Fear can be paralyzing for everyone, and doubly so when you add money to the mix! Everyone has fears, even me. But you need to realize that your fears aren’t unique.
One of my biggest fears, when I started in the business, was the fear of rejection. Growing up poor, rejection seemed to be at every corner. So when starting this new business of mine in the early 1980’s, I was terrified of being rejected. I was most afraid of looking stupid or ignorant in front of the seller and having my ego deflated.
I was also afraid of offending the seller. I didn’t want to upset them by asking personal questions, but there were questions I HAD to know the answers to in order to move forward: why were they selling? What did they need the money for? Where did they plan to go? These were critical questions that I couldn’t just skip over, even to keep the seller happy. But it really bothered me at the time to pry into their personal lives, even though I knew it was necessary.
Then my fear changed into the fear of ACCEPTANCE. I would lie awake at night scared out of my mind that the seller would take my offer. Trouble is, my pockets were mostly empty, so paying cash myself wasn’t an option!
Today cash is flowing more freely for real estate investors, so that’s one fear you can rest easy. You can take out a hard money loan (I don’t necessarily recommend this for longer-term investments like rentals because you’ll be paying a fortune in interest) or find people with cash they need to invest, like those with IRAs.
Here are a few of my tips to help alleviate your fears:
1. Be at ease. Just try to relax and view your meeting with the seller like meeting anyone else over coffee. Keep in mind it’s not a power struggle: you can go buy any property on the market, but they only have that one property to sell. They need you more than you need them.
2. Use your questionnaire sheet. Bring a sheet with your questions and fill them in as you talk with the seller. They’re not going to think that you’re stupid or ignorant; they’re going to see that you’re prepared and are fully listening to them.
3. Be ready to take your time. Most likely, you’re going to have to have multiple meetings with the seller. Take your time talking with them, don’t talk too fast or try to rush the meeting. Don’t try to “seal the deal” on the first meeting and don’t go in pressed for time. It’s better to reschedule than to rush.
4. Start with small talk. Compliment the sellers, talk to them about their jobs, hobbies, pets, etc. Build rapport before you even begin to talk to about the deal.
5. Don’t be intimidated. If someone is aggressive or you feel intimidated, compare them to someone in your family. Then start talking to them the same way you’d talk to your family member.
6. Make your meetings fun. Smile, make jokes, and just enjoy the conversation.
When I started in real estate investing, I was filled with the fear of what could go wrong. As I started doing more and more deals, however, I began to see what could go RIGHT and how it could change my life and my family’s life forever.
Make sure to visit me at my website, LarryHarbolt.com, for all your real estate investing education needs, and be sure to register to get more tips and tricks.
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