Here's My ‘Burned House' Letter
I have a question for you…
Have you ever driven by a burned-out house and wondered about it? Wondered how you might approach that owner, acquire the property and fix it up?
Well, you’re in the right place at the right time… because today, I’m going to share what I like to call my “burned house” letter. And not only am I going to show you the letter and explain how to use it, you get to download a copy for free.
JP Moses here, and I’ve used this letter for years quite successfully, and now it’s yours to use as well.
Uh, you’re welcome, my friend!
Now this is important…
You’ll want to keep in mind that you’re stepping into a rather delicate situation. This homeowner has suffered a great emotional loss, and perhaps, may have even lost a loved one or suffered an injury due to this fire.
So, a word to the wise is to handle with care. And as you’ll see in my video below, my letter can help you do exactly that, plus I’ve given you a few more helpful tidbits as well.
Here are a few other things you’ll take away from my video lesson about this letter:
⟶ Finding burned-out houses
⟶ Who to contact
⟶ How to create the best tone for the letter
⟶ How to present yourself and your company entity
⟶ How to create a subtle but effective call to action
Hey, what's up guys? JP here and in this here video, I want to walk through a letter that I put together a few years ago that we will send from time to time when we come across a burned out property.
Alright, so burned houses are a little bit of a unique animal in that you can often get a seller to almost give them to you for nothing.
Why is that? Well, it's because in a lot of cases they're getting an insurance payment that is well above and beyond what they actually owe. The property, they may have a house that's worth , you know, $150,000 on the market. Maybe they owed $79,000. The thing burned to the ground.
Well, they're not just getting a check from their insurance company for 79,000 to pay off the mortgage… they're getting the amount of money it would take to rebuild that house in most cases. They might even in excess of a $150,000 many times.
So they're getting a check, it's a payday and they're going, oh, do I really want to rebuild here? Maybe I just want to take my money and go buy another house… or, maybe put a big fat deposit down somewhere.
So, I've really like farming burned out properties. In my area it has proven very hard to put my finger on the pulse of that list, like someplace that is a database of a burned out properties. I think it's got to exist, but I haven't cracked the code on it yet in 16 years.
You know, the fire department certainly has some kind of database of calls that they answer for fires. But I've tried man and try as I might have gone down to the fire department, I've talked to the fire chief and they just don't seem to want to give me that information. Some of you guys out there may have cracked the code on that. It's probably different even from county to county.
So regardless, even if you only ever did this on burnouts that you just happened to drive by, it's still a handy little letter to have at your disposal.
So, let me jump into it and just show it to you and you can download it here on the page somewhere in this lesson.
Our normal important disclaimer needs to apply here. This form is provided to you as is without any warranty of any kind of use it at your own risk and all that good stuff, right?
And here you go. Here's my little personal note. I came up with this template letter to mail out to any burned houses I happened to notice. I just take down the address and mail it directly to the burned house, trusting the good old USPS to forward it wherever it might need to go.
So, let's take a look at it.
Alright, right from the get-go, let me point out and just let me get the little Microsoft Word ribbon out of here. There we go, right from the get go. I'll tell you, this is the specific address. Obviously this is a date merge fields. So whatever today's date is, it should populate based on whatever your computer thinks today's date is.
Obviously, you want to put your information here, your return address, your name, and I want you to notice that I've got John and Mary.
There’re different schools of thought on this, but personally I think that I get a better result in my market when I come off as a mom and pop real estate investor, not the big, professional, slick, home buying company. Now other people will dispute me on that and have probably tested it and gotten different results.
I know my friend Cody Sperber takes a totally different approach. He'd much rather look like a big company show up wearing a polo with the logo on it and all that good stuff. I don't really know that there's a right or wrong. You kinda need to know the approach that you're going to feel the most comfortable in your own skin with. And bottom line, one approach is gonna work better with some people than others and it's going to go both ways. So I don't really think it's a right or wrong, but I personally over the years have chosen to try and frame our company as a small mom and pop operation.
So, got a wife and husband name here if you're married. I think that's nice little, you know, if that's the angle you want to take, that's how you can play it.
So here's the seller you know, I just take down the property address, go to the tax assessor's website and look up who the owner is and where their tax bill is mailed to and I mail a letter directly there.
There might be a landlord, might be a homeowner, and then of course you got to change who it's to—dear Mr. or Ms. Jackson in this case.
