Before I get started, I need to give credit where credit is due. A fellow BiggerPockets blogger, Ali Boone, left a comment in one of my other articles that sparked the idea to write about this topic. She made an excellent point, and my goal with this article is to expand upon it and hopefully give you something to chew on.
Have you ever been rubbed the wrong way by someone? Terrible customer service or just them being flat out rude/inconsiderate to you? For whatever the reason/cause may have been, have you ever thought, “What a (insert non-family friendly word here)!”
My advice: get over it and toughen up.
Real estate investing (like any other business) is not about who you like and don’t like, it’s about the numbers. It’s about who is bringing you the deals that make you money. It’s about what contractor is bringing you a solid price/quality ratio.
Real Estate Investing is Not a Hobby
One of my big hobbies is college sports. I really enjoy watching them, particularly Saturday’s in the fall with college football. Would I ever want to watch a game with someone who I absolutely can’t stand? Of course not.
I’m guessing it is the same for you (unless you are a glutant for punishment). Whatever your hobby is, I’m pretty confident that I can assume you want to be doing it in the company of people you enjoy being around.
The IRS will look at your real estate investing as a business, so you should too. The primary purpose of business is to make money, not ‘have fun’. Sure ‘fun” can be a result of business, but it shouldn’t be the primary purpose (like a hobby would be). Once you realize this, it is much easier to not take things personal and not allow variables to affect your decisions.
Numbers Matter, Personalities Don’t
You try cracking a joke with a contractor and he just stares at you. Awkward! You ask the contractor a question and he gives you a gruff answer that, while completely answers your question, wasn’t exactly ‘how’ you preferred for it to be answered. Awkward! One thing is for sure, you won’t be inviting this guy out to lunch anytime soon. But wow, he comes with good referrals and his pricing is stellar. Hmmmm…
If you find yourself going “Hmmmm…”, STOP! There should be no “Hmmmm…”. There shouldn’t be anything to think about. While this isn’t someone you will ever be able to really relate to or hang-out with, if they are giving you solid numbers, go for it!
Don’t let personalities decide for you, let the numbers.
Family, church, clubs, athletic teams, etc. are where you should be looking for/making friends… NOT in your daily course of business.
Numbers Matter, Customer Service is Secondary
You try calling the wholesaler and they don’t return your call until two days later (maybe not at all). Frustrating! You ask to see a property, but before they can get you the entry information, it has sold. Frustrating! One thing is for sure, if you were handed a “How Am I Doing?” survey, you wouldn’t exactly be giving rave reviews. But wow, this wholesaler has some smokin’ hot deals. Hmmmm…
Once again, there should not be any “Hmmmm…” going on.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but many times, the better the wholesaler, the worst the customer service. This certainly isn’t a universal statement; however, any quality wholesaler is going to have a hungry buyer list. When you have a sincerely good deal, your phone and inbox will be blowing up, so it isn’t shocking if phone calls and emails can accidentally slip through the cracks for these quality wholesalers.
I’m not advocating offering crappy customer service if you are a wholesaler, I’m just saying it ‘is’ easy to understand how a wholesaler finding great deals can at times struggle with the customer service side of the equation.
If the wholesaler is offering crappy customer service and your spreadsheet is laughing at the “deal” they supposedly have, then yea, no need to hang out with this person on the weekends and definitely no need to keep their contact information.
The spreadsheet numbers trump less than desirable customer service.
I am not saying that numbers are the ‘only’ thing that matters. If a contractor is giving you a really good number, yet they won’t give you any references or reek of alcohol, then in this case there is ‘more’ to it than the only the numbers.
If the numbers are looking smokin’ hot, yet the proposition to you is pretty darn shady (illegal), then again, there is ‘more’ to it than just the numbers.
If you just don’t like the person, but the quality/legality of the issue at hand is okay, and the numbers look great, then GO FOR IT.
Don’t Take it Personal
In conclusion, remove your feelings from this process. Not your business sense, just your feelings. Business are judged by the amount of profit you turn, not the amount of friends you’ve made. Some of your best ‘business friends’ would be people you would never remotely consider hanging out with as ‘non-business friends’.
If you ever find the thought creeping into your head of, “Wow, I’m liking these numbers but this person is a (insert non family friendly word here), so not sure I want to do business with them”, squash it immediately! This isn’t’ a hobby, it’s a business.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.