Why Defining your Identity is Critical for Success.
– An interview with J. Massey.
Today we have J. Massey, a full time real estate investor, entrepreneur, author, speaker, coach, podcast host, and an expert problem solver. J is in a class of his own for providing advice and strategies to help new and experienced investors the world over. He is at his best teaching others how to find and manage investment opportunities such as multi-family properties. He currently owns hundreds of units of properties and has completed even more real estate transactions across several states. He is a highly sought after coach and mentor.
He is going to discuss the importance of understanding your business and investor identity and why it’s critical for your success.
In this interview learn:
- How to find your Investor Identity
- Why understanding Identity is critical to business success
- The best way to build rapport with your clients
- How to dominate in your market
Can you tell us your background story and how you got started in RE?
I was a financial planner.
At the time my wife was pregnant with our child and had a condition called, “hyperemesis gravidarum.” She could not eat or drink anything without assistance of medication or else she would have vomiting convulsions. She lost 18 pounds in her first trimester. We were very scared and anxious.
This left me with the decision of either continuing to work as a self employed financial planner or to stay by her bedside. I chose the later.
Long story short, the cost of those decisions lead us to a financial crisis. We did not earn anywhere near the amount of money we needed because I was always at the hospital by my wife’s side.
We ended up having to sell all of our personal possessions online to barely make ends meet. At the time a friend suggested I become a real estate investor. It sounded odd to us but we looked into it.
This led me down the path of “Wholesaling”. That was the best way for me at the time to make real estate work. That strategy didn’t require any money or credit. It just required a willingness to go out there and take action. We leveraged that to start doing real estate.
And here I am today, teaching others about Real Estate.
You talk a lot about the Investor Identity. Why is it important to know your Investor Identity and what exactly is it?
Any business has to know the customer they are going to serve. The first customer your business serves, is YOU. You and your family.
You need to understand what you’re expecting from your business but also how to get that benefit from your business. What do I mean by this?
Let’s say you want to open up your own restaurant. I can’t just open up any restaurant and put up a sign saying, “Come Eat!”. The first question someone is going to ask me is, “What kind of food is it?” That’s a standard question people want to know.
The same thing holds true for real estate. I can’t serve every person. I can only serve certain people well. This is your Investor Identity. The easiest person to serve first is yourself. You understand yourself best. You know what you like inside your property. You know what living conditions your family needs. You understand these things well.
So don’t make it difficult by trying to serve somebody that you are not. The easiest way is to start serving somebody you understand. Someone similar to yourself. But at the same time, you need to ignore other opportunities.
For example, when somebody is considering becoming a Buy and Hold investor. They are always distracted by the Fix and Flippers. The guys on TV rehabbing homes and making $20,000 in two days. That becomes a distraction since they also want that. But the make $20,000 in two days person is completely different from the buy and hold person who builds wealth over time.
By not understanding this, you’ll mix and match marketplaces, teams, and deals; causing you to have less than positive experiences.
You give a good analogy of finding your investor identity using Nordstrom, Target, Walmart. One is fixing a garage door for a tenant VS having your garage door stolen. Can you discuss?
You have to realize even in the A class, there are subdivisions. For example, you could be inside a gated community with a person living in a million dollar house and another person living in a $10 million dollar house within the same community. The person in the $10 million house can think that the person in the $1 million house is living in a C-Class. There are subdivisions and different mindsets within classes.
These same things also apply to clients and tenant expectations. In a Nordstrom level property, certain things like a jacuzzi, pool, accent wall, fireplace, marble and granite are necessary. These are mandatory and not optional at this level.
In a Walmart class, things just need to be functional. Formica laminate floors instead of tiles will do the job well.
Understanding the customers expectations and meeting them is key.
If you are looking to serve a certain customer and you shoot too high for their expectations, and I’ve done this, it can backfire. If you take a C-class property and make it awesome and aim too high, you still have a problem.
