Now That You Ask
by Kevin Smith
I knew a broker who had gotten himself on the real estate training circuit and traveled around the country teaching people how to buy houses. During the course of his training, he told a story about a time he bought a house and was negotiating the final offer with the sellers. They were standing in the kitchen talking about the final details of the house sale.
They had concluded their discussion, and the broker turned to go. He got almost to the door and stopped. Turning to the sellers he said, "Are you going to leave the microwave for me?" gesturing to a large microwave sitting on the kitchen counter. His sellers looked at each other and nodded. "Yes," they said, "you can have the microwave, too.
After the broker got off of the platform, I went up to him and during the course of our conversation I ask him if he was still asking for the microwave. "No," he said. "I had to quit." "Why?" I asked. I "Well, my garage got filled up with microwaves."
It just goes to show you what can happen if you ask for what you want. Mary Kay Ash, builder of an empire of successful cosmetics saleswomen, took ordinary women who wanted to make a little more money and have a little more freedom and trained them to be salespeople. One of the most important things she taught them was to ask for what they wanted. "If you don't A-S-K, you don't G-E-T."
Some of you are in the world of selling and know this technique as "asking for the order." If you are out selling and you go into someone's office, you are there to sell something. If you don’t ask for what you want, the order for your goods and services, then you're just a commercial visitor.
Talk to anyone who has made a success of themselves and you will see that asking is the way they have become the success that they are. If we are going to do something small, then we probably don't need much help. I can take the garbage out by myself, thanks. I can also build the fence around my back yard by myself, but it will take in a lot longer if I hadn't been hardheaded and asked for some help. I get them to help me and then they find me helping them do something at their place.
You would be surprised what you can get if you just as for it. Ask for a little; ask for a little more. Ask for something bigger. Ask to be upgraded when you fly. Ask if the person you are talking to can help you get what you want, and then tell them what you want. I want you to start asking for more in your life. When you start asking is when you will start to have more of what you want in your life.
Start early and ask often. If you are not used to asking, start small and work up. If you are not used to talking to people or be uncomfortable doing it, then start with the waitress in the coffee shop or the clerk at the Home Depot. Talk to the person in the checkout line at Kroger. Ta1k to the person who delivers your mail.
Start asking. Ask for directions, ask for their opinion something, and ask if they know anything about what you are both looking at—faucets in Home Depot, tires at Discount Tire. Ask if they can tell you anything about the people who lived in the house you are looking at. Ask what happens if you do this, or do that.
Ask them. Ask again. The worst they can say is "No." They might even say "Yes." Are you really afraid that they will say no, and reject you, or are you afraid that they will say yes. at help you become successful?
Ask if you can get a discount. Ask if you can get terms. Ask them for the microwave. Ask for the raise you deserve instead of the one you think they'll let you have. Ask for the moon-who knows, someone might just give it to you. Ask for your preferences, ask for a little bit more, ask for the last pork chop, ask for a kiss, and ask if you can have an interest-only loan for the first year, then a fully amortized loan after that. Ask them if you can start showing the house before you close on it. Ask. Ask again. Ask some more.
Ask for all of it. Ask if they have other houses they might be considering selling. Ask if they have a friend who has
more houses like this that you might buy.
Ask them to leave all of the furniture for you when they leave. Ask if the hot tub stays. Ask them why they want to sell such a beautiful house. Ask them what they are going to do with the money when they sell it. That last one can open up a lot of possibilities for you. It can lead to all sorts of terms that can be very agreeable to you as an investor.
Ask for help. I know, this can be one of the toughest things to learn. Some of us (and I'm in that number) grew up thinking that asking for help was a sign of weakness and people would take advantage of you if you showed that weakness. Asking for help could make you feel like you were insufficient to the task, and that you might be punished for not being smart enough or not being a good enough person. Well, when I found out that that was the decision of an eight year old, I made a new decision and started asking for help all the time. The bounty that has accrued to me because of that one decision has made all the difference in the world. Because of that one decision and the action of asking people, my life is lushly furnished with resources, privilege and plenty of what I want in every area.
Ask if it's all right if you do what you want. Ask if you can help. Ask if they will help you. Ask for all of it. Ask for more time, ask to have an extra charge removed, ask it you can have a little leniency getting a payment in, ask if you can set up or move a meeting. Ask for a "do over," ask for something cheaper, something more expensive, or something better.
Ask for what you really want, ask them to wait, ask them to please hurry, ask for the good stuff, ask them to get going, ask them to join in, ask if you can join them. Real estate is a people business. If you cannot talk to people then you will have a tough time in it. You will talk to sellers, buyers, trades people, inspectors, appraisers, a ton of different folks. Ask early and ask often, but ask.
Ask to have it all, and ask to have it all at once. Ask them how, how many, how soon, how much and ask them why not or why. Ask. Start small; ask for the microwave. It will change your life for the better because it integrates you into their lives and opens you up to them.
If they don't know what you want, how can they give it to you'? They're not mind readers, none of us are. Ask for what you want. You lose 100% of the things you don't ask for, so what do you have to lose? If you can have it sooner or later, why not have it sooner? Matter of fact, why not have it right now? Ask for it.
One last note on this asking stuff. What if they ask you? Well, first of all, when someone asks you for a favor or asks you for help, it is a compliment to you. It means that they think enough of you and hold you in such esteem that they figure you are competent to help them. It's a chance for you to be noble, and everyone wins all the way around the table.
Reprinted by Permission. The author, of Forward Assist, has conducted "Mr. Fixit" workshops, and served on the Realty Investment Club of Houston Board of Directors as “The Enricher” Newsletter Editor for three years. He shares his treasure chest of secrets with anyone who asks. You can reach him at (713) 858-1330