Our business, Best REI, started a few years ago with coaching, curriculum, and action steps to start and grow our business both steadily and effectively. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know, so that’s where we were when we first started our business. Now, we know the difference between an experienced real estate investor and a wannabe:

1. Knowledge 

We knew we didn’t know anything when we first started this business, so we paid a price for the “equivalent of a degree” in real estate investment.

Photo by Tamarcus Brown on Unsplash

Our curriculum took months to complete, with action steps to put our training into action all along the way, and we booked coaching calls when we needed guidance in a real life investment scenario that we weren’t confident about yet. Over time, as we completed project after project, we developed both the confidence and knowledge to complete projects without any further guidance.

There are lots of ways to gain this knowledge, and we’re not snobs, thinking our path is the only way to gain this knowledge. We continue to learn via websites, podcasts, workshops, boot camps and more, and lots of investors use this path solely to learn the business. Finding a mentor who is already succeeding as an investors is another proven way to learn. We welcomed mentors as we were learning, and we still love visiting with those ahead of us on this journey or with investors who are working the business differently from us. Since others offered us a leg up on our journey, we are always happy to offer guidance and mentoring to others beginning this journey.

Some folks don’t know what they don’t know, and they get houses under contract without knowing how to do proper comps, calculate repairs, and how to negotiate with sellers and buyers professionally. All of these things are important to learn. For those just starting this business, learning just these three things will separate you from the herd.

2. Professionalism

From the very start, our mission was to offer hope to homeowners who desperately needed a solution, while treating them with dignity and respect. That means we offer the most we can for their property, as well as making them multiple offer scenarios, so they can choose the one that works best for them. We always tell them unless our offer is a win for both us and them, it’s not a win at all.

It’s part of our values to treat others the way we expect to be treated. Not all investors conduct themselves professionally, pressuring homeowners to sell to them, refusing to pay their contractors on a timely basis, and more. Our reputation follow us and could cost us a deal in the future. Don’t be that guy!

3. Follow-Through

Once we have a house under contract, our goal is to close that sale, unless we discover a surprise in the inspection. That said, there are lots of surprises in inspections of homes, especially older homes. There’s usually some tell-tale signs of foundation issues. Sometimes plumbing, electrical, roof, and HVAC problems are obvious, but other times these issues are only discovered at inspection When we find these, we explain what we found to the seller, and why that impacts our offer. Sometimes we can make a lower offer, but some issues are so impactful that we can no longer purchase the house. Regardless, we try to leave the seller better off than before we met.

When someone claiming to be an investor just tries to get a house at the lowest price possible, sometimes trying to scare or intimidate the seller, that makes all of us look bad. And, when an investor puts a house under contract just to wholesale it, tying it up for weeks, then cancel the contract, because they don’t have any other exit plan except finding a buyer is simply unprofessional. Sellers are then wary of all of us, because they aren’t sure if any of us are really going to buy their house. The only way to wholesale professionally is to explain the process to the seller, so they fully understand the risk and agree to it. Wholesalers who have a large buyers network, know their numbers, and close on most of their deals are a blessing to investors and sellers. We warn sellers to ask questions if an investor offers to buy with the words “and/or assigns” in the purchaser’s names. Wholesalers should be willing to tell you how many deals they’ve sold and how many they have cancelled.

4. Resources

connect-contractorAnother distinction of  professional real estate investors is our access to lots of resources, including a team of professionals. This occurs over time, but resources and great team members are attracted to professionals. Completing projects on time and on budget is a clear sign of a professional managing their resources properly. Doing things right the first time is vital to a company’s reputation. Our word is our bond, so we try to always do what we say.

We know this is a difference, because when we first started we lacked both financial and human resources. It’s hard to move forward with deals without these resources. New investors ask us often to “share” our resources with them. We always tell them no, if it’s resources we’re currently using on a project. Subcontractors who do just a small part of any given project are easily and willingly shared.

Why We Share This

Sellers need to know that we aren’t all the same, that some of us keep our word and treats others with dignity and respect. And some who enter this business need to understand how their actions impact the entire industry. If you’re new to the business, find a mentor who will help you learn, grow, and thrive in the business. If you’ve been in the business a few years, please do your best to present yourself and our industry professionally and treat every seller with dignity and respect.