A little friendly conversation goes a long way!

by Annie Brouwer
(Ukiah, CA, USA)

I often walk my dogs early in the morning in my hometown and have come across many properties that I would love to get involved with. I live a small town that has a good reputation and the areas I walk through are nice spots.

However, I was held up in the morning with some calls and couldn't walk my two loveable dogs until the evening. I had often passed by this one property that had beautiful brickwork, lovely yard and a cute appearance. It always stood out and I'd often fantasized about picking it up someday and living there for the remainder of my days.

But today, I was off my routine and thank God I was. As I walked by the house I saw what appeared to me to be a distraught older lady on the porch of this quaint house and I took upon myself to use my small-town angst and see what was on her mind.

After a quick introduction, we talked about what she seemed to be fretting over. It was her house! She wanted to move to Seattle to live with her son (now a successful Microsoft employee) and didn't know where to start in "getting rid of the house". What luck, huh?

I would find out that Maggie lived there for 30 years and had originally purchased the home with her husband for $22,000 in 1968. I asked her if she would show me around the property and she was elated. There were many memories wrapped up in this home for this sweet lady but it was obvious she was ready to put this behind her and move on.

I never thought I would spark a small conversation with someone that would ever end up in a quick sale like this, but it did. I purchased the home from her for $116,000, closed it myself and paid for her moving truck and movers.

After a little fixing up and cleaning up, today the property is appraised for $325,000 and I couldn't be happier. With the market where it is today, I'm holding onto it and have some good renters. But pretty soon, we're gonna let it go and I can't wait to do this all over again.

For me, the moral of this story is, being kind and concerned for others can truly pay great dividends both in spirit and money!

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Real Estate Leads From Unexpected Places
by: Lanard

I can related. Investment leads and opportunities can come from unexpected places. For example, when I was actively licensed and selling real estate a majority of my real estate leads were of expired listings, but that's because I farmed them up to 7 days a week - and I got good at it.

Then one day a light bulb went off in my head. I had a ton of listings that were super deals, but didn't have enough buyers to buy all of them...despite all of my real estate marketing prowess. Maybe you can relate - that's kind of how it is in today's market; there are more real estate listings than buyers for them.

Then the thought occurred to me - "why not buy some of them"? So, I did.

But it wasn't like I had the thought one day and started buying properties the next. Instead, it was more like months to a year. I was no fool - i knew I had to lean the game, or take unnecessary risks with my money & other people's money (OPM).

And when I was ready I started buying properties. Most were in one way or another bank owned, or distressed. So, all of those listing that I had but couldn't sell started generating more listings and sales.

It's true that the more listings an agent has te more leads and sales he'll generate.

One deal that I got in on from a FSBO sign was a triplex with something like $1,000.00 down. The sign didn't generate a lot of calls because the property wasn't on a main thoroughfare, but it happened to be in the neighborhood that I specialized in, so I stood a better chance of seeing it many others.

Tow of the units had 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, and the third unit was a small, detached studio apartment. I didn't make a lot of money on that particular deal, but it was good for me because I learned in real life ways some of the nuances of buying and selling real estate, which properties to verses the ones to leave alone, when to hold a property and when to run the other way - no matter how enticing the property may be.

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