Now, I'm confused... - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 16, 2002 at 09:05:04:

Having heard it from the master, what you were telling me in Atlanta is starting to make more sense! The ‘house is a house is a house’ thing is second to sitting down with the seller and negotiating.


Now, I’m confused… - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 12:55:24:

Hi all,

I got a call from a fellow this morning. He saw one of my ‘test’ ads (I had a longer ad running before and now I’ve opted for short and simple ads) for my mktg. strategy.

Anyway, he leaves a message on my machine leaving ph. #, address and name and that he needs to sell fast.

I call him back and tell him, ‘Hi! This is Jesse, I’m returning your call on the house’…

He asks me how my program works, I was trying to get some info so I asked him how long he’s been trying to sell - he said for some time now.

I then asked him if he tried to sell it himself, through a realtor. He said a Realtor’s had it listed for a month. I told him that there’s not much I can do as long as he’s working with a Realtor. He asked me if I list houses. I said ‘no, as an investor, I buy and sell them and this could be a cash out or on term depending on how my partners and I penciled out the deal for a profit (used to be afraid of the M[oney] and P[rofit] words till I found out that any other way would make me a NO-profit entity lol)’

He said that he’s contracted the realtor to list it for month and that expires this week. He told me he’d fire his Realtor and give me a call on Friday…

I don’t know if he was just blowing me off or mad that he couldn’t get on this right away while he’s still in with the Realtor.

I wasn’t able to get too much info on his house as all he wanted to know was… ‘how does your program work’… Funny, I usually get the seller to speak about their house as a ‘rapport-builder’ - of course, some are more receptive and give the whole spiel while others need a few leading questions like (how many bd, ba, lot size, improvements) and then move on to how I can help them (price, if they need all cash or are flexible…) . This is definitely an exception to my experience so far.

But while I’m waiting for him to get back to me (if he ever does…) I was wondering what others think about this… or how you might have handled the situation…



He who asks the questions… rules - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on April 15, 2002 at 23:09:10:


The person that asks the questions, (in any conversation) is in control. He who is in control makes the sale.

Now, if you want to buy something, let the other person be in control, asking all the questions… Of course, if you are in the RE business, and you are not in control, then it is difficult to make a living, let alone a good one.

This is really basic salesmanship here. You may want to read some on selling skills, and determine how to dominate these calls, so that you can be in control, make the sale, while letting the caller feel that they are in control… A highly rewarded skill, once you master it…

Best of success to you,


My Program - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on April 15, 2002 at 16:03:09:


When the people ask me how my program works this is what I tell them:

Mr. Seller, first I need to get a little information about the house, bedrooms, bathrooms, price and the such.

Then I do a drive by and if its something that will work for me, I’ll call you back and make an appointment to see the inside.

Once I meet with you, I will make you an offer, right then and there, that will work for the both of us.

Does that sound fair?

I am paraphrasing things of course, but I hope you get the idea. I just give them an overview. If they want more specifics , I tell them how I have to get more information from them. Most people understand that you can’t make them a offer without some information.
If they want to know if I can close in 5 days and/or pay all cash. I tell them: Sure, if it makes business sense.

NOW, if the people sound really motivated (there is equity to have), I tell them that I’ll be driving by this afternoon and would it be okay if I knocked on the door and see if they are home. Then I drop everything and go over there.


Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on April 15, 2002 at 15:46:42:

Frankly, I like what Johnboy had to say, and suggest.
I use a technique somewhat like that.
However, when I’m busy and call volume is WAY UP, I will sometimes go into a little more detail on the phone when asked that question. (Screens out the ones who are not READY to sell TODAY, and those are who I want! The sellers who say, "PLEASE come buy my house, and I do not care HOW, just get me OUT NOW!!)

I also get a ton of callers asking, “how does this work”.
My first reply is usually, “well, we buy and sell houses. What do you have?”
We then open the dialogue as to what the house is all about, and try to get into the sellers situation.

Should a seller still request info on “How this works”, I’ll reply with something like this.
“Mr. Seller, this really depends on your situation. But, let me break it down for you. We basically buy our properties one of two ways, either ALL CASH for a SEVERE discount, or on terms.”

