The Ultimate Guide to Profiting from Vacant Property Lists

You’re a real estate professional on a budget. You’re concerned about where your next check is going to come from. You need to do some marketing. Where do you start? It’s actually easier than you may think… 

Ask yourself, what are you willing to give up? Money or Time? 

 

It doesn’t matter which you choose. They work together or individually. If you have both money and time, with a bit of direction, you can do some serious damage in this new market.

The best way for local investors & Realtors to compete with national real estate disruptors is to focus messaging on a very specific set of homeowner problems that apply to a narrow subsection of homeowners. This allows you to increase the effectiveness of your messaging & decrease your spend. Win – Win, for your business & family. 

Even the real estate pros with the deepest pockets struggle with the most effective way to get their marketing message or better stated “offer” in front of a homeowner’s eyes and/or ears.

Truthfully, it’s not complicated. My great friend & colleague Greg Bilbro explains it like this: 

Traffic X Conversions = Qualified Leads… AKA MONEY!

Let’s break this equation down:

Traffic = Number of “at bats” with homeowners seeing or listening to your offer

  • When a customer sees your offer, your brand has had a “transaction” with a customer. We call that traffic. Greg’s traffic focus is pay per click, but traffic to a homeowner may originate as an outbound text message, call, voicemail, postcards, letters, facebook ads, custom social media audience uploads and/or door knockers.

Conversions = Favorable customer response

  • When a customer interacts favorably with your offering, no matter how minimal the interaction is – you have a conversion. An interaction may be minimal as a click on a Facebook ad’s landing page or a favorable response to a text message. You must continually tweak your marketing to increase prospect conversions.

Leads = Willing to sell house under the right circumstances

  • A prospect is not a lead. When a customer gives you any indication they would consider selling their home, you have a qualified lead. Even if the lead says I will only sell when my son graduates highschool in 2 years – BOOM. CONGRATS. You have a LEAD. A crap lead, but a lead none-the-less. Now follow up 36 times until they sell the house, ideally with you!

What is a vacant property list?

Some gurus use technical terms to describe their super duper special, completely different from everyone else’s vacant property list. They don’t have an algorithm to create the vacant lead.

They don’t use google maps to verify and they don’t have access to utility shut-offs unless they are breaking the law, or have some ninja software we would love to hear about. 

Use of data for an unintended purpose is illegal, and we’re not aware of data sources that can be scraped. They aren’t breaking the law – they are using a marketing trick called hype

A vacant home is a property deemed by the USPS as vacant – that sounds super simple, but it’s a pain in the ass to accomplish. The USPS charges some $280K +/- for access to the API. Very few companies have it, but once you have access to the API, you have to own all the buy / sell property data in order to ping off the USPS records to determine whether the property is vacant or occupied.

The USPS maintains this list for massive marketing companies. Even today, there are many companies that produce & send thick magazine quality advertisements through the mail. Those are very very expensive.

Are you old enough to remember JC Penny’s catalogs delivered to your home!?

If you were born around the early 80’s ages living in a middle class home in Middle America, you would remember the JC Penney’s catalogs They were over 2” thick. Most young boys were first exposed to images of (kinda) scantily clad women in old school undies via the JC Penney catalog. If our reader has no idea what us old folks are talking about – I’ll give you a hint… 

Victoria’s Secret didn’t exist and the internet was yet to be what it is.

So, a bunch of big companies back in the day banned together to lobby our government to force the postal delivery officer to write down when mail starts to stack up in a homeowners mailbox. If it stacks long enough & is noticed by the postal employee – BOOM… Vacant lead. 

Restoration Hardware & others still send these super expensive catalogs to households – they don’t pay to send them to vacant homes.

Some time ago, a few smart people (think Kent Clothier, REWW) figured out this nifty little trick to reverse engineer the postal service’s service tracking of vacant homes.

Reverse engineering this feed for an alternative purpose was brilliant. So brilliant in fact, our company set up similar software to do the same thing – in 2016. Although it’s old technology… it still works. 

There are very few companies that maintain the vacancies with 100% coverage, let alone stacking the data with owner’s age, syndicated credit scores, seniors with two stories, empty nesters or kids living at home. Geopoint Data does all those & more.

Run a count for your traditional owner occupant or absentee data with your other usual filters. . Then try stacking absentee & vacant homes without phone numbers in your major metropolitan area. . Isn’t that super cool?

 How many homes are there in your  metro that are absentee, have high equity & owner is over the age of 60 years old? That’s a good one, no?

How to stack your data to create a prospect list of homeowners that may have recently passed with your vacant home leads.

