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By pretending to be that guy on the beach who has nothing better to do, you can build rapport with a seller and casually find out the information you need to decide if the house they’re selling fits your criteria. Gavin walks Rob through a few different versions of the opening conversation to help Rob become more comfortable with the role he needs to play to stay in control of the conversation.

As an investor, here are the 5 things you need to find out in these conversations:

  • The motivation
  • The time frame
  • The situation
  • The condition
  • The price

You don’t need to overshare information on your end because this conversation isn’t about you. Listen carefully to some of Rob’s great questions that help him quickly fill in the details on a house that a preliminary call with a VA might have missed.

We love working with our coaching clients, and if you’re looking for a real estate mentor, we’d love to work with you. Fill out a form on our website and we’ll connect with you to see if we’d be a good fit. Don’t forget to subscribe to Gavin’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss any of his great coaching advice.

Watch and Learn

Listen and learn:

What’s inside:

  • Why it’s important to understand what motivates a seller.
  • Strategies around being the first to name a price.
  • How long your lead-in should be in a phone call.
  • The kind of questions you’ll need to ask to dig deep into a property.

Mentioned in this episode:


Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Joe: Hey, welcome, this is the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. And for the next few episodes and some of the ones I've already done in the past, I've just invited or asked Gavin to share some of his knowledge and and content and wisdom. So Gavin is a real good friend of mine. No, no. I've been working with him for probably five coming on through four or five years now. I always forget he knows. But one of the things I really like about working with Gavin is I'm more of the technical guy. I'm deep into systems and and kind of in more of a spreadsheet nerd. Right. But Gavin is really good with people. He's very good at sales and negotiating. He's very good at understanding psychology, understanding mindset, understanding, like really. And sometimes I hate to admit this because I wish it wasn't true, but probably 75 percent of the reason why people don't succeed in real estate is because of what they're thinking, because of their mind, what's going on in their head.


Joe: I wish it was just a simple formula that you could follow or a simple button you could push or, you know, just make more offers. Just do more marketing. Just talk to more sellers. Right. Like, just get out there and do it. And for many times, that is the case. But honestly, most of the time, it's just a mental thing. It's just a game that a head game that we're stuck and we think that we can't do it or something's going on. We don't believe that we're good enough or that we deserve it. You know what I'm saying? So anyway, that's the reason why one of the big reasons why I really like working with Gavin and why we've been working together for so long as I'm more of the technical stuff. He's more of the mindset stuff. And so I've asked him to record some episodes here for the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Don't think that I've left Joe that I'm not doing anymore episodes. I am. I've been kind of taking it slow this summer. Mourning the St. Louis Cardinals. Mourning the the St. Louis Blues and just kidding. But it's not been a good year for St. Louis sports is not any team. Right.


Joe: But anyway, I just wanted to give that a little introduction here to Gavin. Hope you enjoy these podcast episodes. And I want to invite you real quick. One more thing to watch. My simple lease options webinar. If you're interested in flipping lease options, it really is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money in real estate today. And it's being able to offer different options to sellers offering a lease option or a cash offer or owner financing. You can offer different things to sellers and you're going to get a lot more deals accepted when you do that. So why don't you go from getting one out of 30 offers accepted to getting two or three out of 30 offers accepted? You can double or triple your deal flow without doing any more marketing just by offering sellers more options. Offering sellers alternatives. If you are stuck is a one trick wholesaling pony, you're going to struggle in this market going forward, especially going forward. OK. So I want to invite you to watch my webinar. Go to SLO class dot com s stands for simple. SLO class dot com and I'll see you on the webinar. Enjoy this podcast. All right.

Gavin: Hey, guys, how you doing, Gavin Timms here. I'm with one of my coaching clients, Rob Steers. Rob, how are you doing?

Rob: Pretty good. How are you?

Gavin: I'm good. I'm good. So we're just talking here, I just wanted to do a quick recording of a role play that we want to talk about and kind of role play. So give us a bit of the background, what you want to do here and what kind of role play, what situation are you running into that you need kind of help with?

Rob: So the situation I'm trying to fix is when I get the lead in from the V.A., I'm kind of doing that follow up call because, you know, a lot of times people are like I already gave that information, you know, just make an offer type of thing.

Gavin: Got it. All right. So let's say then. So what's happening is the V.A. is prescreening the lead. They're bringing information in. And now you are getting on the phone. Correct. And you're saying it's getting a little awkward with that first initial and like, well, I've already given you this information. OK, so let's role play first what you're doing and how that's looking and then look at what we could do differently. All right. So I'm going to act a little more like that's what they're doing. So I could see what you naturally would do. Make sense? So ring me, I'm going to answer, obviously, because you're calling me, OK. Hello?

