Disclosing I'm a Physician?

25 Replies

Hello,

I am fairly new to real estate and am just starting out. I have been following bigger pockets for a long time but this is my first post. I'm excited to jump in the action.

My situation is that I own a duplex that I currently owner occupy and have much success with that over the last year. I am now moving into wholesaling and am working on getting together my marketing material. I'm wondering how I should do my signature on emails. I am a physician so on all of my other communications I sign my name with an "MD" at the end. But in the real estate setting should I disclose that I am a doctor or not? Potential pros: people may give me credibility given how respectable the profession is and may also think I have a lot of money (which I don't yet because I am just finishing up my training. lol) and will trust me to come through on deals. Potential cons: Since people may assume I have a lot of money, they may charge me higher prices.  Can you all think of other pros or cons. I'm so used to putting my full signature, but I'm willing to not disclose that personal info if it will negatively effect me. I'm interested in others input. Thanks guys.  :)

LOL - put HSG after you name...High School Graduate.  :)

but in all seriousness I'd add MD.  those extra 10 years of school have to be good for something, right?  :)

Patrick Britton, Real Estate Agent in WA (#120557)
360-927-0959

I'm not sure I would ... it's not really relevant to the business of real estate.

1(506) 471-4126

I personally would not add it.  It adds zero practical value and frankly says to me you are a doctor NOT a professional in RE.  I see it as less info is more.  Always negotiate from a point of strength.

My 2 cents, half off today!

If you had a lot of other degrees you would leave it off since it isn't relevant.    I would be inclined to leave it off for wholesaling.  I can't judge if it would be any help. I would think probably  not. This is a personal choice though.  

My first choice would be for you to leverage your MD.  I'm pretty sure your hourly rate as an MD would be better than a wholesaler.

Second choice would be to go big!  Invent a back-story where you've been in the industry since 2007 and you've averaged 60 deals a year since then.  Your office staff is handling some crisis so you're doing this job.  It isn't really worth your time but it is you enjoy helping people out by matching-up sellers with your vast network of buyers.

There's a slim chance that #2 is unethical... maybe #1 is better after all.  :)

Only use in marketing to other MD's. Plus these people could use your help. I  had many MD's for clients and as a group they were terrible investors. Plus I'm sure you will get a lot of shots for free medical advice which if not given will cause resentment that will need to be overcome if you are trying to do a deal.

And as you said it may encourage people to keep their price up. I remember I once ended up with a Rolls Royce as part of my commission on a large 1031 exchange. I was driving it for a few days during my investing activities and suddenly prices started increasing. I only used it for Brokerage activities after that in the upscale areas. I did get license plates that said IMAFAKE which got a good reception, but not from the limo service that rented the car from me from time to time.

@Jasmine Z.  

  I know PHD's like to add it   as RE investors  ( think Marshall Reddick)... I think Most Doctors I know in the RE field do not use it or mention it or really even want to be addressed that way.. when talking to them   they are Jim or Jane   just like anyone else.

Perhaps test weaving the story in on your yellow letters. "On a side note, I am actually a medical doctor. It has been my life's mission to help people. I hope I get an opportunity to help you with your home soon too."

@Matt R.  

  or you could say I am a Guru graduate and my goal is to rip as much equity as possible from your home so I can post about it on BP on how much money I just made on one deal, and have all the BP followers think I am the bomb  !!!   :)

I like to sign my letters "not only the client, i'm the playa president".

My opinion, drop the MD in RE unless you're speaking to a lender, in that case always disclose it, your chance of obtaining loan approvals will be much greater. Never tell a contractor or service provider. Your accountant will already know.  Tell your defense attorney, but your RE attorney doesn't really need to know either.....  LOL :)

 I am an aircraft mechanic and in aviation we have an acronym that goes like this K.I.S.S. 

For these forums I'll keep it soft: Keep it Simple Silly.

