Creating Your REI Story: How to Be “The One” the Motivated Seller Chooses

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We are real estate investors. As a group, there is not much to differentiate us.

• We buy houses

• We sell houses

• We rehab houses

• We have rentals

Everyone is competing for the same thing; attention. We are trying to stand out in a crowded field; trying to rise above the clutter. But what is it we really want? We want to be “the one” that the motivated seller chooses.

The real question is, “How do we stand out or get to be “the one” in this sea of sameness?

The short answer is that you need to master your domain; become the true expert in your field.

It’s no longer enough to be good or even great. You need to be the expert. There is one more piece to this however, and that is you need to be “seen.” People have to know about you.

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You Must Have a Compelling Story

You have to find a way to craft a message that is so compelling your target audience can’t help but notice. In our business, motivated sellers are most often our target market. If you are a rehabber your target market would also include your end buyers. So the first step is to let everyone know who you are, and why you are the person they should do business with. You will notice I didn’t say to sell them on your business. This is all about getting to know you.

Social media heavyweight Gary Vaynerchuk says, “If you’re not putting out stories, you basically don’t exist. You must produce content that engages your base”.

Does that have to be written content? I don’t think it necessarily has to be just written content.

A lot of real estate investors shy away from the subject of writing articles. I personally think having at least some written content about your story is important. People want to get to know you.

Another great way to do this is to shoot a short video and tell your story. Think about that camera you are staring into as being a trusted friend or relative that you are simply relating a story to. Just speak as if you were telling a story; your story.

Related: 1 Trick for Being a LOUD and Proud Real Estate Investor

Getting Started

You can put this engaging content on your website for motivated sellers or your blog if you have one. It just needs to be somewhere your target audience can find it. Start out small and just add more content over time. Video is great for getting your site ranked higher in the search engines. Once again, you just need a simple video a few minutes long. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate production.

What Solution Can You Provide for their Problem?

Once you have created a story that is so compelling that they can’t help but notice, now it’s time to move into how you can help them. Once you have nailed the whole, “Know-like-trust” part, then it’s time to move into how you and your particular business can help them.

Remember it’s all about them.

If you can solve their problem quickly and easily removing their “pain from their life,” you will be the clear winner.

Here Is a Story for You

Most of you are familiar with Keurig Coffee Makers. Keurig’s marketing slogan is, “Brewing excellence, one cup at a time.” One thing everyone knows about Keurig’s K cups is that a cup of coffee costs just about 50c a cup. By some estimates this is almost 10x the amount a traditional cup of coffee costs.

So why is it that the customers including me, will pay more for a simple cup of coffee?

In addition to the fact that it tastes great which is never optional, you are paying for speed and convenience. Keurig has crafted a story for its target audience that so compelling people everywhere are willing to pay more. This group of “raving fans” aren’t choosing the lower priced coffee; they are paying the price for what they perceive meets their needs better.

This is what you want to achieve in your market. You want to be the one chosen regardless of whether or not you are the real estate investor paying the most for the property. I wrote about building your expert status in a previous post.

3 Steps for Expanding “Your Story”

  1. Get along with other people. Your competitor’s success does not alter or compromise your success. Be interested in your competitors and congratulate them on their wins. Your ability to be part of the bigger picture is part of your story. Once you have done that, forget about then competition. Instead, focus on your story and how you can help someone today.
  2. “Excuses Begone” as the title of Wayne Dyer’s book says. Stop procrastinating. Get up each day and take on the challenge to be a better you today than you were yesterday. This takes work, but it will pay big dividends as it helps solidify your story.
  3. When the going gets tough, don’t even think about throwing in the towel. Focus only on the big picture and your desired outcome. Let your passion and your commitment carry you along. Be the winner in your own personal story.

So there you have it. What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to build your story?

Photo Credit: Anthony

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.


  1. Nice tips, Sharon!

    It’s so true — business is about telling stories. And, yes the story can come from anywhere whether it be on the internet, in a newsletter, from a friend, etc. The important thing is to have a story so you do get noticed.

    Once noticed, you’re completely right — we all want attention. And, that means even the seller. It’s a big turn off for sellers when folks don’t answer their phones or return their calls.

    I’ve found it can go both ways for investors experienced or new. At times, I’ve been tied up with other deals to return calls from sellers. And, this has resulted in lost deals. Though, this is one of the ways I’ve also put deals together when others are too busy themselves!

    Nowadays, I’m a bit more choosy with the projects I take on. I’m willing to do more quality deals versus quantity ones which equals larger profit margins and less deals. So, if I miss a deal or two it’s not such a big deal — I know another one will pop up as long as I continue looking.

    Back to the stories, sellers want to be able to tell their own stories. Believe me, they don’t want to hear a complete sales pitch. It’s funny because so many times sellers tell me the sales pitches they get from others — I can definitely relate as I’ve been there before. Then I go into my own story of the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through with investors who have done the same thing to me making promises they can’t keep. And, that is where our story exchange begins!

    I know this may sound “hokey,” but I think those who do succeed have a sincere interest in the seller’s own story and situation. They truly are interested in hearing what they have to say and want to see if they are a right “fit” to work together. Having a sense of integrity is truly an honorable virtue and one that has been lost in the way many people conduct business today.

    Great topic for discussion, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Rachel –

    I think you are right. Our stories make us real people. Will we resonate with everyone? Probably not, but that’s OK. I really believe we should try to just be ourselves. In the end, we will work with the people we are meant to be with.

    I think we all get a lot pickier over time, and that’s a good thing isn’t it — getting to that point?
    Thanks for stopping by. I am going to send you a message.


  3. I have bought foreclosures, and made a separate deal for all of the personal property, like appliances. Or give them money to be in a junior lien holder position. Nothing motivates a seller more than cash!

    • Eric –

      I think in every case you have to figure out what the seller wants and needs. They always want the cash, but there is almost always something else they want or need. A lot of investors have good luck with personal belongings. I never found much of anything worth selling.


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