Personal Development

5 Times Your Actions as a Real Estate Investor Might Make Your Clients Cry

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
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Real estate investors help shape local housing markets, contribute significantly to home sale numbers, change lives (ideally for the better), improve neighborhoods, and much more. However, for every positive attribute a real estate investor may bring to a deal, an equally negative experience may be experienced. In the short list below, we examine five ways real estate investors could make clients weep with joy, fear, or potentially anger.

5 Times Your Actions as a Real Estate Investor Might Make Your Clients Cry

1. When you help someone out of a dire situation.

If you have been investing for any length of time, you understand that sellers may find themselves in situations where they need to quickly sell an unwanted piece of property. This property may be facing foreclosure, behind on taxes, experiencing ownership issues, falling down due to disrepair, or a variety of other reasons that would cause the seller to need to sell quickly. When a seller is dealing with a real estate investor, they are oftentimes sacrificing a full price purchase offer for the sake of a fast, complete, and easy sale. Many real estate investors purchase ugly, problem-ridden, and unwanted homes directly from sellers who may otherwise have little to no other alternatives to sell their homes. As a real estate investor, you may be directly or indirectly saving this seller’s credit rating and/or giving them the ability to financially move forward with their lives.

In short: A quality and caring real estate investor may offer a seller exit strategies and options he/she has never considered before. From firsthand experience, we have seen sellers cry with joy and relief as they are able to finally unbury themselves from their financial struggle and move on with their lives.

2. When you help someone purchase a home.

For more than the past decade, I’ve had the unique privilege of providing affordable housing to homebuyers tired of renting. Many of these properties are sold with seller held financing and without the help of banks. Oftentimes these sellers may have little other options in order to purchase a home for their family any other way.

In short: By providing affordable homes to low-risk buyers, you may not only create a valuable business but also impact the lives of the families you work with. From personal experience, the tears usually start at closing when the buyers are signing paperwork to become homeowners for the very first time.

The first two bullet points have been fairly positive examples. Your buyers or sellers are crying because they are happy, relieved, and/or joyful. However there are of course a number of situations where your buyers or sellers may be crying in fear for what may happen to them or their home.

3. When the seller is simply overwhelmed by emotion.

Being overwhelmed is typically not a good thing. However, this is often when eager and motivated home sellers finally reach out for help from a local real estate investor. Very few people enjoy being overwhelmed. I know in my own life, there have certainly been times when I have broken down in tears simply because my emotions got the best of me; maybe I was exhausted from a long day and in general was not in a very good mood. This can be very similar to what your sellers are be going through when they find you.

In short: Whenever I’ve spoken to someone who is greatly overwhelmed, you can usually hear the vulnerability and emotions coming through in the very first phone call. These particular sellers may be spending more time talking about their problems and personal troubles and less time talking about their actual properties for sale. Keep in mind, these tears are not directed towards you, but rather the seller is simply able to talk about their situation and “vent” their problems and dilemma in hopes you are able to help.

4. When you’re forced to not renew (or evict) your tenant.

Occasionally, depending on your application and screening process, you may have to inform a tenant or resident that you will be not renewing their rental agreement, evicting him/her, or terminating their purchase contract due to something (or many things) the tenants or residents failed to do. Most home-buyers or renters understand that if they do not pay, then they cannot stay. However, this does not stop some residents or tenants from expressing their emotions (yelling or crying) when realizing they have gotten themselves into financial trouble and may have ruined a relationship with you, their bank, or their landlord.

In short: Your tenants may cry if/when you evict them. This is not to be confused with the last bullet point below.


5. When you commit fraud.

As real estate investors this is our very bad F-word. If you are committing fraud, then you are misrepresenting yourself, misrepresenting a property, outright lying, and/or manipulating a situation for your own benefit. While committing fraud, you are purposefully misleading clients you work with for personal gain.

Even now, while helping new buyers/sellers, this kind of fraudulent real estate activity is usually mentioned while I learn about my renter’s or buyer’s real estate history. These buyers and renters usually find me after being taken advantage of by other real estate investors in my local markets. The fraud I hear of ranges from seeming ignorance on the investor’s part to downright criminal theft.

In short: Fraud usually ends badly for one or all parties involved. Don’t do it. Your long-term business will thank you.

In conclusion, try to always do the right thing for people you help. By taking a massive approach in your local market, you will be able to talk to many sellers and buyers in a relatively short period of time. You will talk to folks that are very experienced and others that are entirely too trusting. Always aim to treat others as you would treat a family member you are fond of. If you plan to have a career real estate investing for the foreseeable future, protect your reputation like gold.

Have you ever made a client cry (even if that’s unintentionally)?

Let us know your stories!

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

    Curtis Bidwell Rental Property Investor from Olympia, WA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    I actually got tears and a hug in the court room! My tenant had defaulted and his parents had cosigned. We took them to court to collect. After the preliminaries had been cared for and it was determined the case would move forward I approached the cosigner and explained that we didn’t have to go back to court but could settle right there. We wrote down an agreement on a note pad and took it back into the courtroom. The judge looked at us asking if we had a question. I said, “no sir, we have an agreement.” We approached the bench, he asked a few questions and then signed off on it. As we turned to leave the cosigner turned and gave me a bear hug and thanked me for getting it all worked out! We then went to his car where he wrote me a check for his first payment. Treating people professionally with dignity and respect even in difficult situations can often be the difference in an otherwise adversarial world!
    Dede Christensen Property Manager from San Mateo, California
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Great story!