Trevor has been a business and personal coach of Joe’s for years. Today Trevor tells us his 5 step process for making a connection with a call to action at the end. As investors, we are not really in the real estate business. Rather we are in the relationship business, and Joe has successfully closed deals using this process. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!
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Trevor McGregor Background:
- Business Performance Coach, Strategist, Consultant & Speaker, CEO of Trevor McGregor International
- Mentorship has helped several of his clients cross the 7, 8 and 9 figure business mark
- Real estate investor who has done fix and flips, buy and holds and wholesaling
- For 25 years he has started and grown successful enterprises, including his Real Estate Investment Firm
- Based in Vancouver, Canada
- Say hi to him at www.trevormcgregor.com
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast. We only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.
With us today, Trevor McGregor. How are you doing, Trevor?
Trevor McGregor: I’m outstanding, Joe. How are you doing?
Joe Fairless: I’m outstanding as well, and nice to have you back on the show. Best Ever listeners, you know Trevor McGregor, and that is because you are a loyal Best Ever listener. But if you’re listening for the first time, then let me just tell you… Buckle up, my friends, because we’re about to be educated in an actionable way. I hire him as my personal business and performance coach, been working with him for five years now.
Trevor is, like I mentioned, a business performance coach, strategist, consultant and speaker. He has mentored many of the people who I know, and has previously worked for [unintelligible [00:03:15].10] Do you still with work with the Tony Robbins Group?
Trevor McGregor: No, I’m out on my own now. I’ve spent half a decade with Tony Robbins as one of his top master platinum coaches, and now I’ve gone off and I’m supporting more real estate investors all over this beautiful blue planet, Joe.
Joe Fairless: Well, there we go. And to support us today, Trevor is going to talk to us about a five-step process in order to engage people on a deeper level and have a call-to-action at the end. Basically, we can make more money by connecting with others and doing so in a meaningful way, through this process – we’re gonna go through the five steps and Trevor is gonna walk us through it.
So what’s the best approach for how we should start the conversation, Trevor?
Trevor McGregor: Well, thanks, Joe. It’s great to be back. I love your show, and I appreciate the opportunity to come back and support your listeners… Because as I coach real estate investors all over the U.S. or Canada or Europe or Asia or Australia, one of the questions that I get over and over is “How do I get brokers to really listen to me? How do I get property managers to react to me? How do I get appraisers to go out there and do what I need to do, or general contractors?” So I’m often finding myself talking about, “Well, how good of a communicator are you in real estate?”
The number one thing that we must remember is – we can take a look at it from the Tony Robbins perspective… If you go to his business mastery, you’ll stand up in front of everyone and he’ll say “What business are you in?” And if you, or me – because I’m also an active real estate investor myself – if we answer that question “Well, I’m a real estate investor”, Tony will then ask us another question about “Well, what business are you REALLY in?” The answer that we’re looking for is “Well, we’re in the communication business, we’re in the connection business, we’re in the relationship business.”
So I’ll go back to what I was talking about, that the number one way that I see people like you or I or anyone listening to go to the next level is to really take a look at how they’re showing up and communicating with everybody that they speak to each day. Does that make sense?
Joe Fairless: It makes a lot of sense. I’m 100% on board. I believe that relationships are the key to business, and quite frankly, life, and having meaningful, strong relationships, with value-add approach is the best approach, and then everything else will take care of itself.
Trevor McGregor: Absolutely. So if we all agree that we’re in the relationship business, people have then asked me “Well, how do I cultivate better relationships? How can I get people to really give ME the deal, or give ME the best rate, or support ME in my property management, or handle MY project?” And really, I talk about a communication style, and today for the listeners I’m gonna go over five key steps to talking to anybody, anywhere, anytime, about any topic related to the real estate game.
We’ll get into those five steps in just a minute, but again, I wanna start off by really asking the listeners to think about how you’ve been showing up, whether it’s with your general contractor, or whether it’s your lender, whether it’s anybody in your team of professional pillars, and rate yourself right on a scale of one to ten. Joe, I’ll put you on the spot as your coach and I’ll ask you, and I think you’re a phenomenal communicator… Where would you rate your ability to see where you started out in real estate out on a scale of 1 to 10, and maybe where you are today, just from doing so many conversations?
