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3 Steps to Building Strong Business "Relationships for Life"

 

One of the 3 most valuable lessons I've learned in my career as a real estate investor came from my mentor - Robert Helms. He always says that we need to "build relationships for life."

He taught me that when you approach people with a "relationships for life" philosophy, you are not just trying to get that person to do one deal with you, but you want to build a strong long-lasting relationship with that person, keep working together, and hopefully also become friends.

I have taken that advice to heart, and I always seek to build strong relationships with everyone who can bring value to my life and my business.

So how do you get into these relationships? Here are three steps to follow to establish strong business relationships:

 

1) Reach Out To Those Who Are Already In Your Circle of Influence

You are probably already connected to tons of great people -- likely far more than you think.

First, pull out a pad of paper and a pen and start to think about potential team members you already are acquainted with and would like to work with.

Make a list of all the people who you know that are involved in real estate. They could be service providers or investors. Surf your LinkedIn connections, contacts databases, or your Facebook friend list to jog your memory. You probably know more people than you thought you knew.

Next, think about who you know that's influential - who might know of someone that could help you. Everyone you know has at least 10 contacts and sometimes hundreds or thousands of other contacts. You are likely only one or two degrees of separation from anyone you would want to meet.

Reach out to these people and begin to establish the relationship. If they're not a fit, ask them who they know who could be.

Another way to get into relationships is to put yourself in situations where you'll meet the right people.

Attend conferences and events (even if they're virtual). Take every opportunity to get around others in real estate.

Not everyone can go to as many conferences and events as I do or even wants to, but you all have the ability to get yourselves to events where you'll be able to connect with the right people to take you to the next level.

Attend a local real estate investors’ association (REIA) meeting, or hit a private lenders’ Meetup while you’re on a business trip anyway. These things are inexpensive (if not free) to attend and will help you make connections that will change your business and your life.

Furthermore, don’t just attend these events and then sit in the corner (or virtual corner as the case may be)! Seek to meet as many people as you can. When you meet these great people, make sure to follow up with them. And don’t forget to do Step Three.

 

2) Show Up And Be of Service

You may be wondering, "Why would someone want to work with me? I'm new or not as successful as they are."

The way to get the best people to work with you is not to focus on how they can help you, but to focus on how you can help them.

Look for ways to be of service and to solve their problems.

Here’s the good news: it doesn’t even have to be a big problem that you are solving. Just demonstrating that you are considerate and helpful, will make a huge impression. They will want to work with you if you provide an opportunity or connection and/or can help them solve a problem.

 

3) Always Treat the Relationship as a Long-Term One

In all decisions in your relationships treat the person as if you're going to be in business together for 40 years (as opposed to just doing one deal together).

When you're thinking of establishing a long-term business relationship, you're not going to be transactional and just think about getting the most you can out of them.

You will want to treat them in such a way that they'll want to continue working with you. That means being of high integrity and being generous when possible.

Of course, you want them to treat you this way too. It can't be one-sided. If they don't show up that way, then you will know not to repeat business with them or get into business with them in the first place.

What's important is to you maintain your reputation for being a great person to work with. In doing that, the right people will flock to you.

Those are my three steps to establishing successful relationships. What are you doing to set up strategic relationships in your life?

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