What Does It Take To Be A Successful Real Estate Investor? Post 227

Coach Mitch’s REFLECTIONS™


I recently had a great conversation with an Army Sergeant, parts of which I will relate, with her permission. This Army Sergeant has  gotten several real estate investing programs and has been studying real estate investing for a while, but she has not pulled the trigger. This conversation illustrates part of what it takes to be a successful real estate investor. As a coach, it is gratifying when you can touch another human in a way that they get inspired to improve.

BTW, classic sales training and NLP (Nuro-Linguistic Programming) dictate that whatever you say will be better received if you are using language familiar to your subject, i.e. speak to a truck driver like a truck driver speaks. In this case the subject is a military person; notice the many military related associations that I make. It is no accident. Sales is the art of persuasion. Create rapport and trust through correlations, links and familiarities.


As a test, I challenged this person to read my last 10 blogs and to call me back to discuss them. I asked, “Give me your impression of the blogs you read.”

Sergeant Graves: “I really liked Post 215 about why wanna-be real estate investors don’t invest. It stood out a lot to me. You spoke about commitment and fear. In my mind I’m committed, but I’m so fearful of failing and not having help that I don’t really push myself to do. I feel like I have to keep buying another program so I can learn a little more. But getting your program is the last one that I want to get because your program makes a lot of sense, compared to everything else I’ve seen. I want to do what you are doing.”

“Nobody ever talks about commitment. You talk about commitment, but wow, nobody says it like you do. They [other guru’s] speak about fear but mainly they say, ‘Buy this, buy this, buy this, because I got this trick that’s going to help you.’ But there is no trick, you say, ‘just do it.’ I say to myself, ‘Wow, this man never talks about no tricks.’

“That fear is still in me. How do I get this fear out?”

Coach Mitch: “Just do it.”

“This is a good analogy. Your captain says, ‘Graves, we’re all bogged down. There’s a machine gun in that pill box up ahead. It’s shooting us up. We’ve got to take it out. So, Graves, go charge that pill box, go ahead; take it out.”

“What do you do?”

Sergeant Graves: “I’m going to do it.”

Coach Mitch: “Really? Why?”

Sergeant Graves: “Because that’s what my commander said to do. That’s what we’re taught.”

Coach Mitch: “But it’s a suicide mission. The heck with what he says. Why would you do that? It’s a serious question? Why would you do something that will be futile and end up leaving your child without a mother?”

“And, just as serious, why would you tell one of your privates to charge that machine gun knowing full well that he’s going to be killed? Why would take that on?”

Sergeant Graves: “That’s a good question.”

Coach Mitch: “Well, what’s the good answer?”

Sergeant Graves: “Because my commander told me too.”

Coach Mitch: “That’s not the good answer. That’s not the reason you do it. You’re not a robot. You have emotion and intellect. What’s the real reason that you feel compelled to tell a private to go and risk his life? What’s the real reason that you would risk your life charging that pill box?

Sergeant Graves: “Loyalty?”

Coach Mitch: “Good. You’re heading in the right direction. You’re going over that hill, you’re putting yourself in danger. You’re taking a risk that your child is not going to have a mother – because of a greater good, because of a higher calling.”

“And, that’s how you rationalize telling the private to risk his life – for the greater good.”

Sergeant Graves: “That put it a lot better than how I said it.”

Coach Mitch: “The real motivation [for doing real estate investing] is that you want to do this for your family. You want to do this so that you can be a good example to your child. You want to do this so that you can give your child the things that child deserves. You want to do this to inspire your husband and make him proud. You want to inspire yourself to be better. So all this stuff is being done for a greater good.”

Sergeant Graves: “That makes great sense.”

Coach Mitch: “That’s where commitment comes from, if you’re a decent person. If you’re not a decent person then your commitment leads you to a life of crime or they want power. That’s why we have the crappy politicians that we have.”

Sergeant Graves: “That’s why I’m doing this, for my kids, for my family.”

Coach Mitch: “The second reason to do this [REI] is that you know that it is good for you too; just like you joined the Army because you knew that it was going to be good for you. You knew the Army was going to give you the qualities that you knew were good to have; order, consistency, command, and other good qualities that you knew would serve you well.”

Sergeant Graves: “Right.”

It’s the little things that count

Later on Sergeant Graves asked about what a proper answering machine message could be? This is important because it is the little things that drive us crazy and stop us from taking action for fear that what we do may not be perfect.

Coach Mitch: “It’s not rocket science. Just put yourself into the place of the caller and think what kind of message you would like to hear and how you would react to it.”

Consider something like this: “If you’re calling about a property, please leave a detailed message and I will call you back later this evening. If I haven’t called you back by this evening then please call again, as I may not have gotten the message.”