100% of the time they ask about the CASH offer.
We tell them that we inspect the house, and if it is something we are interested in, or have a need for, we can pay them up to 65% of the full value and close in a week.
This usually gets them to ask, “What is this terms thing?”
To which I’ll reply something like this…
“Well, terms means we can pay a higher price to you for the property. You and I Mr. Seller will talk, look over the house and come to an agreement on numbers, and we MAY then be able to take over your payments, taxes, insurance, and basically anything to do with the house.”
“Does this sound like something that would work for you?”

If they say, “No”, we ask “Why? what do they want to happen here?”

I’ll also add in a little FLASH of REALITY and ask them, “If you do not sell the house, what will happen, or what are you going to do?”

This often gives the sellers that “Deer in headlights look” and brings them around.

I do prefer to do this face to face, but when busy, going to see a “maybe” house is just not doable daily.

I do TRY as you mentioned, to get the sellers to talk to me first about the house and their situation.
This gets you into a good dialogue, and opens the sellers up.
When dealing with sellers, you are not only offering them a solution, but selling yourself and your ability to solve their problem.
Once you convince the seller that your offer will solve the problem they have, and you WILL perform, deals become much easier to get signed.

Just last week I met with a seller, looked over her house, and then talked about my offer.
After we presented what we could do for her, I asked her one simple question…
“Would you just like to get this taken care of today?”
She responded with “Yes, that would be perfect, I’d like to be done with this house ASAP.”

I then had my partner go to the car and get the forms.
We signed her up, collected the keys, placed a sign, (the house was vacant), and left to begin and complete due diligence.
Everything came back fine, clear title, loan info verified etc.
So, a truly motivated seller will often sign what ever you place in front of them, as long as it solves their problem.
This particular seller is covering a few more payments, and sending them directly to me.
We are getting calls on the place, and expect to fill it very soon.

Anyway, this is just how I handle deals as they come.

Jim FL

Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 15, 2002 at 14:57:12:

The problem with discussing how your program works is . . . all of a sudden, you’re the one doing all the talking. Whenever you find yourself spending more time talking than listening, you’re off track.

Remember, it’s not about you (or your program), it’s about them.

I don’t bother with a list of questions. The color of the kitchen is the least of my concerns. Frankly, at this point, I don’t even care if it’s got a kitchen (a house is a house is a house).

All I’m doing is looking for some sign of motivation, and when I hear it, I make an appointment to swing by and get off the phone.

If you describe “your program,” at some point in the description they will hear something they dislike or don’t understand and the conversation will end soon thereafter. Far better to be sitting across the kitchen table and in a friendly atmosphere, detail exactly what it is you can do.

It’s all about “putting our heads together to see if we can come up with something that works for both of us,” and that sort of thing rarely happens on the telephone.


Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by JohnBoy

Posted by JohnBoy on April 15, 2002 at 13:07:36:

People that call usually always ask me how this works. That seems to be the number one question I get from sellers. I tell them it all depends on their situation. We have several programs that may work depending on their current situation. What are you looking to do here? How soon do you need to get this sold? What if you don’t sell it soon, what will you do then? Are all the payments current? Are the taxes current? If not, How far behind are they? Has the lender started foreclosure yet? So basically, you’re just looking to get out from under these payments? Yeah. OK, when would be a good time to come take a look at the property and sit down together so we can take a look at some options we may have to help you resolve this? Go see them and work out the details!

Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by Jonathan Rexford

Posted by Jonathan Rexford on April 15, 2002 at 13:05:07:

“How does our program work”

“Frankly we buy houses to make a profit. Each deal depends on YOUR situation”. Do not go into details until you get info to load up the information gun.

The emphasis on “YOUR SITUATION” should be that you can solve HIS problem while helping yours $$$. From what you typed you handled it ok. If this was a month listing there is a TIME ISSUE here. Their is your trigger. Shoot at it.

Jonathan Rexford

Re: He who asks the questions… rules - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 16, 2002 at 09:14:36:


I’m rereading a book called: “The 7 Powers of Questions” by Dorothy Leeds (appropriate last name, despite the spelling, for such a topic). I’ve come to realize more and more the point you make in the reply and how we’re trained as a society to just ‘answer’.

