Why I Hope Sellers Aren’t Home When I Call

Answering machines, ugh. The worst part about calling sellers on the phone is that more often then not, there’s nobody there to answer the darn thing and we’re left dealing with their answering machines. Hmm…

It occurred to me one day that I ought to figure out a way to turn this “problem” into a solution, one that worked well and actually took advantage of the fact that most people no longer pick up their own telephones.

Eventually, through trial and error, it’s come down to this: A system anybody (even my kids) can use to deliver a clear, concise message to the answering machines in the homes of the sellers in my community.It wasn’t until sometime later I figured out that brand new real estate investors, the ones with maybe even a little bit of “call reluctance” (the fear of making those telephone calls on all the ads in the newspaper), would find this particular solution attractive.

A real “no-brainer”

How is it even my kids can use it? Because it’s painless, a real “no-brainer.” It works like this: I’ve recorded the “perfect” message to leave on the answering machines of the sellers in my community. Now, when we call, we hope sellers aren’t home! How’s that for a change of direction?

I’ve got the message stored in my computer in a little database program. We enter the telephone number and the computer takes over from there, dialing the phone and when appropriate, playing my message.

What’s the perfect message? Well, turns out it’s really nothing remarkable at all. Just going through the motions and making contact is more than probably 95% of your competitors are doing, and effortlessly leaving a thought-out, targeted reply is a pretty cool thing.

Do they call back? No, not always, but that’s the point! Only the ones who are really, really interested (can you say “motivated”?) respond, and when they do, you’ve got a chance to make good things happen.

My “secret” script

Okay, okay, what’s the message?

“Yeah, hi, I’m calling about the house in the paper…”

Nothing remarkable.

“….and I was just wondering (insert “aw, shucks” here) if that might be available on a rent to own basis.”

You can do this.

“If you need a lot of cash up front or require new financing, then it’s really not something I can handle right now….”

“….but, if you’d consider a long term rental where I can take care of the house like a buyer and give me the chance to purchase it a few years down the road, please get back in touch with me. I’m at 555-1212.”

Keep it simple!

Are you with me so far? Don’t mention “lease option” and don’t talk in scary “grant an exclusive purchase option regarding the subject property….” terms. Sellers know and understand “rent” and “a chance to purchase.” Anything more than that and you’ll lose the very people you’re after.

It takes only seconds, and now a surprisingly powerful message is in place. If you’re talking with the answering machine of that motivated seller you’re looking for, you may be onto something. (And if you’re not, then the seller who isn’t interested generally won’t call back). That’s the beauty of the thing!

When they do call back, you can almost count on it being somebody ready to deal. Now, put that lease option package into the mail at once.

Okay? Change the message to make it fit. Record it into a tape player or onto your computer, and then just keep playing that sucker into every seller’s answering machine you happen upon. Yes, that guy you’re looking for is out there and he will call. You just have to give him a way to find you.


By CREOnline Contributor

A content contributor to the original CREOnline.com.