When you are looking to work with someone, you want to know that you can trust them to get the job done. You may get a recommendation or ask for referrals. You may check out their website and see if there are any reviews. You’re hoping to find information that affirms this person or company is a good choice to address your needs. And while they may not have the clear experience you are seeking, you don’t want someone who is faking it.
My issue with “fake it ’til you make it” is it implies a deliberate intent of deceit. Just because you’ve never done something doesn’t mean you can’t confidently position yourself to be capable of doing it. While it may be harder to establish that credibility immediately, the truth is anyone can take steps to create instant credibility.
Instead of faking it, build instant credibility with these four steps.
1. Learn Your Craft
Educating yourself is critical when you don’t have experience. You may be a newbie, but you don’t want to come across as one. This is as close as I’ll get to the “fake it ’til you make it” mantra. However, this is more about preparation, not deceit. If you’re reading books, listening to podcasts, networking with other investors, and learning from a mentor, you are not faking it. You are learning your craft, building your confidence, and preparing for the opportunity.
2. Highlight Your Wins
While you may not have experience as a commercial real estate investor, you may have success in related roles. Oftentimes, one’s corporate or business success transfers over to investing. In my case, I had been recognized as one of the top marketing executives in the country while working for General Motors. Naturally, this helped me build credibility in business, which translates nicely to real estate investing.
3. Get Advisors
Find someone who has done what you want to do and is willing to teach you how to do it. These people have developed a blueprint and can help you navigate the pitfalls and learn from their mistakes. They also have an established network that can help you get traction faster. Having this person as a mentor can help you gain credibility even when you have no experience yourself.
4. Leverage Your Team’s Experience
Just because you don’t have experience doesn’t mean your team shouldn’t have it. You will need to surround yourself with mentors, partners, colleagues, and vendors that have the experience to guide you through any challenges. A new investor may work with a seasoned property manager and contractor to boost up the team’s overall experience. Ultimately, people don’t expect you to be a master of every aspect of business, so surrounding yourself with experts allows you to build credibility and trust.
Even when you lack the experience, you can build instant credibility by taking these four steps. The guest that I interviewed had actually done this even if they didn’t realize it initially. As I asked more questions, they clarified that they had taken numerous steps to build credibility. They studied and received their real estate license. They joined a reputable brokerage firm, working with more experienced agents. They leveraged the knowledge and experiences of their team to educate others on social media. All of this ultimately led to an opportunity that gave them the experience and credibility they were seeking.
If you are looking to build up your own credibility, focus on the four steps mentioned above and you won’t feel like you are deceiving others or misrepresenting yourself. This allows you to build credibility while representing an authentic version of yourself.
About the Author:
John Casmon has helped families invest passively in over $90 million worth of apartments. He is also the host of the #1 rated multifamily podcast, Target Market Insights: Multifamily + Marketing. Prior to multifamily, John was a marketing executive overseeing campaigns for Buick, Nike, Coors Light, and Mtn Dew: casmoncapital.com
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.