Archive for April, 2011
We can build a list of distressed homeowners 30, 60, 90 or 120 days late on their mortgage payment based on, among other filters, the aggregate mortgage balance range. Let’s say there is a 1st mortgage for $100K and a 2nd for $75K. In this case, the aggregate balance obviously is $175K. Keep in mind, we can limit the number of mortgage trades so that there is only a 1st mortgage, or nothing more than a 2nd, but that’s a topic for another venue.
Many clients say that it’s not worth the time and effort to deal with sub par homes that won’t sell for much. Commonly, we’ll set a minimum mortgage balance to avoid the bottom of the barrel. For example, we can select distressed homeowners with loan balances with a minimum mortgage balance of $100K. Yet we work with cash investors and rehabers that prefer to work with lower priced homes, so we can put a cap on the loan balance range, such as homes $150K and lower.
If you are a REALTOR, you probably want to cash in on higher commissions. Naturally, then, we got a lot of requests for defaulting homeowners with a high mortgage bracket. There have been a lot of celebrities in the news that are defaulting on their homes, showing us that no one is insulated from the housing crisis. Unless you are in a very affluent area, however, we’d have to select a considerably large geography to target distressed homeowners with a huge mortgage balance, say $500,000 and up.
Some clients say that it’s more difficult to get through to affluent homeowners that are falling behind on their mortgage because the well-to-do already have a bank of professional contacts to turn to for help, or these educated homeowners go to the web and “wing it”, trying to find a solution themselves.
Yet at least one client says affluent homeowners are more easily persuaded to part with their homes. He says, “Affluent homeowners aren’t so attached to their homes, they’re more compelled by numbers. It’s a purely business decision. To them, it’s more of a house, not a home. They aren’t as wrapped up in emotions; they can be moved by the math.” Just some food for thought.
You’ll also have to ask how fast you can unload the listing and at what price range. There’s no value to a million dollar listing if you can’t sell it. Our advice is to be more liberal with the loan balance.
Keep the loan balance within conforming limits, or set the mortgage balance range in the bracket of what is selling in your area. What is the fastest selling inventory in your market? We can choose the loan balance range accordingly.
Keep in mind, we may have to set the loan balance artificially high to compensate for plummeting housing prices. For example, in some locales, a home with an aggregate mortgage balance of $300,000 may be worth half of that today.
What’s your sweet spot? We can run a free count in your area and tell you how many struggling homeowners need your help. You can request a free area analysis here.
With our pre foreclosure list, you can build a database of distressed homeowners based on how far behind the homeowner is. We can target borrowers that are 30, 60, or 90, or 120 days late on their mortgage payment. One of the most commonly asked questions is when the best time frame is to contact those financially troubled homeowners, a topic we’ll take on in this post. It may be helpful to visualize the pre foreclosure process in this time chart:
Whenever we run counts, invariably there is more 30 day late data available, which means that many homeowners 30 past due will get back in good graces with the lender. Perhaps there was a bump in the road like an unexpected expense, and the homeowner becomes current. Oftentimes, the homeowner that is 30 days behind will elect to do a loan modification. Or, maybe their parents bailed them out. The point is, there are a great number of homeowners 30 days late that are not yet motivated to sell. Parting with their homes may not be top of mind just yet – they want to hold onto their most prized possession.
This is not to say that there is no advantage to contacting homeowners at the first sign of hardship. There is a school of thought that by contacting homeowners 30 days late, you ensure that you are the first to be in front of the distressed homeowner, and have enough time to market to these prospects repetitively. By presenting yourself as a real estate expert with many options to stave foreclosure, you can lead in with a loan mod as a potential solution on the table, among other options. Many clients find that once they push a work out with the lender – a more desirable course of action than a short sale – they begin a dialog with the borrower. When the homeowner doesn’t qualify for the modification and their options become limited, they can then escalate the tone and urgency to do a short sale. Having contacted that homeowner so early on to explore all of the solutions, the agent has already generated trust and rapport to list the home.
Once the homeowner is 60 or more days late, the gravity of the situation starts to set in. The vast majority of our clients that pursue short sales target distressed homeowners at 60 or greater days late, because it indicates that there is a genuine hardship. Certainly, it so accident or mistake that the homeowner is 60+ days delinquent. As one CDPE member that has been successful with the list stated, if the homeowner is 60 days late, “It’s time to have a come to Jesus talk” at that point.
