Real estate is about more than just numbers, spreadsheets, and projections. While all of these are important, what sets successful investors apart from their peers is their ability to connect with people. Some people are naturally better at this than others, but anyone can improve their people skills. Here are five traits the most successful investors share.
It almost goes without saying that people gravitate toward positive people, and away from negative people. In a networking setting, it is important to remember to smile. Make eye contact. Be excited about what you are saying. Positive energy creates an air of confidence. People may not remember the specifics of what you said, but they will remember the overall impression you made.
People want to work with others who are trustworthy. One of the biggest mistakes an investor can make is to overreach—or try to claim he or she can do every deal in the market. Don’t be afraid to admit if a deal is beyond the scope of your expertise, or outside of your goal market. Likewise, do not claim to know information you do not. A response of “I don’t know but I will find out” is far more effective at building trust with business partners. Finally, follow through on your promises. Make your deadlines. Follow up when you say you will.
Real estate investing is not for the unmotivated. The best investors may only get 20% of offers accepted, but that doesn’t stop them from moving on to the next potential deal quickly. Successful investors must work independently, and sometimes that means spending the weekend in the car, scouting potential properties. Deals come to those who put in the work to make them happen.
Every person you meet has the potential to be the person who can change the trajectory of your career. The best investors take the approach of not judging a book by its cover. Never talk about others behind their backs. The world of real estate tends to be small; if you talk about someone you worked with behind his or her back, word is likely to travel quickly. Successful investors treat everyone with equal respect, from the contractor to the attorney, the assistant to the CEO.
This business moves fast. Decisions need to be made quickly. You won’t be doing yourself any favors by playing hard to get. While some may think that being unreachable makes them look “super busy” or “really important,” the reality is that it just creates frustration for the person trying to reach you. Successful investors handle the difficult conversations quickly and then move on. Also, by establishing that you try to be as accessible as possible, others will be more understanding when there are times that you legitimately need to delay a response.
By examining your habits and tendencies, you can identify the weak areas and improve them. While change can be difficult, the good news is all these habits can be incorporated into your routine with practice and consistency. Your interactions with your colleagues and employees will improve, which will lead to more—and more profitable—deals.