She yakked about her experience in real estate, her precious dog and her friend’s struggling business. The homeowner listened patiently, even offering encouraging words of advice.
When the meeting was over and she walked to her car, she realized that she knew nothing about the homeowner’s situation and hadn’t a clue how to help - but the homeowner sure knew a lot about her.
That ‘she’ was me, 16 years ago. Understandable, since I was a newly minted investor. But the sad thing is, that ‘she’ was also me last year, when I ventured out into the field after six years of sitting behind the comfort of my desk coordinating short sales.
I can’t tell you how many houses I’ve walked into – homeowners I’ve talked to – only to screw up the deal because I talked more than I listened.
Nervous energy would override my brain and cause my mouth to go into overdrive. I would yak, yak, yak and not learn a single thing about the homeowner’s situation. Then I would try to structure the deal.
Well heck, NO ONE can structure a deal when they don’t know what the homeowner’s needs are. So I had to teach myself to listen. Truly listen.
Blame it on human nature – that tendency to rattle on, caused by anxiety - but the truth is, it’s simply a lack of confidence and experience.
We all struggle, you know? And we all experience anxiety when doing something out of our comfort zone. But you know the old saying: confidence comes with knowledge, and knowledge comes with experience. You can’t expect to say all the right things to a homeowner when you haven’t had much experience. So how do you overcome your anxiety when knocking on a seller’s door?
The answer is simple, but it isn’t easy…..shut up. Shut up and listen.
If you are unsure of what to say to a homeowner or how to structure a deal, let the homeowner help you.
Find out what they need – not what they want – but what they NEED, and help them get it. Be a problem solver. Then make the paperwork (your documents) fit the deal - not the other way around. Every homeowner’s situation is different, so make your documents a living, breathing thing.
Just don’t give up. If people see your passion, your true heart, and your honest desire to help, they will have faith in you to solve their problem. Don’t give up.
Educate yourself on the different ways to creatively structure a deal. Attend classes and surround yourself with people of like mind. This will help you gain the knowledge and confidence necessary to knock on a seller’s door and ask a simple question - “Why are you selling such a nice house like this?”
Then shut up and listen.
Bill and Kim’s North Georgia Real Estate Investors Association meets on the second Thursday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn off Main Street in Cartersville. For more info, go to REIoutpost.com.