Looking for motivated sellers?
The more motivated sellers that you can get on the phone, the more deals you’ll close every month, the faster you’ll close those deals (because the sellers are motivated), and the more successful your business will become.
Which, in turn, means more personal, financial, and entrepreneurial freedom.
You get the gist: finding more motivated sellers can create a lot of opportunities.
And the good news is, the motivated sellers are already out there, just waiting to be found.
That’s right — tons of investors are finding those sellers and turning them into deals every single month. You can do the same thing: find them, attract them, and close them.
But, you might be asking, How am I going to do that??
That’s what you’re going to learn in this guide.
What is a Motivated Seller?
A motivated seller is someone who is motivated to sell their home quickly and for less than market value. Real estate investors try to find motivated sellers in order to secure profitable contracts for wholesaling, flipping, or buy-and-hold business models.
1. Send Eye-Catching Direct Mail
Not all direct mail is created equal. As you already know, much of the direct mail that you receive every day goes straight from the mailbox to the trash with nothing more than a quick glance.
It’s called junk mail.
And neither you nor your ideal prospect (the motivated seller) is going to give junk mail any attention whatsoever. If your mailers look like junk mail (even if they’re not), if they are deceptive, too sales-y, or downright gimmicky, many people are going to throw it right in the trash.
That’s the hard truth.
The good news is that you can make your direct mailers way more effective with just a little bit of intentionality (it doesn’t take that long to change your mailers. And the pay-off can be massive).
Well, one sure-fire way to make your direct mail stand out from everyone else’s and ensure it at least gets opened is to use hand-written text rather than printed text.
And thanks to Ballpoint Marketing (another company founded by Ryan Dossey), it is totally possible to mass-produce handwritten mailers (with real ink that smears and indents the paper!). You can learn more over here — right now, though, they are sold out except for one option. But they expect to be up and running again soon!
2. Facebook Retargeting
Perhaps the most effective strategy for finding motivated sellers on Facebook is to skip the “finding” part altogether.
If you add the Facebook pixel to your website, then it’s really easy to retarget visitors with Facebook ads, even if they didn’t give you their contact information.
It’s a way to follow up with people who didn’t opt-in on your website, and since they visited, it’s safe to assume that they have some degree of interest in your services.
We talk a lot about the importance of following up with people.
And this is a non-invasive, easy way to follow up with website visitors who might become leads in the future.
2. Google Ads For Key Phrases
Ideally, when someone searches for “sell my house fast in [market_city]”, “professional homebuyer in [market_city]”, or some other high-value phrase in Google, you want to be at the top of the page.
And while SEO is a strategy that you should definitely keep chipping away at, it’s not going to get you results overnight.
But you know what will?
Bidding for Google advertisements that target the exact phrases that you know your target market is searching for. And if you think that no one clicks on Google ads, think again: Google ads receive 65% of the clicks from buying keywords and organic results only get 35%.
In other words, people are perfectly happy to click on advertisements when they’re ready to take action.
Study your competitors, see what phrases they’re targeting, research their title tags and meta descriptions, and then craft some Google ads of your own.
3. Lead Magnet Promotion
We’ve talked about retargeting website visitors on Facebook and running ads for high-value keyword phrases in Google.
But what about motivated seller lead-gen?
Is there a way to generate high-quality leads with paid advertisements?
Well, one thing you could certainly try is to run a generic “sell my house fast for cash” ad that targets your ideal demographic. In general, that gets mixed results for real estate investors.
If it’s ineffective for you, then you might consider trying a “lead magnet” instead.
This is a free resource you create that’s built to attract motivated sellers and get them to opt-in to your email list. Here are a few examples of eBooks you could create…
- 10 Tips For Fixing Up a Home That You Inherited
- 10 Lessons I Learned From Going Through Foreclosure
- 10 Ways To Get Top-Dollar On Your Outdated Home
You give that resource away for free but, in return, people have to give you their email address. You can then follow up with those new leads and build an email list of people who can turn into deals at some point down the road.
4. Post Once a Day on Social Media
Speaking of under-utilized strategies for finding motivated sellers, here’s another one: consistently posting on social media.
Most real estate investors either completely ignore the potential that social media represents for their business’ lead-gen, or they exclusively run paid ads, but never post organically.
But the truth is, social media is a freaking powder-keg of potential for generating leads and finding motivated sellers!
In fact, salespeople and sales teams that use social media are far more likely to hit their quotas every month.
That’s great and all.
But I know what you’re thinking…
What am I supposed to post about??
And the answer is pretty simple: anything that interests you.
Have a strong political opinion? Talk about it on social media (just don’t get in a fight). Find something that made you laugh? Share it. Just put a property under contract? Celebrate.
The fact is, the more that people see you on social media, the more that they’ll feel like they know who you are, the more they’ll trust you, and the more motivated sellers you’re going to find without even trying (they’ll come to you before anyone else if they’re in need of selling their house fast).
5. Drive For Dollars
Have you heard of driving for dollars before?
