Newbies first post!! 19 from Tampa, long... - Posted by TampaBoy

Posted by TampaBoy on March 19, 2005 at 12:49:36:

Thanks a lot guys!

I will definately take your advice to heart and stay away from the flashy clothes, that makes perfect sense. I really like the idea of putting my business name on a few polo shirts two.

I would love to contact a few Floridians for some advice. I am also planning on being an investor full time as soon as possible. They cool thing is I make about $18,000 annually at my job now so I should surpass that in no time!!

Thanks again,
Cole Haynes

Newbies first post!! 19 from Tampa, long… - Posted by TampaBoy

Posted by TampaBoy on March 19, 2005 at 03:15:04:

Just wanted to tell everyone on CRE Hello!

I have been lurking around CRE, reading EVERY post and searching the archives for about a week now. I have ordered both of Lonnie’s books and mobile homes w/ land and can not wait until they arrive. I have been driving ALL OVER Tampa through parks finding my market areas, even talking to managers. I have yet to make any relationships with the managers, but I feel like I am getting good experience talking to them about the parks.

My main question is concerning my age. I turned 19 in January and I am having some trouble being taken seriously by the managers I have spoken to. In no way do I see my age as a disadvantage I just would like to get some advice from those who started at a younger age, or ANYONE.

So far these are my steps to solve this problem:

  1. I am going this weekend to buy some good business wear from Men’s warehouse, not a full suit but just to show I “mean business.”
  2. Beside the business cards I am making I have created a, flyer type, paper for the managers that lists all the ways they will benefit by contacting ME with deals, along with my business card attached.

Last, this is my startup situation (let me know what needs work):
-$2000 cash
-quiting full-time job for a 6-10pm PT/job.
-Moving back in to my mom’s place to save on rent.
-attending college but after this semester will take some time off to pursue my passion, entrepreneurship!!
-going to apply for a few credit cards, I currently have one w/ a $500 limit, only use for gas. I was planning on getting two more so I would have around $2000 in CC’s, good/bad idea? (very credit responsible)

I appreciate all advice in advance and hope to make many friends on this site and at future seminars(October).

P.S. I am so excited!! thank you Lonnie.

Tampa, Florida
Cole Haynes

Re: Newbies first post!! 19 from Tampa, long… - Posted by Steve Contois

Posted by Steve Contois on March 19, 2005 at 13:53:28:

Hi Cole. I started in sales when I was 16 and faced the same problem. I’m 30 now and have a beer gut but still have a youthful appearance. Here are some tips that worked for me: 1) Learn the industry jargon and use it when dealing with park managers and customers. Jargon will enhance your credibility and impress the veterans of the industry. Don’t over do it though, jargon should be used to express, not impress. 2) Ask the park mangers about their experiances, advice, and a history of how they got involved in the MH business. Everyone likes to talk about their career and how they got started. Listen and learn. Ask open ended questions and cushion their responses with…oh, great point, I never thought of it that way, and your really experianced, I’m glad we met. 3) A tip on dress: I would suggest wearing conservative clothes. Khakis and a gold shirt or Levi Jeans and a tucked in flannel. Avoid trendy clothing, extra long pants, or low riders that make your boxers show. Tuck your shirt in. You can look cool when your not working and spending your Lonnie deal money. Stay away from accesories that make you look younger like baeball hats, earings, and expensive sneakers. Think boring & conservative. Invest in a brief case made of soft material you can sling over your shoulder and carry your business cards in it. Keep a legal pad inside and ask for permission to take notes when the park manager is telling you about the parks rules and regulations. It makes the listner feel important and he or she will take you serious. Be confident and make eye contact. You will be perceived as wise beyond your yours (shich you obviosly are if you are starting lonnie deals at 19.) Go get em.

