Here are 12 strategies you can immediately use to dominate the MLS in your market (5 and 10 are my favorite). Again, depending on how many deals you are looking for, you only need to do a few of these very well to have a steady stream of deals forever. Enjoy this content packed guest post by Jim Huntzicker, creater of the MLS DOMINATION TRAINING SERIES.
Let me bust a few myths for you as far as using the MLS goes. The MLS is no different than any other deal source we use and most of the deals we come across do not work for what we do. First of all, people always say to me that there are no good deals in the MLS. That is absolutely not true, as I can tell you from my experience as well as my students’ experiences. I have built a very successful career and made life changing money using the MLS as my primary deal source.
I will tell you that just passively watching the MLS here and there is not the way to get those deals. It is actually quite easy but you need to follow the steps below to set yourself up to be the one that gets those deals as they come on the market. I will also tell you that most of the truly great deals are sold before they hit the market by investors using the strategies below. The second thing I hear all the time is that there is too much competition (in a whining voice of course). There is nothing wrong with a little competition (especially when there is millions of dollars to be made), but again, using the strategies below will put you in a position to beat out your competition to several deals. The third thing I hear is: “I don’t have MLS access.” This doesn’t matter as many of the strategies listed below utilize other agents. So, whether you have your real estate license or not, you will still use these other agents to help you get the deals (see points 3-5 below).
Now, let’s get into the meat of this thing. Here are 12 strategies you can immediately use to dominate the MLS in your market (5 and 10 are my favorite). Again, depending on how many deals you are looking for, you only need to do a few of these very well to have a steady stream of deals forever!
1. Communication, Communication, Communication.
This is by far the most overlooked step. About 99% of investors overlook communication. I know it may seem silly to lead off with
communication, but if you do this properly, you’ll have a great deal of success not only in the MLS, but anywhere you’re making offers. This is by far one of the reasons I have had and continue to have success in the MLS. From presenting the offers, to following up, as well as how and when you call and email, and how often will all dramatically increase your odds of getting your offers accepted. It’s simple: proper communication. Just ask your significant other! (And if you don’t have one, you really need to work on that communication)
If you are not consistently using proper communication you are not going to have success. If you are submitting offers without calling the listing agent your chances of getting that property are not very good. I know that half the time I get these properties because of the rapport I built with the agent. Well let me be more clear; because of the rapport I built with the agent, the agent might have told me where I needed to be on price to get the house. Now I am not saying this is going to happen to you too but I am not saying it won’t happen either. I get deal after deal out of the MLS from agents I have never met before because of the conversations I have with them. And you have to have persistence. You must be consistently persistent without being annoying. Always be cool and respectful with your communication all while being consistently persistent with your follow up.
So how do those conversations go… let’s see… they start with a phone call letting them know I am interested in the property and if it’s a foreclosure I am calling to find out if they are able to represent me as the buyer’s agent. This is called double ending the deal and most banks allow the listing agent to do that. Then I ask if they are representing anyone else currently (they have to disclose that to you). It’s called contemporaneous offers. If they are that doesn’t mean I don’t use them still. But depending on the feel I get from them, I might use my agent team member and in my case that’s me. However, there have been times the agent told me that the current buyer is low balling and is not being realistic. So my decent offer was very welcome to him. Did I mention that I am not saying they will give you inside info but I am not saying they won’t either. It’s all about having proper communication with the agents and not being afraid to ask questions about price and where you need to be. You will be surprised how often you get the answer you’re looking for.
Sometimes I have to fish for the number… for example I just got one here in my area that listed for $360,000. Now this thing needed about 60K and will easily be worth $575,000 (the agent or bank way undervalued this property). Obviously there is a lot of meat on the bone here. At the current list price, after holding and selling costs, there is about $125,000 in profit potential and this will be a 3-4 week flip. The problem was that there were over 20 offers on it. I had to go to $407,500 to get it. I was not pleased with this price but I still had a potential profit of $75K or so. And had I not brought the listing agent in as my buyer’s agent I would have been way off on where I needed to be to get an easy flip like this. The agent never told me the number I needed to be at. I always offered a number and I was told there might be higher offers. When I finally got to $407,500 I was told that should probably do it. Again, it was the communication and rapport I had with this agent that got me this property. I should probably mention I just met this agent and she has already brought me two off-the-market REO’s that I will get the first shot at. This stuff works over and over.
Now if the property is an estate sale I ask the agent if they think it would be ok for me to not take a commission on the buyer side. I always say I know that this is an estate and every penny counts for the heirs. So I just want them to net as much as possible. This is usually very well received. In this situation you either have no representation on the buyer side or your agent team member goes down but waives the commission. This strategy can also work for regular sales. I will get more into that during the market research section later on in the course. I get deal after deal using these strategies.
