In the REI Classroom today, Andy McFarland with Treehouse Investments discusses what you can do to help build a rapport with sellers.
By doing your research on the property beforehand, Andy explains how to relate with sellers and how crucial it is to listen to their story.
Mike: Welcome back to the Flipnerd.com REI classroom where experts from across the real estate investing industry teach you quick lessons to take your business to the next level. And now, let’s meet today’s expert host.
Andy: Hey, my name is Andy McFarland. I want to welcome you guys to the REI Classroom. Today we’re going to cover a super important topic. In fact, a topic so important that if you can do this and master this, I dare so that you will elevate yourself about 90% of other real estate investors out there because you can do this one simple thing if you learn how to do it well. Ready for this? Ready for what it is? It’s how to build rapport with sellers.
Mike: This REI Classroom real estate lesson is sponsored by VirtualStaffNow.com.
Andy: If you’re working with a lot of private sellers, this is incredibly important to get rapport with them. I know you’ve probably heard this from a lot of different people, “Yeah, I’ve got to get a rapport. Yeah, I’ve got to get a rapport.” Let’s talk about exactly how you do that. Here’s what I do. When I go work with private sellers, I do all my research before I get in there. I know about the property, I know about what I consider the condition, and the comparables and all that stuff. I can do that so I can set that aside for the time that I’m there with the private sellers and focus directly on them.
I’m going into that situation generally pretty cold so I walk in there and the first thing I try to do is I try to relate with them, I try to get them to relax. You can kind of tell when someone has a rapport with you. Here’s the key thing to do to get a rapport with somebody. See these things right here, your ears, you’ve got two of them and you’ve got one of these. So work appropriately. Listen twice as much as you talk. When you go to the sellers, ask them open-ended questions and listen to their answers. And when you do this, this is serving two purposes. One, you’re going to be getting a rapport with people because people like to talk about themselves. And two, you’re going to be understanding them. You’re going to be hearing their situation and you’re going to be able to process all this information about them.
So listen to the people. And here’s how you listen: active listening. When you go to a seller and you say, you ask him a question and they respond to you, don’t just jump to another topic just for the sake of asking another question. Ask a follow-up question. If you say, “Hey, Bob, what do you do for a living?” and he says, “I’m a mechanic,” don’t just jump in and say, “Okay. Well, what’s your favorite color?” If Bob says he’s a mechanic, say, “Are you serious? What type of stuff do you work on? Do you work on trucks? Is it airplanes?”
You see, I was interested in him. Well, now he’s going to say, “Well, I actually work on diesel trucks.” You ask another follow-up question. “Wow, diesel trucks. That’s amazing. That must be harder than doing other things.” You follow-up with another question. The first time you ask a question, he thought, “This guy doesn’t care.” He shot an answer back. As soon as you took his answer, listened to it and asked a follow-up question, he recognized, “Wow, this guy actually might care.” And the third time you do it, he’s really going to say, “This guy cares about me,” and he might open up.
Now when you do that, you start asking specific questions and digging a little deeper and listening and showing you care, they’re going to start to think, “Wow, there’s something different about this person. They care about me.” And they’re going to open up to you more. And that’s what’s called getting in rapport. You can ask questions like that, what’s your job, how’s your family life, what do you like to do for fun? You can do those things to get a rapport with them. Then, also, you start shifting it toward the property and why you’re there. They’ll start telling you things and you’ll start breaking down those barriers. They’ll start telling you things and they’re going to think, “Well, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but here’s exactly what’s going on,” because they’ll feel like they’re friendly with you, they’re in rapport with you.
Listen twice as much as you talk. And after you leave the situation . . . I’ve left hundreds of situations like this with that same seller. And after that, I know that that seller, if somebody went in there afterward and said, “Hey, that guy that was just in here, what do you think about him?” They would say, “I like that guy. He’s a really nice guy. He cares about me and I would definitely do business with him.” But then, if you ask him, “What’s his name? Is he married? What does he do for fun,” they wouldn’t be able to tell you any of that because you didn’t necessarily share that because you were listening to them and giving them an audience and they were answering your questions.
So that’s the key. Listen to somebody, give them an audience and show that you really care. They’ll get a rapport with you and they’ll trust you and you’ll be able to do business. As soon as you do that, they’ll tell you what their issues are, they’ll tell you what their problems are, and you’ll be able to solve them at that point. So that is the number one thing that will raise you above 90% of the others investors out there. You will listen and you will care, and when you do that genuinely, you will be able to hear the true concerns, you’ll be able to get the result of those concerns and you’ll be able to buy those properties from those sellers. They’ll love you for it. So that’s a little tip that if you do that, I promise you, you will do more deals that 90% of the investors out there and you will do great deals.
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