Thursday, September 23, 2010

Investing 101: Negotiating and Making Offers

Many times I have been asked by folks the following question, "How do I negotiate and make offers?" And, many go on to tell me they just cannot find cheap mobile homes for $3,000. So, what's the problem?

(Note: For those interested, I touched upon the concept of finding cheap homes in this post).

Well, the problem is simple. In fact, it's so simple that many investors fail to miss the mark on this one simple concept - they simply fail to realize the importance of learning how to create strong relationships.

Many people are taught to go out and market - use all the techniques out there in order to get the phone ringing and generate leads. From bandit signs, direct mail, internet marketing, cold calling - you name it; these are all techniques taught to market and generate leads.

But, here's the problem. Once they get the leads and the phone to start ringing, many fail to do one very important thing. Above all else, they fail to see the importance of learning and creating strong relationships. And, instead focus on the prize - the home itself.

By focusing solely on the prize, these folks end up in a battle against the seller. In essence, it becomes a price war. And, some may win but in most cases they lose. To sum it up, it becomes a win/lose situation.

Say a seller has been talking to one of these investors trained in the quest to buy a cheap home - who focuses solely on the home and the price. After meeting with the seller, nothing has come of it - the price becomes the main issue. The seller feels they cannot trust this investor who seems to care only about the home and getting the best price for themselves. Nothing happens. There is a standstill. Both depart their separate ways.

Then, the seller talks to someone different - someone who is not interested solely in the price or the home, someone who is interested in creating a relationship and trying to create a win/win situation for all.

In addition, this person already has a very good relationship with the park manager not to mention several homeowners already in the park. In fact, it is the park manager who actually referred the seller to this new person - it is the park manager who advised the seller to work with this person to come up with a solution to help sell their home.

Who do you think the seller is going to trust more - a complete stranger or someone referred by the park manager (who they have known for years) or other fellow homeowners? I'll let you decide.

My point is that most fail to realize the importance of learning how to create strong relationships. Folks, it's not just about the deal - it's not just about buying cheap mobile homes.

It's about people and helping people come up with a solution to their problems. And, the only way for sellers to want to work with someone is knowing they can trust that person. But, the only way they can know this is if that person does one thing. And, what is that? CARE.

By having a strong network who is there to tell others how much you care and can help folks out, you will have an even stronger position above anyone else. The name of the game is learning and valuing the importance of creating strong relationships. Without creating strong relationships, it's going to be very hard to be successful in this business.

Believe me, I know. In this earlier post, I talked about a story where I was taught the importance of building strong relationships and why I continue to do it.

As a former business to business sales executive for a Fortune 500 corporation, I learned from the best at a very early age. Many of my peers were decades beyond me. Though, I was there for one reason alone - I knew how to get in the door and build relationships. In learning and valuing the importance of building relationships, this led to more business.

We all know that business is built on relationships. And, relationships need a solid foundation in order to survive - that foundation is trust.

In writing this "Investing 101" post, I urge folks to revaluate what you are doing and figure out the strength of the relationships you are creating. Are you doing things solely for the purpose of self-interest? Or, do your actions truly help others? How strong are the relationships you have created? Do you have a lot of mediocre type relationships or do you have fewer stronger type relationships?

In the end, a successful business is really a long term commitment. By valuing and learning the importance of creating relationships, you will put yourself ahead of the rest. Yes, this does take time. But, in the end - it's definitely worth it. Those who put in the time and the effort, succeed. Those who don't, fail.

I'm going to leave you here with a quote by Michael Scott from one of my favorite television shows, "The Office," that inspired this post.

"Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections."

(Note: For those interested, this quote was from Season 4, Episode 2).

Happy Investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Jamie said...


GREAT POST! I truly believe in building STRONG relationships and even though I know that I am not good at it. Would you care to elaborate just a little bit how you go about it?

Thank you,

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Regarding building relationships, my main goal when I talk to people is to figure out if I really want to create a relationship with that person. Whether they be a park manager, seller, buyer, etc - all that matters is that we can get along. If we cannot, it's going to be really hard to create and sustain any type of relationship.

For example, there have been others who have told me some park managers they have approached have seemed a bit difficult to work with. In these types of cases, my best advice would be to find another park to work with - there are so many parks out there. The same thing goes for working with sellers, buyers, and contractors - there are so many other options out there.

It's really all a matter of getting to know the other person and them getting to know me. I don't even think about the sale (i.e. the home, leads, etc). Even if it takes a few or a lot of meetings, the relationship will grow and get stronger over time. The payoff will come but it only comes after the relationship has been created. Hope that helps, thanks for stopping by!

Jamie said...

Hi mobile home gurl,

Thank you so much for responding. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me. By reading your response I am starting to see what it means to build a relationship. It is all about just getting to know a person and them getting to know you. If you are amiable there is a working relationship.

Thank you again


Mobile Home Gurl said...

Sure thing, glad to help!