Romancing Your Real Estate Agent...
From Dave Ludena, Real Estate Rock Star …
A guy walks into a bar and quickly scans the sea of people until his eyes settle and meet those of the hot red head sitting at the bar. Without hesitation, he walks right up to her, cradles her face in his hands and plants the most passionate wet one he can muster.
He pulls back, and in his best Clooney voice says, “I know we just met, but I really feel this connection. Let’s run away to Vegas, get married, buy a house and dog, pop out 2.5 kids and grow fat and old together.”
1 out of 1000 guys may have the game to pull that off. For the rest of us mere mortals, you can imagine the crash and burn that ensues as she slaps him so hard his descendants feel it.
“I’d never do that!” Really? I see this ALL the time in so many different scenarios. We approach people with our OWN agenda, driven by our own needs and desires, with barely a consideration of the other person’s needs, feelings or desires.
One of the best books EVER written is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book should be required reading for every member of the human race. Seriously. To quote:
“Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn't bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: ‘Wouldn't you like to have that?’"
Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?
Said another way: “To be interesting, be interested.”
So how does this relate to real estate investing? Well, really in so many scenarios.
Today I want to talk specifically about working with realtors. Remember that hot red head in the bar? THAT is your realtor. (Side note: Ever have to do a double take when you match up the realtor to her business card picture because they use that picture with the big hair from 20 years ago? Awesome.)
A good real estate agent on your power team is obviously important. They can submit offers, run comps, provide great knowledge of the area and may even provide you with your OWN access to the holy grail for research… the MLS. The problem again is that, like hitting on that red head, many investors go in to “seal the deal” before they even “romance the realtor.” Not to worry, my friends… let me show you how to pick up a realtor.
First things first. We want to target the right investor-friendly real estate agent. Truthfully, just as in dating, you won’t really know how it will work out until you actually start working together, but you can certainly set your sights to increase your chances of a good union.
For example, if you are starting off as a wholesaler working motivated seller leads, you need to understand that the top REO listing agent is NOT your ideal realtor. He really won’t be too motivated, but only interested in what you can bring to the table for HIM.
I suggest looking at agents that are hungry to build their business. Agents that pay to be in listing publications like “Homes & Land,” on shopping carts, bus stops/benches etc. You could also look for agents that have an open house and pop in, get a referral from a family or friend, or even tap the shoulder of an agent you may have met before. They are EVERYWHERE.
Now remember what Dale Carnegie taught us. This agent is tuned to their OWN station, whether they say it or not. So be interested in THEM. The first thing I do is look them up on Facebook, LinkedIn and on their personal website. Read their bio. Have a list of questions ready that you can ask them about them and their real estate business.
Here are some questions:
- How long have you been working with investors?
- Are you currently investing yourself?
- If I give you all my listings (of properties I rehab), are you willing to list them at a small discount?
- What areas do you actively work?
- Do you have the ability to make offers on HUD properties?
You get the idea. Just have some questions to roll to so that you are talking to them about their favorite topic. The more they talk about themselves, the less talking you have to do about you.
Call them up and introduce yourself. I’m not a big fan of scripts, but rather I bullet point my agenda of what I want to say and accomplish in that call. My bullet points would look like:
- Introduce myself and why I am calling them
- Compliment them
- Ask them about their business
- Explain the value I can bring to their business
A quick tip: be yourself, have energy, smile and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. There are a ton of realtors out there… who cares if you botch it? Also, especially if you are new and worried that they might ask you questions like “how long have you been investing?” remember a couple things..
First, don’t lie! They will be able to smell that like a fart in a car… if not now, very soon they will realize you aren’t the “big deal” you said you were and you lose all credibility.
Realize that everyone had a first day. Even Trump didn’t come out of the womb closing deals. (I bet his hair still looked the same, though.) If you do have experience in real estate, great. Mention that. If not, say something like “I’ve been in the (whatever your industry is) for X years and have been looking at real estate for a while now. I’ve hooked up with some investors in (wherever your mentors are) who are just killing it and I’m expanding what they are doing there into (your county). The first thing they told me to do is hook up with a great realtor, so that's why I did a little research and decided to call you.”
What is that? Last call… wow. My blogging editor tells me that I’m going long here and is ringing that bell. Fear not, my friends. I will be back very soon on the next post to round up with some very powerful concepts and yes, even some scripts.
You won’t want to miss this.