Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Push In The Clutch...! Or Else.

“Push in the clutch.”

That was my first driving lesson.

I learned more later.

As we all piled back in the car with our milkshakes, hamburgers, Cokes and what not, I was excited to continue to demonstrate my prowess as a newly minted driver.

Seat belt: check. Mirror: check. Adjust steering column height: check. Everything was good.

Ignition key: check. Then I gently, but firmly turned the ignition on. Suddenly like awakening a drunk who didn’t know where he was, and with a spasm and lurching motion, the car heaved forward and immediately died.

Everyone’s food landed on the floor along with milkshakes and pop all over the upholstery, carpeting, and our laps. Whoopsie! I forget to push in the clutch. My bad.

Well then, I tried that twice. Crap, it was like a McDonald’s exploded all over us. Now, nobody was in a mood to ride with me. Never mind I got them to McDonald’s safely and without a hitch. Such short memories!

Well, I see the same misfortune today as newbie real estate investors don’t do first things first. They might know what to do, but they try to take shortcuts, or just forget.

What is this first thing? Treat the business as a business, not a hobby ...or a job.

Doing just that ...first, puts anyone down the road an extra two hundred miles.

Speaking of doing first things first...

Here’s a Christmas Present for You...

“7 Secrets For Success In Business, Plus One”

  1. Treat Your Business Like A Business, Not A Job.
  2. Keep Good Records.
  3. Test And Track Your Marketing.
  4. Market.
  5. Maintain A Protocol For Moving Prospects Through Your Pipeline.
  6. Discipline Your Work Schedule
  7. Protect Your Most Precious Commodity (Your Time).
  8. Charge What You’re Worth.
Merry Christmas To You

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Character and Personality Matter In Sub2 Negotiations...

Put on a happy face...

Have you ever been fed up with rejections on your offers, or received lame reasons for having your offer rejected?

Has it ever occurred that the seller just didn’t like you, or worse; didn’t trust you?

While getting meaningful concessions out of a seller, Barney Zick once suggested that building both rapport and a relationship with a seller, if we want terrific terms on real estate, was an indispensable element in the negotiations.

About four years ago, I heard John $Cash$ Locke say, “People will listen to you if they like you. They’ll do business with you if they trust you.”

Frankly, I used to confuse “like” with “trust.” Probably because I would trust someone only because I liked them. That’s bad judgment of course, but I learned the hard way.

Meantime, con men depend on that confusion and lack of sophistication to take advantage of people. Americans in general are suckers for confusing a friendly personality with a trustworthy character. It’s a wonder that more people don't buy tire chains for a trip to Death Valley in August if the salesman is successful at making them feel good about it.

As professional negotiators, we may find prospects that confuse good personalities with good character.

I called a real estate agent about his property. He told me that he was desperate to sell, but jokingly informed me that he wasn’t “some unsophisticated dipsh-t that wrote with crayons.” We both laughed, but I got his point.

He was telling me that he was looking to deal, but wasn’t prepared to give away the farm. He disarmed me by being likable, but also let me know the limits, so that we weren't taking up each other's time on an unworkable objective; that was me stealing his property, and him giving up the farm...

Well, he really wasn’t giving away the farm, and so I didn’t get my steal. But those extremes are for amateurs, not pros.
However, I had a good feeling toward the agent that day and I looked forward to listing one of my properties with him when it was time to sell. Why?

Because he was likable, and showed me that he could communicate with character. He didn’t lie to me, or lead me on a goose chase and waste my time. That agent was one of the most successful in the area.

I think it’s because he knew how to be likable and trustworthy.

When we’re looking for deals where the seller is going to be participating with the financing for any length of time, doesn’t it makes sense to make friends, build rapport and create trust?

If not, we’ll turn our negotiations into battles; turn win/win into win/lose; and fail to capture the juicy deals that only come after the prospect lets his guard down.

Now, some investors don’t learn this until they run out of money or credit.

If we’ve been practicing in the “blow in, blow off, and blow out” method of deal making, then we’ll be incredibly rusty when it comes to negotiating the cream puff deals that require rapport and trust to get the seller to participate in long term financing schemes ...and in order to make the big bucks in this Sub2 business .

I say, "Start now with a charming personality and winning character."