Beat The Fear: Talking to Agents, Vendors & Investors
Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Last week I asked in our Property Deal Sourcing Community (which is our Facebook group.) I asked for ideas for topics on future episodes… and I got a few ideas which I’ll probably get to over the coming weeks, but this blog is born from one of those ideas, so thanks to Dina for the idea…
Today I’m going to discuss how to go about beating the fear when talking to agents, vendors and investors.
I think a lot of newbies suffer from imposter syndrome and doubt themselves which leads to procrastination and not taking action – does that sound familiar to you?
If your sat there nodding your head, this blog and our latest podcast episode, will be a huge help for you.
One of the biggest fears in people new to property, is being able to speak to agents, investors, or vendors. Knowing what to say, when to say it, having the confidence that what your saying is the right thing to say… it can be pretty damn scary, so I’m going to give you some top tips and advice to beat that fear…
Before we begin, let’s get one thing out the way… ‘fear’ is a completely irrational feeling and a feeling that you create for yourself, based on your mindset and your own thoughts. If you can control your thought’s then those feelings won’t be an issue.
Let’s start with Agents:
Imagine your about to walk into an estate agency and hopefully lay down the foundations for a good working relationship… you might feel like there’s lots at stake… what if you say the wrong thing? What if they don’t want to talk to you? What if you come across as an amateur?
All these thoughts are most likely down to one thing… You feel out of your depth, and way outside of your usual comfort zone.
The reality is, if you pick apart why you’re there and how you can help them…Guess what??? All of a sudden you’ll have the confidence, and a plan in your back pocket to smash that meeting.
Let’s break it down… so you can see how simple it becomes…
What is your purpose? What do you stand to gain?
What are their likely problems and their motivations?
How can you help solve those problems?
Ok the first one, what is your purpose? Obviously, you want to build a relationship with the agent so they can become a valuable part of your business, a route to income for you, you want access to their stock and in time, access to off-market properties before the agent advertises them on the property portals like Rightmove!
But what are the agents likely problems, well no doubt they have properties they would like to sell and move off their books, no doubt they have landlord clients who are tired and looking to sell, no doubt this agent would like a way of selling more property as that means they get commission sooner. And what about their motivations? Most agents want more monthly revenue, more income, bigger profit margins.
How you can help Agents:
As a property sourcer, you work with investors who buy properties. So, the obvious solution is this agent may have some stock on their books, that will work for your investors as an investment.
A huge plus point is you can throw a lot of extra income to the agent by way of referring all your investor clients back to them if they need an agent to manage their property they just bought! Imagine a scenario where Mr and Mrs Investor buy a property and they need a managing agent to help find tenants, then manage them going forward… that’s regular monthly income, ongoing for most likely many years to come.
Let’s say the average management fee is around 8% and they were generating £80 per month in management income. When you look at that income for the agent over the next 5 years. £80 per month over 5 years is almost £5,000. That’s just one property. Imagine you did this a handful of times!
That’s a lot of revenue for that agent.
Do your homework first:
So, when you find yourself, planning to visit a few agents around town, do your homework, look at their stock they have for sale online? How many properties do they have for sale? How many for let? Do they manage properties as well as selling? Are they a big player in the area?
My top tip is always make a beeline for the independent agents, as they are much more likely to be open to working with you.
Walking into a major chain is a tough one, as you will likely end up speaking to a sales negotiator over the head honcho… and you trying to sell the dream to them is pretty pointless. They come in and do their 9 to 5 and go home. So always target the smaller local agents over the big boys on the high street. You need to speak to the decision makers.
You can see already by asking yourself what your purpose is and realising what their pain points are and then applying how you can fix them - you come up with a script or a narrative to kind of work with when your face to face.
What you can’t do is… just burst through the doors into an estate agents and start jabbering away about yourself. You have to get them talking, ask them how’s business? Ask are they doing many sales at the minute? Have they got much new stock coming to market? How’s the tenant demand in this area or that area?
And… When you start talking about what you can do, you need to pitch yourself realistically.
Many newbies go in their saying daft things like; they can complete on properties quickly and they offer on any problem properties. I used to be an agent and let me tell you… this type of talk, sets the alarm bells ringing and most agents will quickly switch off, if they think you’re from the - we buy any house quickly brigade… they will immediately see you as somebody who will submit silly low offers on lots of properties and waste their time.
Remember you just need to be yourself, keep it relaxed and position yourself as somebody who could potentially (if the numbers are right) help them sell more properties to the investors you work with.
They may ask questions such as…
How many investors do you have on your books?
How long have you been doing this for?
How many properties a month do you need?
So have stock answers ready, before you go out talking to agents. There really is no need to build it up and start worrying about every conceivable outcome. They are just normal human beings doing a days work… and your just somebody else looking to hopefully help them out and generate business.
It’s the same process no matter who you are talking to… get them talking and empathise, listen to what their saying carefully, and see how you can help them out.
Ok so we covered Agents, now… What about Vendors?
Vendors will likely be very chatty about their situation or very cagey and unsure of you.. so, the best thing is ‘just be you’, be chatty, a good tactic is imagine your chatting to a family friend and your looking to help them out and find a solution.
With vendors, the purpose is often to find out why they are selling and what they want for the property and what’s the reason they can’t just sell it the traditional way via an agent. (pain point)
Typically, they will be in negative equity or want a quick sale, or it has been on the market but they have had little interest and they are considering other options.
