Real estate investors may not be viewed fairly. Many people have gross misconceptions of the individuals in this industry. Unfortunately, real estate investors have been tagged with a negative connotation in many neighborhoods. Of course, this description does not describe every investor, but this is the perception out there. To combat this stigma, you need to change the way people think about you and go out of your way to treat contacts and potential sellers with courtesy and respect. Sure, you are an investor, but you might as well be in the customer service industry when negotiating a deal. After all, in its purest form, real estate is a people business.
People want to work with people they feel comfortable with. If a seller feels an investor is making too much money or if they don’t like your abrasive personality, they will find someone else to work with. There is currently an increase in competition and exposure for investors. If a seller, realtor, attorney or fellow investor doesn’t like you, they can surely find someone else to do your job. Unless you bring unbelievable resources or contacts to the table, you are replaceable. Your attitude and personality holds more weight than ever before.
Between social media and many networking opportunities, it is easier than ever to find out about other people. A quick click on Facebook or twitter can give someone a five second opinion about you. A few phone calls to people you may have worked with in the past can provide insight to who you are and how you operate. This may not always be fair, but you are being judged on everything you do. One cross comment you make to an attorney at the end of the deal can have a lasting impact on future deals that you may never know about.
It is important to keep this in mind with every deal you work on. If a potential seller contacts you and you can’t work with them, spend the five minutes to call them back and let them know. One post by them badmouthing you can be read by hundreds of people that can be shared to hundreds more. All it takes is the wrong person to read it. Even if it’s not entirely accurate, you can develop a reputation that can be very difficult to shake.
You don’t have to give in to every demand or change the way you do business, but you should keep in mind how you treat other people and what impact that may have on you. There are many times in every deal that little things will come up or mini crisis have to be dealt with. How you handle deals will go a long way in developing a reputation. This reputation will define you and your business. Running numbers and evaluating properties is important, but customer service is even more important if you are in business for the long haul.
Knowledge and customer service will get you more deals than any book you can read or course you take. Keep this in mind when things get tough on your next deal. How you react can change your business for the next several months.