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The 10-year yield essentially did not move last week.  With that said, I thought I would pivot to something that might help build your business.

Missed Opportunities (Referral Requests):

I have written about introductions and referrals before; and I thought it was worth bringing up again.  A lot of professionals treat referral requests as an interruption.  Their client or business partner says something along the lines of “Hey, do you know a good CPA?”  Now there is a decision to be made.  And what you do at this point will affect more than most people realize.

I want to believe that most of us have good intentions; and that we really want to help others.  However, someone making the request above has not done much to grab our attention.  That is the first mistake.  Remember I said there is now a decision to make.  Do we value this relationship with the client or business partner enough to make an effort beyond their request?  If so, then we need to take the time to slow down and determine what they really want.  Why are they asking me the question?  What is important to them?  Do they want a low-cost provider?  Do they want someone to protect them?  And asking such questions takes effort.

Now some professionals believe in quantity vs. quality.  Quantity types will want to refer lots of people.  The problem with this approach is it devalues everyone.  When I get referral requests that have little content (and clearly are not well thought out), I typically do not want to help.  It is pretty much the garbage in, garbage out situation.  So is this the type of relationship I want to cultivate? The answer is usually no.  This is the person that will end up wasting everyone’s time and energy.  Clearly, this is not an efficient approach.

Let’s now move to the quality approach.  I get a request for a CPA who is known for being the client’s advocate, really understands how to handle real estate, clearly respects the time of their clients and contacts, and so on.  Now I can start to think as to how to help.  I see this as an excellent request where we all can win.  The business partner or client is prepared enough to respect my time and is asking for my help.  They have put me in a position which allows me to identify a potential solution.

I have a clear picture of who fits this client or business partner need and why.  It allows me to contact a CPA I know to determine if this is the type of referral they wish to get (I give them a chance to say whether or not they feel they are a good solution).  You see everyone is respecting everybody in this example.  I get permission to refer the CPA.  The CPA appreciates that and knows I respect their time; and that I only want to bring referrals that match their style.  I get known as someone that will take the extra time to figure out what would be most helpful.  And, then I tell the business partner or client that (with their permission) I will have the CPA give them a call if, and only if, they agree this is a good match for them.

Okay, I have really gone on and on about this.  By doing this effectively, all of the relationships are strengthened.  And guess what?  These folks will look at all involved here as potential business partners in the future.  We may not be throwing our virtual business cards around a 1000 times, but we are focusing on helping a much smaller sample set that truly can be integral to the success of each other.  This breeds future business!

So, a referral request can be a great marketing opportunity or a waste of time.  That is up to the parties involved.  However, those that handle this intelligently are the professionals that have deeper relationships.  They are working with fewer people, but getting more business (as they are not spinning their wheels).  Remember, each of us can be any one of the roles here.  You can be the one seeking the referral, the partner being asked for a good CPA (in this example), or you could be the ultimate party being referred.  I just know i prefer quality over quantity.  To me, that is just smart business.

Okay, that is enough for this week.  As always, I am happy to discuss this or any of your strategic financing needs.  Hopefully, you are getting a chance to relax and enjoy your holiday.

Articles of Interest: reported “Become a Real Estate Investor With 3 Easy Investments.” Please do your homework if you decide on jumping in with any of these alternatives.  “Easy” may be a bit misleading.

Multi-Housing News reported “The Inland Empire Expands. also reported “Sacramento Is California’s Newest Real-Estate Hot Spot.”

See the table below for approximate interest rates.

Type Rate Fixed Term
Apartments 3.755% – 4.580% 3 to 10 year (30 yr amortization)
Commercial 4.095% – 4.880% 3 to 10 year (25 yr amortization)
Construction Call for Rate Call for Rate
SV Commercial Lending