Are they willing to take a discounted price?/Discount for value of repairs
The very first thing you’re going to want to do on a new intake phone call is to identify whether or not this is a valid deal for you. In a lot of ways, the marketing that you do before will validate a new caller or a lead submission form before you ever get in touch with the seller.
If your signs say, “we buy houses,” people aren’t going to call you saying “hey, do you want to buy my truck?” In nearly every inbound call we studied, the caller opened up by asking, “do you buy houses?” or, “I want to sell my house.”
This is awesome on two levels: it opens up the conversation to jump into qualifying questions, and it weeds them out as wrong callers.
After an intro, you need to start gathering info. Here’s a solid list of things to capture on this first phone call:
- Their name
- Their address
- Their phone number so you can “call back if you get disconnected”
- What condition is your house in?
Those four things are all you should ask to start. There are two deadly sins in this part of the intake call: asking too much, and asking too little. By sticking with just these four questions you can avoid sounding like a robot while still capturing everything necessary so you don’t go in blind.
Asking things like how many bedrooms the house has, what year it was built, and if they have a septic tank is overkill. When you can look up the answers to all of these questions online after you have the address, it doesn’t make sense to make the prospect slog through a bunch of draining questions.
This step, by far, without a doubt, 100%, is the difference between you and every other wholesaler in your area. If you’ve been in the investment game anywhere longer than a month you’ve seen how many other wholesalers treat the whole business in a very transactional manner.
Across all the companies we’ve worked with, we’ve noticed that the ones who are great at building rapport close substantially more deals. In fact, they even close deals where they aren’t the highest bidder just because rapport builds trust.
How can you build rapport you may ask? It’s honestly not as hard as you’d think.
While asking all those questions we just discussed above, find something to relate to.
Your name is Brian? My first cousin on my mom’s side is named Brian.
The house is in Bayfield North? I love that area. That’s where my parents moved to be closer to the rest of the family.
You had a plumbing issue? Man, we had PVC pipes too. Those things just always break.
These statements may seem simple at face value, but on an intake call they make you feel genuine. They make you a human on the other side of the inhuman phone. More importantly, very few investors are actually doing it.
Now, these statements may lead you down a rabbit hole of conversation. Our advice? Fall down that hole! At the end of the day people want to sell to people they like, not people who can recite a script. Spend the extra time getting to know the seller so that they are more than an address.
You may have been scratching your head at the list of questions in point 1 thinking, “when are they going to ask why the prospect is selling?” And you’d be right to ask that question.
There’s a reason we didn’t include it in the list, however. A name, phone number, and address are easy to give. The reason people need to sell a house fast are usually very hard.
Whether its a death in the family, loss of a job, or moving into a nursing home, there is often a lot of real pain in the reason that they are selling.
For this reason, we’ve found its best to ask about motivation AFTER you’ve built rapport. Humanizing yourself and building trust will help the seller feel much more comfortable sharing their real situation with you. This isn’t a transaction anymore, you’re there to help them when they need it.
There’s nothing difficult about asking why they’re selling, it’s all in how and when you ask it.
Now comes a bit more qualification. The caller is emotionally invested in you as a buyer, but you still don’t know if the deal is 100% a fit yet. The lifeblood of wholesaling is buying below retail, and you don’t know if they’re comfortable with that just yet.
Since you’ve already built trust and a relationship with the seller, now is the time to break into a bit of a sales pitch.
Once they’ve finished telling you about their motivation, it’s time to break out those statements you’ve probably said 100 times already.
“We help people just like you. We buy homes that maybe need too many repairs to list, people that need to move out of their house fast, or people who don’t want to pay closing costs. We don’t pay retail for houses because we have to fix them up, is that something you’re open to?”
Obviously, use your own variation here. The key is to tell them that you help people just like them, but also to show them the price they’d likely get so there isn’t a sticker shock when you actually make an appointment.
Want to know the most dangerous phrase on an intake call?
We’d love to come out and take a look at the property. I’ll check my calendar and get back to you about a good time.
Why is this such a death sentence? Once you hang up that phone you are no longer the immediate solution to their problem. When people turn to selling their home wholesale they usually need two things: someone they can trust, and a fast solution.
Once you get off the phone, you are no longer that fast solution.
This is a small but crucial point: be ready to book an appointment over the phone on the very first call.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to forget to track lead calls.
Things you absolutely must include when tracking info in your CRM:
- Personal Info: name, phone, email, etc
- Address Info with competitive analysis, ARV
- Notes on the individual themselves. Why are they selling? How quickly do they want to move?
- Always track appointments so that you don’t forget!!!
If you’re not already using software like CallRail or CallTrackingMetrics to record and automate the push to a CRM, then I highly recommend you start. These programs make it easy to go back and listen to call recordings to find the info you may have missed, audit how well you did on the call, and easily push data into your CRM.