Posted on: August 24, 2020
WI 499 | Disarming Motivated Sellers

 

 If your sales and negotiation skills can use some polishing, today’s your lucky day! This episode’s guest is a pro at both and he candidly provided several helpful tips to help you out.

Curtis Kupfersmith is a powerhouse wholesaler, real estate professional, and sales coach. And when it comes to sales and negotiations, he’s in a league of his own.

In this episode, Curtis shared some of the techniques that have helped him achieve the massive success he’s been enjoying for many years. This show is jam-packed with valuable insights so ensure you have a pen and paper handy!

An Expert Strategy To Immediately Disarm Any Motivated Seller With Curtis Kupfersmith

Episode Transcription

If this is your first time reading, I want to welcome you. We talk about real estate investing and wholesaling, and specifically, I like to focus on virtual wholesaling. We have an awesome guest. He’s a good friend of mine. His name is Curtis Kupfersmith. I met Curtis in Oklahoma. That is my market. I am in Oklahoma.

Curtis and I know each other because we’re both in the business. I asked Curtis to come on our show because he is amazing with sales and negotiating off-market deals with sellers at good discounts. I wanted to pick his brain a little bit about seller negotiation. How does he handle his seller leads? I wanted to get micro about it. How does he talk to sellers? What’s his script? What does he say? How does he get these good deals? This episode is going to be jam-packed with tons of practical information. Curtis, how are you doing?

I’m good. How are you?

I’m good. Thanks for coming on.

Thanks for having me. I’m excited.

We’ve known each other for a while. You and me, every time we get on the phone, we blab and talk.

We end up talking for way too long every time.

WI 499 | Disarming Motivated SellersIt’s going to be good. Curtis, tell us about yourself.

I’m originally from Kansas and I moved to Oklahoma City in 2012. Right around the time I moved here, I ended up getting into real estate. I got my real estate license here because I bought my first house in Texas when I was nineteen. It was a fluke deal. It was the lady I worked with. She went through a divorce, got the house, and was basically telling me she wanted to get rid of it. I didn’t know anything about real estate, but I knew that this was cheap. I ended up going to every little bank in town the next day and begging them for money.

This old man, who was the president of that bank, was like, “I can’t give you a loan through the bank. You don’t have any credit. You have nothing, but I believe in you. I’ll give you a personal loan.” I got a personal loan from this guy and bought this house. It was a 2 bed, 2 bath on 4 acres and it had a barn. I had a horse at the time, it worked out well and my payment was $263. When I first got it, I was like, “This is the cheapest place I’ve ever lived. This is awesome.” I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and that messed my whole world up. I put my house up for lease on Craigslist. I didn’t think anybody would call.

The next day, my phone blew up, so I leased that house for $1,200 a month. I’m thinking, “This is why people like rental properties. I’m making $1,000 a month on this house,” not realizing that that’s not common, but that’s how I got into it. I then moved to Oklahoma. When I moved here, I wanted to buy houses here. I got my license to get into rental properties. I started as an individual agent, selling people’s personal properties.

Fast forward a few years, I started a real estate investment firm with a partner. I sold out of that company at the end of 2019. I stayed on until the spring and worked my way out of that company. I do a lot of sales training. I’m still doing a little bit of real estate here and there. I’m still buying properties for myself. I’m doing a lot of different things now. I’m at a weird place in my life where I have the freedom to try different things that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Everything that I’m doing goes back to sales because that’s what I love and what I’m good at. I’m trying a bunch of different things and I’m enjoying it.

That’s why I wanted to talk to you because I know from your previous company, you were major players. I knew who you were before you knew who I was. I knew your name. I was like, “I’ve got to know this guy.” Eventually, we started talking, and I knew that your deal volume crushed it in sales. You have a ton of good nuggets that you could share with us. On average, how many deals were you doing a year? These are wholesale deals, right?

