Credibility in any business is imperative to gain the confidence of colleagues and consumers. Real estate is no exception.
Are you proud to put your name to it?
The stakes can be high, and it is crucial to establish an ethical and transparent business model. Your customers and partners need to know that they can depend on you. There is a lot of money at stake, and you are dealing with a foundation issue such as a person’s shelter. Building credibility as a real estate investor is helpful, but it is also necessary. There are quite a few things that go into credibility, but lets start with these three:
Three areas to Focus on When It Comes to Your Credibility as a Real Estate Investor
Personal Credit Rating
Buying real estate often means securing financing whether through traditional banks, high-risk lenders and personal financiers. Without credit of 720 or higher, you not only risk paying more to borrow money, you come across as someone who doesn’t know how to manage it.
Lenders, regardless of who they are, want to see that you can manage your personal finances without issues before they will partner with you for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Take the time to clean up your credit.
Proper Business Profile
As a real estate investor, you are often approaching sellers, distressed property owners, lenders and real estate partners. The list goes on with contractors, real estate agents, and management companies. All of these entities want to know that the person they are dealing with isn’t a fly by night operation.
Even sellers being offered a cash deal need the confidence that the escrow will close without problems.
To develop a proper business profile, establish a proper business entity in your state. This doesn’t need to be a formal limited liability company, though many real estate investors like this structure. At the very least, establish a “doing business as” sole proprietorship with the county.
Build a basic website that maintains current and correct contact information. This means that phone numbers and emails are accurate and easy to find. List a business address to receive all business correspondence even if it is a postal box.
Update information as needed and keep business cards with the current data. This way you can hand cards out and people can feel more secure when they go online and perform their due diligence on you.
Experience and Case Studies
People love to do business with people who know what they are doing. That is a simple fact of the world especially with the high-dollar values of real estate investments. If you have any experience, take the time to develop case studies and detail them on your website. A case study should outline the transaction from start to end, demonstrate why the deal was selected, how it was executed and the positive and negative lessons learned.
Create proposal packages with this information as well, letting potential partners and sellers know that this isn’t your first rodeo. Get testimonials from anyone willing to give you one including previous sellers, partners and even lenders who enjoyed working with you and will attest to your credibility.
It may seem like a waste of time because people only use the good testimonials but it does give you social proof that there is a group who finds you easy to work with, knowledgeable and capable of working the deal. Keep in mind that it sometimes takes asking for a testimonial more than once and many will ask you to write the testimonial for them in return.
If you are summarizing their thoughts, be sure to send it to them for approval before you publish it anywhere. Once people see a draft, they are much more likely to make it their own.
Even if you are new to the industry, developing as many of these credibility builders as possible will set the tone for your business ventures. It will make it easier to get established.