In these days of Tweets and texts, introducing ourselves on Facebook and LinkedIn, it seems the fine art of conversation has gotten lost. While technology can be a viable part of an investment business, never forget for a minute that we are in a people-centered business. Websites are great for building credibility and an image. Data-mining can help generate more and better quality leads. Drip email campaign help with top-of-mind awareness, but in the end, there has to be a CONVERSATION between buyers and sellers. This is where the ‘fear monster’ rears its’ ugly head.
How many of you remember being told, “Never talk to strangers” when you were a kid? That’s the problem with bad programming…and it can stick around with you until you exorcise it. The good news is that it can be done. Talking with sellers is pretty easy once you know how. It takes practice, commitment, and persistence with your skill development.
Knowing what to say is only part of the equation. Conversation has two components. One is talking. Can you guess the other?
It all boils down to this; to build a great transaction we have to have great conversations. Those conversations are the foundation upon which great deals are built. I’m talking about conversations between deal principals, not middlemen. Unless they are incredibly talented and know your mind, situation, and preferences, how can anyone represent you as well as you can represent yourself? You have the knowledge, flexibility, and creativity to solve the other party’s problem. You can choose to walk away or stay at the table.
Transaction Engineering is about having conversations that clarify ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’. It’s about knowing how to use multiple techniques to buy and sell property because this is not a one-size-fits-all business. Options, leases, private money, seller financing, and existing financing are all mechanisms for buying or controlling property…they are all possibilities to make a deal happen. They can be used independently or blended to make a great deal. The combinations are only limited by your creativity. The common denominator is you have to have an interactive conversation. One that ebbs and flows in order to create synergy, a meeting of the minds, where both parties contribute and both parties WIN.
Please join me on Saturday, March 20, 2010 for The Language of Investors – Conversations, Confidenceand Cash at Central Florida Realty Investors, at 55 Skyline Drive, Lake Mary, Florida. This is a full-day workshop where we’ll work on the conversations, the mental perparation, and how to handle objections fearlessly. PLUS a workbook, scripts, role-playing and lunch is included!
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New and experienced real estate investors alike can benefit from this easy to create tool. A crediility kit is simply an album representing your work. Pictures of projects, renovations, families moving into or buying your houses. It’s letters of thanks and recommendation from satisfied clients. When you show new prospects and potential private lenders how you serve your customers, it can go a long way toward building your credibilty and make others comfortble about working with you! I compare it to my mom’s “Grandma’s Brag Book” which is just full of photos of her grandkids, their notes and cards and other special things she likes to brag about because se’s proud of her grandkids.
You can do the same thing with your house business. You’ll be amazed at the results!
If you are new to investing, one of the best things about your Credibility Kit is that it can help guide you through your entire presentation to the seller. It can actually work like a script so you don’t lose your place during the presentation. It is also a great confidence builder because as you do more of your own deals, you’ll be tracking and sharing your progress with others.
If you want to sell a house fast, you have to make it stand out. There’s plenty of competition and the typical buyer wants their home to make a statement. A key element of getting your house sold is Curb Appeal. That’s right, how inviting does your house look from the street. As my wife Audrey, an Accredited Staging Professional, likes to ask, “Does your house say, ‘Welcome’ or ‘Beware’.”
To maximize your Curb appeal we recommend prepping the outside:
Mow the lawn
Mow and edge once a week during the summer and every other week during the winter (depending on climate). Pretend this is your own home (or better).
Make sure hedges and trees are trimmed well, not cut back. Add potted plants to the yard if it looks too empty. Fill in any problem spots, and water them regularly. Trim shrubs and bushes from the top down and trees from the bottom up! For quick renovation projects where you don’t have time to plant and water new flowers, try silk flowers for that touch of color. They’re inexpensive and look great! Another cheap way to make the flower beds pop is to put down a thin layer of mulch. This is a quick, inexpensive fix.
Paint any major rough spots or peeling paint areas. Paint the front door, if it needs it, and any entrance way or landing. (Use a three color approach- a light neutral color for the majority of the house, a darker or lighter shade for the trim and a bold high gloss for the front door.) You can find excellent 3 color palettes at most major home improvement stores. If money is tight, just paint the front…remember its Curb Appeal we’re looking for. Note – consider the colors in the neighborhood and keep with the theme, a bright blue house in an earth tone neighborhood will be a tough sell…no matter how much you like the color! Your going for a clean, crisp look. There should be nothing exotic for the average house.
Front door tip – for about $20.00 you can make the front door pop by adding a brass-tone kick plate. New door hardware is usually a very good investment!
Throw Away Trash
Clutter is a major deal killer for the retail buyer so throw away any piles of old junk. Clean out the garage and paint the floor if it is stained. You’ll be amazed at the difference. Dark Grey is a good color.
Pressure Wash Drive Way
If driveway is very grease-stained, have it pressure cleaned. If it still looks shabby, paint it. Don’t go crazy with colors, there are some nice grey concrete paints and if you have an asphalt drive way you can get it resurfaced for a modest price.
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