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Investing Strategies

Seller Seduction: How to Build Trust Using Cat Pictures (Yep)

Not long ago, we had the chance to corner Mogul expert, Cody Sperber, for an unscripted dialogue about how he has mastered the art of building rapport with sellers to seal the deal.

Today, we're going to share some of the key lessons from our in-depth conversation for anyone in Mogul who may want to learn how one of the greats does it, or maybe even follow in his footsteps.

So here’s a slice of awesomeness from our little chat… enjoy!

Building Blocks of Trust

JP: Cody, you always emphasize why connecting with the sellers matters so much, but what principles do you think are the most important? When we are talking about negotiating, what is effective negotiating? What are the fundamental principles to guide you in this process?

Cody: Yeah. You know, I have bought and sold more than 1,000 houses – a lot of houses. More than half have been purchased because I sat down at a seller’s table and negotiated in person with them, back and forth, until we found a middle ground. I find a place where both sides feel like winners.

After you’re an experienced investor, you realize when you first talk to them that they naturally have a wall up. It’s a tough wall to break down – even after talking for an hour. But, if you position the conversation and how you look, act, move, etc., those walls will come down so much faster.

It dawned on me one day when I was with this seller who had a dog… I’m sitting there (and by the way I love dogs having grown up with them) and I found myself talking for 15 minutes with this lady about dogs...

Before then, she was very guarded. I was this strange investor who showed up because she called me...a stranger. By the time we were done talking about dogs (15 minutes later), I realized there was no tension. I ended up getting that deal in record time. We actually became friends.

I realized then that building rapport with sellers might be the key to getting the deals and saving a lot of time doing it.

It’s tough to break down seller walls and it takes rapport to do it. I started really thinking about this concept. My idea was to take this to the next level. So I preloaded a picture of my dog on my cell phone. I didn’t have kids at the time, so I downloaded some cute kids. I don’t have a cat, so I downloaded a cute, hairless cat (I thought it was cute at the time).

JP: My daughter loves those hairless cats. She is saving up money to buy one. They’re like $1,500 bucks!

Cody: That’s ridiculous.

kid-and-dogsAnyway…the next time I went to a seller’s house, the first thing I did was scan the room. I saw a cat, so I immediately whipped out my phone and said, “I love cats.” The next 15 minutes we spent talking about cats.

I knew 90% of people have kids, dogs or cats. I knew if I saw one of those things, I could use that topic to connect with the seller and build rapport.

What I found is the better the rapport, the easier it is to negotiate price. With this method, I could also make a smooth transition to talk about the property with no tension.

Investors have a reputation of being the seedy underbelly of the real estate world. We have to overcome that. The way to do it is to make an emotional connection on common ground. We talked about the process of breaking down the wall – another way to look at it, though, is to think of it as getting them to disarm their wall willingly.

In a way, you’re “courting” them. Now, carry on and seduce away.

What Did Ya Think?

I hope you guys can use this to build killer rapport with sellers and get some stellar deals. As always, if you have any questions or comments we’d love to hear them. Chime in below.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Upload pictures of dogs, cats and kids to your cell phone.

Build rapport using pictures to springboard you into sharing common interests.

Negotiate price once you have built rapport.

Close tons of deals.

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