Updated: Mar 5
This blog is written by Jen Josey, Real Estate Investor, and REIGN Coach. She is not a professional writer and writes like she talks so put your red pen away. Jen is extremely opinionated but reserves the right to change her opinion at any time because, well, that's the way she rolls. She may also use colorful language so don't be offended. Jen does not claim to be an expert, she is just sharing her personal thoughts and adding a perspective on investor topics that may benefit her readers. Jen also finds it strange to write in the third person. Enjoy!
You'll never get a second chance at making a first impression.
When I taught middle school a thousand years ago, on the first day, I would deliberately mess up the pronunciation of the student's names as I called roll. This served two purposes. First, seeing their reaction would help me put a face with a name. Second, it would always get a good laugh. At the middle school level, if you mispronounce "peanuts," it would take a solid 30 minutes to get their attention back.
So there I was the first day...calling roll. I come to Andrea Ludtke and instead say Andrea Lucky. I have Bailey Coffin but instead, say Bailey Coffin So Hard She Needs a Cough Drop. I have an Irish boy named Barry Kane but instead, I call him Blarney Kane. Nick Roses becomes Everything's Coming Up Nick Roses. Laughs are filling the room as the students continue to correct me. Then I get to the name, Daniel McEldowney. I replaced it with Daniel Mecca-Lecka-High-Mecca-Hiney-Ho and look up over the top of my attendance book. I will NEVER forget what happened next. This little red-headed boy stands up, puts his hands on his hips, and says, "You're the FIRST one to get it right!" I immediately melted! From then on...everyone called him Mecca...
When you have an opportunity to meet a new person that could benefit your business, you need to be prepared to grab their attention, just like Mr. Mecca. The best way to do this is to use an elevator pitch.
With a little practice, you can have a prepared, 30-second script ready to impress just about anyone. By taking the time to write out every word, you can have the confidence to promote your business with a future team member or private money lender, or potential seller. According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch is a short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time.
The three most important components of an elevator pitch are the "who, what and why" you would like the other person to know about you. Let me break it down.
1. Who You Are
State your full name and the name of your company. If I'm at a networking event with 100 other real estate investors, I will sometimes throw in a little extra just to help them remember my name like, "Hi, I'm Jen Josey with Jolific Homes. That's Jen with one 'n'." Or "Jolific Homes, rhymes with prolific."
2. What You Do
Here, you want to be specific. You should also include where you do business. When we first started, I had a coach tell me to use, "residential redeveloper" instead of "house flipper." While a flipper can have a negative connotation depending on who you're talking to, most people won't understand what a residential redeveloper is. Now, I simply say that we buy houses in need of repair, renovate them and resell them.
3. Why They Should Be Interested
This is where you need to get their attention and position yourself as the expert. Depending on who you're speaking to, you have several options on how to frame this...
If you are speaking to a realtor, you can say, "We're always looking to add new realtors to our team. If you come across any homes that need a lot of work, bring them to us, we'll buy them, renovate them, and have you list them on the back end. Do you like getting double commissions? Great! Here's my business card."
If you are speaking to a possible private money lender, "We work with lenders by investing their money on projects where the interest earned is much higher than the less than one percent that same bucket of money is earning in their savings account. Are you interested in making double-digit returns on the money sitting in your savings account?"
If you're talking to a potential seller, you say, "Sellers love to work with us because we can save them thousands of dollars on commissions and closing costs by selling directly to us. They also love that we can close on their timeline if they need the money from their current home to put towards a new home. Do you need a quick close so you can buy that dream home?"
If you're speaking with a contractor, "Contractors love to work with us because we provide a large volume of steady work. All our properties are vacant so you make your own hours and don't have to deal with picky homeowners. Do you like getting paid immediately upon the completion of a job?"
If you're speaking with a random person, I always like to throw out a goal of some sort. "This year, we are looking to buy twenty more homes to rehab. Do you know anyone that is trying to sell their home or getting ready to list it? You do? Great! Do you have a business card so I can get in touch with you? I'd also like to send you a Starbucks gift card for the opportunity to work with your friend."
Here is my elevator pitch:
"Hi! I'm Jen Josey with Jolific Homes. Jolific Homes is a real estate solutions company. We buy homes in need of repair throughout the Triangle. We buy with cash, renovate them and resell them. Sellers love to work with us because we buy their home "as-is" and close on their timeline. Do you know anyone that is struggling to sell their home?"
You can write a great elevator pitch script, but if you don't deliver it with passion, you will be forgotten quicker than the time you took to deliver your message. You want to pay attention to your body language too. Make sure you are making eye contact, standing tall, and of course...don't forget to smile!
If you are a newbie, you must fake it until you make it. Your elevator pitch must evolve into an almost automatic introduction when meeting new folks. The best way to do this is to ask ALL your friends if you can practice your pitch on them. You will quickly start finding that people will want to bring you business. If you say to them, "My goal is to rehab eight homes this year, do you know anyone trying to sell their home?" Be ready for them to respond with two or more possible leads!
If you want to knock it out of the park, have a credibility packet ready to share with them when you follow up. A credibility packet does just that, shows credibility. You got their attention with your elevator pitch, now you need to seal the deal with potential lenders, sellers or potential team members. You should have a credibility packet for each one of the situations mentioned previously. Call the private money lender packet a "Lending Program." Call the realtor or contractor credibility packet, "Join Our Team!" If you're working with a seller, call it "Real Estate Solution Experts."
With just a little preparation, you can turn that first encounter into a lasting impression. Now go out there and ride your elevators. As of right now, the only way you can go is up!
To read more blogs by Jen Josey, please visit www.REIGNmastermind.com.