  1. Single family, condos or multiplexes in your geography
  2. Purchased prior to 2015
  3. Owner age 65+
  4. Vacant
  5. High Equity 

The reason that most data companies don’t have a way to easily deliver a small number of vacant houses reasonable price is because you have to send all the homes in any metro area into the USPS system in order to figure out whether or not they are vacant. Third party companies upcharge that expense. 

In other words, if you want the vacant homes for Baltimore, you have to own all the property data in Baltimore to ping the list to figure out which are vacant. It’s sucks, it’s a lot of work & costs real money but the result is exactly what investors, Realtors & wholesalers are looking for in homeowners – motivation. 

We ping the entire homeowner database against the USPS system on a monthly basis to generate our vacant home lists.

We’re not just a real estate data company, we are an actual data aggregator. We warehouse every buy sell transaction across the United States. We maintain many massive homeowner, consumer demographic, cell phone, landlines & email addresses. databases that update daily, monthly & quarterly.Our customers now have access to data that hasn’t existed in our industry.  

As a data aggregator,we purchase, warehouse & scale without comparison to our competitors. We spend an amazing amount of money on this data, because we sell data to over 47 different types of businesses. We have better pricing & can beat anyone’s pricing..

Why use vacant homes as a real estate lead list?

This is such an easy question to answer. A vacant house is a dead asset. A dead asset doesn’t have any productive financial value & even worse, in the case of a residential home – there are SIGNIFICANT expenses to maintain the unproductive property. 

A dead asset that costs money creates motivation. A motivated seller is more likely to sell a property. A motivated seller more likely to sell a property is a prospect that is more likely to listen to your offering. A motivated homeowner interested in your offer will likely sell their home to somebody, may as well be with you!

Unless your asset is stock, gold, silver or platinum, the maintenance of a asset carries significant expenses.

Why are vacant homes so valuable?

The reason is simple, in Great Recession of 2008, the residential housing crash basically created a financial vehicle never before recognized as a financial model that could be run from an office in Wall Street or Silicon Valley. 

Big money has traditionally only been in the real estate industry through scaled commercial & multifamily assets because it was determined long ago that financial efficiencies in scaled assets like big apartment complexes. We have since proven that simply  is not true. 

Want to know why Wall Street & Silicon Valley like residential homes as their new asset class? 

 

Because it’s a productive asset that will always hold an inherent & utilitarian value.

What does that mean? Let me give you an example, gold is an asset that will always hold some inherent value – but is it a productive asset? 

No, gold inherently is the most emotional asset available. It has zero utilitarian value, unless you want to impress your friends when you bring them into your personal gold vault. It’s only value is in the eyes of the market. What is that fleck of gold is worth relative to the supply & demand for gold at that moment in time. 

A productive asset has the ability to produce income above the asset value itself, therefore a productive residential asset is an occupied or rented home. 

Guess what!

All real estate professionals including Wall Street & Silicon Valley hate unproductive assets – also known as vacant houses.

Homeowners hate them too, they cost A LOT of money. Mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance – all these bills have to be paid whether there is someone living in the house or not. 

Simply put…Homeowners should sell vacant homes.

How to use a vacant homes list?

Real estate investors & wholesalers LOVE vacant houses – because it’s a dead (unproductive) asset. It currently holds zero utilitarian value for the owner & therefore the owner is highly likely to sell the house fast and is more likely to leave money on the table when selling. The dead asset is actually a financial burden that the homeowner wants to be rid of as fast as possible. 

If you’re using our vacant lead lists for postcards, handwritten letters or door knocking this detail will save you a HUGE amount of money. If you are using this data for cell phone, landline or text messaging – this is the best data available for inexpensively reaching out to homeowners. 

Why work with Geopoint Data?

Geopoint Data updates it’s buy-sell ownership & vacancy matching database weekly and it’s national vacant home list monthly. Don’t buy cheap old data from other software providers – we have the best data available, lists custom built for you. 

This is our business & we stand behind our work.

Want to know which homes in your county are vacant? Geopoint has it. Want to know which vacant homes have been owned for 30 years, the owner is above the age of 65 and has high equity? 

Want to know which homes are occupied & owned by someone over the age of 65 with two or more stories??? We’ve got that. 

Want to know what homes in your city are vacant, have high equity & credit? Geopoint Data has you covered. 

Want to know which vacant houses are absentee owners? We’ve got that. 

Want to know which houses in your area are vacant that also have a reported felony,  misdemeanor, property liens, city violations, court ordered judgments, personal bankruptcy and/or evictions. It’s a HUGE amount of work, but we do that! 

Did we make our point?

Conclusion.

Vacant property data can be used for mailers, text messaging, ringless voicemails, outbound calling, Facebook custom audience targeting, door knocking & so much more. Because we already own all the data, we are able to sell our data cheaper than our competitors. 

Prospect Less, Close More. Data stacking with convenience & market leading pricing.

 

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