There’s a lot to do and a never-ending amount of things to learn when you’re getting into fix & flips. It all gets so overwhelming quickly that many investors feel like they’re not doing enough or learning the right things because they don’t have a clear path to success. I’ve been doing this a long time, and while you can study dozens of things that can help grow your business, I’ve found there are just five critical fix & flip skills to master right away if you want to run a profitable business.
The five skills include negotiating, marketing, painting, tiling, and basic plumbing and electrical work.
But why just these five, and what’s so great about them? Glad you asked! Let’s dive in and discuss.
Why is Negotiating Important?
You must master negotiating tactics to maximize your investment profit. You will find yourself negotiating with others in nearly every step of the fix & flip process. First, you negotiate the asking price on your fixer-upper. Then, you negotiate contractor bids and rehab budgets. Finally, you end up negotiating with buyers interested in purchasing your property.
How to Get Better at Negotiating:
- Be prepared to walk away from the table if you don’t feel like you’re getting a good deal. If you’re looking to buy or sell a property and you don’t feel like you’re getting a good deal, be prepared to walk away from the table. Many factors determine whether or not you’ll get a good deal on a property, and it’s essential to have realistic expectations if you want to be successful in this market. If you’re not comfortable with the offer made by the seller, consider negotiating until you are. Remember, there are always other properties available for sale, so don’t be afraid to walk away if the deal isn’t right for you.
- Stay persistent. Don’t let the other party get away with giving you a lowball offer. If they do, keep pushing until you get what you want.
- Be flexible. When you are looking to negotiate a deal, don’t be afraid to change your demands to get a better deal. For example, if you start with a low price and they come back with a higher amount, see if they’ll include covering your closing costs or throwing in some repairs. You might not get the price you originally wanted, but you may be able to shave off some costs and end up saving money in the long run.
- Ask for and listen to feedback. When negotiating, it is crucial to be aware of what your counterpart is saying and doing. Pay attention not only to what they say but also to how they are reacting and acting. Body language can tell you so much and can help you rework your strategy. If their body language seems defensive (crossed arms, body turned away from you), you know to change your approach to a diffusive method that makes them feel more comfortable. If they’re hiding their body or can’t look you in the eye, their body language shows they’re feeling vulnerable. You can either use this to be empathetic and negotiable as a problem solver or become more aggressive (though problem-solving is typically better than bullying).
- Use empathy when negotiating. When you are trying to get someone to agree to a deal, it can be difficult if they do not feel the same way as you do about the situation or product involved. Try using empathy when communicating with that person to get them to feel as though they are in the conversation with you. This can help them be more open to what you are saying and may even cause them to change their minds about what they want.
- Be patient. Becoming a successful negotiator takes time, so don’t worry if it feels unnatural at first. The more you do it, the better you’ll become.
Why is Marketing Important?
Selling properties quickly brings in the big bucks. Therefore, you need to become an expert marketer. This includes learning how to stage your property, get the word out, host open houses, hire an excellent realtor, etc. Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to hone your marketing skills just to find the right property in the first place. Giving yourself plenty of options to choose from is the ideal situation.
How to Get Better at Marketing in Real Estate Investing:
- Understand the basics of marketing. Marketing is the process of creating value for a company by bringing its products and services to consumers. It involves planning, organizing, and executing marketing campaigns to bring in new customers or keep current ones. There are many different aspects to marketing, including product promotion, pricing, distribution, and public relations. If you want to succeed in real estate investing, you need to understand how powerful good marketing can be for your business.
- Get educated on the latest real estate marketing trends. You should be aware of several real estate marketing trends if you want to stay ahead of the curve. One trend that is growing in popularity is the use of video content. You can use video to create engaging content for your website and social media accounts and market your properties. You can also use video to create compelling case studies that show potential buyers how your property can benefit them. Additionally, you should be aware of the latest technology trends in real estate marketing. For example, you may want to consider using virtual reality technology to market your properties. Using these and other trends, you can ensure that your real estate marketing efforts are successful.
- Master the art of social media marketing as a lead generation tool. There’s no doubt that social media marketing is one of the most effective lead generation tools out there. However, if you want to be successful with it, you need to master the art of social media marketing. This broad topic requires more space than just a bullet point; essentially, you should learn which social media platform is the best for the market you’re trying to target and focus your energy on only one or two platforms instead of trying to reach everyone. Stay consistent with your posts and offer posts that are of value to your customer and not just sales pitches.
- Develop a strong branding strategy. One of the most important aspects of any real estate investing business is developing a solid branding strategy. This will help you create a unique identity for your company and make it easier for potential clients to find and connect with you. You can do several things to build a strong branding strategy for your business, including creating an effective logo, developing marketing materials, sticking to a few dedicated brand colors and fonts, and developing a consistent brand voice.