Rob: This is Rob just following up. You talked to my assistant yesterday regarding your property at 123 Fig Street.

Gavin: OK, yeah.

Rob: Yeah. So I just want to follow up and answer any questions you might have from me and what we do, and ask you a few more questions about the property. Did I catch you at a bad time?

Gavin: No, now's good. I gave her all the information yesterday.

Rob: Yeah. It's you know, I'm trying to get a little bit more information, and so I apologize in advance if this is redundant. But I just want to make sure that I have everything together so I can give you the best offer possible. Is that OK?

Gavin: Yeah, that that's fine. I just need an offer.

Rob: Yeah, I understand. I totally get that. Well we can't really make an offer until I know a little bit more about the property. And so and often times people have questions that they need to know about us and what we do know, OK. It's important that I tell you that we're investors. We're not looking to live on the property and answer any questions that you might have around that type of situation.

Gavin: OK. Right. So off role play real quick. OK. So you did some good things in there. You obviously said about, I like the fact when you said I'm asking just a few more questions so I can give you the best possible offer. So that's really good. You went into being an investor, not living in the property. I would also say that's not necessary.

Gavin: Its’s not necessary right now because you're bringing in an objection that's not even come up. So you brought up a stumbling block yourself. By bringing that up without having to explain that, actually. Now you've got to now defend it. Does that make sense? So let them ask that before you bring that up, if you can. So, again, easier said than done. One of the main lead ins, though, that I want you to do. We're going to try this again. I'm going to talk. And then I want you to have a go. So let's say that the V.A.'s information is on the flip side that they've got this leads come in and I'm calling you back. Right. And the V.A. has left it, like OK Rob's going to look at it and make you an offer. What you can what you could do is look at the VA. The V.A. has information. Right. And then go have something already that you're going to ask that you need more of, for instance. So what I would do is I want you to say hello.

Gavin: Oh, hey. Is that Rob?

Rob:  Yeah, it's Rob, how are you doing?

Gavin: Yeah. Rob, you spoke to JP yesterday by a property of one, two, three, Main Street.

Rob: Yeah sounds about right.

Gavin: I know you got a lot of information here from you, but I have a couple more questions I need to ask you to best prepare this offer that I want to give you here. I understand it's a three/two, list, list all the things. But you never asked about the roof. How old's the roof?

Rob: It's probably about three years old.

Gavin: OK. So off, off role-play. You see, I went in with a full stroke. I already identified that he got the information, but he's not got everything that I needed. Right. So I'm going in there with a clear lead in to controlling that conversation. This is why I'm here. Yes. He got all these things. But I need a couple more things from you to best position. So you're in control of that call. Okay. I make sense. What do you need? Well, firstly, great to me. I mean, this seems like a great house. I've just been looking at Zillow. Now you can transition in multiple ways now to get the conversation going. Well, that first ten, fifteen seconds lead in is very, very important to control and engage. Because if you come in like your on the defense and you're the one that's trying to explain why you're here and you're up against it already and you're in a weak position.

Rob: That's the feeling that I've been getting.

Gavin: Well, you need to come in and try and dominate early and go, I'm controlling it. This is why I'm here. This is what I need. Now he's gone, oh, okay, makes sense. Well hey, before we get into that. How's it going? Or now you can pull the boundary down and try to engage and build rapport. You see the difference? Yeah. Then if they spout back at you by saying, well I gave all this yesterday. No, I understand. Like I said, I mean, I don't have, did you tell him the age of the roof? Because I don't have that. What about the AC? I don't have that. You know, these are things I need. You know, you never talked about this garage. What's the shape of the garage? I mean, this is all something that they've missed. That you can pivot into and again, control, because when you have that authority on the phone, they're going to take note and engage with you. Rather than the weak of coming in of not having that control. Make sense?

Gavin: You see the difference where you were letting me, when I was the seller, you were letting me dominate the conversation. When I was now the buyer, I still dominated the conversation. So you want to make sure is the buyer that you're dominating. And then just be asking questions, gathering information. And then again, you know, positioning, going and saying, hey, I'm going to look at the numbers, make the offer and you want to really be trying to get out the motivation, the situation, the timeframe, the price, the condition.

Gavin: They're the talking points you're trying to get information on while I'm just building that rapport and just having a chat. It's like the guy at the beach that you just engage in. The V.A. is not gonna be able to do that. So anyway, so let's have another go. I'm going to be the seller again and you're gonna be the buyer. Let's have another go at positioning that way. Right. So. Ringing Hello.

