How Can A Newbie Get Started and Build Credibility?

People starting out ask me all the time, “How are you going to make me a millionaire? How are you going to make me successful?” And my question as a mentor to them is, “Well, what are you going to do to get there? I can answer the questions for you, I can tell you how it’s done. We’ve done it in multiple cities and states across the country. But it comes down to what are you willing to put in?”

The other day one of our TAI interns asked, “How are you going to make me a millionaire?” All I remember thinking to myself was how much time was he willing to put forth, how hard was he willing to work, where was his heart at, was he willing to do things he didn’t necessarily want to do, was he willing to do things differently than he thought they should be done? If someone isn’t willing to follow all of those steps, I can’t make them a millionaire.

It’s like taking a kid who is asking, “Can you make me an NFL starting quarterback?” And the answer is, “I don’t know.”

Can the right person give that kid the right strength and conditioning? The right throwing techniques, the right mental attitude? Sure, they can provide all those tools. But is that kid willing to jump through those hoops in order to accomplish what they need to do in order to see the desired results?

So what does it take to get started in this business? Below I’ve broken down the first steps needed to begin your journey down the right path to success.

1) Find A Mentor

As a newbie, the first thing you’re going to want to do is find a mentor. I think it’s incredibly important if you’re going to succeed in this business that you find a mentor who’s real. You need to spend time researching how to choose one, how to work with one, and your expectations for one.

Find somebody who can walk the walk, who’s been down the path, who’s either gained experience in real estate in your marketplace or done real estate in a marketplace that’s very similar to yours.

Somebody who’s done real estate throughout the country is good, someone who’s done numerous deals is valuable. Someone who’s willing to verify their credibility, with legitimate addresses and case studies, and also actively done deals recently. There are some mentors out there who have gone out and done deals four years ago for example, and are teaching what they did four years, but it’s not relevant to today’s marketplace.

2) Establish Credibility

A second piece of the equation is establishing credibility. Well, how do you establish credibility if you’ve never done a deal? You have a couple different choices – A) You find a partner who’s done deals and completed transactions or B) You plug into an existing system with people who are already doing deals, who are already doing transactions, and people who are already doing real estate.

Finding a partner can be crucial! To do this business alone could easily be a nightmare, it would be very difficult to do all by yourself and I believe it’s more work than any one person should ever have to do.

3) Walk the Walk

Now, if you find good deals, you don’t really need to worry about building credibility. People really believe in credibility and they’d like to have it, but it’s not as important.  When I’m out doing deals people never ask me how many deals I’ve done. People don’t ever ask about my credibility because I walk the walk and talk the talk. A newbie will get asked for a proof of funds, whereas an expert or a vet won’t get asked for a proof of funds because it’s how they talk and it’s the language they use.

In commercial real estate, although people are always talking about proof of funds, I started telling sellers that I would not provide them with proof of funds. Nobody carries $1 million in cash around as a proof of funds. I would tell them, “We’ve done deals, we can get funding, but what I want to know about is this property and whether you’re going to accept my offer or not.” And I just stopped providing proof of funds to people when I was making offers and you’d be amazed at how often that worked just fine.

That’s something gurus teach and you get people that no longer care about proof of funds, so it’s more about being good than about having credibility.

But how do you get good if you’ve never done a deal? One of those keys is whatever it takes – even if you didn’t make a lot of money from it – to complete and do your first deal. Your first deal is everything. People sit up on the fence for years and years and they never do a deal. And you might have done your first deal three years ago but sat on the fence and haven’t done one since. So the reality is, you’re doing your first deal all over again. Sure, if you get a website up and running, get some business cards, that might give you some positive energy going but you’ve got to live this business on a daily basis.

I’m not even talking 20 hours per day or 70 hours a week. Even an hour or two a day if you live this business every day then you start to embrace it and it starts to become a part of your life, and so it really establishes that feel for it.

Hope these tips help and thank you for being a part of the TAI Community!

– Dutch Mendenhall

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