“Recently I noticed that your house has sustained extensive fire damage. I offer my sincerest condolences for your loss and an earnest hope that your loss was limited to only monetary damage.”
Now I start off that way because I don't want to gush. I don't want to come off as insincere, but you know, people could have lost their lives in this fire and I don't want to just get right down to business without at least acknowledging that there could be that there's definitely some loss here. They've lost a lot of memories, you know, a lot of family life that happens in a property.
There's trauma at some level that is has occurred here and hopefully it's only monetary and not a family member or something, so I don't go on and on. I think that would be counterproductive, but I do take a moment to offer sincere condolences and an earnest hope that it was limited to monetary damage.
And I get right to the point: “My reason for contacting you as simple. My wife and I are in the business of buying severely damaged houses like yours”.
Now that is front and center bold for a reason. I want it to stick out. You know, it's the first big message of the whole letter.
And notice again, my wife and I, of course if you're not married, you have to change that. Or if you're perhaps the wife, then you'll say, “my husband and I.” But again, that plays the way we like to frame ourselves.
“If at any time while you are working with your insurance company, you wish to consider selling your house and its present condition as is quickly and easily, please consider giving us a call. Here are some highlights if you wish to accept our offer to purchase your house…”
Now, let me take a moment while I'm thinking about it and point out that there's not a single exclamation point in this entire letter.
Why is that? Well, you know, most people who putting marketing piece together, they use a lot of exclamation points and a lot of, they kind of overdo the bold and Italics and underline. And it's almost like you've been conditioned to think that that's what gets people to respond. I think maybe once upon a time for a real narrow timeframe, maybe it had that desired effect. But any more people see that and a lot of times consciously, but probably even more so subconsciously as a turnoff. And they see it as if they're being marketed to, and that you're trying to persuade them of something.
What I don't want to do is try and persuade in this. I just want to make them aware of what I can do if it's a good fit for them, but I want to do it in as compelling a way as possible.
I want this letter and all of my marketing materials, frankly, to be laid out in a way that's easy to scan. I want to chunk down, I don't want any big paragraphs. I like the use of bullet points. I like the use of bold and underline as you can see here. But I like to use it tastefully. If you overdo it, you overdo it. It's just too much it loses the impact.
So, in any marketing that I put together, I'm always replacing exclamation points with periods or question marks. Question marks are great—they hook you. It's shaped like a hook, and you draw people in with it. There's not a lot of them in this one. But I would much rather make the same statement and put a period at the end then a question mark, because that one little difference could be the difference between somebody smelling bs in whatever it is that you said and not.
Okay? You may disagree with me, I don't know, a lot of marketers would, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
So that said, here's my list of bullet points and these are benefits, right? “We will offer a fair price for your property and pay all cash. We will offer you a quick no hassle closing.” And of course, as you're scanning this, what do your eyes do? What do you see? You start at the top usually, but then you're going to “Severely Damaged Houses”… these people buy severely damaged houses. Okay? “…Fair price….” “…All cash…” “
Quick note: So, you can scan this and kind of get the meat of it, right? It looks like that needs to be corrected. So “We will offer you a fair price for your property and pay all cash. We will offer you a quick no hassle closing. We want to make it as easy as possible for you. We want to buy your house as it is in its current condition.”
I've already said that, yes, but I'm saying it again here. “Current condition, we will take responsibility for all repairs. We have a proven track record of purchasing homes like yours. This is our full time business. You can completely avoid the hassle of hiring contractors, handyman, or inspectors for your home repair.”
This is actually very benefit-heavy. You know, think about a burned-out property—there's a lot of hassle associated with dealing with that situation. I mean, the moment that your house is burned, you still own it and you have a great big liability on your hands there. You have a dangerous situation perhaps. Some kids could get in there and start rummaging around and who's on the line if some kid goes in there to your previously burned out house and steps on a nail or the floor falls through you as the homeowner? So you know, this line is speaking directly to easing the pain of all the hassle associated with this.
“I realize that at such a time as this, it can perhaps seem overwhelmingly difficult to be burdened with so many decisions at one time. If this letter has happened to you at such a time, please either disregarded or set aside for future reference. We do not wish in any way to add to your burden. If, however, you wish to further explore the option of selling your house to us, please do not hesitate to call us at any time. There's no obligation and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you very much for the generosity of your time. Wishing you the very best, John and Mary Buyers.”
And then of course all your information you're going to fill in there.