Rob: Hey, Gavin, this is Rob. I understand you spoke with my assistant yesterday about the property at 123 Fig Street. So I know it's a three/two. But I have some questions about the kitchen and stuff. He didn't get that information. Did I catch you at a bad time?

Gavin: No, now's good. Now's good. Yeah, I can answer that.

Rob: All right, great. So, you know, I'm going to ask some questions about the property. Can you just tell me a little bit more about the kitchen, the roof and things like that?

Gavin: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, this is a rental. Probably about seven years how old the roof is. And we probably had the kitchen, I don't know, like ten, twelve years ago.

Rob: Okay, great. So why are you thinking about selling this?

Gavin: Well I mean, you called so you know, and you wanted to buy it. So I thought well yeah, maybe now is the right time.

Rob: Okay, great. So you hadn't really been thinking about it until we called?

Gavin: Great question. No, not really. No. I mean, me and my wife talked about it now and again but never really doing anything. And then you called so I thought, well maybe at the right offer we might get rid of it.

Rob: Okay, great. So we did kind of peak some interest. And so have you given a thought about like what you might want to get for the property at all?

Gavin: Great question. Not really. I don't know. I'd have to look and do some research. I mean, what would you offer?

Rob: OK, so usually we get that question. So let me ask you a little bit more about the property. This is kind of a technical question, and I just want to make sure that what the V.A. took down is correct. So I have three/two, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Gavin: Yeah. Correct.

Rob: Can you tell me what the square footage is?

Gavin: Two thousand square feet.

Rob: So a pretty big house. Is it rented now?

Gavin: Yes, it's rented.

Rob: Are they pretty good tenants?

Gavin: Yeah. Good tenants have been there for about five years.

Rob: Five years. Wow. So that's awesome. You don't get those guys very much.

Gavin: No. They're the good tenants.

Rob: Are they on a lease still or are they month to month?

Gavin: They're on a month to month. Yeah. And I'm going to be honest, they're paying a little under market rent, but they've been so good. I just didn't want to put the rent up on them.

Rob: Yeah. That happens quite a bit too. So at this point, are you just getting tired of being a landlord?

Gavin: Not really. Just, you know, it's the only one that we have now to sell. If we were going to sell it and just timing might be right.

Rob: OK. So when you say it's the only one you have now, did you have other properties in the past?

Gavin: Yeah, we've had probably about 10 in the past on and off. This is the only one that we have now.

Rob: So you've been downsizing your portfolio?

Gavin: Yeah, for sure. Over the last four or five years. Yeah.

Rob: So if you were to sell this to me or anybody else, why would you?

Gavin: Well, you know, that's a great question. So just off role play. These are all good, good questions because it's making them think. Because I'm holding information back. Obviously, I want to sell, but I'm not just spouting out. So by asking these questions, you keep digging at the why trying to uncover what the real reason is here. Because there's more to it than I'm letting on. So ask me that question again. Let's jump back in.

Rob: OK. So if you were to sell this property to me or anybody else, why would you?

Gavin: Well, you know, like I said, you called and I think the timing's right. You know what's going on in the world today. And it just might be nice just to get rid of it and get the money. You know while I can.

Rob: Just get rid of it?

Gavin: Yeah. I mean, again, I mean, what would you offer?

Rob: Well, OK. So, again, we're going to go back to the property. And sometimes these are questions that I have to ask, would get a little bit uncomfortable? And I hope that that's OK. I apologize in advance, but would you mind telling me about what the rent is in there?

Gavin: Yeah, we ran it for nine hundred a month.

Rob: Nine hundred. Yeah. So that's a little bit under market value.

Gavin: I mean we've not put it up in five years, so I don't know, I don't even want to know what it could rent for, but I'm probably guessing twelve.

Rob: Twelve? Yeah. So that seems like a pretty good rent and that's a pretty big difference. So is not raising the rent is it something that you didn't want to do because you don't want to make the tenant uncomfortable?

Gavin: Yeah. Really, they've been good and you know, there's a lot of nightmare tenants out there and these have been really good, took great care that, you know, they're not a hassle at all. And there's a lot to be said about that. You know, it makes it easy for me. They're not bad tenants all, but they are underpaying. And if I got someone that paid twelve hundred and calling me every week, then I'm not going to enjoy that as much. So I kind of feel it's kind of just a wash regardless.

Rob: Yeah, exactly. It's kind of just a wash. You're not really getting everything that you could be getting out of it. I completely understand that. So knowing that and just kind of knowing that it's a wash. I mean, what would you look to walk away from the property? I mean, what would it take?

