BEYOND THE BIRDDOG
like a long leap from getting started to having such an expansive network in place. Fortunately, it is really a simple matter of three straightforward steps. They are not necessarily easy, and you will have to put in some repetitive work and some time and sweat equity. However, when your phone is ringing off the hook with solid, viable real leads on real estate deals perfectly suited to your business purposes, you will consider the effort wholly worthwhile. STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE MEMBERS OF YOUR NETWORK We already mentioned postal and utility workers as examples of people who might have up-to-the-minute information on a property's maintenance and possible vacancy. Here are a few other options: • Police officers • UPS/FedEx/delivery drivers • Landscapers • Sanitation workers These individuals literally work on the neighborhood streets where you want to buy properties, and their daily interactions with local property owners keep them well-informed about those homeowners’ activities and, in many cases, intentions for their homes. The second category of informants consists of individuals who may not see property owners every day but have lengthy interactions with them when they do see them. This category includes not only hairdressers and bartenders, whom we have already mentioned, but also: • Doctors
• Dentists • Chiropractors • Coffee baristas
reach out to them periodically. That’s it. You have just added a coastwatcher for your business.
STEP 2: START BUILDING YOUR NETWORK ACTIVELY & DIRECTLY
Just getting as far as Step #2 is a big deal, but inmy business, we don’t stop with adding to our Eyes and Ears on the Street network. We consolidate all the available data on members of our network and we stay in touch! You can (and should) do the same. For example, you might send out a quarterly newsletter to your network delineating the types of deals that you are looking for. Include recent commission amounts that you have paid out to network members. If possible, feature a few testi- monials as well. Trust me: If you provide a testimonial from a barber who just received a check for $6,000 as the result of providing you a tip on a $300,000 property, you will get everyone’s attention. Granted, it may take six months to a year for you to be able to announce to your informants that you’ve paid out a finder’s fee, but it will happen if you are consistent in the deliber- ate building of your informants. The key to successful lead generation is to start strong and to continue to build. Make it a priority to bring up becoming part of your Eyes and Ears Network to two or three people each day. It won’t take long for you to create an effective network that could lead to a significant number of deals per year. This is a great way to leverage your time and provide others with an op- portunity to earn additional income. • STEP 3: CONSOLIDATE YOUR DATA
This is the step that stonewalls a lot of investors. Once you have identified the people with whom you wish to work, it’s time to get proactive and ask them for what you want. Do not allow yourself to believe this interaction is a one-way street. You’re going to reward them for their efforts! Before they can get started, however, you must let them know what you’re looking for. Here’s how that might work: Say you frequent a particular coffee shop in an area in which you would like to own property. When you have the opportunity, strike up a conversation with the barista and let them know that you’re an active real estate investor looking to purchase single-family and/or multifamily proper- ties in the area. If they know of anyone in the area who may be contemplating selling their property, you’d love it if they would provide you with the property address and hopefully the property owner’s name. You’ll take it from there. If you’re success- ful purchasing the property, you’ll pay them some predetermined percentage of the purchase price for the lead. Provide your name, cell phone number and email address so they can get in touch when they have leads. Ask them for their email address and whether you could add them to your mailing list so that you can
3 Steps to CreatingAHighly Effective Birddog Network USE YOUR "EYES AND EARS" TO FIND PROPERTIES ANYWHERE YOU LIKE.
by Carter Froelich
Think about it: People will tell their hairdresser things that they would never, ever tell their friends and neighbors. A stylist is one of the most likely people to know who is having marital troubles, con- sidering downsizing, or just plain ready to sell their home. Similarly, who better than a mailperson to know which houses are sitting vacant? They drive by them literally six days a week! At this point, you’re probably starting to see how an effective Eyes and Ears network could be invaluable to your real estate business. However, it might seem
so that you can follow up and act. I call these individuals your “Eyes and Ears on the Street,” but a lot of investors refer to them as a birddog network. I prefer my moniker because if you build this network correctly, they are far, far more effective than the traditional real estate birddog. The best Eyes and Ears on the Street are individuals who are literally working on the street, such as postal workers or utility workers, or who have a captive audience in which the individ- uals they’re dealing with have the opportu- nity to share what is going on in their lives, such as hairdressers or bartenders.
uring the Second World War, the Allies established a network of
observers located on remote Pacific islands called the Coastwatchers. The Coastwatch- ers’ job was to observe enemy military movements and to rescue stranded Allied personnel. It might sound like covert ops, but your own personal Coastwatchers are exactly what you need in your real estate business: a set of observers who will keep their eyes and ears open for real estate opportunities that meet your investment criteria. Once they spot these opportuni- ties, they provide you with the information
Carter Froelich, CPA is an active real estate investor and the developer of the cloud-based easy-to-use real estate cash flow model called The Property LedgerTM (www.thepropertyledger.com).
42 | think realty magazine :: march 2018
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