4 Reasons to Never Dismiss the People You Come Across in Your Real Estate Business

4 Reasons to Never Dismiss the People You Come Across in Your Real Estate Business

2 min read
Sterling White

Sterling White is a multifamily investor, specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded, Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units.

Sterling is a seasoned real estate investor, philanthropist, speaker, host, mentor, and former world record attemptee, who was born and raised in Indianapolis. He is the author of the renowned book From Zero to 400 Units and the host of a phenomenal podcast, which hit the No. 1 spot on The Real Estate Experience Podcast‘s list of best shows in the investing category.

Living and breathing real estate since 2009, Sterling currently owns multiple businesses related to real estate, including Sterling White Enterprises, Sonder Investment Group, and other investment partnerships. Throughout the span of a decade, he has contributed to helping others become successful in the real estate industry. In addition, he has been directly involved with both buying and selling over 100 single family homes.

Sterling’s primary specialities include sales, marketing, crowdfunding, buy and hold investing, investment properties, and many more.

He was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast episode #308 and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to mindset and scaling a business online. He has been featured on multiple other podcasts, too.

When he isn’t immersed in the real world, Sterling likes reading motivational books, including Maverick Mindset by Doug Hall, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, and Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone.

As a thrill-seeker with an evident fear of heights, he somehow managed to jump off of a 65-foot cliff into deep water without flinching. (Okay, maybe a little bit…) Sterling is also an avid kale-eating traveller, but nothing is more important to him than family. His unusual habit is bird-watching, which he discovered he truly enjoyed during an Ornithology class from his college days.

Sterling attended the University of Indianapolis.

Instagram @sterlingwhiteofficial

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As real estate investors, it’s vitally important that we don’t dismiss other people.

This is a bad habit that can slowly work its way in, especially as real estate investors move up the ladder and experience more success themselves. Still, this habit can sabotage your career.

4 Reasons to Never Dismiss the People You Come Across in Your Real Estate Business

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

You really can’t judge others by appearances. You don’t know if that guy coming into your office in shorts and flip flops is actually the head of a big hedge fund or not. You can’t dismiss people looking at your lower end rentals. Who knows? They may be able to afford 10 times the house’s price, and they may have better credit than you. They may just be more frugal with their housing expenses.


Related: How to Take the “Work” Out of Networking (Even if You’re Nervous & Inexperienced)

2. You never know where someone’s going.

You never know where someone might be tomorrow. They may be facing hard times today and may simply be in need of a chance. Or they may not qualify for your rental today. That same prospect next month or even next year may win the lottery or inherit a large sum of money. They aren’t going to choose you if you’ve talked down to them. The same applies to dealing with wholesalers. Even though it can be difficult to find wholesalers with good deals, it is still good to keep them on your radar. I’ve run into scenarios where the wholesaler actually found a good deal and went with another buyer because I shrugged them off originally and they had built a stronger relationship with someone else. I learned that lesson from experience.

3. Bad experiences spread fast.

The other party may be completely wrong. They may not come across in the tone of voice you are used to dealing with. Acting the same way in return is not ideal in these scenarios. We all know someone is most likely to gossip about a bad experience versus a good one. Dismissing someone you thought was an unqualified buyer can lead to significant backlash. Today, all it takes is one rash second, and they can post negative reviews about you all over the web and around town. That will be up there online forever.

You never know if that person knows someone who is in a position of significant power either. Their relative could be the head of a local apartments association, and now you have a bad rap in the community. They could have a sister or brother who works in the building department or who is a real estate department inspector. Or that person you turned away could tell one friend, who then tells three other friends and an even worse story hits the news.


Related: Property Investors: These 5 People Should Be Your New Best Friends

4. Sometimes it’s not legal.

The biggest thing is treating everyone the same because of Fair Housing laws. You can’t discriminate on anything. There are inspectors constantly on the hunt for discrimination, and sometimes they will try to set you up and see if you fail.

It’s the Right Thing to Do

It’s important to remain level headed, no matter how much money we make or how many properties we own. If we treat others the way we want to be treated, we’ll not only help the industry improve its reputation, but preserve our businesses, investments, and individual reputations. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do!

Have you ever had unexpected relationships pay off in your real estate business?

Let me know your experiences with a comment!

As investors, it’s vitally important that we don’t dismiss other people. This is a bad habit that can slowly work its way in—and can sabotage your career.