I’ll definitely work on it. It’s hard to break the answer-only mold… Just as an aside, when I did a stint as a telemarketer, my mgr. told me not to engage so in conversation as to get people to answer questions and if they started asking me questions, to throw back a question while answering. That seemed like the rudest thing at the time, now it makes more sense as I go along!


Re: My Program - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 17:35:53:

Thanks, Tim!

This certainly gives me a better idea of how to handle the question while remaining in control of the conversation.


Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 17:43:02:

Thanks Jim!

Using SEVERE in the “all cash for a SEVERE discount or terms” seems pretty effective. It’s not just any old discount, but a severe one. I’ve either not been clear about that (newbieness) or just didn’t get across that a discount means: not your ideal price!


Hey, Joe… - Posted by Walt Carey

Posted by Walt Carey on April 15, 2002 at 19:53:14:

…I understand your perspective on this, but is a LITTLE motivation enough to make an appt and go visit the homeowner? You’re the expert, not me, but my thought was to do some good pre-screening before getting in my car and driving over. If I understand you and JohnBoy correctly, are you banking on the fact even though there might be only a HINT of motivation from the seller, your salesmanship skills will persuade the homeowner to do the deal w/ you?

See, I guess that’s where I’m not quite so sure of that technique. I’d rather have a dang good idea this seller needs a solution and fast (which is why I like your target marketing perspective)than to chase “supposed” leads.

I don’t know. Maybe its me.

Interested to hear your thoughts on this one.


Took Me a Long Time… - Posted by ScottS

Posted by ScottS on April 15, 2002 at 19:47:00:

To learn this lesson. Joe knows.

But once I did my close ratio improved significantly.

If I was real serious about closing deals (and I am these days) I’d follow this advice to the “T”. Get off the phone and get at the table. Good things happen there.


Re: Now, I’m confused… - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 17:38:10:


Thanks for this response and the one you gave earlier to my sub2 approach to the seller. Still working on getting on the same page as the seller.


Hadn’t thought of it that way… - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 13:23:55:


I’ve gotten that from most of my calls, too. I like the series of questions you run by the caller as it gets them in on letting you work out a solution that they’ve sold themselves on already.

I admit to being a ‘screener’ rather than a ‘problem solver’. With the answers I get from these questions, I’ll be able to better determine whether an appt. is in order or if they need time to think about it or NEXT…



I spoke too soon! - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 15, 2002 at 13:28:52:

Thanks Jonathan!

Still getting a handle on this. I’ll keep you posted if he calls back. Got some good ammo to dish out when the time comes to pull the trigger LOL!


Hey, Walt… - Posted by Jesse_CO

Posted by Jesse_CO on April 16, 2002 at 09:08:15:

Great meeting you at the Convention. Your question to Joe hadn’t occurred to me (yet), but Joe’s response did leave me wondering about phone screening vs. showing up at the sellers doorstep and onto the kitchen.

Thanks for running that question by Joe!


Re: Hey, Joe… - Posted by JoeKaiser

Posted by JoeKaiser on April 15, 2002 at 23:29:21:


I jump at even a hint of motivation. I only get paid after I do the belly to belly thing, and for me anyway, it’s a challenge to show up with nothing more than a smile and a handshake and walk out with a signed off purchase and sale agreement.

Frankly, there aren’t that many obviously motivated sellers to talk to and between you and me, I need the regular practice. Practice is a good thing. Where else are you going to get the opportunity to develop your negotiations skills? I never hesitate to make appointments and show up, even when I know it’s only to fine tune my approach. The last thing I’d want to do is screen out those “warm” sellers and miss the opportunity to talk to him and see what’s what.

Go see 'em, even if it’s only for the chance to sharpen your skills. Otherwise, if you only visit obviously motivated sellers, you’ll show up at the door and have no clue what to do next.

Something you should think about . . .

EVERY beginner’s real estate course tells you to go check out 100 homes before you make your first offer. I used to believe that too, (okay, maybe it won’t hurt you) but now I think it’s nonsense.

I suggest that instead you go out and sit down across the table with 100 sellers. You do that, and you can bet you’ll be a million miles beyond the guy who spent that same time driving to open houses.

Get to their kitchen table, even if it’s only for practice. That way, when the super deal falls in your lap, you’ll go in knowing what to expect and leave with a signature or two.