Real Estate Investing Basics

5 Ways to Build Your Credibility – Even Before Doing Your First Real Estate Deal

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP
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How to Build Credibility

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Do you have trouble getting others to take your seriously?

If these are concerns for you, you aren’t alone. As we say over and over on the BiggerPockets Podcast – real estate investing is all about networking – but what if you have nothing to bring to the table? How can you network without credibility?

It’s kind of like the “chicken and the egg” question… how can you build your credibility before doing a deal, but you can’t do a deal until you build your credibility?

Fortunately, every single successful investor today been in the same place but found a way to overcome. The following are __ ways you can build your credibility even before you do a single deal.

1.) Admit (To Yourself and Others) What You Don’t Know

There is nothing more obnoxious than a newbie investor who claims to know everything.

You don’t.

In the famous words of Jeff Brown – you don’t know what you don’t know, so stop trying to build your credibility by making things up. It’s okay not to know everything, or anything. We all start that way.

People often ask what the best way to find a mentor is, and my answer is simple: start with humility. No one wants to help someone who’s a know-it-all.

So admit to yourself that you probably only know 1% of what you will know, and don’t try to puff yourself up as knowing any more than that.

Seasoned investors will see right through you.

2.) Niche Down in Your Education

As I’ve stated many times before, there are hundreds of ways to make money with real estate investing – but no one knows them all.

Instead of trying to learn everything, focus on a specific niche and get good at that one single niche. For example, if you want to start flipping, don’t worry so much about wholesaling, buy and hold, or commercial. Focus on wholesaling – but then niche-down even more. What are you going to specialize in? Wholesaling using direct mail? Driving for dollars?

To build your credibility as an investor doesn’t mean you need to know it all. It’s okay to start building your credibility as “THE guy” to talk to about a certain specific niche.  What’s your niche going to be?

3.) Guilty by Association

In The Four Hour Workweek, author Tim Ferriss makes a statement that “you are the average of the five people you associate with most.

So – who are you associating with?

A lot of credibility is built from those you hang out with. I’m not saying you need to completely abandon your World of Warcraft playing, pot smoking friends-  but expand your horizons!

The BiggerPockets Forums are an excellent place to hang out with those who are kicking butt and taking names in real estate. There are hundreds of seasoned investors engaging in conversation every day there… so join the conversation and start building your credibility through association.

4.) Become a Connector

In Malcom Gladwell’s famous book “The Tipping Point,” he remarks that there are certain types of people in this world known as “connectors” who bring different people together without any direct benefit to themselves.  This connector is an integral part of many transactions and, as such, can be a tremendous way to build credibility.

For example – if you bring a landlord a new tenant and save them the trouble of filling their vacancy – your credibility rises in the eyes of the landlord. Or, if you become friends with a house flipper and connect him with a private lender – your credibility rises in the eyes of both the flipper and the lender.

So how can you become a connector? Easy… see #3 above, and then repeat it every day, in every situation.

5.) Stop Worrying About Your Credibility

Seriously, credibility is overrated.Just go out and do it.

The more you focus on it, the fewer time you are spending analyzing deals, looking at property, and making money.

Follow the steps I outlined above and you’ll be fine. Stay humble, continue to educate yourself, surround yourself with others who are doing the kind of things you want to do, and help those seasoned investors with whatever they need. And stop worrying about it.

Credibility is built naturally, so don’t force it.

Do you have any other suggestions on building credibility? Share with us in the comments below! 