Re: Newbies first post!! 19 from Tampa, long… - Posted by Jeffery (LCLA)

Posted by Jeffery (LCLA) on March 19, 2005 at 09:24:26:

Cole, man, I feel your pain, umm, well, felt your pain. Ever since I can remember I’ve had that entrepreneurial spirit. I didn’t always have direction, but had the desire. I started my first business when I was 18 (unless you count the grass cutting service when I was 15). And, nope, folks just didn’t take me serious. I didn’t know what I could have done to change that, so self employment was sidelined. My suggestion to you, to overcome the age thing, is to enlist the help of an older friend to go with you. If that’s not an option, perhaps try doing business on the phone. When I went into the security consulting business several years ago, I was also selling security equipment. I couldn’t make a sale in person regardless of my approach. The problem? I’m a big, scary looking guy and I usually don’t have a facial expressions. The solution, get on the phone. 9 times out of 10, if I had a customer on the phone, I got their money. Once you establish yourself in a park, and you get the PM on your side and working for you, other PM’s will come on board with you.

Now, on to the clothes thing, and I really want to see other’s input on this. There’s something to be said about flashy cars and clothes, and it’s usually not a good thing. I used to wear a suit, fancy shoes and drove a Jaguar. I though the “I’m already successful and don’t need your business” look was the best thing. Well, in sales, it’s not. I once drove up to a general contractor’s office. I wanted to pitch them on a deal on installing security equipment in the homes they build. Well, when I opened the door to get out of my car, I heard the owner say “here comes another d@mn salesman”. What?? Salesman? I didn’t want to sell him anything. I wanted to help increase his bottom line by offering a service to his customers. Why didn’t he say “look here comes a potential customer who apparently is successful and wants me to build a house for him?” I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just human nature.

As far a clothing, I have some short sleeve Polo type shirts with my business name, phone number and tag line. It looks more like a uniform than dress clothes, but still professional looking. I wear shorts most of the time, sometimes jeans and rarely dress pants. The shirts look good with nearly any pants I wear. They’re all grey except two that are white. I used to do a weekly news report on security and tech gagets and that’s what the white shirt are for. As far as vehicles. I have a full size panel van. I can tote around paint, plumbing, electrical, and other equipment. I have a pickup that I just bought for other construction projects, and to tote large items like large appliances and other large construction equipment, and I have a Lincoln for those times that I have to court a client. Nothing is really flashy and business is better. I’m not suggesting to go buy several different vehicles. I’m suggesting, don’t be flashy. Before I bought the Lincoln (and only bought it because I needed a car for the family) I surveyed some of my customers and got their opinion on what their thoughts would have been had they seen the vehicle that I drove. All of them (and these were security customers) said that as long as the vehicle was sensible, and that it didn’t appear as if I had more money than sense, then our business relationship would not have been any different. When I asked them about flashy cars and clothes, most of them said that I would have worked harded on the pitch and come down on my price. Apparently no one wanted to buy me a Jaguar but didn’t have a problem buying me a new truck.

As far as the credit goes, as long as you are credit smart, you can’t have too much credit. Don’t worry too much about your credit score right now as long as there is no negative information. Many folks say that having too many credit account is a bad thing. That’s not necessarily true. A large portion of your score is based on the ratio of how much credit you have available versus how much you use. Another big contributor to your score is credit history. So if you can get those cards now, you’ll be establishing history for a few years down the road when you need to make a large purchase. I seems as though the FICO algorithm gives more points on a credit score when you have a 5-10% usage. I’m not sure why, but suspect that it shows that you can use credit but not over use.

This is more information than what you asked for, but I hope you find it useful. Being in Florida, you’ve got a couple of great folks overthere that are doing this full time. Hopefully they’ll chime in and give you some advise as to your market.

Jeffery (LCLA)

Re: Newbies first post!! 19 from Tampa, long… - Posted by Marty (MO)

Posted by Marty (MO) on March 19, 2005 at 08:04:56:

Enthusiasm will carry you a long way, but, instead of spending money on “business wear”, save your money and focus on finding a good mentor. There are tons of guys in Florida doing the business- find one you connect with and ride their coattails on your first couple deals. They’ll help you get the credibility you want and the experience you need.

just my opinion-