The biggest value to our early, accurate and exclusive pre foreclosure list is that you can reach distressed homeowners before their hardship reaches any public file. At some point, the lender will begin to foreclose on a property by commencing the Notice of Default (NOD) or Lis Pendens (latin for “suit pending”). The timeline depends on the laws in your locale, whether you are in a judicial or non judicial foreclosure state.
If you are in a judicial state where foreclosure is a longer process, you can afford to wait later on to contact struggling homeowners, because it takes comparatively longer for their hardship to appear in any public record. On the other hand, if you are in a non-judicial state where foreclosure is a swifter process, it would make more sense to contact homeowners earlier on to get an early advantage over the bulk of your competition.
What’s your niche audience? Request a free area analysis of distressed homeowners that need your help.
Pre NOD lists are coveted by REALTORS and investors because it provides an early advantage by pinpointing distressed homeowners before the lender begins to foreclose on the property. Armed with our early, accurate, and exclusive Pre NOD list, you can be the first to identify financially troubled homeowners long before anyone else knows a property is headed for foreclosure.
Most pre foreclosure lists are mined through courthouse compiled information originating from the filing of a Notice of Default (NOD) or Lis Pendens (latin for “suit pending). Once this instrument is filed, everyone has access to this information.
Unlike public record lists, our pre foreclosure data is obtained through a “soft” credit inquiry pulled when the lender reports a delinquent payment to a credit reporting agency. This is insider information not readily available to anyone that seeks it.
The feedback we’ve gotten is that once a homeowner’s hardship has become public record information, they are bombarded with solicitations from REALTORS, investors, short sale companies, credit repair firms, bankruptcy attorneys, and other parties that fiercely compete for the same cluttered mailbox space. By the time those distressed homeowners open their mailbox, they have offers spilling out onto the sidewalk.
By using a Pre NOD list, you can eliminate the bulk of your competition and be the first to reach out and advise distressed homeowners on their options.
Select troubled borrowers by how far behind they are, loan balance, number of mortgage liens, percentage of equity, zip codes and other precise attributes available through the three credit bureaus.
For expert consultation, fast counts, and custom quotes, contact a Pre NOD List Specialist at 866-490-3459, or request a free area analysis at www.preforeclosuredata.net.
When reaching out to distressed homeowners in pre foreclosure, one popular marketing vehicle is a postcard, because they are cheap to print, cheap to mail, and a postcard doesn’t have to be opened – they stare distressed homeowners in the face. Yet despite the advantages of this “tiny billboard”, there are potential pitfalls to avoid. In this post, I’ll hopefully give some insight when planning a postcard campaign to upside down, struggling homeowners that are eager for hope and solutions.
Focus on Benefits, Not Features
One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen with postcard campaigns is the tendency to focus on features, which talk bumpkins about the REALTOR. The reality is, the homeowner doesn’t care about you, your expertise, your training, how big you are, how many homes you sold, or what association you are a member of. Let’s say you helped 28 homeowners avoid foreclosure last month, or you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, or you completed a course on short sales. That’s great, but it doesn’t answer the homeowner’s only question – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? People buy on emotion and justify it later with logic – they’ll come back to your credentials later, according to world renowned sales trainer Zig Ziglar.
While features are the language of logic, benefits are the language of emotion. Here’s some examples of benefits:
“Get a good night’s sleep for the first time in six months”…
“Move on to build better memories”…
“Stop harassing collection calls”…
“Lift a ton of bricks off your shoulders”…
“Help your family”… etc.
In another post, we showed an example of one client’s postcard that did a good job focusing on benefits, and it paid off. > See her postcard here.
The point to get here from 40,000 feet is that you should talk less about you and more about the homeowner that is experiencing a very difficult period in their lives.
Postcards Will Not Close The Sale
Not much can be fitted on a 4 1/2 by 6 postcard. The objective then of a postcard is to tease the homeowner and encourage them to learn more. In our view, the best call to action is to drive them to a landing page, where they can access something of high perceived value, such as a free report. Once on your landing page, you can capture the homeowner’s contact information and nurture the lead with “drip” marketing.
People Respond To Repetition
If you send one postcard one time to one list, hopefully you can get a deal. One listing will pay for the postcard campaign and put money in your pocket. But the reality is marketing has never meant to be and never will be a one-shot deal. To create big, predictable results, you have to market your services repetitively and be “in the face” of your listing prospect with several touch points. It’s like a parent that finally gives in to repeated requests for a new toy, a piece of candy, or permission to stay up late. Distressed homeowners are the same way. The best results come from multiple mailings. Through repetition, you establish familiarity, which in turn builds credibility, which in turn builds trust. You then have more of a licence to call the homeowner or knock on their door.
