The Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework for Getting Off-Market Sellers to Accept Your Offers

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Most real estate investors know that off-market properties can make better deals with greater opportunity than listed properties. But finding, successfully negotiating and buying those off-market deals can be easier said than done. But with the right framework, it doesn’t have to be so hard! In today’s episode, Jeff introduces the Y.E.S.S.E.S Framework for Getting Off-Market Sellers to Accept Your Offers, explains why it is so powerful, and walks through each of the six steps in the framework.

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Episode Transcript

When you’re working to build a portfolio that’s going to establish long term wealth for you and your family, obviously, you need deals that you can do and you can buy that you can put into your portfolio. And many of us have heard that off market deals can be far better opportunities for that purpose. But if you’ve given it a shot before you know that it can be a little bit easier said than done. That is unless you have the right framework and that is why today, I’m so excited to introduce to you the YESSES framework for getting off market sellers to accept your offers. Let’s cue up the theme song and we’re gonna dive right in to the framework.

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs are just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to you. See, we are people-oriented dealmakers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles and buy properties nobody else even knows what for sale. I’m Jeff from a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Hey, thanks for joining me for another episode of Racking Up Rentals. So today’s show notes are going to be at www.thoughtfulre.com/e44. Please do yourself a big favor also does us a huge favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app right now. It really does help other thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find us when there are more subscribers. So thank you for doing that. And onward with today’s episode.

So in today’s episode, I’m super excited to share with you a framework that I have developed over time and then finally kind of put words to it recently so that I could share it with you, and I call it the YESSES framework. And now this is the framework for getting off market sellers to accept your offer. And what it really is six simple steps for likeable people. You know, that’s one of the key traits of us as thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs that you can’t teach. If you have the likability factor as a person, you are really well set to become a thoughtful real estate entrepreneur. So it’s just six simple steps for likable people to find and negotiate quality off market, real estate deals through a very relationship-oriented approach to directly negotiating with sellers. And we don’t have to use any words, like we buy houses or any of that other stuff that other real estate investors use. The YESSES framework is really the framework for carrying out the thoughtful way, the thoughtful approach to buying real estate and developing a portfolio. And you’re going to find that this six-step framework is not necessarily specific to only buy rental properties, or only doing flips or only doing wholesale deals or whatever it is you might be interested in. It is the framework for capturing opportunity that other people don’t even realize is available with little to no competition by using this particular approach. In other words, it’s really the thoughtful way to buy real estate, whether you’re going to hold it for just a few days, or hold it for a very, very long time. So how did I earn and learn this, this framework? Well, I can assure you it was through lots and lots of time spent not being successful. Unfortunately, you know, as you’ve probably heard from my initial story, like when I got started, I was just stumbling around in the dark, you know, and trying to figure out what to do and listening to all the sort of traditional real estate investing voices. And that got me going, but it didn’t get me any results. And so I found myself buying lists of distressed properties, for instance. So, to you know, key things are buying lists, something I don’t do now. And distressed properties or distressed people also something I don’t do these days. And if you would ask me why, that’s what I was doing. I would have just said, Well, I think that’s what you’re supposed to do. And right, motivated people are distressed people and that’s about as far as I had taken it, but it wasn’t super thoughtful. It wasn’t super deliberate. And I would take these lists that I paid a bunch of money for and then I would contract with one of the big kinds of mailing centers in the real estate industry to send “yellow letters” that look like a legal pad in most cases with fake handwriting on it. And I would send these things out, and I would get some, but very little response. And the response I got was often pretty cynical, you know, people would call and say, Oh, you sent me one of those form letters, or, yeah, you sent me that letter. We know that type with the fake handwriting and stuff. And so I didn’t get a lot of response and the response I did get just did not feel good. It wasn’t really leading anywhere. I could tell by these leads that I was going to be competing with a lot of other potential investors because all of these, you know, other investors are buying the same lists as well, sending basically the same letter looks, the same says more or less the same things. And so they weren’t good leads, they were not good outcomes. And I had, I didn’t really have any luck to speak of getting any deals done. And at the same time, to make it so much worse, I actually felt super gross and sleazy for kind of going about it that way. But I’ll tell you, even if I had gotten a couple of deals done, the deals that I would have gotten done would have provided me with some pretty random results, because they were random, because I didn’t know exactly what I was trying to accomplish in the first place. You know, I just knew that I was trying to get in into real estate investing, and that meant using properties to make money. But my idea of what that meant to me was actually fairly simplistic. So I didn’t know how to really judge success anyway, even if I had gotten some deals done. But what I can tell you is that I spent that you know, thousands of dollars on crappy letters and lists of people that everybody else was marketing to as well, a couple years of my time and stress and you know, stumbling around in the dark, feeling frustrated that I wasn’t getting anywhere. But then over time, I started to realize a few important things. And once I started to realize those, and I started to just settle into doing my acquisition work in a more natural way that just aligned with who I am, everything started to get so much better, it started to be so much more effective. And so I just recently sat down to kind of codify what is that process that works so well for me and for other thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs, so that we can break it down and study it. And that is what I now call the YESSES framework.

