Forget the Hype and Focus on What Really Matter

Superlatives abound in the world of real estate investing. Articles, podcasts, and other media boast headlines like ”10x Your Business” and ”1,000 Doors in Only 2 Years.”

The private money industry isn’t immune to peacocking either. Introductions boasting of how much in assets one has under management or origination volume to date are common. Those pronouncements can certainly be a little intimidating to a local lender like me, especially in a world where bigger always seems better. Trying to “keep up” with these boasts can lead to self-imposed goals that demand scale at breakneck speeds and the sacrifice of one’s core values and happiness.

I’ve had to battle my own internal talk track as it challenged me to “grow big or go home.” But, my instincts to hold the line win out and I embrace my choice to remain “small and mighty.” Staying true to that vision has served our company well. Our differentiated and creative financing compared to deals backed by institutional capital sets us apart. And we’ve also garnered attention and loyalty with high-net-worth investors who see and feel our “Flynn Family Difference” and want to become capital partners for the long run.

Our company’s conscious decision to remain small(ish) and our conscientious approach to private money placement allows us to provide white-glove service that makes us reliable and enjoyable to do business with year after year. Because we’re a private lender that specializes in whole trust deed investments, establishing loyalty is a more difficult task since our clients’ investments aren’t bound by lengthy contractual terms associated with syndications and private mortgage funds. Still, we have enjoyed the benefits of organic growth fueled by raving fans of our business model and our extremely personal approach to investment management.

I have found that taking a more relationship-based approach to capital raising sets us apart. We lead with charm and follow with character. I try to make every interaction cordial and heartfelt, because that’s who I am and what my investors want from me. I don’t want to shake your hand when we meet—I want to give you a hug.

Lenders who lead with their accomplishments before understanding the prospect’s needs commit a faux pas. This is especially true for new lenders. Lacking a track record, your ability to raise capital hinges on establishing trust.

People want to know who you are before they want to know what you’ve done. Nothing grates on my nerves more than being in a meeting with someone I barely know who blurts their pitch deck.

When I’m learning about potential investment opportunities, I listen carefully to how my tough questions are answered. I search for vulnerability and transparency.

If you build a business with a beating heart and a kind soul, investors will naturally gravitate toward you. Most investment companies can provide reasonable returns and testimonials to support their success. The difference lies in how results are achieved.

I want our clients to feel part of a team. I strive for an almost club-like environment, and we take time to educate clients about how we do business and about our industry overall. Yes, this takes up a lot of time. And, yes, it can be exhausting. But if you build your business with a service orientation based on adding value, clients will not only come, but they will also stay with you.

Published in American Association of Private Lenders’ Private Lender Magazine Q2 2022 – P 98 – Private Lender by AAPL by American Association of Private Lenders

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