Running a business is never easy, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. At the very least, you should always be looking for ways to improve. Real estate investing, in particular, doesn’t favor the timid. If you are not improving, you are only hurting yourself. The minute you slow down and rest on your laurels somebody will replace you.
Instead of revamping everything that’s not working, focus on making small adjustments. What often gets lost in the shuffle is that the real estate business is about people. By focusing on people instead of deals, you will actually end up with more opportunities. Regardless of how successful you may be, there is always room for improvement. Here are four ways to improve your business that every investor needs to look at:
1. Talk To Everybody: There is one thing that will almost always impact your business for the better: making connections. While it should go without saying, far too many investors neglect to make meaningful connections with others. If you are going to walk into a real estate or attorney’s office, a simple “hello” or “how are you” can go a long way. Networking meetings are another way to greatly improve your business profile. It is not enough to just show up; you need to treat everyone you meet as if they will be the contact that can change your business. In fact, they very well may be. On a smaller scale, you should be friendly with everyone you see at your children’s soccer game, your favorite pizza place or local coffee shop. Since the real estate business is often done by people in a local area, you never know when you will work with someone. A friendly wave, brief conversation or an innocent gesture can make the difference in someone working with you or going somewhere else.
2. Social Media Presence: Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with the world. How you represent yourself on all of these platforms says a lot about your business. Regardless if you close three deals a year or three a month, you need to treat real estate like a business. This means setting up a dedicated investing page and posting real estate specific content. You don’t need to be an IT wizard to get things going either. A simple website with a blog can take you less than three hours to put up, and cost you just a few hundred dollars. Once your site is up, you should make a point to add something new to it every day. A quick Facebook or Twitter post will help keep your business name fresh with your network. You don’t need to spend hours thinking about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. As long as you stay active, you will eventually penetrate your market.
3. Value Your Reputation: In the midst of a deal, there will be times when your emotions run high. During these times, it is important to catch yourself and remember the big picture. It is not a stretch to say that your reputation is one of the most important aspects of your business. A poor reputation can ruin your business faster than anything else. Conversely, if you gain the trust of your community, they will want to work with you every chance they get. This could mean going the extra mile to get a deal done, or making a small concession to keep things moving forward. It could mean being upfront with someone when something bad happens on a deal. It could even mean walking away from a deal that you know is not entirely above board. People talk in any industry, but especially the real estate business. Once you get branded as someone that lacks ethics or will do anything to close a deal, it can be very difficult to change the public’s opinion.
4. Keep In Contact: It does not take much to make a quick phone call. In fact, it is in your best interest to keep in touch with people, even if the news is bad. Not every deal will go as planned. There can be issues with title, insurance, the contract or the inspection. If something is an issue, you need to reach out to your attorney, Realtor and anyone else involved as soon as you know. These will not always be easy conversations, but they are critical for your business. You will gain the respect of your contacts just by making a phone call and letting everyone know what is going on. Even if you lose the deal you are working on, you will be known as a stand-up individual. With any luck, your reputation will proceed you.
In focusing on these four areas, your business will benefit immensely. Your acts may not be felt for months- or even years – down the road, but they will only help. You never know when someone will recommend you to someone strictly based on something you did int he past. This happens in business much more than you may think. Instead of thinking about numbers and deals, focus on people and how they perceive you. This alone will greatly help improve your business.