In real estate investment, there’s a lot of talk about business. This is a business. That is a business. Be professional. All of that is absolutely true, of course — but the idea of “business” comes with some dangers.
There is a certain level of objectivity that business demands, of course. We have to be honest with ourselves and be careful of letting opinions and feelings muck things up. But these days, businesses are changing.
We don’t live in a decade where the rat race is applauded, where ‘look out for number one’ is the mantra, or where we chase profits no matter who we step on along the way. Our business strategies are changing.
Kent Sr., as many of you know has started many companies and been involved in several industries as an entrepreneur and business owner. What has helped to make Memphis Invest so successful is not simply his experience and ability to use that experience to teach the rest of the team, but the particular lessons he learned in those businesses. The biggest lesson that has been passed down to Brett and I and then to all of our team is that you can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people achieve what they want.
In business, this is the principal of putting others first. Clients, vendors, team members and in our case tenants as well. Does it always work out that perfectly - no. But the mindset and the effort are always about putting others first. Put their needs first. Put their desires and dreams first. When those ideas align with actions, then success in business becomes easy.
"It’s nothing personal; it’s just business."
Business should get personal sometimes, especially when we’re dealing with other people. Let’s move past transactional — thinking of business connections, deals and issues a series of single exchanges, moving things along an assembly line and never looking back.
Inman suggests that the transactional mindset is the number one threat to the real estate industry.
Let’s talk about the alternative business strategy: a relational approach.
Building Relationships that Last
Think of People, Not Profits
When you talk to prospective buyers, tenants or partners, how do you think of them? Are you just looking to further your goals, or do you care about what they’re looking for, too? When you’re not just in a transaction for yourself and instead value something mutually beneficial, it will shine through. Consider what other people want and need out of the transaction — that kind of consideration leads to good things.
Value Customer Satisfaction
As real estate investors, we especially can’t cut and run with our tenants. That relationship needs to be ongoing, even if they interact primarily with the property manager. Ensuring that your tenants feel safe, heard and satisfied not only fosters positive feelings (that just so happen to help mitigate risk), but it often increases the chance that they will recommend you or your company to others, giving you free advocates for your business. Nothing speaks more clearly and more highly of you than satisfied customers.
Practice Being Gracious
If you’re not a patient person, now’s the time to practice. Learn to cope with mistakes. Learn to be flexible and even agreeable. Grace is important in any relationship, even in business. When you take the time to build good relationships that are based in grace and mutual respect, you will make lasting connections, build a good reputation, and create advocates. There’s nothing to lose in taking a relational approach to your real estate business.
What value do you see in a relational approach to your business strategies? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.