Does this sound like you?
It’s every new real estate investor’s nightmare. You go out on your very first appointment and you are trying so hard not appear to be “brand new”. You’ve attended all of your local REIA meetings for a while, and you make it a point to hang around after the meeting and network with the “pros”. Every week you pick up a new book or another home study course, and you are carefully following what other successful investors are doing. Even though you have done a lot of studying, you still feel scared to death on the inside; in fact you are sure they are going to figure out that you really have no idea what you are doing.
Your Very First Appointment
Once you get to your appointment, you settle into an easy conversation with the seller. You are actually thinking you’re doing great! After spending an hour at the house, you reach this point where you don’t know what “comes next”. You shake hands; thank the seller for their time and leave.
What Just Happened?
Well, you forgot to try to “close the deal” or leave a “what comes next” plan with the seller.
Many times the seller isn’t ready to accept your offer at this first meeting and that’s OK. My question to you is, “did you even make an offer”? If not, did you tell the seller that you wanted to go back to the office and put some firm numbers together then call him back tomorrow?
Here’s the thing; when you are just starting out you will almost always be calling the sellers back with your offer. The simple truth is that everyone lacks the experience in the beginning to make an offer on the spot which is to be expected. But they should be expecting your call the next day. That is the one piece of information that should have been left with them before shaking hands and getting in your car.
The Cure for the First Newbie Mistake
Always let the seller know what comes next. They need to be told exactly what to expect. Also be sure to send a note after the appointment thanking them for the opportunity to look at their house. Remember that they didn’t have to choose you.
4 Other Newbie Mistakes to Avoid
1. Don’t buy those perforated, do it yourself business cards. They scream “I just got started yesterday”. You can buy very affordable, custom business cards from VistaPrint.com. Don’t get the free ones they offer from time to time, because they have their company name on the back. Folks know that they are free cards.
2. Get a website. In spite of what some people will tell you, you must have a website. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, but you have to have one. What I would recommend is a WordPress site that you will be able to customize easily yourself. Be sure you have a simple contact form so that they will have a way to contact you via the web.
3. One quick way to lose the newbie look is with your very own “phone system”. Did you know that for about $12 a month you can have what appears to be a “phone system” through a company like Grasshopper? This is true even if you are like most real estate investors and you only have a cell phone. With these services you are able to look like a big company.
- Have a toll free or local number
- Have unlimited extensions
- Have call forwarding to your mobile phone – work from anywhere
- Get your voicemails via email – play them online or on your phone
- Keep your current phone number and so much more
And best of all; there is no hardware to purchase. For example: with these inexpensive services you could say press one for property acquisitions, press two to leave a message for Jean and press three to hear a listing of our current properties for sale. You can customize the settings to fit your business.
4. Waiting Too Long To Outsource. This is one that was guilty of.
You can get awesome virtual assistants from Odesk as well as from other sites for a few dollars per hour. Figure out what you can outsource and start early. Even if you only have a budget of $25 per week, did you know that you can get about 5-6 hours of help for that amount of money? What could you accomplish if you had 5 hours of help each week?
Looking Like a Seasoned Real Estate Investor
It’s actually pretty easy to look like an experienced investor with just a few changes to your business and by acting confident (even if you aren’t feeling it at that moment). It’s not about fooling anyone, but rather by not “announcing to the world” that you are a newbie.
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