The prospect of losing your home to a foreclosure or being forced to sell your home due to financial circumstances can be very emotional and stressful for a homeowner. This leaves many real estate investors wondering how to approach distressed homeowners in a way that’s effective. After all, you don’t want to alienate or offend a prospective seller before you’ve had a chance to build rapport. In today’s article, The Bird Dog Program founder and long time real estate investor Kristine Zelazo explores tips and advice on how to approach distressed homeowners.
How to Approach Distressed Homeowners: Take a Compassionate, Concern-Based Approach
When you approach a distressed homeowner, it’s important that you take a compassionate approach and understand that they are selling more than just a piece of real estate; they are preparing to leave the place that they call home; the place they raised a family or built a life and grew old with a spouse.
It’s generally best to avoid ignoring that elephant in the room. Therefore, you should acknowledge that the homeowner is in a difficult, emotional position and work to highlight the fact that you are available to help them as they move into a new season of life.
Ideally, you should also acknowledge the concerns that are running through the distressed homeowner’s mind. These concerns may include:
- Harm to the homeowner’s credit score;
- Financial loss of money invested in the property;
- Embarrassment and fear of a harmed reputation;
- An adverse impact on the individual’s credit score;
- Dread of the stress and worry throughout the foreclosure process;
- Hassle and expense associated with relocating; and
- Loss of a beloved home, which is associated with many important memories.
As you acknowledge some or all of these pain points associated with the foreclosure or short sale process, it’s important to highlight areas where you can assist. Mention the fact that you can reduce stress, eliminate some of those unknowns, minimize impact on the person’s credit score or reputation, and in some cases, you can even allow the resident to remain in the home with a lease back option.
A Sample Letter to Distressed Homeowners
A letter can serve as a wonderful tool for opening a new line of communication.
Dear [HOMEOWNER’S NAME]
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I understand how stressful it is to deal with an impending foreclosure or short sale. As a real estate professional, I’m committed to helping homeowners like yourself. My initial consultation is 100% free and if I’m not in a position to help, I can refer you to an ethical-pre-screened expert who can provide assistance.
I can provide homeowners with a range of different options, including solutions that may allow you to remain in your home. This can include arranging for a quick, discreet home sale, perhaps with a lease back if you are interested in pursuing this option. This would allow you to maintain your credit health, your reputation and it could serve to minimize any disruption to your day-to-day life.
Some homeowners in your position prefer to pursue a different avenue, relocating to a different home where they can build new memories. Whatever you prefer, my goal is to help you through this challenging situation. You can rest assured that I am not trying to make money at your expense. In many cases, we can find an arrangement that works in both our favors. If I am not well-equipped to help you, then I can help you save you lots of time and stress by referring you to someone who can help.
I would love to chat with you concerning your situation to see if I can help in any way. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
You can, of course, customize the letter to suit your unique voice and your precise offerings as a real estate professional.
It’s also possible to approach distressed homeowners in person or by phone. Often, an in-person or phone call makes it easier to convey your sincerity and it’s often a more effective option since you can adapt your approach according to the homeowner’s response, although not every real estate investor is comfortable with pursuing this type of lead in person.
Get More Real Estate Investing Guidance With The Bird Dog Program
Getting started as a real estate investor can be a challenge and many struggle to find leads. And then, once they find leads, lots of inexperienced investors find that the deal falls apart due to mistakes that arise from inexperience. This is where you can benefit from an experienced real estate mentor and coach.
A real estate investing mentor like The Short Sale Gal, Kristine Zelazo can provide you with the guidance and advice you need to make significant profits either on your own or in a real estate investment joint venture through The Bird Dog Program. You’ll have lots of advantages in this regard when you enter into a joint venture as part of our program. You’ll also receive helpful sample letters and scripts for distressed property owners and homeowners facing foreclosure.
Based in Florida, Kristine works with bird dogs, investigators, buyers and sellers. She is an experienced negotiator. So if you’re an investor seeking to get started involved as a bird dog, want to start buying short sales and need a great mentor or wish to pursue a short sale transaction for the sale of your property, turn to Kristine Zelazo, the Short Sale Gal!
Click here to learn more about The Bird Dog Program, or call Kristine at 800.664.0616, x802.