Joe Fairless: And help me understand how I’m rating it… So when you say “Think about how I’ve been showing up and rating it”, what specifically am I using to determine the rating?
Trevor McGregor: Well, let’s say when you first got started buying your first revenue property, when you’d call up a broker or you’d call up anybody, how good of a communicator were you on a scale of 1 to 10, versus how Joe Fairless is today?
Joe Fairless: I’d say six is relative to where I was versus where I am. Six is where I was, and now nine… And that’s relative to where I was versus where I am, not necessarily relative to everyone in the world, because if I did that, then my nine would probably be like a six or a seven.
Trevor McGregor: Absolutely, and I love that. That’s a perfect analogy, because you’re a different person today than you were many years ago. So for everyone that’s listening, you’ve gotta really understand where you are today, and then ask yourself “Who do I need to be and how do I need to show up to get better, so that I too can maybe move from a five or a six up to a seven, an eight and a nine?” This process that I’m about to give you is gonna help everyone do that. Are you ready to dive in, Joe?
Joe Fairless: I’m ready.
Trevor McGregor: You bet. So I want your listeners to perhaps grab a pen and a paper, and I’m gonna give the five steps in the form of an acronym, and that acronym is called RAPID. And what I thought we’d do is give everybody the opportunity to learn what each letter stands for and then we’ll go through how to apply it in a real estate related conversation.
Joe Fairless: Love it.
Trevor McGregor: The first letter is for the word Rapport. Because again, in relationships, nothing happens without a certain level of rapport. So when you think about speaking to someone, before you get into the meat and potatoes of the conversation, have you created rapport? So if you’re asking “What is rapport?”, well that is where you create commonality, or you find something of similar interest. Maybe you’re from a certain town and they’re from a certain town, or maybe you’ve got kids and they’ve got kids, or maybe you work with a similar company and they work with a similar company. Whatever you do, you’ve gotta kick off the conversation by establishing rapport, because that also builds likability and it also establishes trust. Does that make sense, Joe?
Joe Fairless: Yup.
Trevor McGregor: And most people think that once you establish rapport, you’re good to go. But if you don’t hold rapport throughout your entire real estate conversation, you’ll lose the other party. So again, it’s not something you do one time and you say “Thank God that’s over”, you wanna carry the whole rapport right through the call. So that’s the first part of the RAPID process. Are you ready to go to the A?
Joe Fairless: Yup.
Trevor McGregor: The A stands for the Agenda. What most real estate investors do is that we find that they don’t table what the outcome is for the conversation, or they don’t table what the outcome is for the call, or they don’t table the outcome for what the e-mail is meant to ask. So again, we always wanna ask “What is on the agenda? Are we talking about finding deals? Are we talking about a certain type of deal? Are we talking about a certain neighborhood? Are we talking about a certain price point?” So you really wanna communicate to whoever you’re talking to with the outcome in mind.
If you’re looking for a multifamily property in a certain neighborhood, at a certain price point, at a certain classification, you’ll absolutely want to state that so that the other side knows with clarity what it is that you’re seeking, and most people don’t do that. They forget to table what the outcome is for the call or for the conversation or for the e-mail. Does that make sense to you, Joe?
Joe Fairless: Absolutely.
Trevor McGregor: So once you’ve established rapport, you then wanna say “The reason for my call is…” or “The purpose of my e-mail is to verify…” or “I’m sending this text because I’m curious about…” Once that’s on the table, you will just find a more succinct conversation between you and whoever you’re communicating with.
So from that point we go to the P in RAPID. The P is the fun part, Joe. It stands for Probing. Probing is really nothing more than asking powerful questions. So what most people do is they show up in a real estate conversation and they start saying “Okay, here’s what I want, here’s what I need. Can you get me this?” instead of asking powerful questions upfront, which elicit significance in the other party. So if you’re just meeting with somebody for the first time, instead of telling them what you’re looking for, ask them “So how long have you been a broker? Wow, that’s great. What’s the best part of being a broker? Wow, you’ve probably seen some different economic cycles over the years, haven’t you?” And just engage and enroll and compel them to share a little bit more about their model of the world or their story, before you start darting them with the questions of what it is that you’re looking for.
So maybe Joe share with us, have you done that more often to strike up better conversations with people in your tribe?