Yes. They’re wholesale deals. It’s a mixture. We did a pretty different dynamic of how our business ramped. In 2019, we closed 227 units. The year before that it was a little under 200. Those were our first full years running that business, and we primarily focused on rental properties, helping people purchase cashflowing properties. I did a lot of that. I focused on either distressed properties that you could fix up in cashflow or properties that were currently cashflowing that they could buy and start cashflowing immediately.

You were marketing direct-to-seller, right?

Yes.

Weren’t you buying on the MLS or anything?

No. I have my license, but nothing was sold on the MLS. Everything was sold off-market. I primarily tried to focus on going after people who own many houses. Instead of going to one-off people, I would try to find people who owned packages of houses so that you’re getting a lot at once, which was a huge help. That comes with a lot of different pros and cons, but I did a lot of that to try to help people offload packages, either one at a time or as a package. There’s a misconception, especially in the wholesale world, that people think, “That’d be amazing to get this huge package of houses at one time.”

The challenge to it is these people either want to sell all of them at one time to the same person, and they still want a high price for them or don’t want to pay anything in the middle. They want such a high price that it’s hard to get anything in the middle for you as the one selling them. There are a lot of different ways to work through what their motivation is, how to get the prices down, that stuff and we can get into that as we go on, but that was primarily what I focused on.

It’s like you had a niche with the seller avatar that you had. You weren’t going after the foreclosure list or the tax delinquent. It was probably purely the absentee owners’ lists, but the second layer of focus is they probably had to own two or more properties. What were you doing to market to those people?

Direct mail is the biggest thing. It can work well for you if you do it right.

Direct mail. We started to get a lot more referrals as stuff went on, which I know a lot of people do, but doing direct mail correctly is the biggest thing. You get people who say they don’t like direct mail. It is expensive. It’s expensive to do, but it can work well for you if done correctly.

Tell me a little bit about that. Tell me how we do it correctly.

It depends on what your goal is, but making them as personal as possible is helpful. I don’t personally like postcards until I’ve mailed to that list a few times. Even before I started the previous company, I farmed neighborhoods. What I would do is I would hyper-focus on a neighborhood. In that one particular neighborhood, I would send them either market updates, telling them like, “These are the houses that are sold in the last 90 days,” or whatever to where you’re educating them instead of trying to sell them constantly.

For those of you trying to focus on a specific neighborhood, try to think of ways to add value to them without trying to sell them or get their deals. If you can think of ways that you’re adding value to them because everybody wants to know what their house is worth. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rental property, their personal property, or whatever. They want to know, “What is my house worth?” They want to know if it’s going up, going down, etc. You don’t have to get hyper-focused on where you’re sending them like, “These are the houses that sold in the last 90 days.”

If you can do something that’s adding value to them, that’s making them think, “This guy or girl knows what they’re talking about because they’re consistently sending me a mail.” The other thing is consistently doing it. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are like, “I mailed. I sent letters for two months and I never got anything.” There’s a lot of times that it’s going to take you mailing them 3, 4 or 5 times before they finally reach out.

At that point, they’re either going to reach out and say they’re interested, or they’re going to reach out and say, “Take me off your freaking mailing list.” They don’t want to get your letters anymore, but they will reach out to you eventually. Don’t be afraid to keep hitting them because it takes time. I know that mailing costs a lot of money. People don’t want to hear that you’re going to have to consistently keep doing it, but you have to consistently keep sending them to start getting some of those leads if you’re going to go the direct mail route.

Do you read Dan Kennedy?

Yes. GKIC. I love his stuff.

I did, too. I used to be big into direct mail and I remember he would say, “Always offer something for free on your mail piece,” which is the value that you’re talking about. What I used to do, and it didn’t take much, I wrote the sentence in bold and I would say, “Call for a free property evaluation.” That was it. I gave it because I’m not an appraiser, so I can’t say property appraisal, but I would say property evaluation. That was the free thing I was offering and it would get them to call me over the next guy that sent direct mail. That is a quick tip. Offer something for free. Dan Kennedy, he’s all about direct mail. He’s got some good books on it.

