Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice

One Easy Change of Perspective Could Vastly Improve Your Real Estate Business

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Business Management, Personal Finance
49 Articles Written

“Money can’t be sought directly. Money, like happiness is an effect, and the result of a cause. The cause is service.” — Earl Nightingale

We real estate investors are essentially in the sales business. We sell our house acquisition services. We sell our leasing services. We sell our houses. We sell our credibility to lenders.

But there is a big problem here, especially for new investors. The problem is our perception of sales. What do you think of when you read the word “salesperson?” Positive vibes? Someone you’d love to be someday?

Probably not.

More likely you will think of a slick used car salesman. I mean, who really wants to be known as pushy, sneaky, and cheezy?

Of course, salespeople aren’t all bad. I happen to think selling the right product in the right way is an extremely honorable profession. As a full-time investor I sell something almost daily. If I don’t, I won’t survive or thrive financially.

So how will you succeed at investing if you hate sales or think investing takes advantage of people?

The following is the answer that has worked for me:

I’m not in sales.  I’m in service.

When we serve someone, we feel good. Our brains literally produce the natural versions of morphine or heroin!

Service is not about getting. It’s not about me, me, me. Service is about giving. It’s about making sure the other person is taken care of.

Pause for a moment and just notice the good feeling you get thinking about serving someone instead of taking from someone. A business orientation focused on daily service could literally make your entire life happier!

Related: Why Your Real Estate Business Should Mean More to You Than A Way to Simply Make Money

The Fair Exchange of Real Estate Investors

“It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The basic idea of service in business is a fair exchange. You give the customer something of value. In return the customer gives you something of value.

So when you see yourself and your real estate business as a service business, you will see every interaction with sellers, lenders, tenants, and buyers as an opportunity to do a fair exchange.

Let’s think about the core value we real estate investors really bring to others. If you’re going to be in the service business, this value proposition with sellers, lenders, tenants and buyers needs to be on the tip of your tongue.


We offer a homeowner with a house problem (or a life problem) an easy way to liquidate or dispose of their house. In exchange, we receive a discount and/or favorable financing terms from the seller.


We give a lender three things they rarely get together in the investment and finance world:

1. Safety of principal

2. A fair return on investment

3. An easy, hassle-free investment

In exchange, our lenders (in my case, usually private lenders) give us access to progressively larger amounts of capital and affordable interest rates.


We provide safe, clean, well-kept housing in desirable locations for rent. In exchange, we get tenants who make regular, on-time payments of rent (ok, not always!), who take care of the home as if it were their own and who stay forever (wouldn’t that be lovely).

Related: The Keys to Branding Your Real Estate Business


We provide a beautiful, remodeled home in a desirable location. In exchange we get a quick sale at top price with little or no haggling.

What Business Are You In?

I believe if you start with a more positive idea of your core business identity, you will do much better as a real estate investor. So think hard about what business you are really in.

Also think about your own daily investment in a fair exchange. The blogs and forums at are filled with discussions about good acquisitions, raising capital, long-term rental income, and selling houses at retail for cash.

Like you, I love getting those results. But I propose we start focusing more on doing our part of the fair exchange with excellence. The positive results will come to us too, and in abundance.  But they will be a byproduct of our deliberate investments in service.

Do you view your business in real estate as service oriented?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

Chad Carson is an entrepreneur, writer, and teacher who used real estate investing to reach financial independence before the age of 37. He wrote an Amazon bestselling book
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    Dan Ryu
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Nice perspective. I remember when I was doing cold calls, another perception shift that helped me was to think less of ‘selling someone’ and more about ‘finding the right person.’ Then it’s less about my ability to persuade, and more about doing the work it takes to find the right person – which is much more controllable.
    Chad Carson
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Hey Dan, Nice point. I like that. You’re not persuading, just finding out if they are the right person. I know for me some of the most awful experiences in business have been trying to “sell” the wrong person who doesn’t want what you offer. All of marketing and sales is about attracting, filtering, and then offering your service to the ideal customer. Thanks for sharing.
    Frankie Woods
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Chad, great article as usual. I really like your Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. It speaks to the whole idea of karma. Finding solutions to people’s problems usually ends in a win-win situation for both the investor and the “seller”. You just have to put it into perspective. Awesome.
    Frankie Woods
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Chad, great article as usual. I really like your Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. It speaks to the whole idea of karma. Finding solutions to people’s problems usually ends in a win-win situation for both the investor and the “seller”. You just have to put it into perspective. Awesome.
    Chad Carson
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Thanks Frankie. I pull out a little Emerson any chance I get:) That quote also speaks to me about business being more than just making money. It’s making money AND making a difference. You get money in the bank and food feelings in your soul. Nice combo.
    Frankie Woods
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Absolutely! I’m actually currently looking at creating a syndication deal in a distressed neighborhood in DC to try and do just that! I really hope we can make it work!
    Engelo Rumora
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Hi Chad, Great blog and thanks for sharing. Here are a few quotes below that will compliment your blog topic. “Selling isn’t telling, its listening” “If your not OUT selling, your being OUT sold” hehe I totally agree that there is no better feeling than giving and being of service to others. The purpose of what we do should be bigger than just ourselves. This type of mindset will enable one to endure through all the Euforia and Depression that comes with our industry. Thanks and have a great day.
    Chad Carson
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great quotes Engelo. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, listening is such a lost art. Just listening with sincerity and asking good questions can sometimes do the whole negotiation for you. Amazing. And I agree that connecting with the core of your service helps you through the ups and downs. Those bad times are going to come, so when you’re not making money or not making everyone around you happy, what will drive you then??
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks Chad, When the bad times come its the faith of better times ahead that personally keep me going. Also, the thought of making everyone happy is a feeling to look forward to 🙂 Thanks
    Brandon Turner
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Great post Chad! It’s such an important shift in the way we think but matters so much. Thanks for the article – and I look forward to your posts here on the blog!
    Chad Carson
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Thanks Brandon!
    Replied over 6 years ago
    Hi Chad You Share a such a Great post with us about Improve Real Estate business. thanks for this.
    Replied about 6 years ago
    The above sounds a lot like a book I read when I was 12 yrs old – ‘ How to win friends and influence people ‘- by you know who..
    Don Alberts from Frankfort, Illinois
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Thanks again Chad. Have a nice day. Don
    Garret Jones from Nashville, TN
    Replied 9 months ago
    Chad, I've had the joy of reading some of your articles today during a slow work day. As a newbie who's been searching for a personal residence (which I'd like to use to kick off my journey as a life-long investor) I appreciate this encouragement to try and find ways to serve my agent, potential sellers, and everyone involved. Thanks for sharing!