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Untapped Lead Sources

By: Thomas M. Mitchell

 

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt of information contained in the Certified Short-Sale Professional (CSP) course offered by RealtyU.

Sometimes the answers we’re seeking are “hidden in plain sight” and we just need to open up our thinking to take advantage of them.  Take for instance the market we find ourselves in with a whole lot of folks facing the dire possibility of losing their homes.  They need our assistance but they certainly aren’t shouting for help from their roof tops. 

While real estate professionals all across the country are moving into the Short Sale market niche, many of them are struggling on just how to develop sources to connect with those sellers in trouble.  The Certified Short Sale Professional (CSP) course has included a section that addresses this very critical part of the process.  Here are a few of the sources the author successfully utilizes and recommends as a key addition to an individual’s sphere of influence:

  • Bankruptcy Attorneys – Contrary to popular belief, when a person gets a certified default letter for the first time it gets really scary for them and often the first person they call isn’t their real estate broker – it’s a bankruptcy attorney.  They have the misconception that the attorney can just wave a magic wand and the problem will go away.  Often times the attorney’s recommendation is not to file for bankruptcy and if they are familiar with your expertise they have an alternate option to just turning the homeowner away.
  • Paralegals – While bankruptcy laws are tougher today you might think that paralegals might not be a good source of referrals.  Think again.  Many of them have access to people who have hardship scenarios and they need to know you have a possible solution.
  • CPAs – They are a good source of referrals as sooner or later the homeowner will be asking questions about potential recourse and tax ramifications. 
  • Refinance Specialists – Even in this market these folks are constantly getting calls.  Statistics tell us that on average 8 out of every 10 homeowners that end up looking at a Short Sale solution have already tried the refinance route and failed.  While some applicants are not qualified for their programs, the refi specialist could be well served to have an established relationship with a Short Sale specialist.
  • Others – Tax attorneys and divorce attorneys are also excellent sources of referrals as unfortunately the family home is often a central element in the problem.  Don’t forget other real estate professionals as a great source of referrals. Many of them don’t want to negotiate and process Short Sales or would like to work with another professional the first time through.

All of these professionals interact with homeowners in crisis almost on a daily basis.  Getting a referral from one of them is the very best, most highly qualified referral you could get.  But don’t stop there.

The standard methods the industry has developed over years have not ceased to exist just because the “subprime” debacle has grabbed center stage.  Sending out personal letters, knocking on doors and holding open houses are still very effective – you just need to adapt them to the current market conditions. 

Start with the assumption that most homeowners haven’t heard about the Short Sale option and as a result they think they don’t have any options left.  You need to become that option provider – but you have to find them.  An excellent place to start is to have your title rep provide you with a list of all homeowners that purchased property from 2004 to 2006 and used 100% financing with adjustable rate loans.  Focus that search in your specific market and then host a neighborhood meeting for those folks and provide them with information about the pre-foreclosure process and introduce the potential solution that you can bring to the table. 

And last, but far from least, use the list you obtained from your title rep and start knocking on doors.  This seems to be a lost art these days and you will be surprised how well you will be received if you are prepared to deal with the subject effectively when the door is opened. 

The Certified Short-Sale Professional (CSP) course looks at this part of the process in detail.  Just how do you turn a cold call about a very difficult and possibly embarrassing subject into a potential sale?  Facilitating a Short Sale can be an excellent opportunity in today’s market but one that should not be entered into lightly.  To get a good understanding of negotiating and processing the Short Sale along with some solid tools and the skills necessary to be successful in this niche market visit: http://www.certifiedshortsaleprofessional.com/  to learn the details.

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