The motivational speaker Zig Ziglar is quoted as saying that “You can have what you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” I’ve also heard it said that a successful business is a business that identifies and supplies a product or service that people want. With this knowledge I was sure that I’d be able to make both a personal impact as well as helping others by providing them with what they wanted in terms of relieving them of their burden through the sale of their home so that they could “right size” and adjust to the change in life brought on by the particular hardship that they’ve experienced.
To start I paid for a subscribtion through RealtyTrac www.realtytrac.com so that I could pour through the data for owners that have recently received as Lis Pendens. I understand that this information is public information and I could do the same from simply searching online through county records, in addition I could utilize the free service through Realist.com, that I receive from being a licensed realtor with my Broker (Exit Prime Realty). Again my thinking which may have been flawed was the fact that since this is a paid service, they should be doing a little bit more due diligence to provide as up to date and clean data as possible, which would save me the time of validating the information. The verdict is still out, as I’ve seen discrepancies between county, Realist.com, and the information I receive from RealtyTrac and have not been able to determine who’s accurate. I also understand that a lot of this information is constantly moving and so based on the delivery of the data it’s challenging to pinpoint at any particular time who’s right and who’s wrong. With that said, for me, right now more data is better than less.
Ok, back to my target audience. For those of you not familiar with a Lis Pendens, it is a “Notice of Sale” and for a judicial foreclosure state such as Florida it is the first step for a lender in starting the foreclosure process. Lis Pendens is latin for “Suit pending”. In my mind, this group want’s to sell and they want to sell fast in order to avoid a foreclosure, this this is true for a small number but I quickly began to realize that it’s not the case for the majority. As I began my mailing and different marketing campaigns, I thought that my phone would be ringing off the hook with people looking for assistance in aggressively selling their homes while they still had the opportunity. I could not have been more wrong.
This is where we need to revisit needs vs. wants. When an object of our desire satisfies both a need and a want, there is very little that can stand in our way to achieve it. For example, there is a story where a student asked the philosopher Socrates what the key to success was. The story goes on to say that Socrates submerged the young students head in water, and as a result the young student did everything within his power to free himself. Upon freeing himself, Socrates told the young man that when he want’s success as much as he wanted a breath of air he’ll achieve it. The story in it’s full context can be read here, http://www.snlabetterway.com/socrates-secret-to-success/#.VzxuOYQrLIU. For this student both his need and want were focused on the same thing, getting air. Physically he needed air and he had a want (desire) for air to continue living.
I’m going to make a stand here and say that I believe a person will in most cases first try to satisfy a want vs. a need and in some cases to his or her detriment. This can be seen in cases of addiction, whether it be to drugs, food, or anything else. We know that the usage of certain drugs and the abuse of foods can have a life threatening affect on us, however we see it over and over again that the want or desire for that substance trumps our logic in that if we continue it’s going to have a negative impact on our lives and on the lives of those around us.
So what does all this have to do with my target audience receiving a Lis Pendens notice? Everything. What I’ve found is that the majority of owners who have received a Lis Pendens notice don’t Want to sell they Need to sell, and like I’ve said in most cases a want will trump a need. I’ve confirmed this as a result of noticing that the calls I receive are from owners who have owned their properties for quite some time and are now looking for rentals, because they’ve recently foreclosed after trying to hold on to their properties. Although they needed to sell and had ample time to sell with an outcome that may have been more beneficial to their financial base and future borrowing ability the overpowering emotional desire (want) to hold on to their property trumped the logical need to sell as quickly as possible.
As I continue to market my services and communicate with owners, I’ll continually stay in touch with these owners as I know that selling in most cases would be in their best interest and hope that they’ll reach out before it’s too late. There is definitely a business opportunity there for working with owners in getting them to want to sell at that difficult time. Personally that’s not my calling. I want to assist owners who have coupled both the need and want to sell and are looking for help, this is why, I’m going to change my focus to expired listings. Expired listings reflect a group in which they’ve coupled their needs and want’s but for whatever reason their strategy to sell was not successful. Here I know that at one point they did want to sell. Based on the response that I get from my marketing to this group, I may go the additional step and reach out to owners trying to sell on their own, however the challenge there in most cases is that the owner does not want to pay a commission, although that may be what the need to do in order to get the additional exposure needed to sell their property.
I hope that this post was enlightening to both owners and realtors alike, let me know your thoughts, and if I can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to call me. Until next time ….
Cecilio (Tony) Thomas