Don’t be a Real Estate Investment Flake

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Flake n. An unreliable person; someone who agrees to do something, but never follows through.

–       The Urban Dictionary

Sean’s ad on Craigslist was very simple.  He promised to clean all of my home’s windows, screens, tracks and ledges.  Part of the service also included the mirrors and ceiling fans.  Of course, his ad proudly proclaimed, in all capital letters, WE DON’T HAVE ONE UNHAPPY CUSTOMER.

So I called Sean and asked what he’d charge for my house.  He said he’d call me back in 2-3 hours with a quote.  And believe it or not, he did. The quote, being a reasonable $250, prompted me to book an appointment to have the work done.

Now what happened next may amaze you.

Sean called the day before to confirm our appointment.  On the day of the appointment he called to let me know him and his crew were on the way.  Then Sean did something truly remarkable.  He showed up on time.

Wow.  How sad is it that I’m more surprised when someone does exactly what he or she says then when they don’t?

The real estate investment industry is full of flakes.  Don’t be one of them.

If you schedule an appointment then show up on time.  Better yet, be there 10 minutes early.  Confirm the appointment the day before and call again when you’re on your way.  This is called professional courtesy.  Do the same with phone appointments (except don’t call 10 minutes early).  Before you start the conversation be sure to ask if it’s still a good time to talk.  Be brief, be bright and be gone.

Showing up late, or not at all, tells the person you’re meeting with that your time is more valuable than theirs.

We all have our flakey moments.  I’m certainly not perfect.  But for the most part I make it a practice to return all calls and emails within 24 hours.  If your clients/partners/investors can’t count on you to do what you say and respond promptly you may find that being a flake equals failure.

As Sean was leaving my house I thanked him for a job well done.  I also told him that no doubt 90% of his success came from not being a flake.  He agreed.  Must be why his slogan is WE DON’T HAVE ONE UNHAPPY CUSTOMER.

About Author

Marty (G+) is the Chief Financial Officer for Rising Sun Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment firm based in Gilbert, AZ. His firm purchases homes at the courthouse steps and public REO auctions. They have two exit strategies, either fix and flip or seller financing.


  1. Showing up on time is just common sense – it’s quite literally the least you can do if you want your business to be successful. I actually like it when someone flakes out on me when I first meet them, as it gives me a clear sign not to do business with this person.

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