Use Creative Calls To Action
While you ideally want the homeowner that is falling behind on their mortgage payments to call you, the reality is many of these homeowners will not immediately pick up the phone and warm up to a stranger that has sent one post card. Yet those homeowners that would not otherwise pick up the phone will feel feel more comfortable going to a landing page where they could download a free report on the 5 things they should never do if they fall behind on their mortgage payment, or a leery homeowner would feel more at ease listing to a 2 to 3 minute hotline that provides an overview on their options available. The soft sell approach works.
Instead Of A Logo, How About A Map To Your Office?
In our view, a logo isn’t as important as a brick and mortar address. It’s a virtual world and there are a lot of shysters on the internet, so people want to see a real place. This is especially true with distressed homeowners that feel vulnerable. Remember, the entire media for the past two years has been telling everyone that if someone approaches homeowners with foreclosure help, they are probably a vulture. Having a real place for the homeowner to see and visit will go a long way in dispelling this myth.
There are myriad other variables that will determine the success of your postcard marketing campaign. The headline, your choice of color, font selection are just a few factors among them, but we won’t divulge all on this blog. For expert consultation, call us at 866-490-3459.
At preforeclosuredata.net, we provide early, accurate, and exclusive data for real estate professionals. Armed with insider information from the credit bureaus, you will know exactly which homeowners have just missed a mortgage payment. Since this is not yet public record information, you can get more listings by being the first to advise distressed homeowners on their solutions, long before your competitors.
There are a plethora of sources to obtain pre foreclosure lists, but what they generally have in common is they are public record information, compiled after the lender has served the Notice of Default (NOD) or Lis Pendens, legal instruments which begins the foreclosure process.
While very inexpensive or sometimes free, the drawback to these lists is that because they are in the public domain, they are used over and over again by the masses. The homeowners on these lists are inundated with solicitations from REALTORS, investors, bankruptcy attorneys, credit repair firms, and other parties that are competing for the same crowded mailbox space.
By using “soft” credit data, you can eliminate the bulk of your competition by pinpointing exactly which homeowners in your area are 30, 60 or 90 days late on their mortgage payment. Since this data is insider information obtained when the lender reports a delinquent payment to a credit bureau, it is not public record information that everyone else has access to.
Armed with this early, accurate and exclusive credit bureau data, you can be the first to reach out to financially troubled borrowers at the first sign of hardship. By reducing the bulk of your peers and being the first to reach sellers and lenders, you can get ahead of the curve and get more consummated short sale transactions.
Select troubled homeowners by zip code, how far behind they are, mortgage balance range, and number of mortgage liens. Refine the search by percentage of equity, loan type, credit score and myriad other attributes to put your message of hope and solutions in front of your most qualified prospects.
How many struggling borrowers are falling behind in your area? You can get a free area analysis by requesting a quick count.
Our mortgage late list is obtained through a “soft” credit inquiry, or pull, through one or all three major reporting credit agencies, initiated once a lender reports a delinquent payment to one of the bureaus.
A soft pull is distinct from a “hard” pull in which the consumer directly applies for a loan or line of credit. Let’s say a consumer applies for a cell phone service, or when they are at the mall, they fill out a Sears Card application, or they seek financing on a new car. These are hard pulls which adversely effect the consumer’s credit score.
Unlike hard pulls, soft credit inquiries have no impact on the consumer’s credit score, and is more commonplace than most people think and occurs unsuspectingly and without notification.
For example, have you gotten pre approved credit cards in the mail? If so, the credit card company most likely used a soft inquiry to identify you as a prospect. Your current credit card company uses soft inquiries to check up on you to determine your current bill of financial health. Many employers also conduct the same credit search to determine the integrity of prospective employees, and it is required for sensitive government positions. Additionally, banks use a soft pull to verify who you say you are, and when you check your credit report (as you should periodically), it’s in the same purview of a soft pull.
Notably, homeowners within our database have the ability to opt out of pre screened credit data.
Armed with unprecedented access to the mortgagor’s payment status through a soft credit inquiry, you can be the first to identify the most promising short sale opportunities.
To learn how many distressed homeowners are in your area, request a free count at www.preforeclosuredata.net.
We are firm believers in the omnipresence of marketing and that the biggest determinant of success when marketing to distressed homeowners is the number of touch points you have with those troubled borrowers through multiple channels.