The trick is to keep it conversational, show empathy for their situation, explain you help people in sticky situations to find a solution etc.
If a vendor starts pushing you for a price and asking how much you could offer… you say you will have to go away and crunch some figures.
This achieves two things for you:
It buys you time to carry out further due diligence, maybe even discuss with some investors to see if you have anybody interested.
Secondly it gives you time to look at the deal on the whole, come up with a plan that would create a win-win scenario for the vendor.
My top tip when dealing directly with vendors is be relaxed and chatty and not too forceful firing question after question at them. Secondly never give them a price right away - as if you give a figure then go away and crunch the numbers and you have to back-track on what you said… you will struggle to get anywhere.
Remember with any vendor, their burning desire is always going to be to find out how much you will offer (if anything.)
Your focus must be on finding their pain points, ask them what a solution would look like for them… and once you have their pain and motivations, you are fully in a position to look for the right solution that fits that situation.
Always, always… with vendors explain why your offer is where it’s at, (if it’s less than market value) explain why and back it up. If they think you just plucked a figure out of thin air, they are more likely to disagree and end the conversation.
With investors… it’s so easy:
What reasons would a property investor reach out to a property sourcer?
Simple answer, they don’t have the time, or they don’t have the knowledge or both.
Regards knowledge let me share an example: Imagine they want to invest in Liverpool or Newcastle but they are based in London or Hong Kong, they will want to utilise somebody local who knows the area inside out.
They want a ‘local expert’ who understands all the pros and cons.
Most investors usually fall into this bracket – they want to invest, but don’t have the time to do it themselves from end to end.
So how do you talk to prospective investors?
I know some people get tongue tied, scared of saying the wrong thing etc, but let’s go back to the three simple questions.
You know the answer to the first… what is your purpose? Well ideally you want to sign the investor up and source and package deals for them, so you get your sourcing fee!
The second one: what are their pain points? Let’s keep it simple here… as we just said… most investors have the desire to invest but the barrier is usually, not enough time to do it themselves and or knowledge on an area or just on investing in general.
Then we come to the last question? What’s the solution for the investor? How can you help with those pain points?
It’s plainly obvious, as a sourcer you provide a service specifically to meet their needs. You source potential property investment opportunities; you carry out a level of due diligence and you package them up on a sales brochure and you assist them in finding the right property that meets their needs.
You give them a hands-free service and I always think about it like you’re the enabler….
You enable the agents to sell more and let more properties – the result is they earn more income.
You enable the vendors to sell problem properties – the result is they move on with their lives.
And you enable investors to invest in property in the UK all hands free.
I often think being a deal packager and working with Investors is very similar in a way to 'personal shopping'… you speak with the client, understand their needs and help them make the right decisions based on all your knowledge and expertise.
It always comes down to the three simple questions, if you understand properly what your purpose is, what the pain points and issues are then you are armed with the information to try and provide the solutions.
The conversation you have with the individual is purely driven by their pain and hopefully your solution. Because of this… you should never feel stuck for words, it’s just a process.
The number one tip I can give you is just be you, if your being super nervous and trying to think about every word that leaves your mouth, you don’t come across well. You need to be relaxed and be chatty and just let it come naturally.
Practice makes perfect… it wont feel natural till you find your flow, so my advice is you have to jump, you have to try and put yourself in these situations and engage with people. You will never drive your business forward if you avoid these fears and stay in your comfort zone.
Speaking from experience I’ve seen people really struggle with this… and seen others take to it like a duck to water… it’s a lot about mindset and confidence. I’m naturally more of an introvert, and I found it really tough at first, but honestly the more you do it, the easier it feels and begins to flow…
When we are out of lockdown and we can get in a room and network again, make sure you attend networking meetings and practice… speaking to strangers and try out those three simple questions who knows… you might just bag a load of investors to work with! What’s the worst that can happen?
Lot’s of people wonder why their business isn’t driving forward or really going anywhere, but when you start looking at what your roadblocks are – many will come down to you. But the good news is, if you change those behaviours you can massively change the outcomes your getting.
Think about your property business this way… Why would you put a ceiling on what you can and cant do?
If you believe your rubbish at something and you avoid it and that hampers your business and stops you moving forward, you really need to address that issue.
It could be that your stopping yourself from moving forward due to irrational fears. I would say don’t let you get in the way of your business growing, commit to working on your flaws, the chinks in your armour and take off the brakes and see where you can go and what you can do.
How Can We Help You More?
1. Free Property Sourcing Training:
In a short-while, I’ll be putting out some free training on property sourcing and I will be sharing the entire property sourcing process in an online workshop.
So, if that sounds like something your interested in…all you have to do is Join our Facebook Group it’s called – The Property Deal Sourcing Community.
The training is not available just yet, but if your in that group, you will be sent a link to access the free training when we go live with it. (end of Feb)
2. One to One Training & Online Mentorship:
Our Property BaseCamp Membership opens up a couple of times each year...
Completely different to other training and courses... our USP is we give you one to one support forever! Monthly Zoom Call plus daily support too and the best part, it's a fraction of the cost the gurus would charge you!
We are next due to open up enrolment in April. So to be in with a chance of joining... please join our Property Deal Sourcing Community on Facebook for updates - when we open up enrolment!
3. Listen to Our Property Podcast:
Weekly episodes, packed with content to increase your property knowledge!
You can find us on all the usual podcast platforms but here are some links for you...
Listen on Apple: https://apple.co/35oqjGq
Listen on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2K7ZW2q