This advice was given to us in A&P school but the instructor used stupid instead of silly. However rude this may have been it has proven to be great advice. I myself try to keep things as streamlined as possible. 

Good luck to you!

I'm actually surprised at how many answers are 'pro' the idea of doing so. @Jasmine Z.  on this one.

It can only hurt you if a tenant, contractor, or attorney knows. But for a lender, make sure that is the first thing they know ;)

I have to agree with @Raj Gandhi The very best ROI you will get is using your MD training. You obviously spent a lot of time and money becoming a doctor. You should really focus on that rather than things like wholesaling which is frankly a starting point for those with no formal qualifications and little cash (no offense to wholesalers). You have qualifications and high income potential. Make a lot of money as a doctor and then invest some of it in more passive forms of RE.

Jasmine -

Do two different tests, one with MD signed, and the other without.

Look at the reply rates, and if there are statistically significant differences (that means one clearly shows higher response rate than the other) use that stationary.

The reality is that we won't know for sure until you try it.  If they are about the same, I would sign MD, since it obviously is of meaning to you and is something you earned and are entitled to use, whether others like me agree or not.

For the record, I don't use any of my designations/titles just because I like to be your average Marco from down the street.

Thanks guys. I went with the advice of using MD for lenders and just being Jasmine to everyone else! Thanks!  :)

I think it depends on what you are doing. If you are wholesaling, I don't see the value. In fact, it makes me think..."Why are you wholesaling?" On the other hand, as a physician who looks at only at large apartment building acquisitions for syndication, I think it generally helps me. From the perspective of brokers, it makes them see me as a more credible buyer. From the perspective of other physicians who are investing in my deals, it makes them more comfortable with me as a colleague who they can trust. Life and business are all about sales. Who is your avatar?

Interesting comment. However, I am not understanding. Perhaps it's because I am so green.

I do hope to start with wholesaling, move on to flipping, then add in fix & hold. I really hope to get some valuable information from you experts that can guide me around some of the pitfalls.

Jasmine,

One thing you should be looking at is how I grow my wealth and agree w/the folks here, if you've spent this time educating yourself to be a physician, I'd want my doctor totally focused on being the best doctor they can be.  That does not mean that you cannot become an educated investor and if you end up not liking the doctor practice because of the challenging lifestle (lots of hours, stress, etc) then real estate investing especially thru passive means can get you there and free or at least a P/T role over time in the medical field.

I currently have several physicians that like to invest in solid, niches like large MF apartment communities.  They are limited partners in these deals, supplying the capital in exchange for a piece of the partnership but there risk is limited and the time involvement is nil.  The syndicate who is an expert in their business find the deals, put the deals together and manages the asset.  I have all types of investors and if they want to learn, they can still learn and understand their investments in a passive position, while earning very solid returns w/o having to worry about the investment, manage it, etc.  IMO, wholesaling is a very "active" business and is just that, another business and not really an area where one really grows wealth.  In other words, have a business that makes money, then put it in passive investment vehicles.  A doctor and a wholesaler has two jobs, and is not necessarily investing in assets that grow wealth.

@Jasmine Z.    Maybe you should continue your education.  If you were a MD PhD, you would have come up with the perfect study to find the answer.  I am thinking about, a randomized trial.  1000 yellow letters with MD and 2000 yellow letters without it.

Once you start negotiations half of the uniformed contacts should be told you are a Medical Doctor.

Profit is probably the most important thing to observe but other results such as... 

1)  Call back rates.

2)  Number of counter offers.

3)  Percentage of increase from original offer to accepted offer.

... would be very interesting.

PS  Congratulations on getting the MD.

Hi @Jasmine Z. !

I wouldn't worry too much about displaying your MD credentials. It's a proud accomplishment that many people respect. 

What I would suggest though, is if you are securing any loans, that you look in to getting a Physician Loan. Check out my story below about how my wife (a doctor herself) and I bought our first home without using any money of our own:

How We Bought Our First Home With No Money Using A Physician Loan!

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