“I’ve never heard a phone message like that but It makes a lot of sense. Remember what I said to you when you first called me? I said, ‘I need to finish something. I’ll call you back in 10 minutes. If I haven’t called you back in 10 minutes, then please call me back.’ ”

Sergeant Graves: “I remember that.”

Coach Mitch: “How did that make you feel?”

Sergeant Graves: “It made me feel important.”

Coach Mitch: “Ahh-haa. See that?”

Sergeant Graves: “It made me feel like you really take care of your customers.”

Coach Mitch: “There you go. That’s sales. That put me on first base with you right?”

Sergeant Graves: “It did. I thought I’d wait on your phone call. You said you would call me back and if not, I was going to call you back.”

Coach Mitch: “It’s little things like that which makes people decide that you’re the one, you’re the one to deal with.”

Sergeant Graves: “Now I know how to do the voice mail.”

We spoke about another blog

Sergeant Graves:Post 213, your Golden Rule for real estate investment. I really enjoyed that one: Empathy = Acceptance, Empathy = Profit, How to negotiate. You really touched my heart in that one.”

Coach Mitch: “My inspiration [for the blog] came from my rabbi.

Just like any commander, they are supposed to inspire. They’re supposed to tell you things that make you think, and make you feel. They’re supposed to be a good example so you want to do things like they do. It makes for a better human.”

Sergeant Graves: “You’re so right about that.”

Coach Mitch: “That’s why I like the coaching so much. I get to speak to real people, like yourself, who want to do real things and my job is to inspire.”

Sergeant Graves: “You do a great job inspiring. I was like, ‘Forget it, I’m not going to do it,’ because I was really losing hope. And I saw this [your coaching program] where you don’t put a time limit on talking to people. Nobody does that. And you said you would call me back, and you did, and I thought, ‘Wow, he’s a real man and he’s legit.”

Coach Mitch: “Thank you.”

It’s important to study

Coach Mitch: “The big deal is that you move forward. I am very impressed and proud of you that you read all those blogs in such a short time. You reminded me of me, because that’s what I did. I dove right in and read everything I could, contracts, books and listened to program after program after program. I took people out to lunch and bled their brain. I went and looked at property with people and asked them to look at property with me.”

“You need to train yourself. This is not rocket science. But, unless you know where you’re stepping, you’re going to hit an IED [bomb].”

Sergeant Graves: “Oh Lord, I don’t want to hit an IED.”

Coach Mitch: “I’m telling you, sure as shooting, unless you know where you’re stepping you’re going to hit an IED. So you darn well better learn the details, not just the general concepts, but the details.”

“Now that does NOT mean that you should wait. No. It does mean that you follow rules, that you are very careful in your analysis. Right?”

“The part that made the most sense to me was when I discovered that I could get a tax delinquent property for 10, 20, 30 cents on the dollar. I’ve never seen any other situation in real estate investing where you can get such good deals that are as good. That’s because people are going to lose their property to the tax man. They know that so they are forced to deal.”

“And if they like you, if they believe that you’re going to help them, then they’ll work with you.”

“The only thing that you really need to do is to be a genuine person. That’s it. That’s the ‘trick,’ if you want to call it that.”

Trust and Inspiration

I asked a question that I ask of many prospects,

Coach Mitch: “I’m going to ask you a question. It’s an unusual question, but I have a reason for asking it.

We’ve spoken several times, long enough for you to have formed an opinion about Coach Mitch. Using descriptive language, using single words, please tell me your opinion of Coach Mitch.”

Sergeant Graves: “Genuine, respectful, helpful, kind, great salesman, motivated, stern.”

Coach Mitch: “That’s all very nice but I’m looking for a particular word.”

“Let’s say we’re looking to do a transaction. Let’s say you’re the seller and I’m the buyer. I want to buy the property but I want you to be the banker. Would I be the kind of person that you would say ‘Yes’ to for something like that? What kind of quality do you want in a person to accept a payment over a long period of time?”

Sergeant Graves: “Someone that I could trust.”

Coach Mitch: “Exactly. Is that a word that you could apply to me.”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “It’s pretty obvious to me that you are a trustworthy person. When I said, ‘Just be genuine,’ all you have to be is, be yourself.”

