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Real Estate Investing: Sales and Negotiation Skills are Critical

Do you want to build wealth through real estate? You need expertise in two critical areas: specific investment strategies and sales and negotiation skills. But if knowing how to identify good deals is what's really important about investing in real estate, why do investors need to worry about their sales and negotiation skills?

"Knowing how to identify good deals is certainly a critical part of real estate investing, but it's not the only part," says Russ Whitney, internationally recognized real estate expert and bestselling author of Millionaire Real Estate Mentor (Dearborn Trade Publishing). "Your investment may be an inanimate object, but in the process of making that investment, you have to deal with people. If you take a look at anyone who has made a lot of money-regardless of the circumstances or the vehicle they used-you'll find they have at least one trait in common: They have top-notch selling skills."

Peter Conti and David Finkel agree. In their book, Making Big Money Investing in Real Estate, they say, "The single most important skill you have as an investor is your ability to connect emotionally with people." With an emotional connection, you can work through the mechanics of any deal.

The first step in developing strong sales and negotiation skills is to get rid of any preconceived notions you may have about what being a salesperson is all about, says Russ Whitney. "It's not about making a slick, fast-talking presentation or tricking someone into buying something they don't want, won't use, and can't afford," he says. "Selling is about solving problems. It's about creating win-win situations. It's about honesty, integrity, knowledge, and building relationships that serve everyone."

Second, Whitney says, understand that you can use sales skills in just about every aspect of your business and personal life. "Think about it: buying a house for no money down, getting a loan at a bank, convincing your spouse to support your dreams, even persuading your toddler to eat his vegetables--it's all selling," he says. "Once you realize this and work on developing your sales skills, you'll find it much easier to reach your financial goals--and in fact, you'll find just about everything in your life is easier."

Third, commit yourself to win-win results. "Too many people think that in any negotiation, you must have a winner and a loser. That's just not true," says Whitney. "You want people to come away from a deal with you feeling good, and that's why you work on reaching a win-win resolution. Communicate clearly enough and consider all your options so you can come up with a plan that benefits everyone involved. That's successful selling."

Fourth, learn the techniques. "The techniques of positive communications--which is what selling basically is--are techniques anyone can learn and develop," says Whitney. "There is no such thing as a 'born salesperson.' Learning the techniques may be easier for some than others, but everyone can learn them."

Fifth, get rid of your self-imposed limits and believe you can negotiate profitable deals. In his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker writes, "One of the principles we teach in our programs is 'If you shoot for the stars, you'll at least hit the moon.' Poor people don't even shoot for the ceiling in their house, and then they wonder why they're not successful. Well, they just found out. You get what you truly intend to get."

Whitney suggests taking courses, reading books, and studying successful people to learn effective sales and negotiation techniques. But, he says, the most important thing for someone to know about developing selling skills is this: "Always operate with truth, honesty, and integrity. Your reputation is the most valuable asset you'll ever have; guard it well."

Jordan Taylor is the editor of Millionaire Mentor? Newsletter, which is published by Whitney Education Group, Inc.? To sign up for a free subscription, visit

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