Joe Fairless: Well, it’s really interesting and I don’t think it’s a coincidence… I interviewed Chris Voss recently, and he is a former lead FBI hostage negotiator, and he wrote the book Never Split The Difference. He was responsible for seven years for — every American who is kidnapped overseas, he was the lead negotiator to help resolve that situation, and he wrote a book about it and how it applies to business.
One of the things he said, which aligns with what you’ve just said, is when you ask the questions, How and What are very powerful. I was going to mention that, but then when you gave your two examples, you used How and you used What – those were the two words that you used… So it’s so true that when we ask these questions, using the word How and What are the best two words to start out those questions, because people like to talk about how they’re doing stuff, or what components or what aspects of whatever they’re doing is — what’s involved with that. If you ask Why, that could people on the defensive a little bit.
To answer your question to me, yes, I do, and now I’m gonna be more focused on the How and What questions because of what you naturally did and what Chris was talking about, too.
Trevor McGregor: Yeah, you’re spot freakin’ on, and I love that, Joe, because it’s the absolute way to get to a connection and a communication and a vibration and a frequency where you’re both on the same page. Questions really elicit emotion, and our emotions are gonna dictate the quality of life. And if we go Tony Robbins on this, I’ll just share with the listeners, after having a sneak peek into Tony’s world for half a decade as one of his top coaches, it was fascinating to watch him in a business meeting or even in an intervention, where Tony literally asked a number of questions before he’d even share his thoughts.
In fact, we go back to watching him in a business meeting, and Tony owns 33 companies that do five billion dollars a year in sales – yes, that’s five billion… And we played a little game as coaches – we were asked to come up with how many questions do we think Tony asks the average person when he meets them in a 30-45 minute meeting, and we all guessed it would be around 30, 40, maybe 50 questions. And when we rolled back tape after tape after tape, Tony Robbins asked no less than 120 questions before ever deciding which route he wanted to go with his decision. So it just goes to show you that probing and asking questions are the key to understanding and appreciating what’s going on for the other party, and to also gain the information that’s gonna help you make a better decision in your real estate dealings.
So that’s outstanding, and thanks for sharing that. That’s just absolutely outstanding. So from that point, once you’ve probed them and you’ve got some of that information, now we move to the second-last letter, which is the I, which is Identifying the opportunity. That’s where you go “Well, Mr. Broker, based on what I heard you say, I’d like to perhaps have you send that document over” or “Mr. General Contractor, based on the price you’ve given me verbally, I’d like you to put that on paper and send it over.” Or you could do that with an appraiser, you could do that with a lender, you could do that with anybody in your professional pillars.
Then from that comes the D, which is the Decision. The decision is whether you’re gonna move forward and work with that person, or whether you’re gonna go and tour property, or whether you’re gonna perhaps borrow some money from them… And we always say that the D is also standing for the Decision with a Deadline. And Joe, you know this as well as I do that most real estate investors when they’re going to make a decision they’ll do it, but they’ll leave it open-ended. And what we try to teach and coach and mentor and train on is you wanna timestamp it. You wanna make that decision with a deadline.
It might sound something like “Great, so based on everything we’ve discussed today, let’s continue to move forward. Send me the documents, I’ll read through them, and then let’s get back on the phone two days from now at two o’clock on Thursday. How would that work for you?” And by time-stamping it, you’re closing that loop. And again, so many real estate investors fail to do that. Do you find that as well?
Joe Fairless: Sure, yeah. I could see that.
Trevor McGregor: So really, you wanna build rapport, agree to an agenda, probe them, identify the opportunity to move forward, and then decide and create a deadline for what the next step is or what the call-to-action is. Again, those are some of the things that I know that once a real estate investor follows that syntax or that script, in that order, they’re able to absolutely get to their outcome, the other party feels like they’ve been able to add value, and it’s a win/win for everybody in the business.
Joe Fairless: On the rapport part, one thing that comes to mind is there’s no excuse not to have the necessary information in order to build rapport if you know about the meeting in advance, because of LinkedIn, because of Google, because of Facebook, because of the person who introduced you to this person – you can ask him/her about who you’re meeting with… So there’s all sorts of ways you can find some talking point that you two can at least attempt to connect on, or multiple talking points that you can at least attempt to connect on. So on the rapport thing, definitely you can set yourself up for success initially… So my question is what if you get thrown in a meeting with someone and you can’t do that research? You don’t have time, because you didn’t know you’d be meeting with this person.
