr on June 19, 2001 at 16:13:07:


I am in a hurry, can’t read the other posts, so I hope I’m offering something new.

You’ve got that run-down house list. It is valuable. Send out repeated cards or letters. Change the message a little with each one, but hit your benefits to the seller hard on each one. When they see you are a serious investor, by your having sent more than one time, they may well call you. It is cheap, easy to do, and can pay off big. I got $50K in free equity last year from a postcard purchase, and that house was not even in particularly bad shape. I mailed to out-of-area owners of properties of the size I wanted. Owners had to be of record for over 10years. You might mail the same–easy to get the lists from the assessor’s office or from a customer service person at a title company.

Good InvestingRon Starr***

I’m not a quitter - Posted by Randy JoinerGA

Posted by Randy JoinerGA on June 19, 2001 at 12:00:37:

I have great admiration for those who are willing to give it a shot, be they win or lose! As I quoted once before on this list a quote (and maybe it isn’t exactly)from Yoda “Do, or do not…there is no try!” and here is one from someone you’ll recognize.

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong
man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the
dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and
spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the
triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails
while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

(Paris Sorbonne,1910)

Re: Feeling so discouraged - - Posted by SteveS(CPA)

Posted by SteveS(CPA) on June 19, 2001 at 11:38:02:


I think I’ve read yours and Nathan’s post 3 times already and I’ve been thinking of something to say that would be encouraging and uplifting. But I can’t.

So, I guess I should just say, go ahead and quit, give up, call your friends and family and tell them that you’re not smart enough, pretty enough or wortthy enough to make this work. I mean what other choice do you have, right?

Oh, but you do have a choice:

you can always give up tomorrow, and today fight on

you can always rest tomorrow, but today fight like your life depended on it

you can always agree with those who said you couldn’t do it tomorrow, but today listen to those who believe in you and know you can

and you can know the truth is, tomorrow never comes. Today is always here. So vow to yourself and the gods of heaven and Earth that today you will win and tomorrow you will leave for everyone else.

That was probably stupid and not helpful. But if by some slight hope, you gleened some inspiration from these words, I hope you realized, the Earth does not move for the timid, but the day you decide to pour all of your heart, energy, time, brain power and will into this, then on that day the heavens will move and the will Earth stand still to give you what you desire.

Don’t give up.

Re: Success is just around the corner - Posted by Dan

Posted by Dan on June 19, 2001 at 11:36:16:

Keep on doing what you have been doing and the deals will come.I also get alot of deals from the court house.Don’t send letters,call them all,letters are so un personal.

Re: Feeling so discouraged – - Posted by SueC

Posted by SueC on June 19, 2001 at 11:09:51:

Jennifer, I posted a similar problem - it’s the doldrums! Seriously, Matt B had a right on response:

Good luck! I’m doing a whole boatload of marketing too, today I got a huge box full of stick pens with my message on them - to leave where I can’t post a flyer: banks, post office, stores, gas stations, anywhere you sign a credit card slip!

You can’t do enough I guess, good luck!

Re: Feeling so discouraged - Posted by Diane (CA)

Posted by Diane (CA) on June 19, 2001 at 09:19:22:

It’s all part of your education. You know how the game is played in your market - investors are placing ads in the paper. My suggestion would be to understand as much as possible about the game and the players in your market. Do you have a real estate investors group? You might even call the ads to see if the investors would flip houses to you.

As for 300 postcards, that’s a good start. In speaking with investors at a recent seminar, 3 responses out of 300 cards sent appears to be normal.

I am not very active yet as an investor, but from what I can tell, the business seems to be all about persistance. A homeowner’s circumstances can change quickly, and if you have a good base knowledge of your market, you will be able to act when that homeowner needs to contact you.

Keep pluggin’ away and you’ll get there.

I was the same way yesterday… - Posted by Nathan(oh)

Posted by Nathan(oh) on June 19, 2001 at 09:17:56:

Its funny, I posted something very similar to this yesterday. Must be a bug floating around infecting people with discouragement. On a serious side, I know exactly what you are going through cause I am having the same type of problems. However, I will tell you what everyone told me. Make it easier for sellers to find you when they need you. If there are 16 ads in the paper, and then they saw yours, which is the same ad they saw on utility poles, on the side of the street, on their door, in the mail, etc. then they will probably call you cause you are the most noticable. Get your message out over and over and people will start to call you first. Also, try to network with some people in your area. I have found that not only do I get chances to learn from seasoned investors, but we all can trade deals with eachother. If you don’t go through this than you would never learn to get stronger and try harder. By not quitting and by keeping on, you will eventually get there. Good Luck.