MAREI Membership: As a Service Provider, what’s in it for me?

We often talk about all the benefits of membership to a real estate investor or landlord.  We don’t often take the time to look at it from a service providers point of view.  You are there to make connections and find a user of YOUR product or service and if for example you are a lender, maybe a 2% rebate at Home Depot is not all that exciting.

You are thinking, “I am a ________ (insert your business here) , what’s a MAREI membership going to do for me?”

Let’s take a look at it from your perspective.

We do need to make a few assumptions here.  We are going to assume that as a provider of products or services, that your consumer is going to be a real estate investor or landlord.  If you are out to sell cars or medical supplies, well, you probably are not in the right association.

Meetings:  

Sales 101 seems to say that you need to meet new people every day that could potentially be a client or customer.  Once you meet them you need to follow up ideally 8 times in a very short time frame to make sure they remember who you are and what you do.  Then follow up every 21 to 30 days with some sort of contact, and when they are ready to use your product or service, they will contact you.

So by attending any and all meetings for just the networking aspect of the meeting so you can meet more investors and landlords, your assumed target market, you can feed your database, follow up, offer good customer service, and gain new business.  At the same time, during this networking, you can follow up with current and past clients who may also attend and reinforce your relationships.

We encourage all service providers to attend every meeting we have that offers networking.

Vendors:

While you are out offering good customer service to your members, questions are going to arise about who to use for other services.  So for example say you are a Realtor working with Investor clients who often have questions about who to use for lending, home inspections, home repair, supplies, etc.  By meeting other service providers that offer complimentary service, you can recommend them to your clients and build your credibility and become a good resource.

When it comes time for your potential clients to choose you over your competitor, being the good resource in all things might make the difference between you being chosen over your competitor.  And speaking of competitors, knowing your quality competitors can be helpful in areas where you may not quite be able to help a client and a competitors product might be perfect.  By recommending the competition, you build even more credibility with your client base.

Education:

At many meetings we see our service provider s come in for the networking and pack up and go home once the speaker starts.  Those that leave are really loosing out. . . . Why?

If you were a potential customer for your product or service and you had the choice between 3 providers who all offered basically the same product, all have excellent customer service, but there is one of the three that is at all the training you  are attending.  This one provider is taking time to learn your business inside and out so that they can be a better provider of your product or service.  Which one would you choose?

So, we encourage our service providers to attend the educational part of the meeting.  Some examples here.

Realtors can help investor clients afford more properties in their portfolio if they can help the client find more ways to fund more properties through their own cash, hard money lending, private money lending, self directed IRAs, equity lines of credit or margin accounts.  All of these are topics that might be presented at a meeting.

Realtors and Lenders and any provider that offer a money source to investors can better help them analyze deals and make offers if they understand profit formulas, deal analysis and how the rehab or management process works.

And many times the educational topic is going to apply to just about any other small business owner.  So for example you might not think about attending a meeting on how to build an investor buyer list, but all the steps presented would be utilized in building your own client base if in fact your client base is the real estate investor.

Training

We also offer a more in depth training in our library online and with webinars and week end workshops and seminars.  Not all of this training will be for every service provider, but again, the more you as a service provider know and understand what it is your client does, the better able you will be to serve them.

Our online library has a wealth of topics that will provide our service providers with a broad over view of all things their investor clients need to eventually know and master.  We encourage all of our service providers to share their own knowledge and expertise to add more training to this library to help our members understand all the various aspects of the business.

Live events are also a great way to kill two birds with one stone.  Attending a Saturday seminar is a great way to get a broad overview of a topic so you can converse intelligently on the subject with your clients.  At most seminars there is some discussion where you might be able to contribute some of your knowledge.  Plus the time before and after the event or on breaks is an excellent time to get to know the other attendees in a more intimate sized setting.

Social Media

MAREI also hosts several online places for members to interact.  As a service provider you can go out and create your own groups and pages OR save time and money and network and share your expertise on our pages.

For example you might have a Facebook Page for your business where you make thoughtful posts to help educate and engage your customer but you only have 5 fans to your page.  By making that same post on your Facebook Page and then sharing it with our FaceBook Group where there are over 33600 members, you increase the reach of your post and may bring people back to your page.  Just remember here it is all about giving and engaging in conversation, not pushing your advertising.

What do I need to learn?

A recent new service provider to MAREI asked me this.  They joined and they understood the value of advertising through our website and newsletter.  They understand how they need to network and that by providing content to us for our blogs, webinars, newsletters and training they can build their own credibility for potential customers here at MAREI.

What they wanted to know is out of all the training we have available, what it is that they need to know.  I can’t say that they need to know everything we have available in our educational resources in depth.  But have a general understanding of most of the topics so that they can have intelligent conversation with an investor client can be very beneficial.

Personally I have met Realtors who were trying to sell rental property to landlords, yet didn’t have the slightest idea of how to analyze a property for profitability.  I have met Contractors who wanted to renovate my properties, but didn’t quite understand the difference between rental quality and retail quality renovations.  I have spoken with title companies that tell me this or that is illegal, because they don’t understand what I am doing, and have had other title companies that have educated themselves who are doing great business because they understand the process and know how to do it to make sure it is legal.

So what should you take the time to learn . . . . well all of it eventually, but I in the near term I would start with learning the following:

  1.  How to analyze a deal for profitability.
  2. How Hard Money and Private Money work.
  3. What is a Self Directed IRA and how they can be used
  4. How to Network Online and in Person Effectively

You can access all of the above topics in the MAREI member library and will find our meetings where we discuss case studies very valuable in understanding how to analyze a deal.  After that I would suggest attending every live where you come for the networking and stay for the education, you might just learn something or be able to share something that helps you better connect with and serve your client.