WI 499 | Disarming Motivated Sellers

Disarming Motivated Sellers: If your sellers trust you, it’s easier to deliver a lower price for their houses.

 

His stuff is good. If you’re adding value like that to them, even if you’re trying to wholesale the deal, my philosophy has always been to be overly transparent with people. The more transparent I can be, it makes me stand out because many other wholesalers are slime bags, and they’re trying to hide stuff from people. When you’re trying to hide stuff from people, they can feel that. You’re not being genuine. You’re not being real.

In line with being transparent, say it’s going to be a wholesale deal that it’s a flip and it’s in bad shape, I would tell them, “Once I update this house, this house is probably going to be worth X. If you want to do that to this house, it’s probably going to cost you $30,000 to $40,000. You could go and put all this money in, and this is what you’re going to resell on the backend or I can buy it for this, and this is what you’re going to make, and you don’t have to worry about putting in all that time and effort.”

If you’re giving people options, it makes them feel you’re not forcing them into a decision. It’s like, “These are your options. You choose what you want to do.” They then feel more competent in that decision going forward. It might come back to bite you, but 9 times out of 10, people aren’t going to want to put all that money, effort and time into it or they wouldn’t be calling you in the first place. By being transparent with them upfront, you’re making them feel more empowered to make a decision. Instead of, “This is my only option. This is what I have to do because this is the only thing this guy can do for me.”

I couldn’t agree with you more. I almost feel we must have taken the same sales training or read the same books because we have a similar style, which is not pushy. It’s not the always-be-closing style of sales. It’s more like, “I’m going to be honest and lay all my cards on the table. Take it or leave it. I’m not going to push you to do anything you don’t want to do. Here’s my number if you want to think about it.” No pressure sales. I’m similar.

One thing that a lot of students, my students, the coaching students I have, and whatnot struggle with is delivering a low-ball offer to a seller. We talked about how you’re getting these sellers to call you. These are savvy sellers who have multiple rental properties. They know a bit about real estate, even more than maybe other sellers you would get. How do you deliver your offer, and usually, your offer is not a market price offer? Is there a way that you say it?

When I’m first talking to them, and I’m getting information about their property, I will ask them, “Do you have an idea of what it’s worth?” As we know, sellers always think their house is worth way more than what it is. In the beginning, I’m asking them, “How old are the major mechanicals? How old is the roof? Have you done any plumbing or electric updates to it?” That stuff. In asking him that, at the end of it, when I ask them that price, I’m like, “What do you think it’s worth?” I’ll say, “If you were the one buying this house, what would you be willing to pay for it?”

It makes them think of it as like, “If I was buying it, I’m thinking about all the money I have to put into it.” It almost makes them think through not as a seller but as a buyer coming to buy it because the same sellers who are like, “I want the highest price possible for my house,” when they’re buyers, they want the lowest price possible. It flips that switch in their head. It makes them think, “If I’m the one buying it, I’m not going to want to pay that much.” Usually, when I ask them that, they’ll laugh or you can tell that they’re like, “You’re making me think differently.”

Even if they’re like, “I would pay that,” I’ll laugh back with them and I’m like, “Come on. I know if you were buying it, you’re going to want a low price on it.” If nothing else, it builds rapport to where they’re laughing with you because it feels so many times when a seller lead reaches out to you, their guard is up immediately. They feel this is a battle between you and me right off the bat. They want to set that precedent.

Be overly transparent with people. The more transparent you are, the more you stand out.

I want to get their guard down immediately as fast as I possibly can. In any way, I want to get their guard down because my philosophy is that sales all comes back to trust. If they trust me, that is the most important part of the whole thing. If I have trust with them, it’s way easier to deliver a lower price because they trust me and don’t think of me as some slimy dude who sent them a mailer. I have a rapport with them. They feel like, “This is probably right.”

