Real estate investing is a dollars and numbers driven game, from cap rates and internal rates of return, to lead generation response rates, and occupancy rates. It can be easy to to get lost in all of the numbers, looking at each and every opportunity through a spreadsheet.
Sure, the numbers are important. Afterall, that’s why you are investing in the first place. But it’s important to remember that behind every number, behind every deal, behind every loan, insurance policy, management company, mailing list, and contract is a person.
Some would say real estate is a numbers game, as they measure and focus on ROI, Cash-on-Cash Returns, Cap Rates, interest rates, etc. Others will tell you it’s a operations game, as they focus on property management, leasing, implementing value add business plans, and exit strategies. Then, there are the people who say that real estate is a relationship game, as they focus on building relationships with brokers, investors, property managers, property owners, etc.
No matter what game you are playing, it’s important to remember that you are dealing with people. People who want to be treated like people, not numbers on a spreadsheet. The best way to connect with someone is to be personable.
Being personable means you are able to relate to others and be relatable. By understanding that each person has their own agenda, challenges, and goals, you can relate to that person and understand their perspective. This is especially vital when negotiating.
Building a personal relationship with each and every person you come across will pay dividends. Here are 5 ways you can be personable.
- Find a common topic you can relate to with someone. That might be the holidays, weather, sports teams, news, etc. If you can find some common ground, you can relate to that person and start to build some rapport.
- Share something about yourself. If you can share a personal detail about yourself, it will show that you too are a human, with challenges and goals just like that other person.
- Ask questions about the other person. Get to know them on a personal level. This might be the easiest way to connect with someone. Simply ask a question about the person and listen. Talking about yourself is easy for most people and it’s natural to want to do so. Run with that and let the other person do that majority of the talking.
- Ask the person for a small favor. This one sounds weird, I know. It comes from a psychological trick I read in Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. If you ask someone for a favor, they are inclined to say yes. Their rationalization kicks in and they come up with reasons why you are worthy of such favor. Be sure to return that favor in the future!
- Be understanding of the other person’s position. Put yourself in their shoes, and think of their interests before your own.
Real estate investing, although number and dollar focused, is a relationship business at its core. People before profits should be your mantra. If you want to be a successful real estate investor, you should focus on helping other people. Don’t focus on what you want. rather focus on the other person’s interests.