Rob Caldwell explains how it’s all about the seller, and not as much about the house when securing deals. Be sure to treat them with respect and create a relationship with them so that they’re comfortable working 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.
Rob: Welcome to the We Buy Ugly Houses Real Estate Investing Show. My name is Rob Caldwell. I’m a real estate investor and I live in Asheville, North Carolina. On today’s show I would like to talk with you about one of my favorite topics. It’s not about the house, it’s about the seller. I love this subject.
Have you ever heard the expression, “You don’t know what you don’t know”? Well, that really works with what I’m about to share with you. I want to tell you about an appointment I attended many years ago. I had been with HomeVestors for just a few years and so I had learned some things about the right way and the wrong way to meet with a seller.
In my HomeVestors business, my daily job was to set appointments with sellers, then meet with them for the chance to make an offer to buy their house. This was during the time when I had been going on appointments for a few years, so I had some practice. I had gone on enough appointments where I really kind of figured things out.
So one day I had an appointment to meet with a lady to look at her deceased mother’s house that she had just inherited. I met with her. I think it was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The house was vacant. So we spent some time on the front porch talking. She shared with me some of the fond memories that she had about the house. Then I asked if she would mind giving me a tour so I could make note of any repairs.
As we walked through the house I quietly took notes of the things that I noticed would need fixing or repair, all the while she was sharing stories with me about her memories of the house. She told me about the holidays and other times that she could recall. I just listened and took notes. Each room we would stop at, she would share another story with me. When we were finished, we were back on the porch again, and she was still taking and sharing. Of course this was very emotional for her.
As we stood there, I looked down the drive way and I noticed that there was this black car with black tinted windows coming up the driveway. A guy gets out and he is wearing all black. He’s got a black leather jacket on. His hair’s in a pony tail and the whole time he is sitting there talking on a cell phone, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he was saying.
And so he walks up the steps. He walked past me and the lady and he goes into the house. Well, the lady looks at me and she said, “Who was that?” I said, “I don’t know.” She said, “Well wait a minute, what time is it?” I said, “It’s about 4:15.” Actually we had been talking for a long time so time had flown by. She said, “That’s right. I called someone else to come out here to take a look at the house. He was supposed to be here at 4:00. I think that’s him.”
So about the time we were going to go into the house to find out who this guy is, he is coming back out. He’s still got his phone to his ear and he stops and he looks at the lady and he says, “I’ll give you a call in a few days and tell you what my offer is,” and we just stood there. We couldn’t believe what had just happened. We’re watching this guy. He gets in his car. He drives back down the driveway and then off he goes down the road. She looks at me and she says, “Rob, I don’t care what his offer is. I’m not going to accept it.”
That’s a true story and it’s a story that demonstrates the importance of creating relationships with the people that call us to buy their houses. When I first started with HomeVestors as a franchisee back in 2004, I attended a lot of appointments meeting with a lot of sellers. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing but the truth was, I was struggling. But how could that be, because I made sure that I was prepared for all of my appointments? I had all of the pertinent information I needed on the house. I had the tax records. I had my comparable sales data so I could determine the value of the house and since I was a certified home inspector, I was confident in my ability to determine the repairs.
But something was missing and I soon learned that while everything else I was doing was great, none of it mattered if I did not bring the seller into that equation. I had to learn the importance of creating a relationship with the person who called me to look at their house, the seller.
Have you heard the other expression, “People do business with people they like”? It’s true. I learned that the importance of not only building relationship with people that call us, but that listening more and talking less, was the key to buying houses. When I stopped focusing on the house and started focusing on the seller, I listened to what they had to say, and I learned that people usually had a problem that needed solved, which is why they called me in the first place.
When I learned that my business was not just about buying houses, it was about solving a real estate problem for someone who needed my help, my business took off. It was like a light switch.
So the message is, whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or just someone getting started, the key to your house buying success is your ability to create relationships and listen to the people who call you.
So again, my name is Rob Caldwell and I want to thank you very much for watching this video and I will see you next time on the We Buy Ugly Houses Real Estate Investing Show.
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