When getting your message of hope and solutions out to distressed homeowners, there is no “silver bullet”, no lone marketing vehicle, that is superior. In our view, you should be “in the face” of those struggling homeowners through as many outlets as possible, whether you carry your message in the form of an email, a post card, a fortune cookie or yellow letter through the mail, a knock on the door or a phone call. Armed with an early, accurate and exclusive list of homeowners in pre foreclosure, there should be a constant continuum of communication. In this post, I want to compare direct mail to e-mail.
Both e-mail and direct mail can work together to create synergy. In other words, one plus one isn’t two. It’s four. According to an informative white paper by the USPS, “Mail vs. inbox… the ultimate boxing match, right? Well seasoned marketers know it’s not about choosing sides. By integrating both mail and the internet into your media mix, you can command the attention of your audience where they live, work, and play.” The bottom line is that “e-mail complements rather than competes with mail as a means of reaching your audience and compelling them to respond. Blending the distinct flavors of both into one powerful marketing stragedy will help you achieve high-impact results… even shake things up.”
It seems that the pdf file no longer exists on the USPS server, but a graphics company has a verbatim copy of the formerly published report on this page.
At least one person has pointed out the bias in this report. Sure, the Postal Service is trying to grow their postage revenue as more and more business is transacted on the Internet. But focus on the message, not the messenger, and the message makes perfect sense.
While our pre foreclosure data does not contain e-mail addresses because of legal and privacy concerns, you can send a direct mail piece to those distressed homeowners and direct them to a landing page where they are prompted for their e-mail address in order to download a free report such as “Five Things You Should Never Do If You Fall Behind On Their Mortgage Payment.” Using this opt in e-mail list, you can then put the distressed homeowner into a “drip” e-mail campaign where they receive regular, pre orchestrated e-mails over a sustained period. The idea is to “warm” the lead until they take the desired course of action – list their home with you.
If you take this principle of synergy further, you tease the homeowner by e-mailing a report with the four things that the homeowner should never do if they fall behind on a mortgage payment, and what’s the fifth, most important thing, they shouldn’t do if foreclosure is nearing? They can check their mailbox for that jewel, because you are mailing it to them.
If you have another, second report, say, “how to stop harassing collection calls”, or “what to do if you get a certified letter from your lender”, you can mail out the report summary with a link to more details, and on the eve of mailing the report, send an e-mail to the homeowner telling them to expect the mail piece to arrive in the next day or two.
The point is, you can harness the power of both direct mail and e-mail to produce greater results than when used together. Till next time, A-B-C … Always Be Closing!
Using early, accurate, and exclusive pre foreclosure data from Homestead Data, you can be the first to identify homeowners 30, 60 or 90 days late on their mortgage payment. This eliminates the bulk of your competition and gives you plenty of time to work with sellers and lenders, translating to more completed short sale transactions.
When putting your message of hope and solutions out to a list of distressed homeowners that are falling behind on their mortgage payment, you want to smash through the clutter. To stand out from the pack and grab your recipient by their eyeballs, send a “yellow letter”.
The yellow letter is a handwritten, usually brief message on old school yellow ruled paper. Many clients have used this personalized, handwritten, hand addressed letter to stop distressed homeowners dead in their tracks and guarantee that their mail piece is read because it stands out from commercial mail. The response rates reported are superior to other forms of direct mail, especially when using a highly targeted list of homeowners in pre foreclosure.
In today’s fast-faced society, messages are usually aided by computer, printers, texts, and e-mails. The value of a yellow letter is that the homeowner sees that you took the time to personally write them, an act that makes an indelible impression in today’s digital world.
To see a sample yellow letter that has worked extremely well for one subscriber of our pre foreclosure data, you can download a pdf copy at: http://bit.ly/hAtL8B.
Some of you might read this and think that yellow letters will surely lead to carpel tunnel. Actually, you can use the computer to simulate your handwriting. In other words, you can have the best of both worlds – the personal touch of a handwritten letter, and the automation of a computer to avoid writer’s cramp.
Justin McClelland, a real estate wholesaler, wrote a great how-to resource that shows you, from start to finish, how to write your letter, scan it and put the project on auto pilot. > Read the article here.
Matthew Smith from shortsaledesmoines.com also put together a video on how to speed up the process of using yellow letters by capturing digital font and automate the production of what appears to be a handwritten letter. > Watch the video on our blog post.
That’s it for now. Want to bounce some more ideas around? Call me at 866-490-3459. Till then, happy selling!