How can investors master the phone as a tool for acquiring new mobile home park deals?
Either as an initial prospecting tool, or part of the negotiation process the phone can be powerful for sealing great deals on mobile home parks. So what smart practices can be deployed here? What should you say?
The Phone & Your Mobile Home Deals
The phone can be a great tool for prospecting for mobile home parks to buy. There are a variety of ways to generate lists and phone numbers of mobile home park owners that may be willing to sell their properties.
- For sale signs
- Online real estate listings
- Lead lists of park owners
- Public records
- Inbound leads generated online or from signs, direct mail, or print advertising
Pro Tip: Use a business phone number for making and receiving business and investment phone calls. You really don’t want your home phone or mobile number out there. A pro number looks more professional, offers privacy, and minimizes risks. This can be inexpensively obtained via various online phone services, or even an additional mobile line. All of these can be forwarded to your existing phone line or email if you like.
Whether a warm or cold call the phone is a power tool for building rapport and negotiating better acquisitions. So what do these conversations look like?
Tips for Creating Phone Scripts
It’s smart to create a phone script for both inbound and outbound calls, warm calls and cold calls. This gives you a structure, keeps you on track, avoids silence when you forget what to say, and ensures you ask the right questions and get all the needed information. While a script should actually be fluid, not set in stone, it will keep conversations progressing, and the more you practice it the more naturally and comfortably this will flow.
In addition to a line by line script most will also want to build up a set of rebuttals. These can be injected into the conversation as objections arise, and steer the conversation back to where you want it to go. Every time you counter a new objection; add 1-3 good rebuttals to your list.
The whole script doesn’t need to be more than a page or two. Having this in writing will also help you scale and eventually have others making calls for you. If you don’t feel like a great script writer you can always hire a freelance writer via outsourcing platforms like Upwork.com.
Thanks to the internet mobile home park buyers can arm themselves with quite a bit of research and data on sellers before making contact. Between local records, Facebook, Google, and other sites investors can highlight at least 1-3 good conversation points and ways to build rapport and relationship quickly. For example; a shared love of raw food, or a new development in town, dislike of rising local property taxes, are shared film and music tastes. These can all be great icebreakers.
This might go something like…
“Hi, is this Joe?”
“Hey Joe, I would have called you earlier but I just got out of the new Star Wars movie premiere with the kids; have you seen it yet?”
“How are you Joe? This is Tim, I would have called you a little earlier, but was just catching up on the news of how high property taxes are going next year – it’s crazy huh?
Then move into…
“The reason I called was it looks like you own the mobile home park over at (blank), and I was wondering if you knew any other park owners in the area that might be interested in selling? Or maybe you’ve even been thinking about it before these rising rates crush values around here?”
Get them talking, and get as much of a feel for what’s important to them as possible.
Once you get over to the topic of them selling their park they’ll probably just want to know ‘your offer’. Obviously you may not be ready to throw that out yet. So power through to collecting information.
“Well, I obviously need to make sure I have all my facts right. How many lots does your park actually have?”
“What type of utilities are onsite?”
“Have you made any improvements recently, or know of any that need to be made?”
“How much are the current rents, occupancy rate, total size of the property, etc.?”
Highlight Your Benefits
Why should they talk to you? Why should they consider selling to you?
Can you convey any of the following?
- You can close fast
- You can provide a flexible solution to help them get what they want
- You have the cash and are a strong, qualified buyer
- You’ll take good care of the property and their tenants
- You are experienced in buying real estate
- Remember that you are doing them a favor by buying their park
- Approach them as if you are qualifying them and their property, not the other way around
- Understand their fear of being called by a stranger and overcome that
- Have a goal of getting some form of commitment going in, and don’t get off the phone without it. This could be as simple as agreeing on a follow up call time, or reviewing your offer.
However the call ends, follow up. Do what you say, and on time. This may be emailing an offer, meeting up for coffee, a second call, or just a handwritten thank you for their time to keep the door open for another try later.
Dealing Phone Phobias & Rejection
Not everyone loves talking or selling on the phone. If this includes you there are many phone pros out there that can help. This can range from an inexpensive virtual assistant, to high caliber closer, to a whole team in an offshore call center.
If you are going to call yourself, anticipate rejection, and decide in advance that you won’t be fazed by it. Don’t take it personally. Many people won’t at first understand that you can help them. They’ll often be paranoid and think you are a scammer, so be transparent, convey your position professionally, and keep pushing forward.