How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 9 – Becoming A Problem Solver For Sellers And Showing Them You’re Here To Help

July 30, 2008


realtor building
Vinny The Bird is popular for solving problems
in the bird community.

Image by Jan Tik

If you’re new to this real estate investing series I’m writing, the purpose of it is to show you as an entrepreneur that learning your trade well and opening your mind to endless possibilities can help you achieve your goals.

I have a passion for creativity in business and I love investigating intuitive ways to invest in real estate.

When investing, I typically buy and sell differently than most Realtors suggest or know about. I listen to everyone, but ultimately I’m the investor, I’m the entrepreneur, and I make the decisions.

Today I want to show you how by thinking creatively and solving your customer’s needs you can create a win-win situation and ultimately get what you want (in this example the customer will be the seller of a house I want to buy). It just takes a little creative thought.

The first thing I do when I meet with a seller is just get’em talking. I not only listen to what they are saying, I listen for what they are meaning they want to do (i.e. read between the lines).

Why is she selling? What does she want to do with the profits? What kinds of hobbies does she have? Talk about family, sports, vacations, etc. Not only am I learning what she needs from the sale of her house, I’m also becoming more personable and not this big scary real estate investor.

To parallel this for a moment, this is a great way to interact and connect with your customers in your business, especially new customers.

When late replying to emails, for example, let them know why you were away. If you took the kids to the zoo, tell them. Show them you’re a normal guy or girl who is flesh and blood and not some corporate VP of a web hosting company. In time, they will see you more as a friend and connect with you on a certain level. Also, while they talk, you’re learning more about this customer and their needs as well.

So now that you’ve listened to the seller talk a little, you have a better understanding of where she’s coming from.

To overcome the mental block most sellers have when it comes to accepting a non-standard way of buying their house, it is important to first begin with showing them how your goal is to make sure their needs are satisfied. Like with any company, if you screw enough people over (I don’t usually put it that way) no one will want to work with you. Through examples, show them how there are different ways to buy and sell real estate and emphasize how even though most sellers think they know what the best solution to their needs are, many times there are better ways.

For example, if I wanted to purchase and flip the seller’s vacant property using the example “option” method in this post here (a very profitable method), I would show the seller how allowing me to buy in such a way would benefit her the most. I’d show how if I failed to buy, she’d have a renovated house and I’d of lost a lot of my time and money . . . which is reassurance that I will close on the house.

People feel more comfortable when they know how much they have to gain and how much you have to lose. If you were to hire us to design a website for you and you knew if we didn’t satisfy your needs our company would go under, you’d know we would probably be a company that would give everything we got into designing you the best website ever.

If, however, you knew to us you were just another number and our primary focus was on larger corporations with big spending limits, you might feel the job you’d get from this company would be a little less personable and the attention to your specific needs aren’t as important (not always the case, just an example).

So whether it’s investing in real estate or trying to grow your small business, solving your customer’s problems and being a little less corporate is a great way to achieve success. Just keep in mind that many times your customers think they know the solution to their problems, but often times they don’t.

If you own a business, I’m willing to bet you have experienced this before.


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About John Hoff

John is the lead instructor inside the Blog Training Classroom Video Course. He's been blogging since 2007, authored a WordPress Security ebook, and was recently featured at Niche Profit Classroom as an affiliate rising star.

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2 Responses to “How To Buy A House Like A Real Estate Investor: Part 9 – Becoming A Problem Solver For Sellers And Showing Them You’re Here To Help”

  1. Barbara Swafford Says:

    Hi John,

    I totally agree that listening to the customer (or seller) is key. I’ve had customers call up ranting about something or other, and just by letting them vent, before I know it, they’re apologizing to me for their rant, and letting me know that something someone else did, set them off. By being understanding (and listening) you do find out, what they say and what they want may be two different things.

    Must be why we have two ears and one mouth. :)

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Interview With Lorelle VanFossen – Part 6 – Let’s Woop It Up


  2. John Hoff Says:

    LOL Barbara. Now only if we had shutters on those ears!

    I always stress to listen for what people are meaning and not just what they are saying. When you understand their fundamental problem, you can then fix it for them. Sometimes though, you have to listen (and not understand) a lot of ranting, however. hehe

    A key part as an investor working with sellers and/or being an entrepreneur who owns your own business is to get the seller/customer to consider you on some level as a friend and not a foe. People like to talk about themselves, their lives, their experiences (and like me, many of us like to listen). When they tell us about their lives and we share a little something about ours, a small subconscious connection is made.

    Yes I worked in sales a while back . . . in case you can’t tell ;) But I really didn’t like it and had to get out. I wanted to sell my way.


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