• Run your investor program like a pro.
  • Develop your investor A-plus list.
  • It’s a huge time-saver when you fully vet your investor inquiries.

“When you see a really good deal, call me!”

We all get this request, right? We get it a lot. Everyone wants a good deal.

But is this a serious inquiry or just a casual conversation? Is this an investor or an investor wannabe? Or an investor who never intends to hire you? Or a person who would like to buy but is currently priced out of the market?

In other words, is this person even an investor?

Let’s fine-tune your response so you can protect your time by doing a better job of screening these “maybe” leads and coaching them into a solid buy or investment strategy.

Step 1: Clarify

Typically, with a little inquisitive grin on my face, I respond with, “When you say really good deal, what exactly do you mean?” Then, I listen.

Step 2: Get more clarity

“The reason I ask is I get that request all the time, and ‘really good deal’ means different things to different people. Are you thinking of buying or investing?”

Or: “Oh, you’re an investor. Tell me more about that.” Then listen.

Step 3: Find out about the investor plan

“So tell me more about your investment plan and the ideal property. Do you own investment property right now? What is your timeframe?

“How many properties do you intend to purchase? Will you pay cash or do you have financing ready to go? If I found a killer deal tomorrow, would you be able to make a quick decision?“

Then listen. Don’t be in so much of a hurry to set an appointment. At this point, we are still screening them to see if they are serious and deserving of your time.

Step 4: Introduce your investor program

“Let me tell you briefly about our investor program. At any given time, we have three to five people on our investor A-plus list. These are folks who have completed our investor questionnaire, so we are very clear on their criteria, financing and if they can make a quick decision when we find a great deal.

“You see, when we find a killer deal, someone needs to put an offer on it the first day, and we go to the top of our A-plus list (the best person for that particular property) and get on the phone hustling to find someone who is ready to pounce. It’s how you get the best deals. Interested?”

Step 5: Discuss the investor questionnaire

(If they say yes) “Excellent. Let’s do this. I am going to email you our investor questionnaire. Fill it out, and then we will sit down to discuss your plan. Sound good?”

If they say “no” or “why,” then respond with something like: “We get investor inquiries all the time. At any given time we have three to five investors on our A-plus list, and those are our investors who can pounce quickly and who we have an obligation to call when we find an awesome investment opportunity.

“If you want to be on the short list for the best deals, this is our process, and our investor clients are very happy. What’s your email?”

Step 6: Send the questionnaire

Each of the questions is on purpose and designed to protect your time. It also shows that you are a professional and have systems. And for the novice investors, the questionnaire serves as a bit of an educational tool.

Could you cover this on the phone? Yes. But I use the email questionnaire as a bit of a test to see if they are serious and willing to play by my rules. Here is what we send:

Investor questions email

For us to serve our investor clients at the highest level, it is important that we fully understand your criteria, timing and financing. Please take a few minutes to respond to this email addressing the following questions with as much clarity as possible.

  • What is your goal with investing? Hold/rent, flip, cash flow, appreciation, college fund?
  • How many properties do you intend to purchase?
  • Describe the ideal property.
  • What are your geographical preferences? Is it limited to these areas?
  • What is your price range?
  • Will you be paying cash or are you financing? If cash, are the funds easily liquidated?
  • What is your source of financing, and are you pre-approved? What do you plan as a down payment?
  • What criteria do you use to evaluate an investment property? Cash flow, net operating income, cap rate, etc.?
  • When we find a great property, how quickly are you able to make a purchasing decision?
  • When we find a great property, are you willing to hire us to represent you on that offer and sale?
  • Do you have any properties you are considering selling this year?
  • Do you have any commercial real estate needs this year?
  • Are you anticipating any other real estate needs this year or know anyone who might need our services?

Step 7: Set the appointment

If they responded at least in a semi-serious nature to the email, then we want to meet them in person. The folks who respond lightly or do not respond — keep following up with them as they might be ready at some point.

Again, this process is designed to separate the serious from the not-so-serious. I would rather work with three investors that are fully vetted than to have 10 or 20 folks on my radar that I think are investors but won’t be able to respond quickly when I find an awesome investment opportunity.

Have I mentioned practice? Notice that this article is really about what to say. Whether you’re in year two or year 12, these seven steps and scripts are designed to help you look like a pro and save you a lot of time.

Tweak the scripts above to fit your style or situation, and then make some time to master the conversation. The more you can confidently deliver the conversation, the more effective you’ll be.

What strategies do you have for investor inquiries? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Julie Nelson is the chief success officer at The Nelson Project, Keller Williams Realty in Austin, Texas. You can follow her on YouTube or Twitter

Email Julie Nelson.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Network with CoStar, Redfin, Realogy, SERHANT., Divvy, and thousands more in-person at ICLV this October. Prices go up Sunday.Register Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription