When you have no experience investing in apartment buildings, you may feel a little like Rodney Dangerfield in that you get no respect. When you also have no money it can be even more of an uphill battle to get others to take you seriously.
No money and no experience make a strong double negative. But the reality is, most of us started at zero or pretty darn close to it. So don’t worry about it. Here are 7 credibility-building strategies that you should follow whether you’re a newbie or an old pro.
1. Continually educate yourself. A lot of people jump head first into shallow water when a little research would have saved them a big headache. When venturing into unfamiliar territory, your goal is not to become an expert, but simply to learn the basic strategies that have proven to be winners and to also know what common pitfalls to avoid. Getting the facts (and taking action) are the two keys to wealth. And nothing builds your credibility quite like wealth.
2. Know your audience. Whether you’re making an offer on property, seeking private money to fund a deal, or negotiating with rehab contractors, familiarize yourself with the needs and concerns of the person you’re dealing with. The art of negotiation hinges on knowing your opponent’s needs and presenting yourself as the solution.
3. Network. Gleaning tips and insight from others who have already been down the path you’re taking is an astute way to learn and build your reputation at the same time. It may seem like there are six degrees of separation between you and local experts, but that isn’t the case. Start with the Chamber of Commerce; it’s their job to be connected. Give them one goal you have, such as finding a local apartment owners association, and your networking will be off to a stellar start.
4. Reputation trumps experience. Reputations follow people like shadows. Someone who is just starting out in real estate, but who has a solid reputation as a trustworthy businessperson in another area, will have higher credibility than an experienced real estate player whose credibility is shot full of holes. Stress your success. The fact that I control real estate worth more than $ 240 million buys me enormous credibility as a businessman even if I wanted to open a motorcycle repair shop.
5. Speak with authority. People are less likely to wonder, “Have you done this before?” if you sound like you know what you’re talking about. The idea is not to bluff, but to speak intelligently. When you’re in the dark, ask intelligent questions. But rather than ask a question as if you don’t know the answer, ask as if you want to know if the other person knows the answer. For example, with a rehab contractor ask, “How do you plan to approach this project and what is your timeline?”
6. Partner with someone. You can marry into higher credibility when you partner with someone. Real estate investing is a complex business and two minds are better than one. Choose a partner who brings something to the table that you lack because you don’t want all the weight on one side of the ship. Keep in mind that compatibility is essential and that your potential partners will be as stringent in checking your credibility as you are in checking theirs.
7. Build a team. The time to build a team is before you need it. Team players include a real estate agent, attorney, tax advisor, lender, contractor, and mentor.
All these strategies are interwoven. If you’ve been investing for years, you know that the real estate market changes and with it can change the fortunes and reputations of those in the industry. Your credibility will need constant maintenance but it’s well worth the effort because success attracts success.
David Lindahl, also known as the “Apartment King” has been successfully investing in single family homes and apartments for the last 14 years and currently owns over 7,000 units around the US. David regularly shares his secrets and experience on the same stage as Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, and Donald Trump! Visit http://www.rementor.com for more information on how to invest in real estate and other property investing techniques.
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