Are you just warming up in your investing career?
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.
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
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.