Help Don’t Sell

Posted on January 12, 2016 by

Selling often has a negative connotation to it. I hear people say sell is a “4 letter word”. This is an unfortunate point of view as selling is an extremely important part of being a successful real estate investor/business owner. Selling in real estate has many more functions than just buying and selling the actual property. We sell ourselves to investors when we raise money for our deals. We sell when we convince a realtor to work with us and give us the hot deals or when we convince a seller to give us the contract instead of someone else. If you want to use any creative financing techniques, such as a master lease option or seller financing, you are definitely selling the owner or agent on that idea.

Don’t think that selling is just describing the value of something and hoping someone wants what you are describing. Selling is helping. The first step to understanding a successful sale is to find out what someone needs help with. If the person does not need something or doesn’t think they do, then you are not likely to sell them anything.  Here are a few steps to better selling.

1. Ask lots of questions. What does the person need or think they need?

You need to identify a perceived need and then fill it. Notice I said “perceived” need. If the person doesn’t think they need anything… then they don’t. You need to identify what they need. If you see that they have a problem but don’t know it, you need to gently bring the problem to their attention. An example might be a distressed property. They may think the value is much more that it is. You need to educate the seller on the real value while showing them that they have a need. The need here is to sell the property when a buyer may not be able to get a loan because of the distress they let the property fall into. This is where you might “sell” the idea of a master lease option or seller financing to get the property back in good shape where a bank will then give you a loan and you can complete the purchase. 

2. Be creative in your solutions

Once you know what someone wants or needs…the selling (helping) begins. Now you can see why I say that selling is about helping people. They have a need or problem and you are the solution. Now all you have to do is to convince them of that and you have a deal! Solutions can be as varied as the problems themselves. Once you know what someone needs it’s your job to create the solution to help them. Be creative in your thought process. Find ways that solve the need of the seller and also your needs. Try and find out why the seller wants to sell. It is not always about the money. Ever heard of a “burned out” landlord? This person is just tired of dealing with the tenants or has something else going on in their life. Creative financing could be the solution here. Now that you know what they want it’s your job to explain how your offer is the solution they need. Selling is helping!

3. Go for the close.

At some point in a sales procedure you have to actually ask for the sale or close. Most people mistakenly think if they keep talking or keep pitching the benefits of doing business with them the other person will just jump up and say “where do I sign?”  Not going to happen.  You must actually ask for the business. If you have just presented a master lease option or seller financing to a seller as the solution to their real estate problems, you will need to end the conversation by asking for the business. Here is how I would phrase it-

“So Mr. or Mrs. Seller, has my offer solved your issues and brought value to you today? Great, then when would you like to close, this week or next?”

Ask if you have created value in proposing your offer and if they say that you have… ask for the sale. I usually try to go ahead and set a date to close or at least get them to commit to the contract. Once they say yes, stop talking and present the paperwork.  Don’t over sell yourself or the offer, just get a signature.

Selling is helping. If you can keep in mind that your goal as a real estate business owner is to provide value to your sellers, investors, and partners then the sales process is not a bad thing at all. It’s a great way to close deals, raise private capital, to get creative financing and to GET PAID in general.

Good luck,

Bill Ham

Bill HamBill Ham has been investing in real estate for 8 years and has created a portfolio of nearly 400 apartment units in Macon, GA. He created his entire real estate investing portfolio using creative and seller financing.

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