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REI missing links

Are Relationships & Transparency Your Missing Links?

Author – Cherrell Tarantino

It goes without saying that real estate investing is a whole different animal than say, opening a retail store. That said, you can’t lose sight of the fact that this IS A REAL BUSINESS. As such, it follows that relationships and transparency are critical elements; just like a friendly smile and a detailed menu are imperative for every customer entering a neighborhood restaurant.

A career in REI takes patience, dedicated effort, and resilience. Although a lot of what you do can be accomplished on a computer – never minimize the importance of personal involvement and customer service. If you think these things don’t really matter much in this sometimes fast-and-furious industry, think again.

Your Clients are People Too

Emails, tweets, and such can many times seem curt or impersonal. Keep in mind they should be constructed with care and convey respect, while remaining conversational. The higher the wall between you and your clients, the faster they will disappear.

Hangouts are somewhat better at handling spur of the moment thoughts, without running out of characters. Facebook does a good job with announcements and brief interactions, while LinkedIn is a good place to find buyers and sellers. Sure, social media channels and emails may work for building contact lists and research purposes – but are they a substitute for real relationship building? Absolutely not.

Don’t Hide in Plain Sight

I’m not sure why anyone in business would choose to be inconspicuous, but it is more commonplace than you think on the Internet. Credibility is essential, so if your intention is to keep people at a distance as a way of screening them or keeping them at bay so you aren’t overwhelmed – then it’s time for an assistant! If it’s about privacy, add reputable security software and ‘just say no’ to cookies when you have the option.

Laura Alamery, for example, doesn’t only provide online courses and hosted webinars. She has organized several active Meetup groups and holds multiple live events monthly, traveling to other cities in order to meet prospects and students in person. These trips allow her to extend her reach, create real relationships with students and local vendors and sponsors – and they also give her the chance to keep a close eye on the local markets her students call home. You will find Laura’s metro city trends captured in regular posts on her blog as well.   

Why Authenticity Matters

Remember the wizard of Oz? While presenting a bigger-than-life image to the world, his true self was virtually invisible to everyone as he deftly manipulated those imposing special effects from behind a curtain. Whether your site visitors are prospective sellers, buyers, students or collaborators – learning who you are, and why you do what you do, gives them a way to relate to you.

Notice how Laura Alamery’s website ‘About’ page introduces the real person she is; highlighting her journey of 30 years in real estate investing. Her daughter Elizabeth is also featured on the page, as a partner with a personal story of her own to tell. There’s also a Q&A that takes a look at the way Laura approaches each mentorship. Everyone has a story, and a reason for starting a business of their own. When you share it with others, more people will connect with you. And, those who don’t – well, maybe they aren’t the best fit for your vision and ideology, right?

“YOU” and Your Business

It’s not uncommon for shy or introverted people to get into the real estate business. If you are technically savvy or can afford to outsource everything, then sure, you can get by without a lot of interaction. However, if you really want to extend your reach and amplify your profits, it’s going to be necessary to INJECT YOURSELF into the mix. If prospects make their way to your site, and ‘there’s no there there’ you can expect your bounce rate to be tremendously high.

Here on Laura Alamery’s website, take a look at the way she encourages engagement from prospective associates and clients. She offers several ways to build relationships and transparency; through her outreach, education, training and personal connection. From specific and relevant REI Courses, Blog Posts and Webinars; to Live Events, and valuable Coaching Programs (group and private one-on-one) the site is a true cornucopia of everything you need – and nothing you don’t.

Don’t Forget Your Toolbox

You aren’t just unlocking the doors because you have the keys, it’s more than that. You’re the expert, the problem solver, the visionary. Bring your skills to the table and prove to your clients why they need you. Develop the art of listening. Find common ground between what you know and what others are telling you. Research diligently and be prepared with a reasonable number of choices that are going to knock their socks off. If you nail it, they won’t need to look past you.

Present yourself as the advocate of your clients and associates, share your data and demonstrate the abilities and experience that make you unique. After all, there are hundreds of would-be investors scurrying around, so it’s imperative to show your buyers, sellers, and lenders why they should work with you. Honesty and integrity are critical elements to the success of any business, and real estate investing is no different – especially when you’re working with other people’s money (OPM). Respect, honor, and great ideas will make you shine!

Laura Alamery is truly an extraordinary mentor, renowned in her industry. She is ALL IN and fully invested in your success – rare characteristics in today’s busy world of DIY everything! Just as we can all name teachers from our youth who motivated us to become our best grownup selves, Laura’s students are very vocal in sharing what her passion and encouragement has done for their businesses, and their lives.