If you haven’t, it’s basically just a not-so-fancy way of saying… you drive around in a car, look for distressed properties, write down their addresses, and add them to your mailing list.
This can be a phenomenal way to find leads and motivated sellers that your competitors are overlooking.
Because when you pull a mailing list, you’re probably pulling the exact same list that your competitors are pulling. But when you manually go look for distressed properties, you might find some leads that no one has reached out to yet — a powerful advantage.
And this doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort out of your day.
Just pay attention whenever you’re driving around town — going to the grocery store, taking the kids to sporting events, or heading into the office, for example — and write down the address for any properties you see that might benefit from your services.
You can mail or cold call them once you sit down at your desk.
6. Cold Call
Look — I’m not going to lie to you.
Cold calling is hard. It’s uncomfortable, it’s nerve-wracking, and it takes a lot to find someone who won’t hang up on you after just a few seconds.
Some statistics estimate that it takes somewhere between 100 and 200 calls just to find a single motivated prospect.
But the good news is, you can greatly increase that ratio by focusing your cold calling efforts on people who are likely to be motivated about selling their home — people on the probate list you pulled or owners of properties you discovered while driving for dollars, for instance.
The only other things you’ll need to tackle are the discomfort of calling someone you’ve never spoken to before (it can be scary!) and figuring out exactly what you’re going to say when they answer the phone.
For that, check out the comprehensive guide to cold calling motivated sellers. Hope it helps!
7. Work on Your Website’s SEO
Since you’re a real estate investor and entrepreneur — not an expert digital marketer — you might not even know what SEO is.
That’s okay — let me explain.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is a term that describes the process of trying to get pages of your website to rank in Google.
That is, one of the first things that many motivated sellers do when they need to sell their house fast for cash is go to Google and search for… “Sell my house fast for cash in [market city].”
This is what I mean.
And here’s the kicker. Even though that search brought up more than 27 million results, only 10% of people go to the second page, and even less to the third, fourth, fifth… you get the point. Similarly, 33% of searchers (the biggest majority by far) click on the very first result.
Imagine, then, if your website came up on the first page — or better yet, as the first result — of Google when a motivated seller went searching for someone who could purchase their home. How would that affect your lead gen and your business growth?
It’d be pretty awesome, right?
Here’s a basic outline of how you can optimize any page for search engines.
- Choose your target keyword (what phrase do you want your page to rank for in Google?) — only choose one phrase to target per page.
- Aim for about a 3% exact match keyword density on your page (that is, if a page has 1,000 words, it’d have 30 occurrences of your target keyword phrase).
8. Answer The Phone When It Rings
The phone rings…
Maybe you’re at dinner with your family. Maybe you’re at the movies. Or maybe you’re trying to enjoy a round of golf with friends.
Whatever the reason, you don’t answer it.
And who can blame you!?
The whole reason that you started on this entrepreneurial journey, anyways, is so you could enjoy more free time with your family, with your friends, and with the hobbies you really enjoy — not so you could be tied to your cell phone 24/7.
Unfortunately, though, not answering the phone when it rings might be costing you a lot of money.
The data agrees…
…and so too does cold, hard logic.
Think about it…
If a motivated seller — someone who really needs to sell their house as soon as possible — calls you and gets sent to voicemail, what are they going go to do next?
Well, they’re probably not going to patiently tap their knuckles on the desk and wait for you to return their call — they’re going to call your competitors. And if your competitor picks up the phone, they just got the deal that could have been yours.
But I’m not telling you to quit spending time with your family or to prioritize answering the phone over stuff that really matters to you… I’m just illustrating that you do need some sort of solution if your business is going to grow and thrive.
And at Call Porter, we have that solution. Learn more about us over here.
9. Follow Up At Least 10 Times
Most leads aren’t going to agree to work with you after the first phone call (even if they are motivated).
And that’s because of one simple psychological fact: humans don’t trust someone they just met.
Which is reasonable… isn’t it?
After all, you probably wouldn’t sign a contract after just one phone call with someone, would you? You’d want to discuss the logistics of the agreement and get to know them as a person before you put pen to paper.
The same is true for all of your prospects, no matter how motivated they are to sell their home.
This is exactly why you need to follow up, follow up, and keep following up.
But how many times should you aim for?
Check out these stats for an answer to that question.
And here’s an article that Ryan wrote which argues that 10 follow-ups is ideal (he ran a test on his own business).
10. Ask Past Clients for Referrals
Perhaps the most under-utilized strategy for finding more motivated sellers in the real estate investing world is asking for referrals.
I’m not totally sure why that is…
…but it is.
And that’s an unfortunate fact — because a whopping 91% of people said that they would give a referral if the salesperson asked them.
What an easy way to find more motivated sellers for your business!
All you have to do is call up past clients on the basis of your already-established relationship, and ask them if there’s anyone they know who would benefit from your services.
Yet, only 11% of salespeople do this.