The customer can’t see themselves living in something too nice. They’ll think, “This place must be too expensive for me to live in.” That was the actual quote we heard from potential tenants. Mind you, we got all the materials properly priced. We got a great deal and were able to give tenants a great deal on rent. But they didn’t feel comfortable because it didn’t fit their identity. It was just too nice.
The same thing is true all the way through, regardless of the level of customer you are looking for, you need to understand that Real Estate is primarily a service, not a product.
You have to meet the customers expectations for the level of service that you provide.
Understanding your audience’s identity is important in meeting expectations. What about the importance of building rapport to gain clients?
First of all it comes down to understanding that RE is not a transactional business. That’s the challenge. Most of the questions new people send my way are, “How do I find investors?” As if there is a retail store full of investors. It just doesn’t work like that.
It’s a collection of relationships. And that takes time. One of the best ways to build rapport and relationships with individuals, hands down is to teach them something.
“He who educates, dominates.”
I’ve always said,
“Educate to dominate. He or she willing to educate their market will dominate their market, period.Click To Tweet
If you go out with solutions and give them first, you’ll be able to build rapport with a lot of people, very quickly. Especially with today’s technology and digital distribution methods.
The ability to build a business or to build rapport and create relationships is not about how much money you have, how much credit you have. It’s not even about who you know.
It’s about educating other people.
If you’re willing to share what you know in a way that it helps others first, before you ask them for something. Then you’ll have a great shot at business on anything you want to build.
So by educating others, your building rapport and solving their problems. Would you say you’re in the business of Problem Solving?
Every entrepreneur is in the business of solving problems, whether they know it or not.
Solving problems is the core message behind any product or service. If I sell bottled water, I’m solving a problem: The distribution of water, hopefully clean and healthy.
When you are educating to dominate, you are actually trying to give some of the solution away, in such a way that you help people.
It doesn’t take much skill to ask anybody to buy something from you. Everybody is doing that,
“Hey buy my widget, it’s better!”
But very few people are willing to say,
“Here’s the proper way to use any widget in general. And by the way, if you like the widgets we recommend, try this one. It happens to be ours.”
Few people are willing to do this, because it takes more time to help others. People are very “Me” focused, instead of “We” focused.
So by educating people today, six months from now you’ll have a large audience and built rapport and relationships. So that when you come across a great deal, you’ll have investors and creative finance at your fingertips. They’ll be ready to reciprocate and take advantage of your recommendations, property investments, any product or service you may have to offer.By educating people today, you'll have a large audience tomorrow, ready to take your advice and service.Click To Tweet
End of Interview Part 1 – Continue to Part 2 – “What every business needs to know“
Got questions for J? Leave them below!
J. Massey Bio
Massey is a full-time real estate investor, entrepreneur, podcast host, author, speaker, coach and all-around problem solver. He is well known for providing best-in-class advice and strategies to help new and experienced investors the world over. He is at his best teaching others how to find and manage investment opportunities such as multi-family properties. He is also an expert negotiator.
He has turned his real world experience into comprehensive training courses in different aspects of Real Estate, from doing due diligence to understanding the psychology behind deal making. His cashflow-creation strategies are embraced on a global scale by people who want to achieve tangible success in real estate investing, and in his words become “bigger, badder, better real estate investors.”
Prior to real estate investing, J. held positions in insurance and financial planning as a licensed representative with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the California Dept of Insurance (CDI), and a Registered Investment Advisor Representative (RIAR).
J. is a member of the National Sales Network, Renatus and Toastmaster’s International (CC). He holds more than 12 awards for public speaking including 2nd Place in the 2008 Founders District International Speech Contest, 1st place in the 2009 Founders District Table Topics, and 2nd place in the 2010 Founder’s District International Speech and Table Topics contests.
His publishing credentials include a book he co-authored titled “3 Money Raising Questions” and his highly acclaimed book, Cashflow Diary: 10 Steps to Creating Wealth in ANY Economy! He has also authored many educational e-books on a variety of topics in real estate investing and networking to create wealth.