50 Ways to Riches in Real Estate
#26 - Garage Sales
Spending a day hitting garage sales is a great American pastime. It is fun, inexpensive, and as a side effect it also gets you out "there" exploring your real estate market area, meeting people, finding Leads.
Sometimes a random, drive around and see what happens approach works. But it's more productive to make a plan. Find local listings for garage sales, from the local web portal, newspaper, etc. Then collect the address' and use an online mapping service to plan a route. The free ones usually limit you to 6 or 10 stops, but you can often make and save several maps of X number of stops each, then just switch from one to the other.
Look at the map once you have it all set. Does your route run near any of the local lead hotspots like tourist areas or vacation rental areas, or maybe a favorite lunch spot where you can stop for lunch and maybe pick up a lead or two also.
The McMansion type garage sales, though rarer than other types, often garner the largest garage sale crowds. People love the opportunity to do a "looky-loo" at higher dollar homes and to get great deals on quality offerings.
Garage and moving sales offer several real estate Lead capture opportunities.
The people that are hosting the sale might be moving. You can approach them and work the conversation to discover if that is the case. Your business card at the ready and your real estate name tag proudly displayed, might get them talking as well.
The people that are attending the garage/moving sale might also be Lead sources. Younger couples could be looking for things to stock their first home with, and you could be the one to help them find it. Often rental owners will purchase garage sale items to stock their rentals.
Often the neighbors will be out and about when a garage sale is going on. Sometimes 3 or 4 homes, or a whole block of homes, will do a collective garage sale. This gives you access to all these homeowners that might be interested in selling.
Maybe you notice that the garage sale is short on signage and folks might be getting lost on their way. You can offer to make a sign to fill the directional need, using the real estate agent prep kit you have in your trunk. In return ask the garage sale owner to let you put your business cards on the check out table or even better ask him if he will hand one out to folks with their change.
Write down the address and come back and get the signage materials later.
You can also create and place one of your own signs advertising one of your own listings, next to the one you create for the garage sale. This way folks will "see" your name twice, just by going to a garage sale. They read it on the sign on the way to the garage sale and then they see or get handed one of your business cards at the garage sale. These signs you can use over and over again. Remember where you placed them (there's an App for that) and go back and pick them up later. Then reuse them another day for the same purpose or find another spot to place them as you drive around your real estate market area.
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