Real Estate Investing
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"How To Make Money In Your Local Real Estate Market"
Today's Article: "Meetings with Your Real Estate Team and Partners"
Meetings with team members are less frequent than other meeting types but are no less important. I think these are some of the easiest meetings to work with, because you can have a set agenda and expect that it can be followed with little deviation. For example, you schedule a meeting with your realtor to discuss a new market niche you want to pursue. While you aren’t exactly sure what the meeting will produce as a result, you should have a pretty clear idea of what you are going to talk about and that will make the meeting go easier.
When meeting with team members, let them know in advance why you are meeting and how long you expect the meeting will last. This is referred to as the meeting before the meeting. Ultimately if you want your meetings to be successful then the appropriate parties should know what to expect. This allows them to prepare and also is respectful of their likely busy schedule. As far as meeting conduct goes, be sure you are on time and, minus a little friendly chitchat, keep things on task so nobody feels like their time is being wasted. I suggest also summarizing the meeting when it ends so each party knows the answer to ‘So where do we go from here?’ When you can do these basic things, your professionalism as a goal-oriented and organized entrepreneur will shine through and impress your team members.
Meetings With Business Partners
Some of you have formal business partners, some of you are married to your business partners, and some of you may simply be considering whether or not a partner is right for you. For many investors, partnerships can be good ways to capitalize on the strengths of the members and should result in more overall productivity. Some partnerships are simple relationships between a financier and an investor for a particular deal. Others are more detailed relationships, which impact the business on a more regular basis. Regardless, your meetings with them will have some similarities.
Chances are your association with a business partner has already been at least partially established so the whole first impression thing is less of an issue. However, if you’re in charge of getting something ready for a meeting or have progress to report on, then it is a good idea to have done what you were supposed to do. This is very logical but is also often overlooked. It is wise to make sure partners have proper accountability to each other and that each partner is comfortable with both receiving and giving opinions or criticisms as warranted.
Whatever you do, if you decide to operate with a partner make sure that you get everything in writing up front. Each partner should know at the outset of the partnership what the other person is accountable for. I’ve personally seen and been involved in business partnerships that have succeeded as well as those that have failed. Sadly, partnerships seem to end because one person is doing more than the other that in turn creates bitterness and hostility. Know your roles and do what you say you are going to do to the best of your ability. Another option you may choose to consider if you are unsure about establishing a long-term partnership is to create a partnership on a deal by deal basis. This way you are not locked in to any long term commitments to anyone. If you can’t or don’t want to be accountable to anyone then don’t go into a partnership. The good news is a partner is not at all needed to be wildly successful in this business.
As you’ve seen from my little discussion here, meetings in this type of business are critical to your success. Sometimes meetings are cut and dry, right to the point if you will. Sometimes they are speculative and involve a lot of brainstorming. Sometimes they are a mystery, giving you little advance notice of what to really expect. Regardless, your approach to meetings and ability to handle them will be a huge part of your business arsenal. Treat each and every meeting as if it was worthy of your full and undivided attention and your various clients will never be left feeling like they were a waste of your valuable time, even if the meeting doesn’t end up being as productive as you might have hoped.
The way to approach meetings is a lot like approaching a client for the first time. In an initial meeting, the first impression a client has of you will have a lot of bearing on whether they choose to do business with you or not. Similarly, a scheduled meeting is basically a continuation of that first impression a client has of you. You may have to use a little intuition or gut instinct to gather what their first impression may have been. Beyond that, you have a great opportunity with meetings to either:
- Continue a good relationship that started off on the right foot
- Right the ship if your first encounter with a client ran into some snags
When you are organized, attentive, task-oriented, and just plain personable, the general flow of most meetings will be in your favor. Clients know that you are meeting for a reason and, more often than not, they will be expecting that you will dictate the flow of meetings. Be prepared to run the show, have an agenda, and be ready to adapt as needed. When you can do these things, you will get the most out of meetings you have and your productivity will shine.