If we were starting with a blank sheet today – how would we create a market for the note business? And if the answer is something very different from what you are doing now, how do you shape up your own note business to fit the future?
Many Note Brokers are still using a business model that although solid might be stagnant or at its peak performance with no room for growth: a Note Holder calls, worksheet filled out, rapport built, need established, details are written up and sent out for options and prices, negotiations made, deal struck, small fortune charged. The future of the Note Business includes a mix of the tried and true business model together with expanded internet use and technology.
Over the last few years I’ve done some research and learned that any website that takes more than 20 seconds to load is likely to lose at least 80% of the visitors. We live in an impatient age – yet are only in the first days of the digital revolution. What about tomorrow? 80% lost in 20 seconds? How long does it take you to answer the phone? Are you still expecting people to leave you a message on your voicemail? Why should people wait for you to pull details from a filing cabinet or a printer?
Note Brokers come and go every year. The few that were persistent, built a business model that works for them and figured out how to survive and grow will be note professionals for life. It is not an easy business: it is simple and doable – no matter what the market.
So how many will come and go in the next 5 years? Why? What is happening? How many note professionals do we really need to provide a great service across America? How much can be (and will be) completely automated in the next wave of mobile, digital innovation?
The online revolution for the note industry has only just begun. I recently went online putting myself in the position of being a note holder to just test the waters, just to see what the opportunities might be and look around. I soon realized it may just be a complete waste of time to talk to a note broker – at least during the initial search phase:
1) I found a multitude of note buyer websites, so which office should I contact?
2) I found in minutes I was able to fill out online worksheets, as many as I wanted.
3) I found instant access to information explaining why my note would be discounted.
4) I found additional information on the different options available.
Incidentally, it is shocking how few Note Professional websites have an online worksheet as they are the single most important way to engage a note holder and allow them to instantly submit information to you for consideration, far more powerful than a contact us form.
From immediate future to near future to far future here there are other things to consider. In some communities over half of all Google searches are now on mobiles and every future note business should be thinking mobile. The sale of an individually held note is the largest saleable asset that most note holders will ever have in their lives, so they want reassurance they are getting it right. They also need help walking through the process.
Can we imagine a world with a BUY NOW button on a national website, or a BID NOW button? People selling their notes would deal with email inquiries or phone calls from people who want to buy their note. Once they have done so, there is no reason why a simple bidding process cannot be carried out virtually. There would be no obligation on the seller to accept the highest bid, so the bidding process could include an opportunity for the buyer to sell their own credentials as a suitable person to contract with. Perhaps this will be a step too far for many, but it makes us think.
In Scotland, UK there is a sealed bids buying process for real estate which is well accepted, and once the winning bid is opened, there is an obligation to follow through, with sales completed within 6 weeks or so pending due diligence.
Aim to be the best local expert, mentor and guide that you can be. I am sure that we will continue to see an important role for professional note experts as consultants and guides for individuals through the uncommon process of selling their note.
We will also see note professionals continue to diversify into other areas such as business notes and other cash flows. It is and will always be all about service and relationships in the note business, so we need to cultivate all virtual networks, social media and so on, to ensure your light shines just when it needs to.
Take hold of your future – or the future will take hold of you. Remember success demands action, keep on marketing, it’s going to work! TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)
Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital, your favorite Master Buyer, has been in the cash flow industry since 1991. Specializing in the private mortgage note niche and seller financed notes he can be reached at 818-865-2322 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For beginning to advance training opportunities, resources, to learn more or to obtain a quote visit armstrongcapital.com and secretsofpaper.com.