Knocking on Foreclosures: Improve Your Odds Tenfold

Okay, you’re on the front porch of a house in foreclosure, and silly you, you just knocked on the front door. What are you, crazy? Gulp! Easy, relax, we so have this thing handled . . . Now what? Don’t tell me you have to think about it, and don’t you dare tell me it’ll all be okay because you’re “just there to help.”

Wrong answers. You’ve got no time to wonder about what to say next; you have to know it–down cold. Tell me you learned the line! Well? Okay then, you’re on your own; and I do believe a dog is barking; and yes, I hear footsteps coming your way. Heavy footsteps. Uh oh.

And now your nerves kick in. Good grief! Gulp. You ain’t ready, friend, and even I can see it in your eyes. That door opens slowly and he pokes his nose through the crack, glaring at you now, “What the heck do you want?” Gulp.

It’s shooooooow time! And . . . you’re the star of the show. “Line!” (That’s what actors say when they forget their next line.) How ’bout you? Did you forget it, or maybe you never learned it to begin with? Or are you going to do what 98% of investors do and wing it? Trust me here, you try winging it and he’s going to eat you alive.

I, myself, winged it for years. But I was stupid. Listen, you don’t have to be stupid. You can learn how the game is played and understand that there’s a much better way to approach this “connecting” business. Oh, you didn’t realize you were there to connect? Did you think your job was to save their credit or buy their house or even, to help?

Let me tell you, as a guy who’s stood on a lot of porches in his day, if your goal is to make a whole bunch of money as a real estate investor, the only thing you need to concerned about while you’re standing on that porch is you and that homeowner connecting.

Deals don’t get made on porches

Fail to connect, and you will absolutely fail to get paid. Big secret? Nope. But most people think their job somehow is to negotiate a deal right there on the porch. And dude, that just ain’t happening. Remember this: Deals DO NOT get made on porches! Got that?

So if you know that deals don’t get made on porches (and now you do), would you ever stand there and try to negotiate one? Uh, no, you wouldn’t.

Now, this is important . . . the first words out of your mouth are critical. Blow the line and your chances of doing a deal come crashing down at your feet. We call that “opening,” and you have to open with a bang so big they won’t soon forget you. (Or confuse you with every other numbskull who’s come by offering his “help.”)

What’s next? You and your butt are parked in a chair at that kitchen table of theirs. Getting there is easy, but do understand that it, too, is a process (and one you cannot rush).

Okay, next key point . . . No matter what you do once you set foot inside that house, don’t you dare sit down at that kitchen table until you’ve spent twenty minutes and no less than twenty minutes just hanging with the owner.

Doing what? Uh, connecting, remember? I don’t care what you do or what you talk about, as long as it’s not about foreclosure or the house or their problems. Try the weather. “Looks like spring has sprung.” Sports, maybe? “How ’bout those Seahawks? What was up with those refs, anyway?”

Pets? Furniture? Kids? Until you’ve spent twenty solid minutes engaged in conversation, you don’t want to talk about anything related to their current situation. Can you manage? It’s easy; he’s dying to talk, and all you have to do is get him started. By the way, don’t think twenty-one minutes is too long–I’ve let sellers go on for hours and hours.

And just about then “the moment” arrives. Believe me, you’ll feel it. You and the seller will have genuinely connected and the odds of you doing a deal are now ten times what they were just half an hour ago because . . .

  1. He likes you.

  2. He trusts you.

  3. And he KNOWS you because you took the time to connect with him.

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A content contributor to the original CREOnline.com.