Gavin: I mean, I don't know. I don't know. I mean, why don't you run some numbers and throw something at me and we can start there.

Rob: Sure. I mean, it's your house and you did have another portfolio as you're kind of dwindling down. I mean, do you have any idea what it might be worth?

Gavin: So this off role play. This is good because you're getting me to force the decision. So how I'm acting. And then I'm not getting aggressive with you or passive aggressive. Like, sometimes you're gonna get that look. You called me, just make me the offer. And then you know when you need to rein it in. But as I'm acting now, you just keep chipping because I'm going to give. I'm going to give. And even now I'm thinking. All right. OK. I'm getting close to throwing something now. Well, the other thing that you could do is that you could throw a low ball out to try and get a reaction.

Gavin: So let's say that you already know that this might be worth 160.  Or you'd be offering 160. Whatever, you know, you could just say, well, I don't know. Let's say something ridiculous then. What would you entertain? Would you entertain 110? I mean, what would you say to me if I said that? And if I said, oh, absolutely not. 110's ridiculous. Well, what would it be? How close are we? So you can start because we're having that conversation and we have that relationship where it's going like we can play that card that you could that you could do. OK, so good. You want to be doing now is trying to wrap it up because we again, don't want to be on too long right? We want to be making sure that now we're pushing.

Gavin: We're controlling. So you had another go. Let's jump back in. And I say, honestly, Rod, I just I'm really not sure. I don't know what I want. I mean, I've gotta look at it and I got to see what the market's doing. I can't bring up a number, I'm not sure.

Rob: OK. So, I mean, it sounds like it probably would definitely be interested in, you know, it's fits the criteria that we're looking for. But if I was to make you an offer, I mean, would you take or would you say if I say 110, that would be way off, wouldn't it?

Gavin: Yeah. I mean, 110 seems low to me. Yeah. Again, I'd have to look, but it seems like way out, you know. Yes. Too low. So you'll now come back would be, How close are we?

Rob: How close are we?

Gavin: And in that question, see how you're like now controlling it and you're making me really think. And a lot of sellers won't be able to be like man right. I don't know and you're going to get him thinking and you're trying to get a number. Like, I don't know. So at this point I say I don't know. I've gotta look and I'm like, I might give in and say, well, I've got to at least get 150. And this happens time and time again to get a number. I've gone from you made me an offer. I'm not giving you a number.

Gavin: And as we've asked these questions and controlled this conversation, we're just giving in. Before we're at the end of the conversation, I've already given you the number. You already know now the number to go at.  And, you know, if we're miles away or if we're close or if I've said 150, you know, I'm going to go lower than that.

Gavin: So there's so many things that you can kind of drag out. But what I want you to take from all of this, you did a great job, by the way. So awesome. Is controlling the conversation. You see the difference? Yeah. It's not bringing up objections like you did in the first instance, like oh I'm an investor and I'm not living there. And he never asked you that. So you're going off on a tangent and creating problems for what? You know what I mean? You just made it harder. Oh, so you're not living there, oh you're an investor. You're probably going to pay me nothing.

Gavin: And you've now opened up a problem that might not be necessary. Unless they say, are you living here? No, I'm an investor looking for an investment property. Something they'll just like you. Just like you, Mr. Seller. I want something that I can rent out. And it sounds like you want to maybe get rid of this and it's your last one. And if we can make these numbers work, then, you know, I might be able to buy it. Right. So, yeah. So awesome job. Any other questions on that?

Rob: No, actually you kind of nailed the majority of questions that I had. I can't think of any right now.

Gavin: OK, good. But you understand where to ask that and to get that why. To come in, to control, to build rapport, back in control, asking questions and then just keep backing them. I know it's about the personality. You are gonna to get the abrupt one that's going to let you go and you've got to pull back and go, Alright, alright. I'm just trying. Well, Rob, I'm just trying to get a number to see where we're at. You know, that's all. I don't want to waste your time. And you might say you want three hundred thousand. I'm not paying you three hundred thousand. I'm trying not to waste time, to be honest. And then you can kind of play that card. Does that make sense?

Rob: Absolutely.

Gavin: Awesome. Good job, man. I appreciate it. Keep it going. Let's see how this changes now in your conversations and see what you can do.

Rob: I look forward to it. Thank you.

Gavin: No problem, guys. If you're watching us, give us a like. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and also the podcast, REI Network podcasts with Gavin Timms, YouTube channel. And yeah, we'll see you on the next video. All right. Appreciate it.

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