Real Estate Investing
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Today's Article: "Holding Client Meetings as a Real Estate Investor"
I think it’s safe to say that you are well on your way to being more informed about the reality of operating a real estate investing business. Over the last several weeks, I’ve covered much of the basic mindset; skills and traits that you need to have, and now would like to move into a sequence of chapters that addresses more of the operational side of your business.
Operations in real estate investing include things like client relations, customer service, transactional processing, accounting, and fundraising. Since these factors are critical to the growth and stability of your business, they are worth mentioning on their foundational merit alone.
Let’s start by discussing the all-important meetings that you will be having with clients. Meetings with clients occur frequently in this business and it should not surprise you that these meetings will largely reflect your professionalism. Some of the basic kinds of meetings you will experience on a regular basis include:
- Meetings with sellers
- Meetings with prospective buyers
- Meetings with team members
- Meetings with business partners
Since you are operating a very dynamic kind of business, one in which two of your “work” days are likely never going to be exactly alike, it is hard to point to a single strategy for each kind of meeting that will work for you each and every time. This ‘moving target’ nature of real estate investing makes it a very exciting business to be in. It can also make it a challenging one to get accustomed to, especially when you are new to the business. For this reason, I will discuss each of the listed meeting types and what you should be trying to do to get the best outcome and results from your efforts.
Meetings With Sellers
When most real estate investors think of meetings, they will envision going to a new property and seeing if it meets their criteria for a profitable deal. This breeds natural excitement and also some apprehension, especially when one is new to the business. I think a very common pitfall for the novice investor is putting too much pressure on oneself when meeting with sellers. This isn’t rocket science. Take it easy on yourself and not only will your stress level go down, but also your meetings will be more productive.
The tendency is for the novice investor to think they must try to ink the deal on the spot during that initial meeting with a client. Does this happen? Sure it does, but you don’t need to put pressure on yourself to make it happen each time. Let’s review some of the basics with a little quiz. Your primary mission in a meeting with a seller is to:
a) Gather information
b) Get a feeling for how motivated they are
c) Develop good rapport with the client
d) All of the above
As you might expect, the correct answer is (d) all of the above. Your primary mission is not to ink a deal, although if circumstances call for it, you should always be ready, as this is your number one objective. In the majority of other cases, your mission should be to learn what is going on, why they may be motivated to do something, and make yourself positively memorable to the client. When you do these things, each and every time, your meetings will be a success, and you will also spend far less time and energy worrying about trying to get contracts signed on the spot.
Please note here that I am not openly discouraging you from being expeditious about getting good deals put to contract, because time is often of the essence for the great deals that are out there. Don’t spend so much time thinking about inking a deal that you lose sight of the other important parts of a successful meeting with a seller.
You can perhaps thank the real estate trainers out there for making everyone think they should always be ‘Johnny on the Spot’ when it comes to working with sellers. I simply find that good basic communication is a constant and better focus area for you as you are getting started. As you grow in this business, opportunities to act on the spot will appear so be patient and don’t fall into the trap of thinking it works like that all the time because it just isn’t so. Many of your best deals will come from following up and patiently working a deal, rather than trying to be unnecessarily pushy. You will also be viewed as more respectful if sellers don’t feel you’re trying to rush them into a decision they may need some time to think about. Just remember that time and circumstances often changes people’s minds so always leave the door open with clients.