Photo: Johnson Cameraface

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    AL Rivard
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thank You, I am just starting. I took a 3 day seminar back in June on buying US real state. I live in Canada. I just wanted to know what to watch for and how to. Then I start finding out about, wholesaling, flipping, hard money lenders, prop.management, power teams, foreclosures , ect. Ouch! I had seen flipping on tv but it just never registered. Well now my head is overloaded and suffering from paralysis analysis. This article really hit home thanks.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Al, Thanks for the comment! Yeah it can get overwhelming, but just take it slow and start to focus on what makes sense for you and your position in life! Reply Report comment
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Al, Thanks for the comment! Yeah it can get overwhelming, but just take it slow and start to focus on what makes sense for you and your position in life!
    Brian Gibbons
    Replied about 6 years ago
    I’m going to call you “Uncle Brandon”, this was heart felt! Credibility, Smedibility! Here are some other rules of not worrying about credibility and face the fear + do it any way. 1. Associate with more experienced, mastermind,” Think and Grow Rich” like.mastermind. See the book.. Go to REIAs and trade business cards. Simple card “Bob Smith Smith Properties LLC.” “We Buy and Selll and Lease Properties, “We love to Solve Problem Properties!!!” Go to Toast Masters, learn how to give a speech, face the fear and do it anyway. Give speeches about what you do, Learn how to sell face to face with sellers. Learn how to buy sub2, CFD, Wraps and rent out the properties in the new Seller Financing Dodd Frank environment. And read every one of “Uncle Brandon”‘s articles! lol U rock, Brandon. 🙂
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hahaha thanks Brian! Appreciate the comment, and your additions are perfect!
    Ian Kuchman
    Replied about 6 years ago
    It took me a while, but realizing these “steps” was actually kind of a breakthrough for me. Not only for REI, but for any entrepreneurial venture. I found these definitions of “niche” on Google. Thought they would be useful food for thought: – “a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.” – “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hye Ian, thanks for the comment and yeah, I agree completely. I kinda wrote this with any entrepreneur in mind, cause it applies across the board! Thanks for commenting!
    Steve Johnson
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Helpful little article. Starting out is definitely intimidating. I’m at a point now where I can start to see those who are talking the talk but can’t walk the walk. Not that I can right now, but I realize how foolish I look if I were to talk big game without anything to back it up with. And Brian, I’m working my way through Think and Grow Rich. Its such a helpful book. Its slow going for me through it but every chapter I read gives me plenty of things to contemplate about myself. Most recently I read the chapter on leadership and realized I’m not the awesome leader I thought I was, yet.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Steve, thanks for reading and commenting. And I definitely need to re-read Think and Grow Rich – It’s been a few years!
    Paul
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Couldn’t agree more with this post! I’m trying to utilize all 5 of the points you outlined every day to take my business to the next level. Exactly what I needed to read!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Paul! Good luck!
    Nick
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great post Brandon! Two things stood out to me. 1. Your pot smoking friends comment made me laugh! And yes…maybe you should remove these guys especially if they are doing it illegally! 2. Developing your Niche. I think that has been one of my biggest problems so far. I absolutely LOVE BP however one thing I have found is that are soooo many guys killing it with so many different strategies that you get the shinny object syndrome very easily. I get on and see…Oh this guy flipped that house for a 50k profit! She wholesaled that with one phone call! He bought that buy and hold for no money down! So much great info but for me at least I really have to almost filter out everything outside of my niche because I know from experience that too many ideas flashing through your head is not necessarily a good thing. It seems to lead to inaction because you don’t know what to do first!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Nick, thanks for reading! Yah, agreed on the friends – though now I guess it’s legal here in Washington… but I still try to avoid those folks! And yeah, there are so many different ways to make money, even I get “shiny object syndrome” all the time – especially after recording a podcast! So I don’t think that ever leaves!
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Nice article Brandon. I firmly believe that you first have to find your niche. Identify what you are good at and what you love to do. Then all you have to do is concentrate on being the best in your niche and concentrate on helping others along the way. It you do these two things your credibility and expert status will grow automatically. If you have to “convince people” you are an expert, then you probably really aren’t one. Sharon
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hey Sharon, thanks for reading! And yeah, so many people pick the wrong niche because it sounds fun. So yeah, pick the niche right and things will be much better!
    Sharon Tzib
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article, Brandon – I gave up my pot smoking friends years ago lol! I really love the Connector point. I joined BNI years ago for a business I owned, and they really train you there how to embrace this concept. Now, whenever I hear someone say, “I need,” my ears perk up and I am immediately thinking about how I can help that person. I thrive on being a connector. It helps both of the people I connect to each other, it makes me an invaluable resource to others, and when I need help, they are more than willing to do so because they want to pay it forward. This is a very powerful concept that successful people use every day. Thanks for pointing it out!
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Ha I’d like to say I gave up those friends, but they still come knocking on my door when they need something! 🙂 And yeah, the connector thing is HUGE. I’m not much of one, but I value my friends who are a lot! Thanks Sharon!
    Roy N.
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Bandon, I’ve got those kind of “friends” as well … there’s a fine line between “friend” and parasite and you need to keep them in check 😉 Reply Report comment
    Roy N.
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Bandon, I’ve got those kind of “friends” as well … there’s a fine line between “friend” and parasite and you need to keep them in check 😉
    Brandon Turner
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Haha yes, a very fine line! Thanks for the comment, Roy!
    Melinda Allen
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Another excellent article, Brandon. I agree that humility is KEY. Without humility we are unteachable. I love to learn, and the more I learn the more I realize I don’t know squat! Finding a niche, become the go-to person…it’s funny, in my corporate life that is exactly what I was good at. Suddenly in the real estate world I find myself floundering. Thanks for the reminder…I need to focus! Happy investing! Melinda
    Dave Doyle
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Yet another kick ass article from “The Great North Country”,,,, Thank U Mistra “Brand Done” Always gleening knowledge,,,always trying to do it better,,,, My Best,, Dave Doyle Los Angeles
    Shaun
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great points Brandon. It is okay to admit you are new. While you shouldn’t be totally ignorant of basics there is nothing worse than someone acting like an expert when they clearly don’t know very much about a topic. Drivers me crazy on the forums when you have someone that says they are brand new and ask a question about a strategy and starts arguing about fundamental points with the 4 Mega experts with 150+ years of combined experience in the field.
    Willie Morales Investor from New York City, New York
    Replied over 4 years ago
    HI Brandon Great article, Since I don’t have a property or done a deal yet, I do let my ego get in the way, like you suggested I can be a connector for now, and hangout with Investors and learn from them. Thanks. Will
    Chloe Slone
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Great article and terrific motivational points. The Real Estate world really can be grueling but you have to stay above water. The best real estate agents keep pushing forward, and now, with technology the way it is–it’s easier to start in this career than it was 15 years ago.