When I first started out in real estate investing (in 1999) - I had no idea where to start. Luckily, I had a "mentor" (if that's what you want to call him) that gave me some ideas on what I should do and who I should market to. Since I was primarily interested in wholesaling properties, he steered me in the direction of mailing postcards to homeowners who had code violations with the city. These were PERFECT candidates for the types of deals I was after. So I stayed up countless nights, printing postcards on my printer on 4 x 6 index cards and hand addressing them to this list of people.
Needless to say, it worked! Sellers started to call me, and I finally did my first deal. From them on, I was hooked! I knew that in order for me to make any money in the real estate business, I would have to target my audience and then mail, mail, mail. So I've been doing that ever since.
Now let's talk about today's market and how you can drill down to your perfect audience. With foreclosures at an all time high, there is a great need for people to help homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Whether it be with short sales, loan modifications, or other solutions, there is a specific mailing list that you can purchase to increase your seller leads, and dominate your local market!
What I'm referring to is the PRE NOD List. This is a list of homeowners who are behind on their mortgages. You can filter this list by many different search criteria, including mortgage balance, zip codes, number of days late on their mortgage, available equity, and more! Just recently, the feature has been added to even filter these lists by lender. That is great news for short sale specialists that do not want or like to deal with Bank of America/Countrywide.
Here are some of the best features and benefits of using the Pre NOD list in your real estate marketing plan:oMore than 3% of homeowners on the Pre-NOD list are not Living in the House. That's right! That means that they are VACANT HOUSES
- More time to work with the homeowners. If you wait until the foreclosure is underway, you're racing the clock.
- Very little competition - since it not public record, you get first dibs on the "cream of the crop"
- More than one way to buy the houses from owners who are late on their mortgage payments
- Pre-NOD Leads are affordable. When you consider the cost per lead vs. the profit from one deal - it's a JOKE.
So you're probably thinking - so should I buy the leads that are 30 days late, 60 days late or 90 days late, right? That's a good question. And I have some answers (you should've known!)
When people are 30 days late, they're just not quite motivated enough for me. They are still in denial and not ready to make a decision on what they're going to do in their situation. However, you can start to market to them when they're thirty days late, and follow up with repeated mailings and even phone calls. Some states do not allow you to market to these people once they're more than thirty days late, so be sure to check the rules in your state before ordering.
Homeowners who are 60 days and 90 days late are perfect candidates for short sales and loan modifications. They start to feel the pressure by their lenders, and know that now they need to make a decision quickly on what to do with their house.
Choosing the right list is really a business decision. I always tell my real estate marketing clients the same thing - EVERYTHING WORKS- as long as you implement and stay consistent.
Tracy Caywood has been investing in real estate since 1999, focusing on wholesaling properties and short sales (certified in Loss Mitigation and Foreclosure Prevention). She also provides a cutting edge, extreme direct mail marketing campaign for real estate investors.