You find a really compelling investment and try to work out a deal with a seller.
Or, you have a compelling deal and you try to communicate that opportunity with prospective buyers.
No matter who you are talking to about your deal, and regardless of whether you are communicating face-to-face with one person or sending out a postcard blast to an audience of thousands, you’ll be far more likely to close the deal if you can read the mind of the other person.
In my experience, most people feel one of 7 different ways about your deal. I’ve tried to present them in a sort of order…
1. OPPOSED TO THE IDEA
These people are clearly opposed to the idea of doing a deal. There might be a number of reasons for it — perhaps they’ve had a bad experience in the past or perhaps they been misinformed, or perhaps you’re well into talking to them about the deal and they just don’t see (or refuse to see) how it will benefit them.
I’m ashamed to admit that my parents fall into this category because of misinformation they learned in the 1980’s. But I’m chipping away at them!
Surprisingly, this category is not the most difficult category to do deals with, but you’ll be more effective if you know why they are opposed and you can counter it with your real estate investing copywriting.
2. UNAWARE OF THE GENERAL OPPORTUNITY
These people probably believe that investing is a good idea but they just don’t know about the type of real estate investing that is available to them. Residential flipping is well known (thanks to television), and most people know about landlording as an opportunity. However, few people know about commercial flipping, commercial landlording, wholesaling, or private real estate investment funds.
You can win potential new sellers and buyers with education. Just be aware of the starting point. Many investors make the mistake of starting the discussion by talking about returns on investment when they need to back up a few paces and start by asking: “Did you know that there are other kinds of investments beyond stocks, bonds, and mutual funds?”
3. UNAWARE OF YOUR SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITY
People are busy and self-centered (hey, we all are) and it can be easy to become distracted by other things. Therefore, when you talk about a deal with a seller or a buyer, they may not realize that you are talking about YOUR deal. Rather than realizing that you are looking to help sellers out of their difficult financial situation or you are looking to help buyers earn passive cash flow, it’s possible that all they are thinking about is: “I don’t have time for this huckster because I have to run out to pick up the kids from soccer practice and why is they guy talking to me about real estate anyway? Are they an agent? Are they a financial advisor? Oh, I have to turn on the oven so I can have the casserole ready by the time everyone gets home.”
When communicating with this category of people, you need to be painfully clear and obvious about the benefits that they will receive, you need to be aware of what distractions they might be facing while you are communicating with them, and you need to also explain who you are and why you are bringing the deal to them.
A lot of first-time sellers and buyers fall into this category. They’re not opposed to the deal and they’re aware of it but they are now nearing the point of “I need to see this for myself before I believe it”. They may have been burned before or they more likely know someone who knows someone who was burned before. There’s still a bit of misinformation influencing them as well as a natural skepticism that we all feel because we’ve all seen those late night infomercials that seem too good to be true. I suspect that a majority of the people on your lists and in your audiences — as much as 80% of them — are skeptical to some degree.
The good thing is, this category is made up of people who are listening. (If they walk away then they aren’t skeptical — they’re opposed!). You can actually sell to the skeptical category really easily as long as you demonstrate that you have their best interests at heart and you overwhelm them with proven benefits. That’s the secret: Demonstrate that you have their best interests at heart and you overwhelm them with proven benefits.
5. NEUTRALLY UNMOTIVATED
This category feels neither skepticism nor interest in your opportunity. They are not convinced that it will benefit them but they are not convinced that it won’t, either, and they are not motivated to do anything about it.
In my opinion, this is the hardest category to sell to. It’s easy to sway people one way or the other to make them interested or disinterested) but it’s harder to do when there is no motivation. There are many reasons why someone might not be motivated to act. Usually it’s because they’re happy with the status quo and they fear change and risk. If you are buying from this category or selling to them, you are in for a long, up-hill battle unless you find the secret motivation button that will make them act.
This is a really big category and it could theoretically be subdivided further. They believe that the deal you are presenting has the potential to benefit them so they want to know more. Additionally, there might be some other external motivating factor (like a foreclosure for sellers or an impending impoverished retirement for buyers) that could be driving them to learn.
But the challenge you’ll face when selling to this category is: Getting them to act. Some interested people have no problem acting once they know the facts. But there are times when people are afraid to pull the trigger and they sometimes mistake “learning more” for “taking action”. I don’t need to tell you that there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between learning more and taking action. So your marketing, selling efforts, copywriting, and presenting all need to work together to first educate them and second to convince them that the next step is an action step they need to take.
This is every real estate investor’s favorite category! They understand the opportunity presented to them and acts — by selling their property to you or by buying something from you.
To get them to this category you need to educate them and then sell to them with an overwhelming amount of value and benefit. Once they’re here, it doesn’t take long to do a deal. And, once you get someone into this category once, it’s much easier to get them here again, so make sure you are working with people over and over whenever you can.
I find that, in general, people progress through these categories from to the next based on their experience and information they receive and their motivation to learn more. A combination of these factors can move people “backwards” from (for example) neutrality to skepticism or “forwards” from skepticism to neutrality to interested and finally to convinced. Copywriting helps here but it is only part of the overall picture — your sales efforts and the economy and timing of your offer and the type of offer you have are all components that can influence movement in one direction or another.
Self-promotional concluding paragraph: I go through a comprehensive checklist of factors whenever I do any copywriting for real estate investors, and one of the items in the checklist includes gaining an understanding of the market you will be communicating with — specifically, what mindset they have when they hear about your deal.