Which is a fact that’s ripe for exploitation in your own market. Most of your competitors probably aren’t asking for referrals. So who knows? This might be the strategy that makes you surpass your most aggressive competitors.
And it’s so darn simple that you have no excuse to not at least give it a try.
11. Add One of These Phrases to Your Script
Sometimes, a single sentence or even a single word can change a prospect’s mind about whether they want to work with you or not. In sales, words are power. And using the right words can help you build a bigger business and close twice as many deals with the same amount of leads.
Not too long ago, we put together this article with 5 REI sales phrases for obliterating objections and closing consistently — you might consider adding one or several of these to your sales scripts.
12. Add a Testimonial to Your Website (and Tell Stories Often)
Humans are wired for stories. Stories are what we think of when we’re considering buying a product or service, or working with someone like a real estate investor.
Will the service help us? Where will we be if we sign up for the service? How will it benefit us?
We don’t just answer these questions logically when thinking about them, we imagine the scenarios. In other words, we tell ourselves stories about what will or will not happen.
And one easy way to convert more motivated sellers is to tell more stories — stories of people who’ve worked with you in the past, stories of how you can help the prospect, and stories about how that will directly impact them.
Nothing converts better than a story does. So, add a testimonial to your website and maybe even a case study. Then prepare yourself to tell more stories whenever you’re talking to a prospect on the phone. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll close more deals.
Understanding (and Optimizing) Your Motivated Seller Sales Funnel
We’ve given you 10 ideas for finding motivated sellers, but how do you build a business that systematically pulls motivated sellers out of your data and then turns those leads into deals?
Here’s the 3-step sales funnel we recommend.
Step 1. Hire a Virtual Assistant and Delegate Lead-Gen Tasks
A Virtual Assistant is exactly what it sounds like: someone who helps you with assistant-type tasks via their computer – they don’t have to be local.
For this first step, though, you could hire a Virtual Assistant or a local assistant. The primary benefit to VAs is that you have a bigger pool to choose from, they’re often cheaper, and they’re easy to find.
The best place to go hunting for VAs is on UpWork.
Of course, choosing from the pool of applicants that apply for your job is easier said than done. Consider using these questions as a quick interview process.
- How did you get where you are today?
- What’s your favorite book that you’ve read?
- Tell me about a time that you did an amazing job for your client and how that felt.
- If you make a mistake and I help correct you, are you open to feedback?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Tell me about a time that you had to do something outside your comfort zone and how you handled that.
- Do you have any experience in the real estate industry?
Then, create a test period (90 days, for instance) to try out the VA. Delegate as many lead gen. tasks to them as possible…
- Facebook Ads
- Craigslist Ads
- Direct Mail
- Data collection
- Bandit signs (if local)
If they’re unfamiliar with the real estate space, then consider creating some simple ad templates for them to work from. Or simply have them manage and report on ads that you create.
But remember, time is money. And the goal is to free up your time so you can work on your business rather than in it.
Step 2. Outsource your Lead Qualification Process
At this point, let’s imagine that you have a VA driving traffic for you and generating consistent leads. It might be slow going at first, but they (and you) will figure it out.
Now it’s time to automate the qualification of those leads so that you (or your acquisitions manager – see Step 3) spend less time with chatty tire-kickers and more time with motivated sellers.
Plus, by outsourcing lead qualification and management, your business will let fewer calls go to voicemail, have less hurried conversations, and capitalize on more opportunities than you could when trying to do everything on your own.
But who’s going to answer the phone for you? Who’s going to have the necessary expertise to be able to qualify a lead competently? Who can possibly sell your business as well as you can?
Well, you could use your VA to answer phone calls and qualify leads. The problem with this is that you’d have to spend an obscene amount of time training them how to do so. And if they quit, you have to train someone else.
Considering your current time deficit, training is more than you can handle right now.
A better option?
Call Porter. We have a team of U.S.-based reps who’re professionally trained to screen for motivated sellers and then schedule follow-up meetings with qualified leads.
Our team automates inbound lead qualification for hundreds of top-performing investors around the nation, making their lives easier, and their businesses more successful.
We built Call Porter for you because there was nothing else like it. Schedule a demo to try us out for yourself.
Step 3. Hire an Acquisitions Manager
You’ve automated your lead generation tactics using a VA and you’ve also automated your lead qualification process with Call Porter or by hiring and training someone privately.
To completely automate your motivated seller funnel, you need someone who can follow up with qualified leads for you, close those leads consistently with competent cash offers, and even manage the buyer-finding process.
Namely, you need an Acquisitions Manager.
This person will oversee qualified leads, ensuring that they close consistently.
Depending on your agreement, this person can also find buyers, take pictures of houses, talk with motivated sellers, and even sign contracts. Consider posting a job on Indeed or Glassdoor to find the right person.
Finding motivated sellers is one of the most critical parts of growing an REI business.
You don’t just have to find motivated sellers today or tomorrow… you have to create systems that consistently generate leads and close deals.
We’ve given you 12 ideas and a 3-step sales funnel for doing so.
Now it’s time for action.