In real estate investing, it will be to your benefit to treat everyone you meet in business with respect, even those who you have nothing to gain from you. Dismissing someone based on their status, influence, or title is a bad habit that you can slowly fall into— especially when you begin to witness success yourself. Pay close attention, because this type of attitude can negatively affect your career in the long term. Here are four reasons why you should make the most out of every interaction.
Don’t gather all of your information based on outward clues alone.
They say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and although it’s a cliche, the statement rings true. You never know what someone is completely about based on just what you see. The man coming into your office in basketball shorts and flip-flops could be the founder of a large hedge fund. The people in your lower-end rentals could possibly afford ten times that house price, but are just choosing to save at this time. You just don’t know who someone is by looking at them, and if you choose to judge before investigating further, you may miss out on a great deal.
You don’t know someone’s path and their future accomplishments.
You have no idea where someone will end up in the future. Today might be tough for them, but tomorrow they could be winning. Big lows can often lead to brilliant successes. That family who didn’t qualify for a rental unit this month may stumble upon a huge sum of money next month. If you look at everyone only based on what you see now, in the current moment— as opposed to their potential and what could be— you will be missing out. That’s not to say you should rent to someone or do business with someone who doesn’t meet your criteria, but what it does mean is that you should treat everyone with kindness and respect; no matter what.
News of bad interactions and experiences spreads fast
There are many people you will have to deal with who may not have the best social skills. They may treat you badly or rudely, but that does not mean that you should act the same. Bad experiences and “low star ratings” travel fast. When you have to dismiss someone because they are an unqualified buyer, be sure to do it in the most professional manner. Because, if you don't, they’re highly likely to leave a negative review out of spite. Negative reviews now haunt you forever thanks to the digital world.
You also don’t know how much power someone yields. They may have ties to the city or be someone who can influence. It’s better to treat everyone very professionally, because you really don’t know who they are or who they know.
You will need to stay legal
Fair Housing laws make it really important to treat everyone equally. You can’t risk discrimination or the appearance of discrimination. Inspectors are looking for unfairness in housing and have been known to set individuals up.
Do What’s Right
No matter who you are talking to or how much money you think that you will make, keep a level head. Treat others how you hope to be treated. It will improve your reputation across the industry, hold onto business, build your investments, and prove your long term viability as a real estate investor. Besides all of that— that it will be good for your business and you— being a good person and doing business that way is just the right thing to do.