From the day we began, we always wanted to be a very different kind of company.
We started our business in 2008, after the colossal meltdown of the financial industry fueled by many unscrupulous acts in Real Estate investing and lending. It was only AFTER we began investing that we heard about some of the things people had done to make a quick buck, and sometimes LOTS of bucks, unethically. When we heard these stories, they made us quickly understand what happened to this industry. Hence a lot of investors, especially flippers, got a bad name.
We decided from day one to be the largest investment company in our area, and to show that it can be done with honesty, integrity, and character. One of the ways we have really set ourselves apart is by building strong relationships with EVERYONE involved in our business. I will give you some basic examples and hopefully you will see how these little acts of kindness can truly set you apart.
For example we send out a personalized thank you card to:
We also send out a personalized card AND a gift (We send Brownies or Cookies) to people involved in the actual closing, such as:
- Agent who brought the buyer
- Anyone who went above and beyond to make the deal happen
We send a card that has our logo on the outside, and it not only thanks them, but lets them know what we are looking for to invest in. It lets them know we pay referral commissions, and asks them to please call us with any possible properties. We use it as a relationship builder and also a marketing piece. We use an online card service where we can also select gifts if we choose. It makes the process very simple, and even has a handwriting font to make it more personal.
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3 Recent Real Life Examples to Get Your Wheels Spinning…
Last week, we had an agent show one of our homes. When our agent called to follow up with him, he said (in a very cheery voice), “Oh Hi! I received your card. I have it here on my desk. I always receive one each time I show one of your homes and I think it is great that you guys do that. It really makes you stand out. More people should show appreciation like that, it goes a long way.”
When is the last time you did something nice for your attorney’s office? Sure, we pay them, but wouldn’t it be nice to be their favorite client … the one that they really like to please? I can tell you from experience, the occasional office breakfast or lunch delivered in makes a huge difference. A few weeks ago I was pushing our attorneys office a little hard to see if we could get our files to the top of their list. Well, I came across stronger than I had hoped. The attorney let me know his paralegal was a little upset, as she was trying really hard. Immediately the next morning, we sent a huge vase of flowers to her at the office with a card that said “We really appreciate you!”. She emailed to say “Thank You!!! I have never received flowers at the office before!” Over the past few weeks, guess whose deals are closing faster? We sent the flowers expecting nothing in return, but we made her day and now she is working hard to make ours.
Here is another example: About a month ago a national speaker took us out to dinner. Many ideas were tossed around, and at the end, I realized that my dream of being a speaker could be realized. The things I heard from this man set my mind in a different direction. I noticed he liked wine at dinner, so the next week we had a nice basket of wine shipped to his door. Yes, it cost over $150, but his ideas and suggestions will be worth more than I can calculate at the moment. I was so appreciative that I wanted to do something special. He replied immediately and said, “WOW, Thank you! Funny, today is also my birthday!!” Guess what I did next? I marked that day in my calendar! I have no idea if we will meet again, but I guarantee you he will remember us.
If You Felt Appreciated, Wouldn’t you Remember that Person and Want to Help Them?
We keep a list of all important birthdays: employees, private investors, regular investor buyers, attorneys, agents, brokers, etc. Sending a little card and sometimes a sweet treat really goes a long way. If you go to a local REIA, or any group, send the founders a card thanking them for their time organizing the group. They will remember you!
We all like to be appreciated, so we have made it a priority to spend a few dollars on everyone we touch. People remember a small box of brownies, and the next time a deal comes up, you’ll be their first call. Is it worth it? Our answer is absolutely! We buy so many houses from referrals because they remember to call us first. It’s great knowing that people get a warm fuzzy feeling when they hear our name. That doesn’t come by accident. It comes from a direct effort to stand out and show we appreciate everyone we work with. We can all spend thousands on marketing to the cold market, but why not start with the very circle we already operate in? There is enough money in that circle to make you a very nice income if you play your cards right.
Be creative, and set yourself apart from your competition. People like to do business with people they like. Maybe you are not great at speaking or getting your point across in person. No problem, get an online card service and do it from your computer! Believe it or not, money is not always the deciding factor. We have won many deals where we were close, but not the best offer, but they really liked us so they took ours. Be different, invest in your relationships and build a strong network that is always working together. You will be glad you did.
Try this and see what happens…
On a personal note, try these things in your personal relationships. Remember birthdays, send cards for no reason, send little gifts to make people smile. Send flowers to the ones you love for no reason whatsoever. Try it and see if your life starts to look different. I can guarantee you that it will. Remember, we GET what we GIVE.
Do you have any other suggestions for relationship building? Has a solid relationship produced a great result for you? If so, I would love to hear about it, please share…