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Investing Strategies

Buyers List 102: What to Say, What to Ask, and Fancy Buyers List Tracking

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Yes, it’s true that a list of qualified cash buyers is the mojo of every wholesaler’s business. (Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious for telling us what every new wholesaler learns on day one, right?)

BUT… What’s not nearly so obvious is knowing how to work a buyers list awesomely.

I mean not just how to find them, but how to cultivate, effectively work, and really nurture your buyers list.

Recently I shared some really strong opinions of my own on this, all with the aim of helping you not just assemble a buyers list (we have lots of other great stuff on that around here) but to help you achieve Buyers List Awesomeness Level: Expert.

In Part I of this two-parter, we discussed more of the philosophical side of things: Buyers list size (quality vs. quantity), buyers list experience (newbs vs. players) and how to avoid buyers list 'fatigue'…

Today we’re going to pick up where we left off, and delve into some of the more tactical pieces of the puzzle like:

  • What should you actually say when interviewing new cash buyers?
  • What specific questions should you ask? Use a script or wing it?
  • What’s the best way to keep track of your buyers and their criteria?
  • How should you ideally communicate with them when you have a new deal?
  • What’s the best way to actually take down their criteria? (You’ll love this one!)

So let’s do it, starting with how to choose the words that come out of that pretty little mouth of yours…

Buyers List Scripting: What Should I Say?

It’s a question I hear a lot actually: When putting your buyers lists together, what information do you generally gather? Do you use some kind of script to ensure that you collect the information you really need?

WriteThe short answer for me is, yes, you should put together some kind of script for yourself – at least at first.

After a while, the whole conversation will become second nature and you’ll go through it all effortlessly… But for me, I find scripting out what I want to say, and more importantly, how I want to say it, can be a really effective way to (i) keep me on track, (ii) keep me from forgetting important stuff, and (iii) most importantly, keep me from foot-in-mouth disease.

I have different scripts for different situations. If you’re a Mogul Elite member, then you can download an example of one of my scripts in the Power Pack tools to the right of this lesson. (Sorry, Mogul Elite members only ;-)  That’s one we use when cold-calling landlords to see if they might be interested in buying any more properties in the area.

Two important things about scripting a phone call like this:

  1. Write it like you’d say it. Write it in such a way that it fits your talking style. People tend to write and talk differently…so even if it’s not grammatically correct, write it out in a way that will sound and feel natural to you, and congruent with the way you’re already comfortable talking.
  2. Practice it a few times. You can use an investor-friend, your spouse, or any old person. Just work in a few dry runs with someone who can role play with you, and who might give you some helpful, critical feedback too.

Make sense?

Buyers List Questions: What Should I Ask?

Scripting aside, here’s 15 solid, standard questions you should try to get answered, regardless of how you word them. The order doesn’t matter so much… just try to work them all in there somewhere…

  • What do you do with your properties mostly? What’s your exit strategy (rent, fix-and-flip, wholesale, etc.)?
  • How many properties do you have in your inventory right now? Any you’re looking to sell?
  • Tell me a little about you and your real estate endeavors... is this a part-time or full-time gig for you? How many years in the real estate game so far?
  • How many deals are you looking to take down in the next 12 months or so?
  • Are you able to purchase more than one deal at a time?
  • What’s your specific buying formula that you use? (ARV – 70% - Repairs? Something else?)
  • Okay, besides that, what constitutes a good deal for you? Meaning, what does your absolutely PERFECT investment property look like?  (% of value, minimum profit, min. cash flow property type, the amount of repairs needed, etc.)
  • What geographical areas are you primarily interested in? Any certain regions? Zips?
  • What about any areas you hate or would really never want to buy a property in?
  • Any min. square footage, # of beds or # of baths?
  • What price range? (highest/lowest)
  • What’s your appetite for big-vs-small rehabs? (gut jobs, carpet/paint, renovation complexity, dollar amount)
  • Would you prefer that we send you only properties that you are interested in, or would you like me to send you anything and everything? (I don’t want to waste your time, but at the same time, I don’t want you to miss it if you would like to see.)
  • How do you plan on financing deals we sell to you? Realistically, how quickly can you close?
  • Awesome – of course, I just need to make sure I have all your basic contact info correct here… (full name, number, email, website, blood type, underwear size, etc.)

