“You’d agree with me when I say that what you do is a bit speculative….”

Today I was attending a hard contact, referral based networking meeting. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it  simply means that there is only one of your profession in the chapter/group of which you are a member. If you are a plumber, you are the only plumber in the group and therefore all plumber referrals from the group should go to you.

I, however, am not a plumber. I hate poop.

I am a real estate investor and my business is primarily focused on wholesaling, while also offering short sale, loan mod and stop foreclosure services.

As I sat through a final interview with 2 gentlemen from the group, an interview that would determine if I were or were not to be accepted, I felt a large amount of discomfort and defensiveness rise inside my chest, which is rare. I am a natural talker! I almost always feel comfortable in the spot light. I live a no bull shit, honest life so what do I have to fear? So when people go beyond inquisition, to tainted assumption BEFORE facts are presented, that’s when I have an issue.

As the gentleman sat back in his chair, spitting off what were anything but casual questions, I got the sense that he didn’t seem to approve of what I did, assuming he even knew what I did. The other man sat silent and glared at us as if he were watching two bull dogs circle around one another sniffing each other out with one tooth ready to bite. I didn’t mind that man’s questions or curiosities, in fact, I liked his tie! He was light hearted and non-threatening. I thought to myself, why can’t this guy interview me? …No such luck!

So, in great detail, I shared with the less friendly of the two, the transparency of my business and the legality of it all. I explained how I made money and what clientele I worked with. He then paused, slowly opening his mouth as if the thoughts from the back of his brain were rummaging their way to the front of the thought pile to stumble out of his mouth and asks, “You’d agree with me when I say that what you do is a bit speculative?”

What? Come again?

Let us define speculative and let me also define the context in which he was speaking. He was speaking about private lending. He wanted to know how we financed rehab deals and he thought that 12% interest was speculative and his tone throughout the whole conversation would lead one to believe that he felt even the ventures themselves may be speculative in nature. I had to consult my friend freedictionary.com to get a better understanding of what he meant, just to be sure,

Speculative: not financially safe or secure, a"bad investment"; "high risk investments"; anything that promises to pay too much can't help being risky; high risk, risky, bad

We can agree that the word speculative in the financial world does not hold a positive connotation.

I looked at the man and within less that a millisecond said, “I completely disagree with you.” Now, given that I was interviewing for the spot in the group, maybe that was not the best way to go about it. Whatever. The point was that he was telling me my business and its practices were speculative. I took it as him calling what I did bullshit. Not cool.

Many people thinks investors are thieves.  Many people, until recently, think of banks as the friendly tellers at the local branch. However, good investors are far more transparent and flexible than banks, leading to much lesser degrees, if any , of speculation. How can you love your bank but condemn what I do?

Furthermore, there is nothing speculative about what I do. What I make, how I make it and how much the seller gets is clear from the beginning. Period. How much more transparent and straightforward can you get. You buy my contract, you are buying the terms in that contract, therefore you have to live up to them, period. The only thing speculative about it is if you do not understand the one page contract. Inherently, the danger is not in the investment, so much as it is in your lack of understanding.

DID YOU KNOW?

Banks will sell your debt to other financial institutions, which affects your ability to modify your loan or receive retention assistance in the future if you become delinquent. What about the homeowners who received loans with no proof of income leading them to 8%+ ARM mortgages and , obvious and predictable inability to pay and then to inevitable foreclosure, because guess what! BOA sold your loan to Citi Financial and Citi Financial will not modify your loan! THAT, to me, sounds SPECULATIVE, also known as, a bad investment. Not on the bank’s part, but on the ignorance of the consumer. People trust banks blindly but not investors because they think investors have “bad” motives, i.e. making money. Well guess what, banks are in the business of making money, in case you were unaware, and in recent years they have clearly capitalized on the over-eager consumer who signs contracts blindly only to have the same contracts thrown in their face later as a “well you signed the contract agreeing to pay the 8% ARM loan!”

Banks capitalize on their market’s perception of what they do, which is ultimately founded in  of mainstream society. They use the banks for their investing needs: 401k, retirement, CDs, etc. Do you think the bank is going to help them because they got laid off and cannot make their  payment? The bank will pursue the route that gets them the most money or makes them lose the least, not what makes John Doe stay in his home. If those 2 are one in the same, then they will do that and tell the world about it for positive marketing. If what I do is bad, then the banks that are such a stable part of modern society are the devil who birthed me 24 years ago. They named me Lauryn. Hello.

If making money is bad, then I suppose the “American working man” so often the star of ballads from American rocks stars like Billy Joel are the root of evil because, guess what, they like money. That money feeds their kids!  Go put that on TV., “Feeding your kids is bad. How dare you want to make money!” And if wanting more in life out of an honest living is bad, then I suppose communism would be a better economic route, that way no one has more than anyone else.

If you’re upset that 12% ROI makes the standard 3% ROI look like pennies, I am sorry. Do what I do then, but don’t disapprovingly shake your head at what I work so hard to achieve. Three percent doesn’t get me excited and it never will, because guess what, I only take advice from people who live the life I want to live. When the millionaires I know start recommending mutual funds at a 3% ROI, then I might consider it. Until then, THAT is the only speculative venture I see in this blog.

WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN

So what do you when you meet idiots who try to tell you that what you do is bullshit?

  • You need to understand and be able to articulate what you do and you need to understand who your competition is. This allows you to better field objections and strengthen your position in the marketplace. Adjectives only exist on a comparative level, meaning, that something can only be seen as fat, if something immediately next to it is viewed as thin. Therefore, who are you being compared to and how do you measure up?
  • Understand your market. Who is going to benefit from your services and target them.
  • Forget the dummies. If you run an honest practice and deep down, where God counts, know that you are offering opportunity and not cheating people, then go on with your life and let the small minded stay where they are, with other small minded, dream killing people.

HOW TO LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES

What could I have done differently?

  • Ask him to explain what he meant. Speculative can range in its meanings and implications. By asking him to clarify, I could have better understood his point.
  • Stay calm: I reacted to his defensiveness. I should have remained calm and realized he was mad because I did not call him back soon enough. It made him doubt my credibility. I get it. Next time I will be better about returning calls and more understanding.  He was incorrect in his approach, but I could have circumvented a lot of stress with better fielding skills myself.

So what do you do when opposition parks itself in your driveway? You call a tow truck.

To your success!