BY LANCE EDWARDS—If you are using a direct mail marketing campaign to reach potential sellers of multifamily properties, you need to have an effective call script in place for when the inquiry calls start rolling in. You need to keep three objectives in mind when speaking with an interested seller. You need to build a rapport, qualify that they are a motivated seller and then qualify if it is a deal.
You can accomplish all three objectives with a simple, 10 minute phone call. The caller will say, “I received a letter saying that you want to buy my property.” The first thing you need to do is to get them to talk about the property. Be sure and repeat their answers because this helps to build a rapport.
To build a rapport, you need to ask at least some of the following questions:
- How many units is it?
- How many vacancies do you have?
- What is the rent?
- Is it a flat or pitched roof?
- How long have you owned the property? If they have owned the property for a long time, there may be a lot of equity or it is free and clear and then you can do some seller financing.
- Where is it located? What is the address?
- What type of deferred maintenance does it have? You want to find out the condition of the units, roof and foundation.
- Who manages the property?
That short list of questions should enable you to develop a good rapport. Now you want to find out more about their situation.
The potential seller’s response to the following three questions will tell you if he is motivated to sell or not. You should ask the following questions:
- May I ask why you are selling? Their response to this question can assist you in how you package your deal to them.
- Do you know how much you would ask for it?
- Is your price flexible?
- Do you owe anything on the property?
Once you have gathered the above information, the seller may ask you to make an offer. You do not want to make an offer. You need to ask to see the financials.
Looking over the financials tells you whether it is a deal you should pursue or not. You should tell the seller that you base your offer price on the income of the property. If possible, have the seller fax you the financials.
Having a call script in place can not only help you get as much information as you can quickly, it can also take the intimidation out of speaking to a potential seller. You will speak to many different types of people but the key is to remember your three objectives of building a rapport, qualifying the seller and then qualifying the deal.