As real estate entrepreneurs, and in life in general, we are constantly selling ourselves. Whether it be to sellers, partners, lenders, or even our significant others, it is important to develop the talent of marketing ourselves as successful, reliable, persistence, valuable, etc. individuals. One such individual who has mastered this skill set is Gino Barbaro.
Gino has 15 years of real estate experience. During his career, he has discovered multiple strategies and adopted a mindset that has allowed him to successfully sell himself to everyone he works with. As a result, Gino was able to grow his multifamily portfolio to 674 units in 3 years! In our recent conversation, he explain his secret – always do what you say and say what you do, put others first, build a credibility book, and ultimately differentiate yourself from the competition.
Tip #1 – Do what you say and say what you do
In order to successfully sell yourself to others, the first thing you have to realize is that if you say that you are going to do something, you have to do it. While this may seem like obvious and straightforward advice, it is actually the opposite. In a society that promotes instant gratification, self-serving and the need for results “now,” talking the talk but not walking the walk is the majority’s default setting. Therefore, doing what you say and saying what you do is the most important mindset to adopt if you want to standout from the competition.
Always be mindful of others time and their worth over your own, which transitions to Gino’s next piece of advice…
Tip #2 – Always put others first
Gino believes that we are all here to be in service of others. This piece of advice echoes one of my favorite Zig Ziglar quotes– “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” As long as you are in the real estate business, always be in the service of others. When you are taking action, always think of others. An example that Gino provides is that if you are in the arena of raising private money, don’t go to your investors only when you need something or when you have good news. Go to them when you have bad news. Also, go to them when you have no news at all. The same logic can be applied to all aspects of real estate – real estate agents and their clients, property managers and their landlords, etc.
Constantly think of ways to keep your clients, customers, investors, etc. in the loop. This will show that you genuinely value them and that they are always top of mind.
Tip #3 – Create a Credibility Book
Gino’s best ever advice is to create a credibility book. A credibility book is essentially a binder that outlines your business plan. It is great for anyone and for any real estate endeavor. The credibility book answers, in detail, the following three questions:
- What do you do as an investor? (i.e. your specific real estate niche)
- How do you do it? (i.e. your strategy)
- What are examples of successful deals you’ve completed in the past? (i.e. case studies)
For example, Gino’s credibility book is a 15-page document that is entitled “Investing in Mom and Pops:”
- What do you do as an investor? – “We invest in distressed, C-class properties that have motivated sellers, are between a 7 and 8 percent cap rate, and have at least a 10% cash on cash return.”
- How do you do it? – “We buy the properties, force up the net operating income, refinance to pull out cash, and then repeat.”
- What are examples of successful deals you’ve completed in the past? – They outline 3 case studies to prove their credibility. Each case study is unique and they explain how they added value for every property.
Gino finds that not many people have a book like this. However, when you are going to a bank and looking for a loan, if you throw a 15-page credibility book on the table, you instantly stand out. It is visual, in your face, and most importantly, it is written. Gino says that when you have something written down, it is much more credible than the spoken word. By coming in with a written plan, it shows that you are already prepared to take action!
Tip #4 – Differentiate Yourself
Gino’s first three pieces of advice – do what you say, always put others first, and create a credibility book – are both examples of ways you can differentiate yourself from the competition. You always need to be on the lookout for ways that you can differentiate yourself. A great question to consistently ask yourself is, why am I more valuable than the next person? That is, why would someone work with you rather than working with the next guy? Focus on providing as much value as possible.
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.