So, it's one page, one side. It's very simple and straightforward. I'm not in favor of waxing on and on about benefits and it's just all hype. I think you just want to clearly, simply state what's in it for them if it's a right, if there's, if you're a good fit for them, they should be able to read this letter and know that or they're going to keep it and explore it later, but there's not an ounce of hype here.
So there you go. This letter, like I said, just keep it in queue. Whenever you or somebody on your team comes across a burned out property, whip it out, send this thing out. You can even upload it into Click2Mail.com mail and have it ready to deploy there. I don't usually like to use click to mail for things like this. I think it's better if you just print it off and hand address an envelope and put a real stamp on it. Pretty much any hand addressed envelope somebody is going to open.
So, there you go guys. Hopefully you enjoy that. Just keep it in queue and whip it out at the right time and the right place and make some money on those burned out houses.
Burned House Letter: Get Mine Now 🙂
Well, now that you better understand the components of this doc… I hope that you use it to level up your real estate investing game.
Ready to just grab mine for your own bag of tricks?
Awesome, here's how…
Step 1 ⤸
“Like” our Facebook page please?
Step 2 ⤸
Just leave a comment below sharing your honest feedback on the burned house letter I'm freely sharing with you. Whatever you think after hearing my thoughts behind it in the video above. Good, bad, and anywhere in between. Seriously.
Alternately, I’m also interested in hearing anything else (another resource or tool) that you’d like us to share in a future “Swipe & Deploy” like this. Do tell.
Step 3 ⤸
Then Chuck Norris will hand you over my template.
Totally serious. Just try it. 😀
Obviously, you’re not going to find a burned-out house on every block, maybe not even in every neighborhood, but they are out there. Have your birddogs and other people keep an eye out for you.
So now, when you locate one, you won’t be wondering about what to do and how to make a deal with it… you’ll know exactly what to do, and in the process, you’ll be helping a family and an entire neighborhood.
That is a great niche for me
JP very nice thoughtful letter but if I’m not mistaking, wasn’t it said somewhere that we can’t use Cam’s money to buy a re-hab? Wouldn’t a burnt property be considered a rehab property or what exactly would we do with a burnt property & how would we make money from it? Thank you for addressing this.
great stuff jp
I never thought to look for burned houses to buy. I’ve always been told to run away from them. I’m definitely going to add this play to my arsenal. As always thanks for the good info!
I never would have thought you could make money on a burned out house. Thanks for the info.
YOU ARE AWESOME
I just was looking at a burnt house. This is a very helpful video. Thank you so much
Definitely a delicate situation! Thanks for the help.
Wow, I never thought about burnt houses in my five yrs of investing. Great niche to add to my portfolio
As always JP, I enjoy your content and the info you share! Thanks for this….Christy
This is great info. I would never have thought to reach out to people with a burned out house. Thanks
I agree great info !
The content is great! It shows compassion as well as an opportunity to help the homeowner out of a tough situation.
Thank you. Very tastefully written with an effective message.
Loved the video. Thank you for sharing, i would not change a thing on it.
Very timely article. I have been eyeing a burned out property near a house we are building. I would add the explicit benefit to your list of eliminating the potential liabilities associated with a compromised structure. I would like to see a follow-up to this piece about the why and how one would pursue a burned out home.
Great information to read
Thanks, JP! I’ve wondered about trying to contact people in this situation. Glad to have a way to do so graciously. Jackie
Thank you. A very solid way to send the message.
Thank You! Another great tool!!
Thanks, JP again. It’s always nice to follow you and your training.
great info and nice approach. Cant wait to try it.
Pretty good letter. Too bad it can’t be rebuilt with cob, that will keep it from burning down ever again. See new cob codes.
This letter is awesome! I actually came across a burned out property and this will be perfect to send out to the owners. Thanks so much!
Email me the letter please
Shawn, you should have received it by now. Please check your inbox and spam.
Great information and temples very excited to try them out. Please assist with accessing the download or actual forms
This is an awesome resource.
This will most definitely come in handy!!!
Good idea for obtaining property investments
Great letter. Looking forward to using it in my business
As always JP , another tool to use and learn
The burnt house letter is right on que. What a compassionate approach. Thank you very much for sharing.
THIS INFORMATION IS ACTUALLY AWESOME-SNAWESOME!! I LIVE IN ATLANTA GA AND WE HAVE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF FIRES HERE!!!!
