How Elliot Makes Use Of His Books To Get Pre-foreclosure Leads

In 2020, there were 214,323 active foreclosure cases nationwide. It goes without saying that no homeowner ever wants to find themselves in this devastating situation. But with the help of the right agent, homeowners can sell their current home before the bank steps in.

We recently spoke with Long Beach, California-based agent Elliot Peaks, who works with homeowners facing foreclosure. He highlights the importance of leading with compassion and avoiding pushy sales tactics when it comes to working with this sensitive niche.

Elliot didn’t initially plan to focus on pre-foreclosure sales. When he first entered the real estate industry a few months before graduating college, he started working with buyers and was hosting open houses every weekend. He began working full time in 2015.

“I was a newbie at everything — door knocking, holding open houses, and cold calls to general homeowners. In 2016, I joined a company that was owned by real estate investors who liked to fix and flip and wanted to find pre-foreclosure homes. I was cold calling for 6 months.”

Fast forward to 2019. After acquiring his broker’s license, Elliot took a leap of faith.

“I went out on my own. I got my broker’s license and started doing it on my own.”

EQUIPPING HIMSELF WITH ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

As Elliot was learning the ins and outs of the business, he developed communication skills to effectively work with grieving homeowners about to lose their homes.

“I usually tell them there’s an option to avoid foreclosure; we just have to explore it. I tell them it’s not the end of the world and it’s very important for them to communicate with their lender, whether just asking them how much time they have left, telling them what their intentions are, if they plan to sell the home, if they want to modify their loan, or if they are in dire need to borrow money to reinstate their loss.”

Elliot suggests agents working with pre-foreclosure leads keep a list of lenders they can contact in the event their clients need financial assistance. Having those connections can also lead to future referrals.

“I know lenders, both big and small, and I’ve talked to them in regards to multiple clients. I’ve also negotiated short sales and met one lender through it. She was a small lender but was willing to refer properties to me that they ended up taking. She said she was willing to refer me. I have developed relationships over the years.”

REQUESTING HELP FROM LENDERS

When his clients are facing foreclosure, Elliot aims to communicate with them on a daily basis and also stays in close contact with their lenders.

“A lot of private lenders are still pushing foreclosure, even though the courts are closed. I’m helping people out, telling them the same thing — talk to their lender. They need to find out how much time they have left before the forbearance agreement is over. I have plenty of clients who are sitting tight right now, waiting for things to blow up, which I think are going to be listings when the moratoriums are lifted. However, there are still people who are motivated to sell. I also know some private lenders who are willing to lend to reinstate loans. I’ve done some credit repair stuff to help people get back on track and maybe refinance within a year’s time.”

SELLING THROUGH THE LENS OF HIS CLIENTS

For agents who want to break into the pre-foreclosure niche, Elliot’s advice is to buckle up for a bumpy ride. You have to be patient, kind and compassionate, he says, and try not to lead with traditional marketing strategies.

“There are a lot of steps when you reach out to people. A lot are going to be extremely emotional, so be prepared to get yelled at. The last thing they want to hear is anybody trying to buy or sell their home. So my advice is don’t approach the initial conversation talking about sales. I always disclose that I’m a real estate broker, but at the same time reassure them that they have multiple options. There are several things they can do to save their house. Once the wall comes down a little bit, then you can work with them. Eventually, some of them realize the benefits of selling their home.”

KEEP EXPLORING AND MOVING FORWARD

What keeps Elliot motivated is his open-minded nature. He isn’t afraid to take risks and test the waters with new niches. He became an Authorify member to do exactly that.

“My plan is to try a few different niches and see what return on investment I get from each. So far, I’ve sent out my Inherited Homes (books) to some probate leads, and I’m currently following up with them to find out the advantage in that niche. Also, I have a hundred Foreclosure books that I intend on mailing out, too.”

Elliot admits that it took him a series of mistakes before he could call himself an expert in handling pre-foreclosure clients. Instead of getting discouraged, he used his failures as motivation to improve.

“At the end of the day, agents only have one option. I tell them to be more patient. This is a mistake I’ve made. In the past, I pushed too hard. It actually made clients take a step back. They’re going through different stages of grief and sometimes falter back and forth. You have to give them time and allow them to reach the acceptance stage at their own pace. Also, remind them of timelines and foreclosure dates, or anything related to this. Just be compassionate and understand that a lot of people are holding on to the only home they’ve ever known. There’s a lot of pride in ownership.”

Other Interviews

Let's go in-depth to make sure you are building processes that will continue to bring in listings.

Bridgette Is Educating First-Time Home Buyers With The Help Of Her Books

Read More

Gary Finds Instant Success With Past Clients

Read More
Insert Content Template or Symbol