Mike Singletary shares with us different strategies to look at when getting the most out of your leads. By connecting to the sellers on a personal level and putting them at ease, most sellers are more willing to work with you.



Announcer: Welcome to the We Buy Ugly Houses Show, where real investors share real investing stories and lessons from the trenches, where our team buys thousands of investment properties each year. Now, let’s meet today’s host.

Mike: Hi, my name is Mike Singletary. I’m a developing agent in Austin, Texas and I’m your host for Buy Ugly Houses Show. Today, I want to talk to you about connecting with the seller. So I know you’re very excited and once you get in, you start your advertisement. And then the phone rings, and it’s a pretty scary proposition if this is your first time or you’re not really used to it. And so I try to break it down as easily as possible.

You want to start the rapport at the initial buy call. And I’ve done several things. And when I first started, I didn’t have a lot of leads so I took the call myself. And I found that when I did take the call, it was extremely important, rather than using a call center or having my admin take the call. Now, we have a rule in our company that whoever the buyer is, they have to take the call. So I think the rapport is so important. It starts at the initial buy call. And you want it to be very conversational. It’s almost like dating or getting to know someone that you really like.

So there are a couple things that you have to be. One of them is not too eager. You want to make sure that you’re relaxed and calm and you want to set the expectations and make it much more conversational than anything else. You want to find some kind of commonality with them without sounding too salesy or cheesy. But the most important thing is you want to get certain aspects out of that call so that you can get the information you need to figure out if it’s a fit for both of you. For us, we want to figure out, first and foremost, what’s the motivation? If they don’t have any motivation, that call’s probably not going to go very far.

Our second one is equity. There are a couple of rules on that one. Some people don’t want to talk about equity until they get to the house. We typically like to talk about it right up front to see if there’s anything better we can do. Another one, a big one, is setting expectations. You want to kind of dictate the flow of it. If not, they’re going to dictate the flow of the conversation and, generally, that doesn’t go very well for either party, quite honestly. And just like I said before, you want to make it very conversational. So you’re not just going through some type of checklist and making them feel like they’re answering a bunch of bullet points.

You want to mutually agree. You have to mutually agree on certain things and there’s a clear next step pattern when you go on your buy call appointment. And I think the most important thing when you get there is that your first objective is that you want to put them at ease. They’re very nervous. They’re probably worried that you’re going to take advantage of them. And the quicker you can get that part out of the way and just put . . . it’s just you and them and getting to that space where they feel comfortable for sharing. That’s when things really happen.

Typically, once we get there, we’ll sit down on the couch and have a conversation about what we talked about over the phone. And then, we’ll talk about the repairs and the things that need to be done. A lot of times, when you’re inexperienced, it’s like an 80/20 thing. You spend 80% on the repairs and 20% on the conversation. But really, you really need it to be the opposite. You have to spend 80% on the conversation and 20% on the repairs. And that’s a little bit tough in the beginning because you’re probably so worried about the numbers that you want to nail that down so you’re not making a mistake.

But one tip that I could give you that will help you with that is to come up with as much of the repairs as you can before you actually get to the appointment. So during your initial call, for example, you talk to him, you’re like, “You know, I saw your house was built in 1985. Have you ever your roof changed?” And they’ll say no. “Or how about your HVAC? Is it the original?” They’ll say yes. So you’ll probably know you’ll have to change that so you just input the numbers there.

You could ask them, “Have you modernized the kitchen or the bathroom?” And they’ll probably say no. So you could always ask another follow-up question like, “So is it fair to say that it needs to be updated a little bit?” So little non-invasive questions really kind of dictate your budget and the rest of it, you’re just kind of filling in small, little gaps. So when you’re there, you’re just paying attention to them and what their needs are because, more times than not, their needs are not as apparent as you think.

So when that’s done, hopefully, you get a buy. But if you don’t, that’s okay. You’re not going to buy all of them. You want to document as much of that appointment as possible because that way, your follow-up, when you call them, you have some detailed information that you could ask them. And also, it makes them feel important that you remember certain things about their situation. So I hope that helps. I’ll talk to you soon.

Announcer: Are you looking to get started in real estate investing or take your investing business to the next level? HomeVestors, the “We Buy Ugly Houses” folks, is the number one home buyer in America, where our franchisees purchase thousands of houses each year, many of which started with little to no experience. If you’d like to chat, please visit Learn more from the We Buy Ugly Houses Show, an amazing Homevestors team, by watching more shows at or by finding us on iTunes or Stitcher radio.

Ug Lee

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