Trevor McGregor: Great question, Joe, and that does happen a lot. I love that you shared that – Facebook, Google, LinkedIn are all great places to do your preliminary homework, but if you go into a meeting and you’re in somebody’s office, you wanna have what we call sensory acuity. Sensory acuity is nothing more than a Tony Robbins term for being present and looking around the room and looking for clues, because he says that there’s clues in every room. Perhaps you see a picture of the person’s family on the desk, perhaps you see a copy of Success Magazine on their credenza; perhaps you see they’re big into fishing and they’ve got a big fish on the wall on a big plaque.
Often times there are conversation starters in there that you can absolutely use those clues to get the rapport going and create that commonality. If you like fishing, say you like fishing; if you don’t, don’t bring it up. But if you see that they have kids in the picture and you say “Hey, is that your family there?”, you might then talk a little bit about your family and how your kids are the same age, or they play the same sports. There’s always something to go to, Joe. Does that make sense?
Joe Fairless: Yeah, it does. And if we don’t happen to be in that person’s office – say we’re at some random event, then however we got to that event, meaning why we’re attending whatever the event is, there will be something there that we can at least start the conversation with. “How did you like that last panel?” or “What were your favorite parts about X, Y, Z?” or “How do you know so-and-so?” who perhaps kind of pushed you in front of this new person who you didn’t know you were gonna meet… There’s all sorts of different ways, and I think using How and What questions in the setting that you’re in would be helpful, too.
Trevor McGregor: Yeah, you’re absolutely right about that and you bring up another good point, which is an introduction from another person – “Hey, I got your name from Joe Fairless, and I’m reaching out to you today because…” or “I got your name from this broker/I got your name from this property manager/I got this name from a general contractor.” And once you start sharing names, it already automatically brings people into their sphere of influence because you’re familiar with someone else they know. So again, that’s another huge point, Joe. Great job.
Joe Fairless: And then the other question I have is on the P part, the Probing and asking the powerful questions… You mentioned the Tony Robbins example, 120 questions before he makes a decision on something. I know on the surface that sounds pretty ridiculous, and definitely he doesn’t ask 120 questions before he makes any decision on anything, so how do we determine – “Okay, I’ve asked 75 or however many; I think I’m good on the questions, now let me move on to the I”, versus “Okay, I need to keep going.”
Trevor McGregor: That’s a great point, and we don’t need to go Tony Robbins on it. We just have to remember that if you’re not asking enough questions, what’s preventing you from adding one or two more? So maybe you ask a broker five questions when maybe you should have asked six or seven, that would have really elicited a better answer, or given him significance, or let him share his wisdom or his passion or his knowledge. People absolutely love being asked questions, and very rarely will somebody ever say “No, I’m not gonna answer that”, because what the brain does is the brain prepares to answer questions based on this, and I’ll even play this with you – Joe, can I ask you a quick question?
Joe Fairless: Sure.
Trevor McGregor: Yeah, so your brain now says “Sure” and has given Trevor a permission to go ahead and ask. So it’s not that we have to ask 75 or 120 questions, it’s just remember that questions are the key, because they also hold potential power that when we move to the I in Rapid, which is identifying where you’re gonna go, or you’re moving to the D, which is of Decision, but you’re doing it with more certainty, you’re doing it with more clarity, and you’re doing it with more confidence.
Those are the big three C words that if you have a conversation, you’re really looking to transfer to that person certainty, clarity and confidence that you’re a real estate investor that is ready to do a deal, or ready to borrow capital, or ready to hire them as a property manager. And again, we call that perceptual positioning. If you have a weak conversation and you don’t transfer certainty, you don’t transfer clarity and you don’t transfer confidence, they’re gonna give the deal to somebody else or they’re gonna say “Well, let me think about it”, and they’ll try to skirt around you and go give the deal to another party. Does that make sense as well?
Joe Fairless: Yeah. I love that Agenda comes before the questions, because let’s assume that there was no agenda, so let’s assume you didn’t say there’s an A in this acronym, and instead it was just Rapport to Probing – so you build rapport, then you ask questions; I’d be like “What the hell is our destination? Where are all these questions headed?” I would go bonkers and it would not be a good situation for anyone, because I love when people know what they’re looking for when they’re talking to you, and they’re approaching it the right way and say “Hey, ideally we can identify blah-blah-blah” or “The ideal outcome for this is blah-blah-blah.”