You have to explain to these agents that you are an experienced real estate investor, a cash buyer, and can close at any time. You have already run your numbers on the property and know that you can pay X for it. You will have already seen the property with your agent team member. If you don’t have an agent team member yet I will teach you how to find one in the training below this one.
You need to be following up with these agents even when your offer gets rejected. In many cases there will be an inexperienced investor that overpaid and will back out after the inspection. If you are following up with that agent 7, 14, and 21 days later to see if the deal is still holding together, he is going to know you are serious and guess what? If that deal falls apart who do you think he is going to call first? It is with this exact strategy that I have gotten several deals that never officially came back on the market. They went from the first offer directly to me without ever going active again. So all of the other offers never had a second shot. It is just simple proper communication with persistence that will get you more deals then you can ever imagine.
Look, at the end of the day it is just being super cool and saying the right stuff when you call to build rapport. You cannot be cool enough to these agents, especially the REO agents as they deal with a-holes all day. Be a professional that knows your stuff and is super cool to them even when you want to be rude because they are not calling you back. Even if you’ve left 3-4 messages, just keep your cool and trust me it will be worth your while. It is your job to make it as easy as possible for the seller’s agent to tell the seller that this is the offer they should take. The agent just needs to feel confident that you are not going to back out of the deal after the offer is accepted; like asking for some ridiculous inspection credit because you realized you over-paid. I have actually had agents tell me on more than one occasion that my offer wasn’t even the highest offer but the seller still accepted it because they felt the most comfortable that I would actually close without any trouble.
It just goes back to being professional when contacting the agent whether you are submitting the offer with them as your agent or not. You need to build proper rapport by communicating with them so they know you are legit. When you submit offers make sure they are filled out properly and submitted with all necessary documents. Never just email in an offer without calling first. Also call to make sure it was received. Ask them when it’s a good time to follow up on the offer and follow up at that exact time. This is a business where you can make millions of dollars; I am not sure why so many investors screw up this basic business principle of proper communication.
Again, these are strategies that will get you deal after deal with agents you don’t know and will help you build lifelong relationships with agents who will bring you deal after deal before they even hit the market to see if you are interested. These are strategies that ANYONE can implement immediately. You can look at the MLS right now today and put this to work
2) Get MLS access if you do not have it; become an “assistant” to an agent.
This is as simple as finding the right agent and paying him to be his assistant. He/she can control how much access you have to the MLS. All licensed agents with MLS access are allowed several assistants so this is a very easy thing to get done. Simply find the right agent and offer them money for the access.
3) Bring a licensed agent onto your real estate investing team.
If you’re not planning on getting licensed yourself, you will need a licensed member on some level. With this person in place you will have no trouble getting MLS access. This is a person that will forgo the commission on the front end to profit with you in the back end of the deal.
4) Utilize field agents.
A field agent is an agent that you find to work in a specific area, such as a zip code, town, county, etc. You’re looking for an agent that does more than the average (the National Association of Realtors average is 3 deals per year. Yep, that’s correct – 3 deals per year). You’re looking for someone who is doing closer to 10. They just need to have a decent understanding of what we do. This way they are bringing you real deals.
5) Work with smaller foreclosure/REO agents.
Once you figure out how to work with these guys, it will be like finding a pot of gold at the end of the foreclosure rainbow. Building relationships with these agents and letting them take both sides of the commission (double-end the deal) will have you finding yourself with a steady stream of deals from these people. But it all goes back to properly communicating with them and letting them know why you would give them both ends of the commission. Of course your reasoning for that is that you want to build relationships since you’re a full-time real estate investor looking for deals all the time.
6) Work with the large REO agents.
It may seem like the large REO agents (the guys doing 100 to 600 deals per year) are hard to get ahold of if not impossible. Though these elusive agents may seem difficult to build relationships with, there is a way. Since you can’t get ahold of them, you have to focus on their staff. You need to make sure their staff knows who you are and that you’re a real estate investor who truly closes on deals. Try dropping off donuts and/or candy to their office the next time you’re working with them. Trust me – they will not forget you. Again, proper communication is key; you must absolutely kill them with kindness. Since these REO staffers deal with a bunch of angry A-holes all day I have found that being the bright, shining star in their day, even if you’re not getting the info that you want, will go a long way.
Here’s what I want you to do next. Go here and sign up for the free training. I will walk you through these strategies in more detail, and this will really help you start to dominate your MLS today!