Getting motivated sellers to contact you is what real estate investing is all about. One of the ways that we have been successful is to locate potential deals using death notices in the obituaries. Before you call me a creep or a hearse chaser, give this area a little time and attention.
I am in no way trying to disrespect the dearly departed, but as investors, we are always looking for a way to have a leg up on the competition, so why not get over on them by starting out six feet under?
Consider for a moment the unscrupulous Bible salesman that would look through the death notices and contact the family of the person who had just passed away. He would ask for the dead person by name, and when they stated he had died, the salesman would act shocked.
Then he’d say that he was just confirming how he wanted the name spelled on the Bible he had ordered. The loved one was so touched that they ordered the Bible on behalf of their loved one.
This terrible practice would have the Attorney General after you, and indeed they should, but let’s take a closer look at how a person may make use of this always constant segment of our “used to be” population and see how it CAN be a benefit to us.
You see, most everyone would think that it is terrible to contact the family of the dearly departed and make a pitch for their loved one’s home (and I agree to some extent), but this allows us a fantastic way to get the upper hand on our soon to be competition.
There will NEVER be an end to your local death notices; and hence, there will be a never ending supply of leads to which you will have access.
Your town, city, or village most likely has a newspaper. Depending on how progressive they are, they may even have an Online version of the paper. I live in a town of only 17,000 people and our little paper has its own Online version.
In keeping with our passive approach to real estate investing, we want to find a way to connect with these individuals without looking like a bunch of non-compassionate deal seekers!
Now, there would be quite a bad feeling if we were to contact them and say, “Hey, I know dad just kicked the bucket, so what you gonna do with his house?”
If you didn’t get a punch in the face for this approach, you sure should! The way we handle this to great success is that we look through the obituaries and get the name of the person that passed away. Using a host of different reverse lookup sites like www.anywho.com we are able to locate their address.
We simply send out a marketing postcard that states something like:
Can I Buy Your Home?
If you need to sell your home and time is of the essence,
Call us for the BEST OFFER AVAILABLE!
With this method, we are not seen as creeps, but as someone with excellent timing and someone who may be able to help the family out. You definitely will get calls from these super-motivated sellers.
About the author…
Patrick Zanders is a real estate investor and marketing consultant. He is developing postcard marketing software that uses unique tactics to get a constant stream of motivated sellers contacting you, eliminating the need to search for them once and for all. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org