To go back to the original question as well, besides little one-off things, if you’re offering them different options, that makes it way easier to deliver a low-ball price because I would tell them, “This is what I’m looking at. I ran numbers on it. Use simple math. The ARV, once I update, this house is going to be $100,000. Is that what you think it’s worth?” “Yes. That’s what it’s worth.” “How much in repairs do you think this house needs?” “It needs blah, blah, blah.” You try to get them to give you a number.

Say that they agreed that the house is worth $100,000 and they say that it probably needs $30,000 in work. You’re helping them do that math in their head, so it’s like, “I can pay $25,000 for it. Once I pay for the rehab, once I pay for my holding costs, pay for this, I’m only making X,” and they can see that. If you’re sending them a low-ball offer, instead of coming straight out and saying, “I can only give you $25,000 for your house.” Help them see how you got to that $25,000 number, so they don’t feel left in the dark.

They may not say yes right off the bat, but it’s at least going to give them something to think about to where they can also come back to think of themselves as a buyer. They’re going to call you back in the next couple of days and you can start working through it. Making them understand how you got to that number makes it a lot easier for them to be willing to take a lower offer.

I loved your style. I can never remember this book, but I feel like you had to have read it. Have you read some sales books?

Yes. Which one?

There is this book, and I don’t know why. The guy clearly was not good at marketing because he sucked at naming his book because I can never remember the name, but it’s a good sales book. He talks about the croc brain and how they’re always on the defense because they’ve got their guard up. They’re primitives, but it’s not that there’s a difference, and they’re primitive in their thinking when you first talk to a seller. It’s primitive. They have a primitive response to you. They’ve got their guard up. You making that joke of, “What would you pay?” That broke down their guard a little bit. I have always wanted to recommend this book and I can never think of the name.

I can’t think of what it is either.

I’ll find out and I’m going to text you like, “Did you read this?” I swear we have the exact same style. You sound like me talking to sellers. The only thing is I don’t say an amount because I lived in California. At the time, when I was heavy into direct mail and seller negotiation, I was a house flipper in California and I went virtual and did it in lower price states. In California, it is hard to spit out, “I’m only making $40,000 on this flip.” It’s hard to say. Instead, I would say percentages because they’re savvy.

Most California sellers were pretty savvy and they understand, as investors like, “Mr. Seller, what do you expect to get in the stock market? You expect the average stock market returns are 10%. I’m buying a piece of real estate that can have all sorts of liabilities attached to it. I’m looking to get a 12% return.” They hear that and they’re like, “She’s not greedy. She’s not trying to rip me off here.” I flip it and say percentages instead, which might even work better too when you’re in a market that’s a lower end because 10% of a $100,000 house is only $10,000.

That does sound a lot better than saying $10,000. Ten percent sounds a lot lower.

I was passionate and still am passionate about sales and direct-to-seller conversations and things that you say. Any time a seller would throw shade at me, get mad at something I said or chew me out, even where it seemed awkward in the conversation, I would make a mental note, write it down and would go, “What is a better way to say that so I don’t get that response out of the seller anymore.” Maybe call me a big fat people pleaser, but that is what you’re doing. Whatever makes the seller like you more than your competition because at the end of the day, there are many investors that have paid the same price you would, but they like you. You said trust, to me, it’s that they like me.

WI 499 | Disarming Motivated Sellers

Disarming Motivated Sellers: In finding your seller’s motivation, you’ll find out a lot about the house.

 

Also, building a rapport in general, getting them to talk about things. If it’s an absentee owner, whether it’s a rental property or not, I always want to know what their motivation is. It’s like, “What made you call me today? Why are you thinking about selling the house?” For anybody reading that’s done much work with sellers like, “I don’t need to sell it. I don’t have to. I’m just thinking about it.”

Unless you got a distressed seller that doesn’t know what the heck they’re doing and they’re like, “I lost my job and I need to get rid of this immediately,” and whatever but 9 times out of 10, if they’re savvy at all, they’re going to tell you, “I don’t need to sell it. I’m sick of having a rental house or I’m thinking about it,” whatever.