- Use effective advertising methods. There are a few things that you can do to improve the effectiveness of your advertising. One way to do this is to use effective targeting, segmenting, and incentive programs. You can reach your target audience more effectively by targeting your ads toward specific demographics. Segmenting your ads also allows you to target specific buyers or users. This will help you reach those who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Incentive programs can also be very effective when used correctly, especially when referrals are at stake. All of these techniques will help improve the overall effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
- Create a customer service plan for both your home buyers and sellers. Creating a customer service plan for both your home buyers and sellers is essential to ensuring that your customers are satisfied and that you remain in business. A customer service plan should include a variety of measures, such as creating and following up with buyer surveys, providing information about the home buying process, responding to complaints promptly, and addressing any concerns that buyers or sellers may have. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your customers have a positive experience with your business and that you’re the first one they call when they’re looking to buy or sell a property.
Why is Painting an Important Skill to Have as a Real Estate Investor?
Now that we’ve discussed the skills you need for finding and selling properties, it’s time to focus on rehab skills. You can save a lot of money by teaching yourself how to do the more manageable renovation tasks, such as painting. Doing the interior painting yourself saves hundreds of dollars in the long run, and there are plenty of tips and how-to videos online that could turn you into an expert painter (or at least close).
How to Get Better at Painting:
- Work with a good brush. Be sure to invest in a high-quality angle brush. We recommend a 2 1/2′′ wide brush. Use this brush to paint those tough-to-reach edges.
- Roll slowly. After you complete the edges, finish the walls off with a roller. You will want to roll the paint on slowly. This allows the paint to settle into the texture of the walls and minimizes the number of coats you will need.
- Work with quality paint. It doesn’t make sense to cheap out on a job and then end up having to do it over again. Do the painting right the first time with quality paint. Good paint will also minimize the number of coats you need and save you money in the long run.
Why is Tiling an Important Skill to Have?
Believe it or not, tiling is a simple process that can be picked up easily! Most rehabbers agree the most beneficial fix & flip skill is learning how to tile. However, there are some subtleties to tiling you should know before you just go nuts with your bathrooms and kitchen.
How to Get Better at Tiling:
- Invest in a good tile saw. Be sure to buy a quality tile saw and learn how to use it. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s offer classes on tiling and how to operate tile saws. You can find a good saw for around $70 at either store.
- Use a level. Take your time and use a level to ensure the floor tiles are even. You don’t want small hills scattered throughout your floor because you used too much mortar.
- Less is more with mortar. Mix smaller batches of mortar at first. Be conservative and see how much you need as you go. Remember, it’s far easier to add more mortar than to attempt to subtract it from a laid tile.
5. Basic Plumbing and Electric
Why Is It Important?
While bigger projects are best left to the professionals, minor plumbing and electrical repairs can be performed DIY-style. You can change light fixtures, replace bulbs and even install a ceiling fan yourself. You can also mend minor plumbing problems with Sharkbite fittings. These plumbing parts repair copper pipes extremely fast and prevent future leaks.
Again, if a repair is outside of your comfort zone or too large a job to take on alone, let a professional handle it. You will want to avoid projects such as replacing supply lines or rewiring.
How to Get Better at Basic Plumbing and Electrical Work
- Get experience. You’ve got to dive in to learn, and the more you try, the better you’ll get. Start with small projects like replacing a light fixture or fixing a slow drip in a faucet. Once you become comfortable handling those, move on to something a little more complicated. Remember not to get too adventurous, and when you’re unsure or overwhelmed, save yourself the hassle and call a pro.
- Attend plumbing and electrical training courses. These courses will teach you how to fix common plumbing and electrical problems and how to maintain your equipment. Local trade schools or community colleges often offer these courses. You can also take them online, but it pays to have hands-on experience with a teacher there to help you in person.
- Use the right tools. Whether you’re using a miter saw, wrench, or power drill, knowing how to use them correctly can help you get the job done quickly and efficiently. When you’re getting started, it’s OK to begin with economy-priced tools so that you don’t invest too much while learning. However, once you get the hang of things, you’ll want to invest in better quality tools to make repairs faster and easier.
- Follow safety guidelines. It is essential to follow safety guidelines and wear the appropriate gear during your fix & flip. This includes checking for potential hazards before starting work, using proper equipment, and taking precautions when working with hazardous materials. Don’t skimp on playing it safe, even if it takes longer. That extra precaution could be another 15 minutes that save you from a multiple-hour visit to the emergency room.
Becoming successful in real estate investing is a marathon and not a sprint. But you can still save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches by mastering these five fix & flip skills first.