Note holders are not contacted by as many note brokers as you might imagine. The quality of competition is actually fairly sparse, and there is money to be made.
Experienced brokers know that
there are only two reasons a note holder will sell – to mitigate a larger financial pain or to make a larger gain (financial or otherwise).
Your success as a note broker is dependent on effectively reaching the (approximate) 2-3% of note holders who are actually ready to sell their investment-grade note at any given point in time although that number does fluctuate over time depending on the season. Tax time sees a lot of note sales in order to pay tax bills, summertime you have increased home sales, in September people need back-to-school cash for kids, cars; January sees Christmas bills needing to be paid.
Direct mail returns the highest number of note holders per advertising dollar spent. A $500 investment can turn into a $2,000 or more in your pocket. You can reach almost every note holder in existence through direct mail if you have the budget when you are drawing names from a quality list provider.
A direct mailing campaign is fairly predictable. The 2 to 3% “ready to sell” number has been borne out through experience, These are the people who are interested in selling their note at the time of your mailing and request a quote. Being contacted by 10-20 note holders per month as a result of a direct mailing campaign is normal. We have found this to be a fairly consistent metric over time. Generally speaking, the more experienced the broker, the higher the response rate.
Keep in mind that the actual note holders that make up the 2 to 3% do shift over a period of time; in other words, note holders who weren’t motivated at the time of your first mailing eventually become part of this motivated group as their individual circumstances change and they move further along the continuum from month to month. Some are ready now, at the time you mail them, and some will become ready later. This is why it’s very important to follow up with multiple reach-out messages to the right note holders. You need to establish a recognition factor and you must also establish credibility by projecting professionalism at all times so that when the time comes to sell, they will contact you and request a quote.
A beginner should start with at least 1,000-3000 mailings. You want to make sure that you are targeting the exact note holders that your investors are looking for which is why the quality of the list you’re using is paramount. You need to target only saleable notes. That means no notes in second position or high loan to value. You also want to make sure the mailing address is current. 15% of people move every year, so it’s important that your list reflects the most current addresses
A huge advantage of a mailing campaign is that you are reaching the note holder directly, and it’s especially effective when done with a postcard where your message is sure to be read as the note holder cannot avoid seeing your message as they hold that card in their hand. By contrast, websites or email may or may not reach your prospect. Your mailing can draw the potential note seller to your website which then supports and expands on your message..
In the end, it’s the broker who mails the note holder when they need to sell that will get the business. They’re not likely to remember who mailed them last month although you can increase the retention factor by cresting a compelling card or message that they will keep.
On a grand scale average, the bulk of note holders respond, or begin selling or begin to get motivated around 2 to 3 months after they first took back the note.
With this in mind, you will do well by contacting the note holder after about month number two (after they’ve taken back the note) once they’ve initially been mailed earlier on by the initial wave of novice note brokers who mail once but then never follow up.
So, by sending your initial mailing beginning around month number two you are picking up the slack as your competition by that time has dropped off, after having effectively warmed up the prospect for you– and then you get the buy on the follow up.
Our old adage remains true: keep mailing, get them to keep your material and create urgency with a compelling message. You need to cultivate the note holders who don’t respond to the initial wave of novice mailings. We used to have a very popular class re this.
In upcoming videos, I’ll talk about what exactly needs to be on your postcards and how to create a compelling message that will convert.