Regardless of what market you are in, there are probably plenty of investors to compete against. Keeping ahead of the game is absolutely critical to success, but not everyone may know how to gain that edge. Having said that, the manner in which you conduct business can say a lot about you as an investor. Your personality and the way you carry yourself has a much bigger impact than you may realize. Positive word of mouth and the desire that others have in working with you is often what separates you from all the other investors in your area. If you can focus on the little things and always think of the big picture, you will find yourself with deals you would have not otherwise received. Let your personality shine and use it to your advantage. It may be the most important asset your business has.
There is one absolute rule that holds a lot of weight in the real estate investing industry: treat everyone around you as if they were the most important person to your business. Returning phone calls, texts and emails as quickly as possible is a simple way to make people feel important. The longer you take to return a call or get back to someone, the less interested they will be to work with you. Not only is it respectful, but it also keeps everyone in the loop. Keeping everyone involved in the deal and updated at all times is an important factor in relationship building. Even if you don’t have anything new to offer, simply calling and letting other people know that you are invested in the deal will make a good impression. It often takes less than two minutes from the start until the end of these conversations, but the impact they have is priceless.
People choose to work with others for three main reasons: they can get the job done, they enjoy working with them and they feel as if they are in good hands. There will almost always be a point in each transaction that your morality or honesty can be compromised. If you are an honest person with strong morals, you may not even notice these moments. Taking the right approach is just second nature. However, once you get the reputation as someone who is dishonest or with weak morals, people will run away from working with you. No deal is worth ruining your reputation over. Your reputation is your lifeblood in the investing industry. As soon as issues hit during a transaction, you need to be honest with everyone involved and meet any problems head on. Once you start bending the truth or pushing the line of ethics, there is no telling where you will stop. Investors, realtors, attorneys and other people in your community talk. Once you get branded with a dishonest reputation, it is hard to convince someone otherwise.
In addition to honesty, loyalty ranks amongst the top characteristics an investor can exhibit. If you are at a meeting and everyone is talking about a realtor you have worked with or a contractor you know, it can be difficult not to pile on. However it is more beneficial to stand your ground. Avoid badmouthing anyone and people will begin to take note of your exceptional ethics. They will understand what is important to you and respect you more for it. It is always far better to point out your strengths rather than others’ weaknesses. With the advent of social media and advancements in technology, word travels faster than you think. If people hear you used a different private money lender or a different realtor, they will think you will do the same with them down the road. This doesn’t mean you can’t work with different people, but there should be some loyalty involved to the people that have helped grow your business. At the risk of sounding too cliche, you can’t put a price on loyalty – especially in this business.
There is also a fine line between maximizing profits and being too greedy. Experience will help guide you, but you need to know when you are pushing too hard and asking for too much. If you aren’t willing to reduce a fee or you are constantly asking your realtor to go back to the seller for more, your actions will place you in a bad situation. Money is money, but there are many times that a small monetary concession will have a much greater impact on a future deal rather than on the current one. If you ask your contractor for a rush or to work tight on every job, sooner or later nothing is a priority. The same can be said about realtor commissions and attorney fees. There are certain instances when this is necessary, but if you do it on every deal, you will gain a reputation you don’t want.
There is also a basic level of respect and courtesy that should be given to everyone you talk to. Real estate can be a difficult and competitive business, but being intense and passionate doesn’t mean being rude. Brief dialogue with a paralegal or appraiser before you start a conversation means a lot. If you are short and rude with people, you are only hurting yourself. You may be able to close quickly, but your personality may lead others to look in a different direction.
How you act is as important as what you can do in business. It is important to keep this in mind with everyone you come in contact with. Regardless of what you can bring to the table there are always others that can used if your personality gets in the way.