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In this day of e-mail, it’s easy to have your VA (Virtual Assistant) send out form e-mails to prospective commercial brokers.
While I’m a big believer in automation and systems, the broker who receives your impersonal e-mail is probably not going to have you at the top of their list when that perfect deal crosses their desk.
As you know, your level of success in Real Estate Investing is the equals the quality of the relationships you cultivate. Brokers are an amazing resource, and truly a necessary part of your Real Estate Investment team. This is why you must PICK UP THE PHONE. This is the only way to create the personal connection you’re looking for. Very often we are not looking at investment properties on Long Island, but outside the Tri-State area so making this personal connection is crucial. We are huge proponents for giving before you receive. (If you have something of value that you can offer the broker, great!)
Make sure that the calls you make to the broker do not waste their time. Do your market research and have a clear picture of what you’re looking for. Do your due diligence and know what the demographics of the sub-markets are. Make sure that the broker knows that if he finds the deal, you are prepared to move. Commercial Real Estate brokers do not close hundreds of deals a year, and if you want them to really keep you in mind, be serious. You will be surprised at the wealth of knowledge they possess, not just about the market; but about Property Managers, local contractors and the subtleties of the neighborhoods. A broker is the best way to get insight into how to start putting your team together.
Things that will send you to the “bottom of the list” – serious DON’TS:
DON’T ask him to look at everything under the sun – you should be clear on your plan, he knows that if someone is calling on a 40 unit deal in a C market, he shouldn’t also have the 100+ unit in an A market building on the brain.
DON’T waste their time. If you make a trip, have an itinerary and a schedule. Also pick up the tab for lunch. You’d be surprised how this makes a difference, that personal effort. DO follow up. Send a handwritten thank you for their time – these are the things that will create a solid foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship and lead to great things for both of you!