Archive for December, 2011
How to reach delinquent borrowers before the NOD
list is published
The NOD list is compiled through courthouse records once the lender has served the notice of intent to foreclose on the property. In contrast, our pre NOD list gets you in front of distressed homeowners before the vast majority know that a homeowner is experiencing difficulty trying to make mortgage payments that they can’t afford.
Since the NOD list is public information, many real estate use the same stale, aggregated list of delinquent homeowners, and this translates into fierce competition. The borrowers on this public record list are absolutely barraged with solicitations from a host of other agents fighting for the same crowded mailbox space. Following their names being entered into the public domain as delinquent mortgagors, those people zone out the many offers they are inundated with.
Our data is “flagged” once a lender alerts one of the leading credit reporting agencies that a borrower has missed a loan payment. As partners of the credit bureaus, we give you an unprecedented view into the distressed homeowner’s situation prior at the first indicator of hardship, long before the bulk of your peers know that the homeowner is on the eve of foreclosure.
Want to access a pre NOD list that gives you an early edge?
At Homestead Data, we make it easy. A pre-foreclosure data specialist will go to the drawing board and tell you, by zip code, how many borrowers are 30, 60, 90 or 120 days past due on their mortgage payment. Call us at 1-866-490-3459 or fill out a form with your criteria to request a count of homeowners on our pre NOD list.
What format does the pre NOD list come in?
The data comes to you in the form of an Excel spreadsheet via e-mail and contains detailed contact, credit and mortgage information of the homeowner. To see a sample of what the list looks like, download a sample.
Lender Processing Services (LPS) has released troubling statistics showing a November increase of nearly 3 percent in the number of loans 30 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure. LPS says 8.15 percent of mortgages sank into this category in November, up from October and it marks the first time in four months that the company has reported a rise in the national delinquency rate. This monthly increase in the delinquency rate can be attributed to a buildup of egregiously past due mortgages.
As of November, there were 1,809,000 properties on which mortgage payments were 90 or more days past due but the case had not yet been referred to foreclosure. How do you reach these homeowners “under the radar”?
While the vast majority of pre-foreclosure data sources are public record once the lender commenced the NOD or Lis Pendens, we can identify troubled mortgagors at the first sign of hardship. To learn more, visit www.preforeclosuredata.net.
The diamond industry are masterful marketers. Think about it. Who would spend thousands of dollars on a little rock that comes from the earth, and a rock that is actually pretty abundant?
The answer is no one. The answer lies not in the gemological properties of the rock, but what that rock conveys.
What would be a better way to sell diamonds?
“This ring features a 1.4 carat, pear-shaped cut white diamond with a SI1 clarity grade and an H color rating.” Unless your a gemologist, this ad is pure gibberish. Compare that ad to this:
“Imagine that special evening when you gently slide this on your finger and stare intensely into her eyes. She peers at this symbol of your devotion, the promise of your future together, and tears begin to glisten. An adoring smile spreads across her face, and at that moment your love is sealed forever.” Which is a better way to sell diamonds?
Benefits are the language of emotion. Features are the language of logic. As world renowned sales trainer Zig Ziglar explains, “People buy on emotion and justify it with logic.”
For a distressed homeowner to work with you, they must first like you and trust you and so intellectual features will not win them over.
“We’ve helped 28 clients this month avoid foreclosure” is a feature, not a benefit. “We’re a member of the Better Business Bureau” is another intellectual feature that will not compel troubled homeowners to work with you. Are you a Certified Distressed Property Expert or have another four-letter acronym that gives you special training to resolve problems with real estate loans? That’s great, but the distressed borrower won’t initially care. They will make their decision to work with you based on emotion, and justify it with your credentials later.
Some examples of benefits might be, “Get a good nights sleep for the first time in six months”…. “Move on to build better memories”…. “Relieve the uncertainty”… “Help your family”…. “Save your credit”… “Return to the normalcy of your day to day affairs”… “Stop the harassing phone calls”, ”Keep your children in the same school”, etc.
When putting your message out to distressed borrowers late on their mortgage payment, it’s important to know that it’s not about you, or your realty, or even your expertise. It’s about the troubled homeowner that needs your help. How you will help them solve their problem, make their lives better and most of all, how you will make them feel good.
How many distressed homeowners in your area need the help of a short sale expert? Request a count and we can tell you, by zip code, how many borrowers are being reported as 30, 60, 90 or 120+ days late on their payment.
Good real estate marketing has clear call to action – it tells the prospect what to do next and creates the sense of urgency to act NOW. This can be pick up the phone, fill out a response card, go to a website, etc. While the call to action is often overlooked, it is critical because the only objective to your marketing is to get someone to respond, period. In this post, I’ll focus on marketing to distressed homeowners, although these principles can be applied to other audiences, be it a prospective homeowner, a FSBO, expired listing, etc.
The most desirable result of your marketing to distressed homeowners would be the homeowner calls you to list their home, but we all know it’s not that easy! There may be people that want to pick up the phone to call and they genuinely need the services of a distressed property expert, but they are just not quite ready yet. They are on the emotional rollercoaster of shame, embaressment and panick, and they don’t want to warm up immediately to a stranger, especially when the entire media has been telling them that if someone offers foreclosure avoidance help, it’s probably a scam or a vulture looking to swoop in and profit from their misery.
To overcome this mistrust, experiment with some different calls to action. “Pick up the phone and call me” will not work with a great number of leery homeowners that don’t want to divulge their problems, much less to someone they don’t know from a can of paint. However, those homeowners that would not ordinarily pick up the phone might respond to getting a free report. Some possible report titles:
- A checklist of steps you can do when you receive a certified letter from your lender…
- Five things you should never do if you fall behind on your mortgage…
- How to stop annoying collection calls using the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act…
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.
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. In the place where you might otherwise place your logo or designation, consider placing a map to your office.
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 or for a free area analysis of distressed homeowners in your area, visit www.preforeclosuredata.net.