Photo Left: Phill Grove and Stefan Aarnio
I had the pleasure of meeting an extremely successful Real Estate Investor by the name of Phill Grove in Chicago last week. Phill has done 1000 Real Estate deals in a period of 5 years and made a $1,000,000 profit in Internet Marketing in his first year. The man is a scientist of his craft and extremely methodical in his approach. I will be writing a number of articles on lessons I learned from Phill Grove (phillgrove.com), but I'd like to share one that we all can study from and apply immediately.
Business, Real Estate Investing, Raising Capital and finding deal partners is a social game. All of these games are won and lost by networking. He who is the best networker gets the best access to deals, money and people. Since Real Estate and Business are heavily driven by social skills, Etiquiette and how you conduct yourself is often the deciding factor between the investors who become rich and the others who die broke.
Etiquette is a french word that means "a code of behaviour that delineates expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word "étiquette", literally signifying a tag or label first appeared in English around 1750.
Your Etiquette defines you and as the definition above suggests, it will signify, tag and label you in a social circle and will either give you the midas touch or the kiss of death in a social network.
Some basic fundamentals for etiquette are:
- Have excellent manners - Please and Thank You go a long way.
- Don't "fake it till you make it", act like you belong.
- Dress for success. Look like the boss, not an employee. Many investors start out with poor image. Consider getting an image consultant and pay attention to your shoes, hair, eye brows, and grooming.
Positioning is important when networking and once you have the basics down, position yourself where the money is:
- Insert yourself into high net worth situations like charity events, operas, country clubs, golf clubs, theatre, art and the right parties. Remember, putting all of this together will take time. You are building a network.
If you already have some money, Phill Grove recommends giving $10,000 to the united way. After you make your donation, you will be flagged by every charity in town and invited to every single event charity event available. He also recommends donating $100,000 to any politician to be flagged on every political list in town. Another great positioning tip from Phill is to buy a Bentley and get a golf membership, schedule your tee times for 2:00PM on Thursdays and start golfing with the power brokers that prefer that time slot.
Unfortunately not everyone has $100,000 sitting around to donate to a politician or access to a Bentley so we will have to get a little more creative.
Phill Grove's ETIQUETTE CASE STUDY, 3 ways to socially kill your personal brand as an investor.
Stefan's comment: I have met many people who fit into the following 4 Case profiles. There are many many people who run around at events falling into these categories. These are REAL types of people and they are VERY common at investor events.
CASE 1) "The Magic Trick Guy". You meet "Magic Trick Guy" at a local real estate investing club or seminar. He has the following attributes:
- Poorly dressed
- Missing teeth
- Performs magic tricks for others at the event
- Leans into your personal space while talking
- Has bad breath
- Follows you like a stalker
- His intro: "I can transform a $200,000 investment into 2 BILLION DOLLARS in 3 months"
Established brand: He is a crazy seminar person.
Case 2) "The Bulk REO Webinar Guy". You meet the "Bulk REO Webinar Guy" at a local real estate investing club or seminar. He has the following attributes:
- He listened to a FREE webinar on the internet and has decided to make millions in Bulk REO deals.
- He brags about his success at the event.
- His intro: "I'm looking for $50M for a big bulk REO Deal"
- He has no prospectus and says "I know what I'm doing, I don't need one!"
Established Brand: Idiot who doesn't know what he's doing, very common brand to find at an investment event.
Case 3) "The Real Estate Club Guy A, B and C". You meet 3 guys at a real estate club, their names are A, B and C. They all claim to have a great deal:
- Investor "A": Has an REO deal listed at $93,000 that he can get for $86,000 that has been listed for 5 months.
- Investor "B" has a mansion worth $1.6M that he can get for $1.1M (The catch is that it's only 1.2M and it has been sitting for 34 months).
- Investor "C" has a Land deal, a mobile home deal, a weird semi commercial thing, a fire damaged house, a risky newbie development deal and a tear down at "land value".
Established Brand: Rookie investors who don't know what they're doing.
Stefan's comment: These investors in Case 1,2 and 3 are committing social suicide by having poor etiquette and presenting bad deals in an unsolicited manner. I know because I used to fall into some of the above categories.
Phill Grove's guide on: How to scare money away:
Any jackass can find a high risk deal and then ask someone with money to assume all of the risks. However, people with money want to partner with other people who treat their money more conservatively than they treat their own.
So many new entrepreneurs and investors have a "I want to go to Vegas and gamble your money mentality" - this terrifies people with money.
People who have money and want to invest are NOT LOOKING TO GAMBLE. They want:
- Safety First
- High Returns
- Rinse and Repeat
- WInners and who minimize their risks.
- People with experience who have done their homework and know what they are doing.
Phill Grove's ETIQUETTE CASE STUDY: One way to brand yourself as a Winner:
Case 4) (Continued from above) Profile: "The sharp looking kid at the Billionaire Class". You meet a sharp looking kid at an investing class and he has the following attributes:
- He is dressed sharp
- He speaks well
- Talks of working long hours every day
- Talks about studying, training, books, he is well read.
- Talks about doing tons of marketing and spending lots of time evaluating deals, but he's looking for a good one.
Established brand: This kid is a go-getter!
Phill Grove's take home feeling from this kid: "I hope this 21 year old kid calls me when he's got a deal!"
***End of Phill Grove's case study.***
Stefan's comment: I hope you take some time to carefully study the attributes and etiquitte of the above 4 cases. Ask yourself the honest question "which one of these cases am I closest to?" What parts of etiquette do I need to work on? After spending some time studying these cases myself, I have already taken drastic measures to study more, improve my wardrobe, improve the way I speak and read more books. Raising money from other people should not be taken lightly and you have to be a professional. There is no room for idiots.
Remember: Etiquette is an essential skill in the networking game and a major key to succeeding in the world of business and Real Estate. Proper Etiquette can spell the difference between becoming rich and dying broke.
Thanks for reading,