It happens to most of us when we finally muster up the courage to call motivated sellers…
Your knees get weak.
Your palms get sweaty.
And don’t even get me started about the ball in the back of your throat and your voice cracking!
The majority of real estate investors share one common trait: fear of calling motivated sellers.
I’ll bet you a kangaroo you’ve had one.. two.. or all of these thoughts running through your mind:
- What if they ask me a question to which I don’t know the answer?
- How do I convince them to sell me their house cheap?
- What if I get tongue-tied and appear foolish?
- What if I can’t make a deal?
- What if they want to know what I want to offer and I don’t know how much they want for the house?
- How do I make an offer if I’m just talking to the seller for the first time and I haven’t seen the house?
- What if they are angry and are nasty to me on the phone?
Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Except for those rare few that have the natural gifts of a phone salesperson, every other investor has some level of trepidation before they call motivated sellers. Most of us have at one time or another told ourselves we’ll call back after we complete “some other task”.
Then we decide to call after dinner.
Then after a shower.
Then it’s too late, so tomorrow…and so forth and so on until the lead is so old, there’s no use in calling.
“Whew! Thank goodness I can just get rid of that lead – it was really weighing on me.”
Crazy thoughts, I know, but that’s what happens.
The Mental Shift
Now, let’s work on overcoming those fears so you can call motivated sellers, start getting deals done and find real success in your real estate business.
When we’re learning to successfully talk to motivated sellers, I like to break it down into two distinct categories.
First, we have cold calling.
Notoriously one of the least liked tasks when it comes to real estate investing, but still one of the most tried and true strategies for finding truly motivated sellers.
Many of the strategies I am going to share with you in a second will help you masterfully communicate with sellers, even when you’re cold calling. But before we get to them, I like to remind investors who are cold calling to remember these very important rules…
- Set a schedule – setting time aside to go all-in and really focus on the task at hand is essential to your success. So set a schedule of who you’ll be calling, when you’ll do it and write that schedule down or add to your online calendars.
- Hold yourself accountable – it can be easy to avoid doing things that are uncomfortable at first, so hold yourself accountable by telling a few people close to you what you’re doing and ask them to hold you accountable too.
- Remember: Hearing “NO” is good – Strange thought, right? But it’s true in cold calling. The reality is that every “no” you hear from a potential seller means you’re one step closer to a “yes”.
An important thought to keep in the back of your mind is that even with limited training as a real estate investor, you understand the process better than the vast majority of sellers with whom you speak.
And, on top of that, motivated sellers (which are the only ones you care about) are dealing with some situation in their life that is consuming their attention, and they are hoping that you have a solution to their problems. Because after all, that is what we are: problem-solvers.
Talking to motivated sellers is easy when you apply this mental shift.
This brings me to a second point: we are not salespeople. We have nothing to sell. We are problem solvers.
Our job is to uncover their root problem and offer a solution. If they have no problem (and it does not have to be financial), there is not much we can offer. So instead of salespeople, we are actually consultants. We are on their side, attempting to understand their circumstances, and developing a plan that works for them and is profitable for you.
So relax and enjoy just having a conversation with your leads. You’re a person having a conversation with another person.
It’s All In Your Head
Here are some other mental exercises and strategies I have shared with many investors over the years to help them overcome their fear.
Call motivated sellers with a smile on your face, relaxed, and ready to have a conversation. Be confident in your knowledge, but if they happen to stump you with a question, simply say:
That’s an interesting question. No one has ever asked me that before. I’m not sure of the correct answer, and I don’t want to leave you with any misinformation. Let me talk with my partner and get an answer for you.
Then contact your mentor or another investor you trust and get the answer to return to the seller. An added advantage is that now you know the answer for future calls.
“What if I do such a poor job speaking with the lead that I feel like a complete simpleton?”
The good news is I’ve never actually heard of this happening to anyone, but let’s go with the worse case. You become so nervous that you almost forget your own name. You cannot string together two cohesive thoughts and you figure this person will never sell to you. In this worst-case that will likely never happen – simply hang up. Even if you run into that person in a half-hour at the grocery store, they wouldn’t know you and you wouldn’t know them.
So, why did the call degrade to that point? It would be because you weren’t sure of what to do with the call. The next mental trick is realizing that you are pre-qualifying them!
You are deciding if they are the right seller to even be speaking with. In the end, if they are not seriously motivated or they owe too much on their property – there is nothing you can do. Your real goal on the call is to weed out the leads that are not right for you.
Fun fact– most of them will not be right for you. Some will want too much money. Some will just want to see what you are doing. Some want to prove you’re a scam and they are too smart for you. Some want full market value. Some want full market value and have a house that needs a lot of repair.
You are likely not going to turn these into deals. That’s why the purpose of the initial call is simply to weed out the leads and look for the true potential deals. Don’t let that discourage you, for in there somewhere is the pearl you’re seeking that will literally be worth tens of thousands of dollars to you.
I had a mentor and friend once that insisted that you practice what you are not good at. If you are not comfortable enough to call motivated sellers – practice it hundreds of times. When I first started, the advice was to call all of the FSBO classified ads looking for deals. I never found one, but I was tenacious and called all of the ads every week. I quickly overcame my fear of speaking with sellers.
You should do the same. The Motivated Seller Data Feed is an excellent source to find motivated sellers in any market across the country. You can pull up a list of potential leads (with phone numbers when available) within seconds and start contacting them immediately. Give it a try risk-free today!
Once you start, I promise that after a couple of weeks, the ability to call motivated sellers will be a natural act for you.
Results or Excuses? You Choose.
I want you to give yourself what we used to call in the corporate world – a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Your SLA will dictate by when you must return a seller’s call. For instance:
Any seller calls received by 6 PM will be returned the same day. Any calls after 6 PM will be returned no later than the next day.
An even better one would be:
I will return all Seller calls within 30 minutes of receiving them up until 9 PM. Any calls after 9 PM will be returned by noon the following day.
By giving yourself this mandate, there is nothing ambiguous or flexible about what you agree to deliver. If you were handed the SLA by your boss, you’d make it happen, right? Well, now you have a very demanding boss – YOU! And your boss accepts no excuses.
If you remain committed to your SLA, you’ll force yourself to conquer your fears and handle the calls. You’ll quickly discover there was “nothing to fear but fear itself”.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming post where we’ll discuss how to actually handle these calls as they come in. While we do have scripts inside the Motivated Seller Data Feed that you can use immediately, I do think it’s important to have a roadmap for seller conversations, so you know how to effectively navigate the calls.
Also, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Have you built up the courage to call motivated sellers? If so, do you have any good tips? OR have you had any specific objections you need help with? We’d love to know!
Lou Castillo | Mentor – Real Estate Wealth Network
A Message From Cam Dunlap, CEO and founder of Real Estate Wealth Network: At Real Estate Wealth Network we do things differently. We’re a network of experienced real estate investing professionals with a passion for helping people succeed. I am proud to have fostered this community of amazing contributors who’ve become part of the REWN family.
This blog post was contributed by one of our master mentors with an abundance of investing experience. Lou started out just like you and so he knows how you feel, what challenges to expect and is a master at teaching others how to push past the obstacles that you may be currently facing.