It pays to do business face to face.
I made an offer on a park a few miles from my home that had been advertised on Mobile Home Park store, but instead of just calling and throwing numbers out over the phone, I made an appointment and went for a visit with the owner. I spent over an hour talking and learning what he wanted, rather than what I wanted. He was hung up on the listed price because he wanted to carry the note and travel around the country for a few years, and that number would give him the monthly cashflow he wanted. He was wanting to do a 30 year amortization.
I went home and wrote up an offer for $43,000 less than his asking, but amortized it over a shorter period so the monthly payments were similar to a 30 year.
I made a point of driving back by his place and handing the offer to him in person, with a cover letter outlining all the positive aspects of the park, the reasons why I would be the best person to take over the park from him, and explaining why I made the offer I did.
Three weeks of silence went by…
Then I got an email saying he felt he could accept my offer. Upon further conversation with his wife, I found out that he actually had an offer of $500,000, which was $20,000 more than mine. He rejected the higher offer for three specific reasons:
His wife related to me that he liked that I came by and showed interest in the park (he had done most of the build-out himself over the years).
He had a lot of his life invested in the park and knew all of the tenants, many of whom were long term and he felt that I would actually care for the park and the tenants in the way he had. (The park was immaculate)
He noted that I made an earnest attempt to provide what he needed out of the deal.
The person who made the $500,000 offer simply called him and tossed the number out after asking a couple of questions and hung up. It felt cold and impersonal and it was obvious the person on the phone was focused on numbers only. I walked around the park with him and chatted about anything and every thing. H felt so at ease after awhile, he introduced me to his longest-term tenant (7 years).
So…get off the phone and go be a real person…