TakingnotesBuyers List: Note Taking Sucks. Do This Instead…

It can be hard to take good notes during an actual phone call when a cash buyer is throwing all this important info at you. Rather than trying to take it all down, with awkward pauses while you write or type, just record your phone call instead. Then after-the-fact, you (or your assistant) can go through the recording and actually document the stuff they said in an orderly way.

I have two ways I do this:

  1. Whenever possible, I make outgoing calls with Skype and record the calls with the PrettyMay call recorder for Skype.
  2. I also have a sweet little app called Total Recall on my Android that automagically records all incoming and outgoing calls. There’s quite a few of these out there for any/all operating systems. Total Recall automatically records, then asks me at the end of the call if I want to save the recording or not, and then sends it wherever I want (Google Drive, Dropbox, Email, etc.)

Regardless of which way the cash buyer call is recorded – Skype, smartphone app or whatever – the call just goes a heck of a lot smoother when I can really focus on asking good questions, and really listening well.

Then when we’re done, the MP3 goes over to my partner who listens, and enters it into our cash buyer list. Ba-bam!

Fancy Buyers List Tracking: Prepare to Be Not Blown Away

My first buyer’s list was literally a yellow legal pad plus stacks of random paper. I’m not even kidding. But even with this very unsophisticated, unsexy approach, I did my first 40-50 deals.

Then I decided to try and get a little more organized with it… by transferring it all to (drum roll please) Microsoft Word. Fancy, I know.

Today I use a simple spreadsheet in Google Docs. And when I say “simple” I mean we literally just use it as a table for entering the data for our cash buyers. No special formulas or spreadsheet wizardry whatsoever.

OverthinkingLook, here’s the deal: DON’T OVERTHINK THIS.

You need a list of names, contact info and criteria sufficient enough to remember what the heck kinds of deals each person loves, likes and avoids, right? This is not rocket science.

Yes, you can put together some kind of searchable software program or a fancy shmancy spreadsheet/database thingy that would run magical queries to impress yourself and all your friends with. But do you really need to? (It’s a rhetorical question.)

I was just looking around for an example of something more involved out there that someone’s using, and here’s what one guy I found in a forum does:

“I have a macro-enabled Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that does this through a “Data Filter” mechanism. There’s an input sheet for adding an entry into another data sheet, and there are buttons for managing the data sheet. I use the “Filter” feature on the data sheet, then click on the “Build” button to generate another data sheet with the filtered entries for mail merge with Word.”

Huh? Lol, anyone understand that?

Some of you did. Some of you eat that kind of stuff for lunch. If that’s you, then by all means set something like that up for yourself. But do it quickly, and then actually move onto the process of adding real human beings to this Ninja Wizard Spreadsheet Database Thingy you created.

If the above makes your eyes cross and brain hurt (it kinda does for me), or if it feels like just another intimidating piece of the puzzle you have to wrestle your way through figuring out before you can actually, finally get on to the business of wholesaling…

…if that’s you, then STOP. Just STOP it.

You’re doing it again. That thing where you focus so much on perfecting the minutia that you lose the big picture of what really matters.

Use a spreadsheet, use some fancy software, or use a friggin’ yellow pad and sticky notes. Just find SOME way of doing it, and DO IT. It’s not the storage method that makes you money, it’s the cash buyers themselves.


If you add up what we covered here and in Part I you’ve got a pretty good set of “best practices” for how to achieve that coveted title of “Buyers List Master Chief.”

What do you think? Agree or disagree with anything I’ve shared? Go ahead and tell me, I can take it. I’d love to hear any comments, thoughts, or questions you have on all this below.

Aaaaaaaaaand, go!


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Swipe & Deploy – If you’re a Mogul Elite member, go ahead and download my sample script in the Power Pack tools here. And you’re welcome :-)

Write Your Own Script – Remember, it should be written in a style that matches how you talk naturally. Take what I’ve given you here and make it your own.

Record Your Calls – Start  using PrettyMay for Skype or Total Recall on your phone or whatever the heck else… but get yourself away from having to scribe notes during your fresh cash buyer calls and into the mode of sending those recordings over to your assistant to add to your list afterward. (P.S. – Side benefit: Recording your calls will let you listen to them later and analyze how you’re doing when the pressure’s off.)

Just Get Started – Don’t let worrying about getting the details down perfectly hold you back from just making it happen. Remember, DONE is the new perfect.

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