Real Estate Investing Basics

THIS Is the Secret to Finding Deals in a Tech-Driven World

9 Articles Written

Investing in real estate today can be tough. You’ll likely have pretty stiff competition everywhere you turn, and it always seems like someone, somehow, is finding all the best deals.

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Are they looking harder than you? Probably not. Are they staying up all night refreshing the browser on the MLS? Probably not.

Their secret is simple: they’re building relationships. Relationships with brokers, agents, property managers, and anyone else involved in real estate can be such powerful tools if you can learn to leverage them in the right way. To do so, you just need to learn how to set yourself apart from the others.

First Impressions Last

The first impression you make when meeting another person, whether it be in a personal or professional capacity, will undoubtedly stick. You need to make sure your appearance and tone reflect how serious you are about buying and selling real estate.

I’ll be the first to tell you, I hate wearing dressy clothes. I would much rather bum around all day in a tee shirt and shorts with flip flops, like I’m heading to the beach. But what impression does that make? I’m not saying that it makes me unprofessional, but it doesn't shout "real estate professional" when I'm meeting a new agent or broker for the first time.

Set the tone for your relationships with your outward appearance when meeting other professionals. Once you develop a lasting connection and they know you are serious about real estate, then you can bum around in your comfy clothes.

Related: You’re Just One Relationship Away from “10X-ing” Your Goals

two people sitting in a cafe at a table drinking coffee smiling

Meeting Face to Face

This topic is probably one of the hardest for people to fully grasp, considering all of the available technology today. Everyone wants to click a button or send an email saying, “Hello, my name is so and so. Please add me to your list of top buyers.”

This is great, and it can get you on some good drip email lists from agents. But if you want to really make a lasting impression on an agent or broker, make the drive and sit down with them. Buy them lunch or coffee and just talk about what you do and what your goals are. Ask them about their past experiences and show appreciation for them taking the time to talk with you.

After you do that, who do you think that agent is going to call when they get a lead on a hot property? The guy who sent the email or the guy who just bought them lunch?

I’ll tell you about 80 percent of the agents who I contact about properties stop sending me leads after a few months if I have never met them in person. But the ones I took the time to develop relationships with have continued to send me leads even after we have moved from that market.

Related: How to Build a Highly Effective Real Estate Team

The Bottom Line

There is no big secret to setting yourself apart from others. I had a sergeant major once tell me, “People, water, and electricity are all the same, because they will always choose the path of least resistance.”

He was right. People are inherently lazy—it’s just who we are. If you want to set yourself apart, you need to do what others are not doing. You need to get out of the head-down technological mindset and get back to the basics of simple relationship-building.

Do you have tips for building relationships in real estate?

Tell me about it in a comment below!


Ryan Sajdera is currently serving as active duty aviation officer for the United States Army. He is a combat veteran of Operation Resolute Support, having served in multiple regions of Afghanistan, and also holds a bachelors degree in Health and Human Sciences. He is the President and Founder of R&S Property Group, LLC, and currently owns six multifamily units and a mobile home park with another park under contract. Ryan began investing in early 2016 with little to no money by utilizing the VA loan, and has since worked alongside his wife, Sarah to continuously grow and build their business with goals of achieving complete financial freedom through real estate.

    Scotty Ball Investor from Gainesville, Georgia
    Replied 5 months ago
    Spot on Ryan! There is nothing that can beat the personal touch and face to face like you describe. Additionally, THANK YOU for your service to our country!
    Lassy Gnini Rental Property Investor
    Replied 5 months ago
    @Scotty Ball We live in a world where the technological development offers us immense opportunities of communications but at the same time we are moving away from each other. Everyone is doing the same thing. We choose the easy way which is to send an email or sms to someone rather personal interaction. In a world where no one has time for one’s neighbor There is nothing that can replace human relationships. Great article
    Lee Ann Stricker
    Replied 5 months ago
    It was a pleasure meeting you at the monthly RE meet-up in Enterprise, AL. I enjoyed reading your article about the face to face meeting an I agree it does make a lasting impression. I recognized your face which made me read your interesting article. Hope to see you next time and catch up face to face.
    CJ Watkins from Batavia, IL
    Replied 5 months ago
    Really love this beautifully simple but effective advice. Its pretty easy today to get caught up in the ease of technology assistance without assessing if it’s the path of most value rather than convenience. I am trying to build by investment “team” around my break into the investing game and in-person struck me as the better way to do this. I have recruited everyone in person so far. Thanks for the tips to make this process even smoother.
    Jeffrey Bower
    Replied 4 months ago
    This is great advice that many people, such as new investors like me, should follow!
    Oliver T. from Hampton, Ga
    Replied 4 months ago
    This is just good news and as a new investor it is encouraging too.Thanks a lot for your advice.
    Michael Nugent Real Estate Agent from Riverside, Ca
    Replied 3 months ago
    This is the way business deals are done through meet ups and getting to know you's. Well written Ryan, and thanks for the reminder that we are all humans after all and their is nothing more appealing than personal interaction. Best wishes!!
    C Eaddy
    Replied 3 months ago
    I am new to Bigger Pockets. this was my first ready. And you are correct. I am closing on my first property in Sept. and the realtor and i hit it off which made things easier during the process of securing the deal. good 'ol fashion relationship. (Great Article!) Thank you for your service oorah! be safe...
    Mario I Fernandez from Miami Beach, FL
    Replied 2 months ago
    That's right @Ryan there is not better technology than human relationship and deep connections.
    Alfred Johnson from Rocky Mount, NC
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Well Ryan, I guess I'm not alone out here as a newbie investor. It has been frustrating just trying to get to meetups with my 12-hour working schedule. Still, I attend webinars hosted and presented by Brandon Turner and like you he has impressed me with the tried and true methods of tenacity and going person-to-person on this journey toward my personal financial freedom. I have since reading this accepted a digital meet and greet with a REI professional. I am eager to grow my network and net worth by befriending like minded individuals. Thank you for the great article and may you continue to have success in your endeavors.
    Bilson Almonte from NYC
    Replied 25 days ago
    Not long ago, in a youtube, I heard that one of the best ways to create a connection with a person is to find a way in which you can be in service to them. I believe this to be pretty solid advice and I have had some success implementing it. My recommendation: Next time you meet someone, find out what they are working on and try to contribute.
    Randy Connolly Real Estate Agent from Weymouth, MA
    Replied 4 days ago
    Good stuff.