Calling on multifamily brokers for the first time can be an intimidating process. Sweating begins and that eye twitch starts up. Relax. Remember, you are building a team here. A team, and you are the captain of that team. Before you start picking from the lineup here are some tips you need to stay fearless. You can do this!

Know what you want

 
First of all, you should have some idea of what type of property you’re looking for and in which specific markets. This will fuel your confidence. Don’t go in blind, looking for an education. Do your research beforehand.

Your first contact with a broker will be much easier on you when you refine your general perimeters. For instance, what size multifamily building are you looking for? Are you looking to start with a small multi-unit property? Or, would you prefer a larger deal?

Where would you like to invest? An urban core? In outlying submarkets? How about rural areas? How much work are you willing (and able) to complete on a building in need of repair? Would a turnkey property be more appropriate for you? For some help on this take look at our free Fast Start to Real Estate Investing Program.

Look for multifamily brokers who know your target market

 
Brokers are sales people who market their services. Most can be found online through LoopNet, Find a CCIM or through a Google search for multifamily brokers.

In most metropolitan areas you’ll find that brokers specialize within niche markets. As you search online, look for brokers who are active in your target markets. It’s okay to have several markets or neighborhoods in mind.

During your online research, take a look at each brokers’ bio and sales experience. Also look at their active multifamily property listings. What markets do they specialize in? What was their sales volume last year? Have they won industry related awards? What high school did they attend? What kind of dog do they own? Take notes and use this information to break the ice in your first conversation.

You are interviewing them

 
Now’s the time to pick up the phone and make appointments. Don’t get stuck on this action step; you have goals and a general idea of what you’re looking for. Start there.

If you are unsure of yourself, then use sincere flattery to ease into the meeting. Get to know each other. That’s the point of your initial meeting. Be genuine and curious. Here are some sample openers to break the ice:

  • “You had an impressive sales record last year.”
  • “I lived in New Town.”
  • “I loved your online bio.”
  • “My cousin went to Evergreen High School.”
  • “You must know a lot about the market.”
  • “My aunt owns a Labrador.”

Most of all, your goal is to find someone you are comfortable working with. Someone to build a long-term relationship with. In a way, your first meeting is like a first date.

Don’t be afraid

 
Remember, brokers are sales people and they want your business. Even if you are trembling with fear and spill coffee all over their desk you can start again. The broker may not offer you another beverage, but they will gladly accept a commission for brokering the deal. This is part of networking.

Eliminate fear but don’t fake bravado. Pretending to be someone you are not is not how you start a relationship. Be your authentic self when approaching multifamily brokers. This is a win-win situation. Pick a broker you can build a relationship with and your decision will lead to your success.

Be gracious

 
Whether or not you select a broker to be on your team is entirely up to you. Either way, each professional you speak with has given you their time, gratis. Send them a thank you note acknowledging that courtesy.

You never know how connections will pan out in the future. Through your networking, you are establishing your reputation, your brand. You cannot go wrong being gracious.

Don’t sign anything . . . yet

 
The brokers you interview may want you to sign an exclusive deal with them. Don’t sign anything right out of the gate. You are still in the interview stage. Your team has yet to be assembled and you should not submit to any pressure tactics. Meet with at least 5 different brokers, in a single market, before agreeing to an exclusive relationship.

Experience will build your confidence. Always remember this is a win-win relationship. Long-term business relationships can be profitable to everyone on your team. Be choosy about who you let join.

Learn more:

 
Should You Hire a Commercial Broker When Buying Apartment Buildings?

The Best Way to Build Your Multifamily Real Estate Investing Team

Using Apartment Building and Multifamily Property Listing Services to Your Advantage

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Theresa Bradley-Banta writes about investing in real estate while avoiding the pitfalls that plague many new investors. She is a 2017 PropTech Top 100 Influencer and winner of 14 American and International real estate awards for her website and real estate investing programs. As featured on: The Equifax Finance Blog, AOL’s Daily Finance, Scotsman Guide, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, Stevie Awards Blog, Rental Housing Journal, and Investors Beat among others.

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