So why is the framework so powerful? Well, it’s really powerful for a few reasons. The first one is that it goes out into the world and it creates opportunities. It’s not just kind of waiting for other investments to come along or taking a look at opportunities other people have put out, there it goes and it creates opportunities that nobody else knows about and opportunities that aren’t even opportunities until we come along. And then ultimately those opportunities can lead to acquisitions of off market properties, where we’re not really competing against anybody else, because nobody else even knows it’s for sale. I’ll tell you one thing I absolutely love is when I tell somebody that I bought a certain property and they look at me like how did you do that? I didn’t even know it was for sale. And it’s like, Yeah, exactly. You didn’t know is for sale, because I’m following the YESSES framework. So in order to be able to buy property that nobody else knows are for sale, then you kind of have to be able to see opportunity in deals that others don’t, right, a lot of people just see pretty simple level of opportunity, like I can buy this low, I can fix it will be worth more. and that’s great, and that works fine. But there are other ways to create opportunity and deals too. So the YESSES framework sort of facilitates you being able to see opportunity that others don’t.

Not insignificantly at all, the YESSES framework also leads us to great opportunities where we could often get the financing directly from the sellers themselves. And I’m talking about quality financing that is actually better than what we could do, even if we went out to a bank or to some outside third-party lenders. It is powerful because it helps us structure deals in a way that really captures the most value once we once we identify that value, that opportunity that others don’t see this framework helps us progress the negotiation in a way that we can capture that value. And when you create value for yourself and you create value for the seller, frankly, that just feels good. And it’s literally the opposite feeling of feeling sleazy, you know that the seller, the person on the other side is so happy that you came into their life because this solution that you ultimately put in front of them is something that really is making things better for them.

So here’s what we’re gonna do. In today’s episode, I’m going to walk you through the six steps in the YESSES framework so that you can get the big picture. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big picture guy. I need to see it from 60,000 feet and understand the broad strokes and then I can dive in deeper. So then in the next six episodes after today, we’re going to go through each of the six steps within the yesses framework and dive deeper into each of those and pull them apart. And I want you to know that you can go to our website and get a copy, a PDF copy of the yesses framework, if you’d like to have it for reference. And you can just go to yesses.thoughtfulre.com, and quickly and easily download a copy of it right there. So let’s just take a look at the yesses framework at the highest level.

YESSES is spelled Y-E-S-S-E-S. Now, each of the letters in this acronym represents one of the six steps. So the first letter is Y and Y stands for YOU. Y-O-U, y stands for you. Y stands for YOU, as in YOU the listener, you the investor, you the real estate entrepreneur. E stands for engage thoughtfully. S stands for solve the person. The second S stands for solve the deal. E stands for empathetic proposal. And the final S stands for sharpen and agree. So the six steps of the YESSES framework are you. Secondly, you engage thoughtfully. Thirdly, you solve the person. Fourth, you solve the deal. Fifth, you deliver an empathetic proposal. And sixth, you sharpen and agree. So let’s just take a closer look at still a high level of each of these steps before we dive in deeply in the following episodes into each one.

So the first letter is Y for YOU, it absolutely all starts with you. Which is actually kind of funny for me to say that because I feel like so much of our approach, the thoughtful approach is not about us. It’s about the seller, it’s about solving for them and their challenges, their issues, their objectives. But in the yesses framework, we have to start with ourselves. So we get to be selfish here and focus on ourselves to begin with. Because unless we understand you, and what you are trying to accomplish, everything we’re going to do afterwards is going to be kind of random, it’s going to be flailing around taking a lot of action, maybe but not with a great level of purpose. So the question with you is what is your goal, your specific goal and objective with real estate entrepreneurship? What types of deals Do you want to do? For whatever reason you want to do them? You know, what types of deals are going to lead to the outcomes that are specific to you? What are your criteria for success? You know, what does a great deal look like to you? What are some things that are completely off the table that are just non negotiables to you? And so from the answers to these questions is sort of self-exploratory questions, you will create your investment strategy, you will define your targeted marketing list criteria. So we’ll kind of decide who we’re going to target in the world. And then ultimately, we’ll get that list and we will prepare it for marketing.

And that leads us to E. Y-E. E stands for engage thoughtfully, once we have our investment strategy in our list, and it’s prepared, now is our time to approach the seller and introduce ourselves. And we’re going to express our interest in their property in a very sincere way. And how you do that makes all the difference in the world, right, we can’t just reach out to them in any particular way, and expect to have the same result, we’re going to be very careful and deliberate about how we reach out to them. And so from here, what we’re going to do is we’re going to craft our brand, and our positioning and our message. And I can assure you when we get to that episode, that doesn’t mean you have to have a fancy logo and colors and all that kind of stuff. That’s not what branding is about. And we’ll talk about that. So we’re going to define our brand and our positioning in our message to the sellers, we’re going to prepare and send our actual marketing campaigns. We’re going to field calls from those sellers, and then we’re going to establish rapport with them as they call us back and then we’re going to meet with the sellers in person at their homes.