I think this letter is perfect. Well written and concise. It could hit them at the wrong time, but maybe they’d save it because after all, they will have to deal with the issue at some point. And I really think this letter can reveal a solution to them which can ease the anxiety, and I think they will appeciate the letter’s empathy and transparency. Great Job!
Thank you for the guidance regarding the use of punctuation, and more importantly approaching the people with compassion
This is great. I am new to the REI game and always wondered how you would go about getting houses you see in this condition. Great approach in the letter to first address the human side before moving into business mode.
I think the letter is a great one in its simplicity. I intend to employ this nugget as I have found a new appreciation for burned out properties and a sincere way to approach them.
Thanks and Regards,
I think this is a very thoughtful and considerate letter. Thanks.
I like the one-page letter. I think if I were in that situation, I would read the letter and consider contacting you.
Great job JP. From a old firefighter perspective, I think building a strong relationship with a fire buddy or just becoming familiar with a near by department can get you and your team through the door of getting a list of burned properties from the fire marshal. Even if you give them treats every month or thank you cards, they’ll become familiar with your face.
I must say that I never thought about sending a letter concerning a burned-out house. Your observations were on point as was your sympathetic approach. As far as the “mom and pop” vs “corporate” approach goes, I think the investor should be true to who they are and just be real and authentic. If you are, then I think the recipients will feel that and respond accordingly. So, either approach will work if that is who you really are. Thank you for your letter and I would like a copy.
Question, If the burned property is not recently burned do we still want to pursue the property and send the letter? Loved the video, excited about the letter. All types of light bulbs went off in my head of known burned property around me.
Man, talk about gold nuggets of information. Thanks guys. You have no idea how much this is helping.
Hey Thanks I just saw a burned house the other day! Can’t wait to try it!
Can’t wait to try this!
Awesome, Great job ty
I think this letter is an awesome way to initiate a “win-win” situation. As this is a sensitive matter, one wouldn’t want to appear as a profiteering hawk. So thank you for creating a resource for both parties to walk away satisfied.
Thank you for the information. We need every advantage we can get. Keep up the good work.
Good information as always my friend. Thank you for sharing.
Just in time. Great document to have. I will be using this promptly.
great stuff, I can’t wait to use this in my own business, it should come in very handy.
Looking forward to using this. There is a burned-out house in my neighborhood that I’ve been eyeing. Thank you!
I am very interested in seeing this content seems very promising.
Really good stuff!~
great stuff, I can’t wait to use this in my own business
great stuff Jp
Thank you JP, I don’t come across a lot of burned out houses, however, I have another tool to place in my tool bag.
Thanks forthe letter. It’s fire!! lol
Interesting for those who are interested in this level of rehab.
I have encountered lots of burned homes and just assumed people would not buy, this will help.
Great info once again, I have encountered lots of burned homes and just assumed people would not buy, this will help.
Great info once again, I am truly learning alot!
Burned houses never occured to me.
You guys are awesome thank you.
I knew there had to be some benefit to purchasing burnt out housing. Now I need to go back and find all those properties that I passed on. I can’t wait to see how these properties work out! Ty
Sounds like an interesting strategy for when those situations arise.
Awesome Non-Confronting Letter, Thanks For Sharing
I’m surprised there is a market for burned out houses, most of the ones I see look like tear downs.
Very Interesting and I appreciate you sharing With us information that you have applied
many thanks !
I enjoyed the vedio
I think this is a very thoughtful and considerate letter. Well done. Thanks.
Knowledge is power thank you
Great Video very knowledgeable Thanks
I was never interested in burned out houses, but how would you market it to other investors? it’s worth a try.
You really are AWESOME…..Great letter. Thank you for sharing.
Great stuff as usual. Don’t know if it needed the circus music in the background.
What a great resource. Never thought you could target burned down homes. Lets get it☝️
Thank you, JP again for another helpful document in buying Real estate Property. I am eager to try this out very soon. When I do, I will let you know how it all worked out.
One successful method for finding these properties is by searching published articles in your local market for fires.
Great deal..never crossed my mind .
Awesome information! You always provide the best tips.
Yet another Nugget from JP and Company! Thanks.
This letter is pretty straight-forward. Self-explanatory and direct.
Thanks for sharing.
I never would have considered this. Can’t wait to do it!
Great stuff. Thanks for all you do!
I’m so thankful for you guy’s you are so awesome. I appreciate everything you do to help investors. I’d love a copy of the burned-out house.
Very Valuable Content of information and the video presentation is spot on with the approach.
Thank you for your generosity to share.