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Although metal detecting is a great outdoor activity can everyone can enjoy while out in the public, you should be careful not to just intrude into private properties while doing so. You may get so wrapped up in the excitement of it all, and so forget that you have already trespassed onto an area; so be careful when you go exploring and make sure to ask permission from the owner first, before you cross into their boundary. You can easily ask owners for permission to search, but know that since there are different kinds of people in this world, you need to have different approaches for them too.
Here are effective ways to ask for permission to search within someone’s private property:
• Write a letter to the homeowner. This is a formal way to open business with the private owner and in the letter, you should explain in detail, what you intend to do and how you plan to go about it. Be careful because with the amount of letter they get, some of these people usually trash the letters without reading, so make sure address and stamp the envelope, to make it more legit.
• Ring them and talk to them personally. This, however, will be more risky because unlike letters where the recipient is given ample time to think about his reply, the phone call requires a quick answer and the answer usually, is “no”. It is very easy to refuse someone on the telephone especially if the person on the line is pre-occupied and could not be bothered.
• Visit them and ask them personally. This is, by far, the best way to ask permission to go metal detecting in a private property. However, you should be careful because there is a wrong way and a right way to ask; and your goal, of course, is to have them say “yes”.
Preparing for the personal visit
If you have decided to visit the owner and ask him personally, know that there are a lot of things that you should consider before you come to meet this person:
• Dress presentably, preferably with neat pants and a shirt. Do not wear a hat or a pair of sunglasses and please do not have your metal detector and your shovel tagged along with you. Appearances are important, and you have to make an impression with the owner.
• Identify yourself and explain. Tell them what you want to do, perhaps including a short history of why you think it necessary do this. This will also be your chance to ensure the owner that you will clean up any trash you find in your search.
• Offer some kind of incentive. To make it more delightful for the owner, maybe you can offer some incentive; like fifty-percent of your earnings from the findings; and if you found anything that they might have lost in the past, offer to return it back to them.
• Invite them to join you. If you have an extra metal detector and you do not mind having extra company, invite the owner with you so that they could participate and eventually pick up a new hobby.
• Give them a business card. If you were refused, it is okay. However, do not forget to hand out a business card because the owner can easily change his mind, so give him a way to contact you. What is one card to an opportunity to explore, right?
• Thank them. Whether they say “yes” or “no”, do not forget to say thank you for taking time to talk to you and leave the place in peace.