So we have Y for YOU, E is for engage thoughtfully and now the third step – S is solve the person. This is probably, of all the steps the one that is most proprietary to the thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs approach to doing things. You cannot figure out a deal, you cannot deal structure until you truly understand the human beings who are involved. We have to understand their perspectives, their motivations, their concerns, their worldviews. So in this step of solving the person, which has to come before anything related to the actual deal – solving the person, we are going to build a relationship with the seller, we’re going to ask the seller the right questions, we’re going to listen to them, we’re going to remember their answers, we’re going to gain critical insights about the seller, we’re not just going to get information about the property, we’re going to gain insights about the seller themselves. And then we’ll gather information about what would make for a winning scenario, a winning deal, that would work well for the seller.

So we solve the person and then once we’ve solved the person, we move on to the second s, which is solving the deal. This is where you can get out your technical real estate knowledge and your skills and your toolbox, as we like to say, because this is where it comes into play. Now that you know how to solve the person, you can now start looking at how to solve the deal. And if you if you know things like the values in your market, if you know what market rents should be for different types of properties at different bedroom numbers and parts of town and things like that. If you know what construction costs are, if you know cash flow and all that kind of stuff, it’s now time to figure out how we can create a deal that makes sense – makes sense for you, certainly, but also makes sense in the context of what we learn when we solve the person in the previous step. So at this point, as we solve the deal, we will analyze the deal from multiple angles. We will determine a deal structure that will work for that seller. And then we will plan out and really begin pursuing our financing because that’s what’s going to make it possible for us to kind of make this deal a reality. So you’ve solved the person, you solved the deal. And now we’re going to propose our solution to the seller empathetically.

The E is for empathetic proposal. As you probably know, thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs we don’t we don’t make offers. We don’t make offers, we make proposals. Offers are about us. Proposals are about the seller, what we learn from the seller and our recommendation on how to go about this, this deal in a way that addresses what we have learned from them. So it’s now it’s time to merge our two SS — we’re going to merge our understanding of the person, we’re going to merge our understanding of the deal, and how we’ve solved the both of those things. We’re going to merge them into a proposition that we will present to the seller and we will empathetically do so meaning we will be thinking of it from their perspective, we’ll be putting ourselves in their shoes, to understand how they will perceive it, how they will feel it does or does not meet the things that are so important to them, that they have shared with us. So in this step, we’re going to craft our proposal, we’re going to plan out how we’re going to explain that proposal and its rationale to the seller. We’re not just going to deliver a document and say here, read this and get back to me. We’re going to plan out how we’re going to unpack the conversation with the seller in a way that they understand how we arrived at our proposal and that they understand how we think that this proposal will indeed meet their needs and their goals and objectives. And then we’re going to meet with the seller and actually deliver that in person as well.

The final step in the yesses framework the final S stands for sharpen and agree. Now, in traditional real estate transactions, there is the term called counter offer right? And a counteroffer is somebody taking your offer that you just made that said, Hey, here’s what works for me. And they say no, no, no. Let me tweak it. Here’s what works for me. And you go back and forth making counter offers but not for real estate entrepreneurs don’t do that we engage in a process of collaborative revision to our proposal until it works for everybody. In fact, we don’t often even have to do too much revision to our proposal because we frankly, for the most part, know already what the seller will say yes to before we even empathetically make that proposal. So normally their feedback is fairly minor and that’s what we call the sharpen and agree step. So in this step, we will invite the seller to provide feedback on the proposal, you will ask them to tell you what they think about it, what could be better. Then you work together to make revisions to the proposal again, together being the operative word, not countering back and forth but talking about it together, what could be better and how could we go about fine tuning and sharpening this thing so that it is indeed better. And then ultimately, we have now finalized our sharpening and we can create an agreement which means putting the property in contract with a written purchase and sale agreement.

And that my friends is the YESSES framework again, it’s Y stands for YOU; E stands for engaged thoughtfully; S is for solve the person; S is for then solve the deal; E is for empathetic proposal; and S is for sharpen and agree. Just want to remind you, you can go to yesses.thoughtfulre.com and grab a PDF copy of this so that you have it for easy, handy reference, which will be great actually in the next episodes. Because like I mentioned in the next six episodes, we’re going to dive deep into each of these letters, one at a time to make sure you feel very clear and understand each of those steps very, very well.

Alright, so that’s it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. Again, you can go to get show notes at www.thoughtfulre.com/e44. And then there of course, you’ll see a link to the yesses framework PDF download as well. Please do us a huge favor by hitting the subscribe button and your podcast app and rate and review the show if you would please just give us an honest rating and review. And again that really helps tell iTunes that people are paying attention and shows the show to other people who would find value in it. Did you know that we have a Facebook group for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs too? It’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders and we would love to have you join us there. And to get there just go to group.thoughtfulre.com, and it’ll send you right to the join page. And if you like this episode, please take a screenshot of it. I assume you’re listening on your phone perhaps post that screenshot to Instagram and tag us. We are @thoughtfulrealestate. So I will see you in the next episode can’t wait to dive into each of the letters of the yesses framework super deep. And until then, this is Jeff from a Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. Thanks for being here, signing off.

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being a win-win deal makers. Remember solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profit.

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