When I have calls with people, I start out — well, depending on the situation and who I’m talking to, but if it’s a vendor, I’ll always say “Okay, so what’s our outcome for this call?” That way I know how to navigate the conversation, and then when they ask the questions, then I can say “Okay, is that inside the territory of what our outcome is, or is that outside?” If it’s outside, not relevant, then let me bring that up, and we’ll move on. If it is inside the territory that’s relevant, then let’s keep on going down this path until we get to the I and D in this. I love that.
Trevor McGregor: Yeah, Joe, you bring up a really strong point there, and it also speaks to how you might talk to your own team. So let’s say you’ve got real estate investors on this call, or listeners listening to this or watching this that have a team of people underneath you, and let’s say you meet with them every Monday morning at nine o’clock. You will absolutely be able to use the same process. So when you go into the boardroom or you go into your meeting room, you’re gonna establish some rapport and say “How is your weekend? What’s going on, what’s happening in your family?” and all that stuff, and then you will move to the A and you say “Great, now let’s get started, folks. The outcome for today’s meeting is we’ve got 45 minutes to cover point A, B and C.” So you absolutely set the outcome for your own internal meeting, so that you guys aren’t bantering or wasting time or doing watercooler chat. There’s an agenda, and then you can probe them with who’s handling it, what’s going on, what are the different properties or the different accounts or whatever you’re talking about, identify action items, and then set the deadline to follow up with each other. So again, RAPID is the number one thing that business owners or real estate investors can use to absolutely go further faster.
Joe Fairless: It’s also a process — I think you could use a lot of it in e-mail, too. I recently got introduced to someone from a mutual friend, and the introduction was kind of cryptic and vague, and this person who was being introduced to me, he said “Hey, let’s jump on a call” and I’m thinking “What are we gonna talk about? I have no idea.” So I e-mailed and I said “Friend of this person that’s a friend of mine, I’d be happy to talk to you, but just for some context, what’s your ideal outcome for our call?” and then, if the outcome is something that perhaps I could give him a document or something, then it’s gonna be a more effective use of my time to send him a document, versus spend 15, 20, 30 minutes of my time talking about something I could have e-mailed them. So this is also something that we can apply towards e-mail.
Trevor McGregor: It is absolutely that as well, and you bring up another great point. Build a little rapport, “Hey, I got your name from Jeff, and here’s the reason why I’m sending you the e-mail, here’s my outcome, that’s the agenda”, ask your three questions, invite them in RAPID or identify that you’d love for them to reply, and then you’ll get that information back and you will decide whether to move forward or not.
So text, e-mail, business meeting, networking event – this is where it’s at. And again, this is what you can use to really optimize and maximize your conversations. And if there’s one thing that I’ll add to it, a little bonus distinction, Joe, is you’ve gotta put yourself in the other person’s shoes as well. So let’s say it is a broker, who could give you the deal or give someone else the deal, you’ve gotta remember what is it that they’re looking for in you? And again, brokers are looking typically for two things from us as real estate investors. Number one, do we have the capital to do the deal, and number two, how quickly can we close?
So again, in your communication, if you have to plan some seeds to say “You know what, my team and I have the resources to move forward and we can do this very quickly”, again, that’s part of the clarity, the certainty and the confidence that just might get you the deal instead of your competitor. Does that resonate with you?
Joe Fairless: Sure it does. How can the Best Ever listeners get in touch with you?
Trevor McGregor: You bet. As always, I invite anyone who wants to reach out to just simply go to www.coachwithtrevor.com and enter your details, and I’d be happy to jump on the phone and have a conversation with you about anything, anywhere, anytime real estate-related.
Joe Fairless: Trevor, thank you for being on the show, talking to us about the five-step process for connecting with others in a meaningful way, that produces results. One is build rapport, two is have an agenda, so communicate the outcome, three is probing, so asking powerful questions, four is identifying the opportunity to move forward, and five is having a decision so if you move forward, then here’s the deadline. So a decision with a deadline. Those five things build to RAPID, which is the acronym for this.
Thanks for talking to us about that, for sharing that with us. I hope you have a best ever day, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Trevor McGregor: Thanks very much, Joe. Take care.