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Investing Strategies

How to Gain Instant Credibility with Investors (Even If You’ve Hardly Done a Deal)

Hey Moguls, we’ve got one of our newest Faculty Advisors back again for another awesome lesson today in the arena of negotiating – one of the most important yet least understood facets of REI.

In his first lesson, uber-successful (and uber-young) investor Doug Van Buskirk shared with us that properly negotiating is all about the way you communicate with buyers, sellers and other investors. It’s what will make or break your success in real estate. 

Today, Doug’s gonna break even more ninja negotiating info that’s all about building your credibility – which all investors know is crazy important in this industry.

Take it away Doug…

From Doug Van Buskirk

Rewind back to early March 2012… I was going to my first REIA meeting, and I was scared. I was brand new, and hadn't ever done a deal

All kind of thoughts were running through my mind…

  • What was I going to talk about? 
  • How can I keep from looking dumb at this event?
  • What did I need to do to make people take me seriously?

These are questions that trip up a lot of investors who are trying to get out and build their network.

But not to worry...

By the end of this lesson, you're going to know a 5-part strategy for quickly building credibility with any and every possible network connection you come across.

This blueprint doesn't include the requirement to 'flip 10 houses a month.'

Obviously, if you're doing a ton of deals, then you will get that street cred. But if you don't have a lot or (or any) deals under your belt, you can't let that stop you.

Credibility is a big part of trust.  Trust is a big part of why people work with you (aka how you build your network). 

congressAnd your network is the clearest indicator of your success. 

You show me someone who lives (figuratively) on an island, and doesn't really know any other serious investors in town, and I'll be able to pretty accurately predict their income (hint: its looks a lot like a donut).

On the other hand, you show me someone who knows most of the wholesalers, rehabbers, contractors, hard money lenders, etc. in town and it would be fairly safe to assume their successful.

The person in that second example has his finger on the pulse of industry. That's who you want to be.  And it starts with the credibility piece.

So let's get to it…

1. Do what you say you're going to do

Seems simple, right?  And it is.

But you'd be amazed at how many investors don't do this.

If you meet someone at a networking event, and you end up saying it would be great to meet up – call or email them within 48 hours to set something. 

Don't wait until the next time you run into them and say, "Geez, we really need to meet up."

If you talk about how you've got a potential buyer for one of their properties, get the ball rolling right away! 

As I became more of a presence at my local REIA, and people wanted to pick my brain or get to know me, this was one of the biggest things that determined if I wanted to be involved with them.

If you do what you say you're going to do, then other people see you as dependable.  That means they will reach out to you when they need something. 

That gives you more opportunities to demonstrate that you're a valuable connection, which is the start of a great long-term relationship.

2. Leverage the credibility of people you know

Everybody knows somebody. Who do you know that could be a valuable resource for the kind of investors you want to connect with? 

You don't really want to be overtly name-dropping, but pay attention. When you're meeting with other investors, listen to them.  Think about any connections that you have that might help them, even if it's outside of real estate.

There's a lot of power in connecting people.  It's an instant credibility boost.  The most powerful people don't necessarily know everything.  But they know someone who can take care of anything!

So bring people together whenever possible.

3. Be likeable

Again, this seems obvious.  But so many investors, new and seasoned, get this WAY wrong.  And it costs them deals time and again.

What is every person's favorite topic of conversation?

Themselves! People, by nature, love to talk about themselves.  Use that to your advantage.

The easiest way to get someone to like you is to ask them questions about themselves, and show an honest interest in what they have to say… and then ask a few more questions.

If you want a full training on how to do this, check out the classic How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

Some other great questions to ask yourself…

  • Am I someone who people want to be around? 
  • Do I generally talk about opportunities, or do I complain about problems?
  • Am I smiling and friendly or stone-faced and withdrawn?

These are all choices you make every moment of every day.  Which option best serves you and the goals you have for yourself?

4. Share your vision

So we know that we want to get other people talking about themselves, because that's what they like to do the most.

At some point, though, they will ask you some questions.

How do you respond in a way that will instantly attract people to you?

Let's use an example of 2 different responses to this question:

"So tell me about yourself and your investing?"

Person A responds: Well I've done a few deals,  I'm mostly doing wholesaling. Really I'm just trying to build my buyer's list and expand my marketing right now.


Person B responds:  I've got a plan to travel around Southeast Asia for year, starting March 12, 2015. I need to do 14 deals between now and then to raise money for this trip, so I'm going all-out to make this happen.  I've been dreaming of doing this trip my whole life, and I'm gonna make this work no matter what it takes!

Whoa! That's someone I want to stay in touch with. I can feel their energy. I know they'll do great things because they've got that passion. My confidence in them gives them credibility in my eyes.

spellingThe first guy just blends in with the crowd.  He sounds like everyone else.

The second person has a clear, specific, inspiring vision of what real estate can do for his life.

What's your vision? Will it inspire other people?

A few tips to get you started:

  • Make it emotional
  • Be specific
  • Have a deadline

5. War stories

People are quicker to like and trust other people who've had similar experiences.

Think about fraternities or sororities; working at the same company; attending the same college; living in the same city.

That common ground is very powerful.

I lived in Chicago for 2 years from 2008-2010. Whenever I meet someone who lives, or used to live there, we immediately strike up a conversation about old stomping grounds. 

And if they used to frequent the same areas as me, even better.  We have more of a connection – even though that connection isn't based on anything we actually did TOGETHER.

The same applies to real estate...

I instantly feel a connection to someone who's dealt with some of the headaches of investing: buyers not following through, sellers backing out, contractors not doing what they said they would (shocker!).

When someone can "feel your pain," they can relate to you. Obviously, they see themselves as very credible, and since you've just shown them how similar you are to them, they now see you as credible.

Think about a few really interesting experiences you've had as an investor…

First, you're connecting using shared experiences.

Second, you're implicitly demonstrating your credibility by telling an 'in-the-trenches' story.  It gets people subconsciously thinking, "Obviously this person is a serious investor if they're out in the field handling things like this."

**TIP: The shared experience is much stronger if it involves overcoming
a challenge, rather than achieving a victory.**

So there you have it – Credibility 101. The only thing left to do is get out there and try this stuff out.  I'm certain that you'll surprise yourself with the results! 

Your network is the biggest predictor of your success – and results.  Take the time to build a solid network and you'll reap the benefits, and profits, for years to come.

Holla at me

How do you make yourself seem and appear credible? How do you gauge someone else’s credibility? I wanna from you in the comments section below.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps

Do what you say you're going to do.

Leverage the credibility of people you know.

Be likeable.

Share your vision.

Be prepared with a few war stories.

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