Over the past few years I have been in the unique position to work directly with brand new and novice mobile home investors.
While the actionable tasks are relatively straight forward with regards to go here, say this, fill this out, and do that, there is a much less tangible but equally valuable mental aspect of investing in manufactured homes.
Let us cover one super-important understand before we go any further. In addition to your mobile home investing business being a “real estate” business, mobile home investing revolves around people. A “people business” is how I describe mobile home investing to many newer investors. If you do not care about people you will likely feel challenged in this business.
The obvious answer to anyone curious as to why mobile home investing is such a people business is likely due to the fact you are often dealing with sellers and home owners in fragile situations. We work with many sellers that are confused, frustrated, beaten down, jaded, etc. This emotional-vulnerability is not a license to steal, in fact just the opposite should be your model for a long-lasting business with success and a positive word-of-mouth advertising.
The list below contains just a few examples of the love and transparency you should take with your mobile home sellers and home owners.
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One of the biggest struggles that many new investors have is in coming up with the money to purchase their first real estate properties. Well, BiggerPockets can help with that too. The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down can give you the tools you need to get started in real estate, even if you don’t have tons of cash lying around.
While speaking with sellers and buyers over the phone one of my top objectives it to always educate the person I am speaking with. Using my own experience and local market data I do the best job I can to educate the seller to not only their current options but also the real world likelihood of these particular options producing the seller’s desired outcome. In short if you allow people to understand that you are the local authority in your market you can speak objectively while presenting the seller’s options to them. One or more of these options should undoubtedly be options you can help the seller with while creating a profit for yourself.
Being Direct and Clear:
Perhaps it is human nature or simply our politeness but too often I hear investors beating-around-the-bush when it comes to negotiating and presenting offers to sellers. A seller that decides to spend time with you is saying they like you and want your expert help as an investor. These sellers know you are an investor and wish for you to solve their most pressing headache. A tip I use to help me stay focused and direct with my sellers is to pretend that you are speaking and helping a distant family member. Be up front and real, your buyers and sellers will appreciate and respect this attribute in a world full of BS.
Letting the Sellers Win:
Ultimately you will not do a deal that doesn’t meet your investing criteria and that will not make you a profit. Likewise a seller will not make a deal they are not happy with and in agreement that your offer will better their life-situation. The bullet title of “letting the sellers win” refers to the ability you have to end your negotiations with a Win for the seller. Here is one such example that recently happened to me. The below example is greatly paraphrased, the numbers are accurate though.
Me: The most we can do at this time to purchase your mobile home property is $1,700.
Seller: I am sorry I cannot accept that low amount.
Me: I completely understand. Please keep our phone number if anything changes do not hesitate to call. If anything changes on our side and I will reach out to you asap as well.
(3 days later I receive a phone call from the seller)
Seller: I would like to sell my property and if you can come up to $2,100 we will accept the offer.
Me: (long pause) If we can close in the next 24 hours we can close at this price and pay you all cash. Will that work for you?
Seller: Yes, I gladly accept.
Give Before you Get:
An overwhelming and understated motto I live by and encourage every new investor I train to internalize is to give of themselves before they get anything in return. Whether you want to chalk this life-philosophy up to karma, the Secret, or simply being helpful to your fellow man, giving of yourself humbly is an amazing business building technique I have been fortunate enough to discover many years ago. Examples of giving of yourself can be offering free advice to sellers that goes against your best interest, connecting buyers and sellers together without financial compensation, donating to local mobile home park charity drives, helping other real estate investors before you receive a benefit, etc. Giving of yourself does not translate into being a doormat for people. If something will cause you or your business harm or even potential harm I would advise you to reconsider the decision.
In addition to caring about people being positive for your mental well-being, caring for other will typically translate directly into cash-flow and profits for your business. There may be some alternative personality types or business models that will roll their eyes at this article. If this is you then I wish you the best and continued success. The path you take in life is truly your own. Being kind and loving others will often times get you much more satisfying results than living in a scarcity, standoffish, and/or greedy mindset.
Love what you do daily,
Photo: John Carleton