“No, you are in the people business.”
Time and time again I have tried to express to people, “This business is not so much about real estate, as it is about dealing with people.” Real estate doesn’t care who owns it or how much money you make from it. The one thing standing between you, and making an absolute fortune in this business – is people. They are the ones who will agree to make deals, sell you a property in a certain way, and approve or disapprove of funding.
Oh great! Now do we sit around and gripe and complain about how unfair people are and how they are standing in the way of our pursuit of our dreams, or do we learn how to better work with these people and lower the resistance we encounter? I prefer to opt for the latter.
Those of you who know me, know that I have a passion for studying success, more specifically, why some succeed while others fall short of their goals (or don’t begin at all). One of the most important things I have learned, is that much of success in real estate investing – or any other entrepreneurial venture – has to do largely with one’s ability to be able to get along with and handle people. The better you become at being able to get along with people, make them feel comfortable with you, and listen to them and be able to provide solutions to their problem. The better you will be at getting closer to making money in this business.
When I started in this business at the ripe old age of 26 back in 1990, I didn’t know the first thing about business, sales, or even talking with people (was actually pretty shy about speaking to people in general). But I realized that if I didn’t learn some things, I wouldn’t go too far. So I started learning the basics of sales and business. I also started reading some things on motivation and personal development. I was actually resistant to it at first. Like most people I thought, “Yeah, yeah, all that personal development stuff is fine, just teach me how to make money and I’ll learn all that later when I’m rich.” But I soon found out just how wrong that type of thinking was. Whether you learn it on purpose, by accident, or already possess it … to succeed as an entrepreneur you need to know at least the basics of sales, self-motivation, goal-setting, and communication skills. Some of the diehards like to argue that they never learned any of these things and that they are not necessary to success. But upon examination, those very people do indeed possess some of these skills, they just aren’t consciously aware of it.
So, if you are not good with people and don’t know business or sales, and are scared to death to talk to people ….. are you S.O.L. at succeeding in this business? NO! Of course not. People skills, sales, and basic business are all teachable skills. Success IS NOT simply a matter of “you either have it, or you don’t.” You can learn it. Everyone is at different stages, and some need to learn more than others to bring them up to speed.
Keep in mind, that these things are in addition to your real estate knowledge. You must know and understand your particular area of real estate you are focusing on. These “other” skills you acquire will enhance what you do as an investor. Anyone can learn “about” real estate investing, the mechanics. But to excel, one must learn how to use the information. How to put it into “action”, and present it.
If you find yourself being like most people, and are nervous about talking or presenting to people, one of the best skills you can acquire is your speaking and presentation skills. Join a local ToastMasters Club, they are a national network of local clubs to learn speaking and presentation skills.
Overcome your fear of talking to people – afterall, this IS a people business.