“When I’m listening to you explaining how you are going to help me [a tax delinquent seller] in my situation, I’m going to cleave to you because I’m feeling that you’re genuine. Now, if you come across like a used car salesman you will be skeptical. And that is one step away from saying ‘No.’ ”

“On the other hand, if you are genuine, if you tell me why you can’t give me everything I want. If you’re explaining it, and it is rational, I can understand it and believe it.”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “Tax delinquents are in trouble, they are like deer in the headlights, and they can’t figure out what the heck to do? They’ve tried to do everything they know to do but it hasn’t worked. But because you have studied, because you have gotten the information – you know what to do. You’ve put the time in. You got a program. You got a coach. There are plenty of things to do and you learned them, and they did not. That makes you the expert, doesn’t it?”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “If you can explain things in a manner that they trust you, feel like you’re a friend, believe that you will do something good for them – even if you make something for yourself – that’s OK – but, if they believe you’re going to carry out what you said you would do for them, if you’re going to give them what they need, then you are going to be very successful.”

Sergeant Graves: “I can do that.”

Coach Mitch: “Of course you can. Of course you can.”

Sergeant Graves: “Ohh, you’re good. You know how to bring things out in people. You know how to make me think. While was studying I wasn’t thinking about the things you’re talking about now. Even when I was reading I wasn’t thinking about it.”

Coach Mitch: “Thank you. If I’m able to inspire someone to do good, it doesn’t get better than that.”

Sergeant Graves: “I hope to be able to do that one day.”

Coach Mitch: “You are doing it now and you’re doing it every day. You’re not giving yourself the credit for it because we don’t give ourselves the credit for things we do every single day that are good.”

“Do you encourage your child? Do you watch out for your troops? Do you do the best that you can to give your superiors what they are looking for?”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “Isn’t that what I’m talking about?

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “You’re doing what you know you can do. You’re doing what you expect of yourself because you have a standard and you’re going to live up to that standard. It’s not even a question that you’re going to live up to that standard is it?”

Sergeant Graves: “No sir, it’s not.”

Coach Mitch: “That’s commitment – commitment. That’s commitment for a greater good. It’s all part of the same mental attitude.”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “You’re already two, three steps up on the ladder. You’re just not recognizing it and you’re not giving yourself the credit for it.”

Sergeant Graves: “This is true, so true.”

Coach Mitch: “All achievers are like this. But the takers, and there’s a lot of them out there; they wish they had what you are able to do.”

Sergeant Graves: “You’re so right. Thank you sooo much.”

Coach Mitch: “So all you really need to do is think in terms of steps. What is the next step? What is the next thing? What is the next thing after that? What are the consequences if something gets in the way? Well, what could that be? It’s only going to be a very few things; so what is my response? How am I going to respond to whatever is going to get in my way?”

“This is classic military thinking, isn’t it?”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes sir.”

Coach Mitch: “Well, guess who is in the military?”

Sergeant Graves: “I am. Yes sir, you’re so right. I’m doing stuff all the time. I can do this. I do it all the time.”

Coach Mitch: “Of course you can.”

Let’s get moving

Coach Mitch: “The first thing would be to engage with your husband and help him to see that he is part of this effort. You might engage his intellect and his imagination. If you think that there is a particular blog that will appeal to him; not to you, but to him, have him read that one blog.

“Then ask him questions. What in particular did he like? What kind of ideas were generated by that blog? Could he see himself in that particular situation? Did it feel good?”

Sergeant Graves: “That’s a good one. I’m going to do that.”

Coach Mitch: “Monica, this is just human stuff, nothing more than that. You inspire your troops every day. Your husband is just one of your troops.”

Sergeant Graves: “That’s true.” laughing

Coach Mitch:  “This is not ‘make the bed’ or ‘do the dishes.’ This is ‘Let’s move forward together. I need your help. I need you to watch out so I don’t mess up; because if I mess up we’re both going to be hurt. So, I need you to watch my back, and in certain areas, I need you to take the lead because you have your own skills that are better than mine. Right?

Sergeant Graves: “That’s right. You’re so right.”

Coach Mitch: “In that way, I’m sure you can inspire him to be part of this effort. And if the two of you can get together, there’s nothing better for a marriage and there’s nothing better for a business, because there’s nobody that you can trust more than your spouse.”

Sergeant Graves: “Yes. That speaks volumes.”

In conclusion

We had a great conversation. This is what happens when speaking with mentors.

In being “Army Strong,” this sergeant is “Being all she can be” and will be an “Army of One” as a real estate investor. I expect Sergeant Monica Graves to succeed. She started strong by getting Coach Mitch’s “Ridiculously Simple System…”⁜ the next day.

As with all those who get my program, I offer a free consultation, of unlimited time, to answer questions, to clarify ideas and options and to create a realistic path forward. I look forward to having that conversation with Sergeant Graves. She will be another Coach Mitch  success story – so could you.

G-d Bless US –

Mitchell Goldstein - Coach Mitch
518-439-6100 until midnight EST

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