Author Topic: Direct mailing in "resort" area  (Read 806 times)

Captain Cactus

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Direct mailing in "resort" area
« on: September 08, 2017, 05:17:48 PM »
There is a resort town (very low key, year round family friendly resort) that I really like.  I go there about once per month and stay at my in law's quarter share condo.

I heard about a technique on the side huddle podcast.  Think it was with land geek. Basically you get the list from town hall of every property owner's home address (not typically in this resort area).  Identify any properties where the owners live a significant distance away (i.e. Other side of country) and send them a letter with an offer to buy, an actual dollar amount offer contingent on certain things like inspection or whatever, stamped return envelope.  If owner is disengaged, wants to unload, etc... maybe you'll get a good deal.

Anybody else done this before?  Any luck?


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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 10:03:31 PM »
Direct mail is *mostly* a way to separate elderly/senile people without close family from their money. Very few people who are in full command of their faculties will bite.

It does work. It is not something I would ever, ever do, though.



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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 10:38:49 PM »

former player

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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 01:52:37 AM »
A friend of mine did a slightly different version of this: "I would love to live in this road: if you are interested in selling please get in touch".  It worked, but she wasn't looking for a bargain, just a house in the community she wanted to live in at a fair price.  It was London, so I'm guessing the fair price was significant.
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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 08:11:07 AM »
We own in a resort area eight hours drive from our primary home and get these robo-letters frequently. All of them are promptly recycled. I would pay more attention to a handwritten letter with specific details sooner than I would to someone who sounds like an investor looking to "score" a deal at my expense.

OTOH, if I had property with problems which I knew would make it problematic to sell on the open market, I might look for a fast all-cash "deal" with an eager, inexperienced investor...Caveat emptor.
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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 09:15:55 AM »
I bought my house by emailing a bunch of landlords on Craigslist saying "Hi I would like to buy your house." I got some responses because the people were moving away and didn't want to care for the houses anymore. Similar idea to direct mailing, worked for me!

Also, OP I'm still waiting on those cactus recipes.

Captain Cactus

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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 12:06:42 PM »

OP here.  Based on your responses I can see how people on the receiving-end of my letters may interpret them differently than intended.  Here's a little more of the background.  Basically it's a small town (around 250 year-round residents) with about 20 different condo buildings/complexes and two large "lodge" style condo buildings, basically a hotel in which people own the suites inside.

Condos range from $60,000 (in the lodge style condo) upwards to $500,000 for larger, nicer places.  I'm looking for something on the more modest end, 2 beds/1bath. 

A very small percentage of the owners actually live in these condos.  Some people are regulars and are up there frequently on the weekends; others rarely because they live outside of driving distance.  One person I know owned a condo but ultimately sold it because he lived in Florida and never visited anymore.

People do sell their condos, there are many on the market.  Thing is, most of them sit there for months/years.  My thinking was if I sent a letter to each condo owner that lived greater than a 6 hour-drive away maybe I'd find somebody that would sell their condo for a bit less in exchange for quick, cash sale, avoiding realtor fees, HOA fees/taxes, and unit sitting there for months unsold. 

I certainly wouldn't want to take advantage of elderly/senile people.  Maybe it's a poor approach.  Probably a better way.  Good to talk things through with this community though.  Thank you! 

PS:  no cactus recipes for me :) 


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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 05:36:13 PM »
There is absolutely nothing immoral about direct mailing people to ask them to sell their property.

If they live far away, they may be glad to find a buyer.

The home may not be sellable to regular folks because its current condition won't allow a regular mortgage to be issued on it.  If the seller can't fix the problems, they may be very glad to find a buyer, any buyer.   I've bought one that way and they were happy about it.
They may be glad to avoid a 6% commission to a realtor.  I wish I had made all our sales without that commission!

They may be glad to find a buyer who will take care of the repairs.  Think I wanted to deal with finding repairmen for my mom's home 6 hours away, after she passed away?

They may have inherited the property and just be glad to be rid of it for a minimum of fuss and bother.  Yep.   I had two houses to fix up and I was moving at the time, I wanted my mom's house sold at a reasonable price with no fuss and bother more than I wanted the best possible price.

They may have "been to the altar" several times and the sale fell thru due to financing issues.  They may be glad to get a cash offer so they know the deal will go thru.  My mom's home went to the altar 3 times before it actually sold.  We bought our 2nd house for less money than 3 other families bid for the same property because the buyer knew for sure we would have no financing issues.

They may be glad to get rid of the monthly bills.  Most families live paycheck to paycheck.   An extra house's set of bills is a real pain for many folks.

They may not wish to deal with some dictator wanna-be in charge of the HOA who is being a pain in the ass any longer than they have to.    Yep.  I just buried my mom and the sale has fallen thru - again - and some dickwad in the HOA is threatening to fine me because they want more pine straw put down.  Catch me on a bad day and I might have paid extra to have them whacked along with the weeds.  ( I suppose I might have felt bad about doing that afterwards, but no promises. )

The lower price you offer is due to providing a service the seller values more than using the more conventional realtor approach.

If they do, you both come out ahead.

If they don't, they don't call you and toss the letter in the mail.

Now, if someone is attempting to cheat senile people out of their property, they need to rot in hell.  But that's not what I'm suggesting that anyone do.


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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2017, 06:16:44 PM »
Let me clarify a little - I was not suggesting the OP was trying to do anything unethical.

The *normal* direct mail RE investor model depends heavily on taking advantage of (mostly elderly) people who don't understand RE very well and/or don't really know what their home is worth. The 6% these sorts of folks are saving on the sale is by no means enough to make up for the well-below-market price they are getting.

Of course there are cases where someone just wants a property gone, doesn't want the hassle of fixing things up, etc. That isn't typically what direct mail RE solicitations are about, though. It's the same as spam emails or phone calls - the big prizes are elderly people who don't quite understand what's happening and have lots of cash (or property).

Given the specifics of the situation, I'd say give it a shot. Include a note that says something like "not interested in selling yourself? I'll give you $500 for a reference to a neighbor who is if I buy their unit!" I'm actually quite curious about where on earth this place is, too. 250 year round residents? Is it on a lake somewhere that gets really cold? Can't be a ski resort (I don't think?) because it's too cheap.



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Re: Direct mailing in "resort" area
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 10:10:00 AM »
Not exactly on topic, but we almost did a version of this, at the suggestion of our realtor.

As first time home buyers, we were unsure of what we really wanted. After looking at 50 or so houses, we finally narrowed it down to two specific neighborhoods in my city. Houses in these neighborhoods are built well, offer good bang for the buck, and are in desirable locations, so if they go on the market, they're usually snatched up on the first day.

Since we narrowed it down to these two specific locations (location location location being our top priority), we were about to post flyers on every single door in those two neighborhoods saying "if you're planning on selling, let us know!" Our realtor's thought process was that it could either do nothing, or it could connect us with someone getting ready to sell and save them the trouble of finding good qualified buyers, or listing on the MLS.

A house came on the market the next day in our top neighborhood that we ultimately ended up purchasing, but we were ready to go for the whole "knock on doors/put a letter in the mailbox" thing.