You can be a world class negotiator, analyst, property manager, broker, general contractor, attorney, banker, accountant or all around investor, but if you don't master this one skill, you will 100% fail in real estate. None of these otherwise highly valuable skills or disciplines matter if you cannot truly and genuinely build and develop deep, trusting and meaningful relationships.
People want to know that you truly care about them and the challenges they are facing. They want to trust and feel that you will do the right thing to serve their best interest and help them reach their goals. It's also a two way street - once trust has been granted it's your job to deliver and verify their trustworthiness with action towards helping them achieve their goals. The approach that I have found to be useful for guiding my clients in selling or buying income producing real estate is discover their intentions, build a process or strategy, and execute in their best interest in an effort to create a relationship for life. The missing and most critical piece in this is to build a deep and meaningful relationship beyond the numbers, bricks and sticks. Without this, nothing else matters.
I want to share a quick story with you that made me pull the emergency brake in my tracks and reconsider completely how I am handling relationships in my life. I recently was at a property inspection with all parties in attendance; buyer, seller and various contracting professionals. As we inspected the properties I proceeded on a usually tried and true failing technique otherwise known as multi-tasking - checking e-mail, voicemails, calendar, responding to messages all the while coordinating and ensuring our access was granted and objections were overcome with integrity for each component of the property. If you're a broker, you know what I mean. We're constantly juggling several responsibilities at once and it can be a challenge to focus. However, it's common knowledge now days that if you're attempting a multi-task, you're not effectively accomplishing anything.
As we continued through the inspection I noticed the genuine quality of the questions the seller asked the buyer and vice-versa. They seemed to truly have interest to get to know each other as a person and about their families, without any other underlying agenda. The buyer asked the seller about his children, where he was from, what it was like where he grew up and what his family is like today. I suddenly realized, after working with both of these gentlemen for years, that I learned more about each of them in those 5 minutes than I had ever come to realize in several years and many real estate transactions together. I became truly disappointed in myself at how much I didn't know about both of these men! I realized the topics of our discussion over a long period of time related solely to investment real estate.
Never along the way did I actually get to know these men, and it really caused me to take a look in the mirror. Why didn't I slow down and take an extra 5 minutes to take an interest in the personal lives of these men? Was I really so busy that I couldn't spend any time to understand who they are as people and what makes them tick? When I actually write these questions here I realize how ridiculous it is to not take the time to know these men, their families, and their goals and life aspirations. I also realize how much I've been missing out on by not genuinely building these friendships!
To conclude, not only is life richer and more rewarding when you have genuine connections, but business is also better. After all, we're all in this thing called life together and we're all connected in some way. Undoubtedly, it's easier to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal when you truly understand the parties involved and their perspectives. I'm challenging myself to take an extra five minutes and get to know the people in my life and I'd be interested to learn ways you're applying this to your life as well!
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