I want to drill down on that motivation. If they say, “I’m sick of being a landlord,” that’s not direct enough. What are you sick of? What are you sick of dealing with? Is your tenant not paying? Do you have too many repairs in the house? In finding your motivation, you’re going to find out a lot about the house, too.

Sometimes the motivation lies in the home. He’s not motivated, but the house needs a lot of work. It’s the condition that is the motivation. Back to, “What is a way to say this,” I noticed that when I would say, “Why are you selling?” it would put their wall back up and they would get on the defense. The way I would ask it is I would say, “What were your plans with this home originally when you bought it?” I hear what they say and it leads into, “You were doing this, then this. What happened next?”

It leads them to then say, “My tenant stopped paying rent.” They accidentally say it. It’s mind games to get them to show me their cards. I say it like that because I felt the why. I always felt weird in my stomach when I would say, “Why are you selling?” It would make me feel weird asking. I would feel almost like, “That’s a personal question.” I don’t know if that’s British of me, but I don’t like to be blunt. It seems nosy. I try to say it in a non-nosy way.

I like that. “What were your original plans with the house?” That way, they can tell you, “I wanted to do this, but then this happened.” You’re going to find out the real truth quickly.

They’ll spill the beans. When trying to explain this, I always like to say that because that is their pain button. After that, once you’ve identified their pain button, you put that in your CRM and push that pain button every time you talk to them. The way I push the pain button is through storytelling. I will talk about how I had that pain button, but I’ll say, “I remember when I had to do an eviction.” You storytell.

I could usually whip one of these stories out because I’ve done enough transactions that I can come up with something, where I went through something similar or a seller I knew went through something similar. I could say, “I worked with another seller who had the same issue. You’re not alone on that. I’ve seen it before. No worries. We deal with this stuff all the time.” Also, coming up with supporting how you can solve that problem, that pain, and make that pain button go away for them.

It goes back to what you were saying with the, “What was your original goal with the house?” After that, another question on top of that is, “What is your goal with the house now?” If they have a number in mind, that’s like, “I want to net $25,000. I want to get rid of it as fast as possible.” Going back to presenting a lower offer, if what you’re offering gets close to or does meet their goal, then it’s like, “Your goal was to net $25,000, and my offer is netting you $25,000. What is keeping you from moving forward at that now if we’re meeting your goal? Remember, this was your goal.”

You’re tying everything back to their goal or pain at the end of the day. What will happen is they will think somebody else will tell them, “I can give you X amount, which is $10,000 higher than what you can do,” they start getting greedy. If your number is still meeting their goal, it’s like, “Did your goal change?” “What is happening between now and then that you’re not taking my offer?”

We’ve got some good stuff here. I feel like we are dropping some seriously good content on sales. Honestly, you are great at sales. Your deal flow and volume over the last couple of years shows it. It’s a no-brainer. I knew you were good at sales by having a conversation with you. You’re likable and the most good salesmen that are likable. How can people get a hold of you? Are you active on socials?

Yes. I’m more active on Facebook, but I post on Instagram, too. My name is spelled weird. It’s Curtis Kupfersmith and my website’s the same thing, too. It’s CurtisKupfersmith.com.

If you want to talk to Curtis, he’ll be happy to talk to you and give you some sales advice. Curtis, thank you so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me. This is awesome. I liked it a lot. It was fun.

We’ll have to do it again. You did deliver. We’ll have to do a 2.0 to this soon.

I’d love to.

If you guys want to learn more about virtual real estate investing, check out my program at www.WholesalingInc.com/virtual. Thanks again.

 

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About Lauren Hardy

WI 810 | Virtual Wholesaling

Lauren Hardy is a Virtual Investing expert and Real Estate influencer who owns multiple companies in the real estate industry including real estate investment, coaching, and software companies. She is also a Wholesaling Inc coach and co-host of the Wholesaling Inc Podcast.

Her experience in the last decade has been focused on real estate investing and creating products and services to serve the real estate investing community. If you are interested in investing in real estate virtually, house flipping, or virtual landlording, Lauren’s your girl.

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