Everyone who plans to be successful in business must also do whatever is necessary to be taken seriously. Nothing will cut short your investment career faster than not being seen as professional.
This is an area where many real estate agents have an advantage over an Investor. Agents have the credibility established by their brokerage behind them right from the start. There is usually an established brand and marketing materials that are created at the corporate level to help each Agent come across with a polished presentation.
Investors don’t have that advantage. Most start out in home offices juggling home duties with those of starting a new business. There’s a low barrier of entry into the field and unfortunately, people are only as good as the impression they make initially and the effectiveness of their follow-through.
To help in making the right impression:
• Have a separate 800 business line. Don’t use the same number as your house phone.
• Don’t pick up the phone if there is a baby crying or a dog barking. For those who cannot pick up the phone and always sound professional, it may be best to pay a live screening service or automated voicemail service to be that first telephone contact point.
• Develop a content-rich website with your own domain name that uses a.com ending. Use a simple, readable design-nothing flashy or cute.
• Use a consistent business name that is officially registered with the state you do business in as an LLC or corporation.
• Your email address should reflect your business name and/or website. It should be attached to your web domain, not to a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo. You can forward it to your Outlook or other email system for convenience of checking only one account.
To help insure that the first impression will continue, always follow through on what you said you would do:
• It helps to be organized.
• If you can’t do something or don’t know something, admit it up front. Find someone else who knows or can help you.
• Be a perpetual learner. There are always product and market changes, and you’ll be more effective in helping your clients if you keep up with the latest information in your field.
• Be prepared. Plan enough time to prepare for meetings. Make sure you have prepared all of the data you need to make a decision and can be decisive in your decision-making.
• Be honest and straight-forward. People pick up on your level of integrity quickly and will only do business with the people they trust.